“I might need to reschedule our date tonight,” Rafael sighed.
“Why?” Olivia asked.
“Work, you keep giving me things to do,” he quipped.
“We could just do it later,” she suggested.
“No,” he smiled, “I’ll just reschedule.”
“But you’re the one who insisted on the date,” she sighed.
“I know, but I just want to make this special. I don’t want work getting in the way… a few days from now should be fine,” he said.
“Okay,” she replied, “Let me know about this warrant.”
“Yeah, I’m gonna have to use up some favours for this one,” he nodded, “I’ll do what I can.”
“Thank you, I’ll owe you one,” she smiled.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” he smirked as he took his phone out of his pocket.
Olivia watched Rafael head for the door, “I’ll talk to you soon,” she called out.
Rafael was concentrating on his phone as he walked out of her office when he ran into someone. “Watch where you’re going!” he frowned as he looked up to find a taller man standing in front of him.
“Who the hell do you think you are?” the man replied.
“Excuse me!” Rafael huffed, “Who the fuck are you?”
“What are you doing here!?” Olivia said as she emerged from her office; interrupting the man before he could reply.
“I came to see you,” he sighed, “I know its been a long time but I want to talk.”
“Oh,” she smiled, “Okay, come on then we can talk in my office.”
“Man, I knew you’d be running this place eventually but it feels weird without Cragen here,” the man laughed as he brushed past Rafael.
Rafael just stood there watching the man enter Olivia’s office, once they were inside Olivia closed the door. Curious Rafael walked over to Fin’s desk, “Who was that?” he asked; his eyes not leaving her office.
“Him?” Fin questioned, “Surely you know who that is?”
Rafael sighed when Olivia closed the blinds, “No idea,” he replied looking over to Fin. “I’ve never seen him before but ‘Liv seems to know him. What is he… an Ex?”
“Of sorts,” Fin shrugged, “That’s Elliot Stabler.”
Rafael stood stunned for a moment, “The Elliot Stabler,” he mumbled.
“Looks like you’ve got some competition now,” Fin joked.
Rafael didn’t laugh; in fact his mind was running through all the times Olivia had mentioned him, “But… He left her without a word... yet she seemed happy to see him.”
“Mate, I was joking,” Fin said.
“I, uh, gotta go,” Rafael replied, “Tell her I’ll send what she needs through when I get it…”
“Okay, did you want-“ Fin began but Rafael had walked away before he could finish.
After Olivia closed the door behind she moved quickly to close the blinds then she turned to the man standing in the middle of her office and sighed, “What are you doing here?”
“What?” he smiled, “Can’t I come and say hello?”
“After 6 years?” Olivia frowned.
“Has it really been that long?” he sighed, “I’m sorry I never called-“
“You left without a word,” she interrupted, “I called you but you ignored me.”
“I know and I’m sorry about that,” Elliot replied. “It was hard for me.”
“For you?!” she huffed. “We were partners for 12 years then you left without so much as a goodbye as if it meant nothing.”
“It meant everything to me that’s why I never called you,” he mumbled.
Olivia stood there confused, “Wait, what?”
“I knew if I picked up the phone you’d talk me into coming back,” he explained. “I had to get away from all this… at least for a while.”
“You could have just talked to me,” she sighed, “I would have understood.”
“You were part of the reason why I left ‘Liv,” he mumbled.
“Yeah,” he shrugged, “But I heard you’re in charge now and I had to see it for myself.”
Olivia smiled as she walked towards him, “Yeah some things have changed since you left.”
Elliot watched her closely; “Not you,” he smiled back.
“I disagree,” she replied.
“Oh yeah,” he jested, “Name one thing.”
“Other than running this place?” she said raising an eyebrow, “Well, I have a son.”
Elliot paused for a moment, “A son?”
Olivia nodded, “His name’s Noah. I adopted him a few years go.”
“Well, good for you,” Elliot smiled, “I know you’ve always wanted a kid.”
“Yeah,” she sighed. “How are your kids?”
“Don’t know,” he shrugged, “Good I guess. They don’t talk to me since Kathy and I divorced.”
“Oh I didn’t know. I’m sorry to hear that,” Olivia said.
“It was a few years go now,” Elliot replied.
“Can I do anything?” she asked.
“Actually,” he hesitated, “I’m not just here to see you…”
“I figured,” she smiled, “What can I do?”
“I need a job,” he answered. “It’s been years since I got good work. I just need something to do with my life again, something that gives me purpose.”
“I’ll see what I can do but with your history,” she shrugged.
“I figured with our history, it shouldn’t matter,” Elliot replied.
Olivia sighed, “It’s not as easy as that.”
“It should be,” he mumbled.
“Cragen almost lost his job a few times because of you,” Olivia said. “I don’t know if I’m ready to do that.”
“I’m not who I was,” he sighed. “I can control my anger-“
“Can you?” Olivia muttered.
“’Liv,” he said placing a hand gently on her shoulder, “I need this. You know I’m good at this job and how good we were together.”
Taking a deep breath Olivia nodded, “I’ll see what I can do.”
“Come give me a hug, it’s been too long,” Elliot smiled; pulled her into a hug, “I’ve missed you.”
Still wrapped in his arms; Olivia looked up at him, “I missed you too-“ she was interrupted by a kiss. Lost in the moment Olivia kissed him back, a few seconds passed before Olivia realised what she was doing. Immediately she pulled away, “I can’t,” she mumbled; embarrassed.
“Why not?” Elliot asked.
She was flustered; “Because I’m…” she trailed off.
“Okay,” Elliot sighed, “I’m sorry. I thought…”
“I can’t do this right now,” she replied, walking towards her desk. “I have work I need to do.”
Elliot nodded, “I understand but before I go, please just think about what I asked.”
“I’ll let you know soon,” she answered.
“Bye ‘Liv,” he said.
Olivia watched him exit her office; “What was I thinking?” she whispered to herself. What’s Barba going to think… I have to tell him… Do I? “Don’t be ridiculous Benson,” she frowned, “I have to be honest.”
Later that night Rafael walked through the door; placing his briefcase against the wall as he took off his coat. Once it was off he hung in up on the coat hanger and continued into their home, “Noah’s asleep,” Olivia whispered as she greeted him.
Rafael nodded as he wrapped his arms around her, “Sorry I’m so late… Meetings ran long then don’t get me started on the paperwork-“ he was interrupted by a kiss. When the kiss broke he chuckled, “Well, that’s the nicest way I’ve been told to shut up today.”
Olivia laughed, “I’m just glad you’re home now. Why don’t you go sit on the lounge and I’ll get you some dinner.”
“I, uh, actually snacked at the office,” he admitted. “I wasn’t sure if you’d still be awake when I got home.”
“Oh,” Olivia nodded, “That’s okay, it was only leftovers anyway. What about a drink instead?”
“Sounds good,” he smiled. She hesitated before turning towards the kitchen, “You okay?”
“I’m fine,” Olivia sighed as she entered the kitchen. Just tell him what happened. “It’s just been a long day.”
“Yeah,” Rafael nodded as he made his way to the lounge.
As Olivia poured him a glass of scotch she felt sick; her hands were sweating and she felt lightheaded, “I… um,” she mumbled. “I have to tell you something-“
“What was that?” he called out as he sat down, “I missed that.”
“It’s nothing,” she replied. Once she had poured his drink she quickly poured herself a glass of wine and made her way into the lounge room. “Here,” she forced a smile.
As he took his drink he asked, “Are you sure you’re okay?”
Olivia nodded as she took a sip of her drink, “I’m fine… I’m just tired.”
“Okay,” he sighed. After taking a sip of his drink he asked, “So, how was your afternoon?”
“It was pretty quiet,” she replied.
“That must have been nice, wish mine was like that,” he laughed. “Why are you still up?”
“I, um,” Olivia mumbled, “I was waiting for you-“
“You don’t have to do that,” Rafael interrupted.
“I know,” she paused, “But I, um, wanted to talk to you and besides Fin’s coming over soon to drop of some paperwork for me.”
Rafael sighed, “Are you sure you’re okay? You seem flustered.”
“I’m,” she sighed, “Let’s just talk about something else for a while.”
“Okay,” Rafael frowned; confused. After a moment of thought he asked, “How was that surprise visit of yours?”
She looked away from Rafael; “It was fine,” she said taking a sip of her wine.
“Who was it?” he asked.
“Just an old friend.”
Why wont she just tell me, he thought. “Must have been a good friend to be able to just drop by like that,” he added.
“Once upon a time,” she nodded, “What’s with the 3rd degree?”
“Just want to know who it was,” he shrugged; raising an eyebrow, “Why won’t you tell me?”
“Can’t we talk about something else,” she sighed, “He’s just a friend looking for a job.”
“Not just a friend,” Rafael said into his glass.
Does he already know? Don’t be ridiculous, how could he know? She frowned, “What’s that suppose to mean?”
“I know that was Stabler,” he huffed.
Olivia’s heart started to quicken; what else does he know? “I didn’t want you to create something out of nothing.”
“Nothing!?” Rafael snarled. “It’s not like he’s your old partner who supposedly meant so much to you or even the guy that left you broken hearted. Tell me again how there’s nothing-”
“Shh Raf, Noah’s sleeping,“ Olivia said looking over her shoulder. As she turned back to Rafael she added, “I didn’t tell you because there’s nothing-“
“No, you didn’t want to tell me because you still care for him, don’t you?” he sighed. “You know what,” he growled as he quickly finished off his drink, “I’ve got a lot of paperwork that needs to be done and I can’t do it here.”
Olivia watched as he stood up, “Don’t go,” she sighed, “We can talk about this.”
“I’ll see you later,” he mumbled as he turned away from her. Within a few quick strides he was at the front door; he grabbed his coat and briefcase then left without another word.
Rafael walked around the city for a bit before stumbling onto an entrance for Central Park. As he walked through the park he thought about how it looks so different at night; peaceful, beautiful… dreary, the last one made his grasp on his briefcase tighten. Eventually he stumbled across a park bench under a light and decided to sit down for a while; as he sat there he sighed while he rummaged through his inner suit pocket and pulled out a small velvet box. He stared at it for a while before opening it and looked at the diamond ring he had picked out for Olivia, “I really hope this Stabler guy doesn’t change anything for us,” he mumbled to himself.
When he finally made it back to his office he noticed a glimmer of light shining though his closed shutters. As he opened the door he saw Olivia sitting on the lounge next to the door, “I thought you would have been here a while ago,” she said as he entered.
“I went for a walk,” he replied. “Shouldn’t you be at home?” he mumbled as he walked towards his desk.
“Fin stopped by after you left,” she replied, “He offered to stay for an hour or so.”
“Why?” he asked placing his briefcase on his desk.
“He saw you leaving,” she sighed as she stood up.
“And? I left to be alone,” Rafael frowned.
“Can we talk about this?”
“I’m not in the mood,” he grumbled as he sat behind his desk; avoiding eye contact with her.
“I’m sorry,” she said taking a few steps towards him, “I should have told you.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” he paused as he looked up at her, “What are you hiding?”
“He…” She hesitated, “He kissed me.”
As she said those three words Rafael felt as though he had just been punched in the stomach. “He k-kissed…” He didn’t always stutter but when he did he hated it. He never liked it when words just couldn’t roll off his tongue; in his mind it showed too much emotion and weakness. He cleared his throat before continuing, “Did you kiss him?”
“No!” she defended, “I pushed him away.”
Rafael frowned, “Well, how did he get close enough to kiss you if you didn’t-“
“It was a misunderstanding,” she replied.
“How does that even happen?!”
“We hugged but I guess he thought-“
“How?” Rafael sighed, “How does a hug give off that impression? Clearly there’s more to this story than you’re telling me.”
“There isn’t,” she said.
“Did you even mention me?” he muttered, “Or even the fact that you’re not single?”
“It,” she hesitated, “It didn’t come up, no.”
“Not even after he kissed you! Do I mean that little to you?” he huffed.
“DON’T!… don’t Rafi me,” he snarled. “You can’t play me like that! You can’t pretend like this is nothing! It’s not just going to disappear because you want it to... No matter how hard I try.”
“How hard you try?” Olivia questioned.
“I meant you,” he frowned. “Slip of the tongue. Don’t change the subject.”
“Rafael,” she sighed. “It really is nothing, it was a spur of the moment thing that’s all.”
Rafael shook his head in disbelief, “Why was he even there?”
“I told you why,” Olivia answered.
“What? A job?” Rafael mocked; rolling his eyes, “That’s a poor excuse if I’ve ever heard one.”
“He’s going though a tough time,” she sighed. “He’s divorced, his kids don’t want to talk to him and most of the department doesn’t’ want to give him a job.”
“And you’re not thinking of actually giving him a job, are you? Rafael frowned.
“He’s got nobody-“
“Your squad is full of great detectives as it is, you don’t need some hothead joining them,” he huffed.
“Why, because one is enough?” she frowned. “Why don’t you get off your high horse and just see that he’s a friend in need.”
“A friend?” Rafael mocked, “A friend doesn’t just come in one day out of the blue and kiss you! He’s just trying to get into your pants.”
“You don’t even know him!”
“I know enough,” he snarled. “He’s a arrogant man who couldn’t keep his family together-“
“At least he knows what it takes to be a father,” she huffed without thinking.
Rafael paused for a moment; a little stunned and hurt, “Get out,” he calmly said in a very low deep voice; his face void of any emotion but his eyes said it all. He was livid.
That voice always slightly frightened Olivia; she wouldn’t hear it often but when she did she knew she crossed a line, “I’m sorry-“
“Get. Out,” he said even slower; his green eyes shooting daggers at her.
“Please,” she pleaded, “I’m sorry.”
“You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about! NOW GET OUT!” She stood there stunned so he stood up and started for the door, “If you won’t leave then I will.”
She quickly closed the gap between them; she should feel his anger just radiating off him, “It was a stupid thing to say,” she sighed placing a hand on his bicep.
He flinched under her touch; he opened his mouth to say something but thought better of it and just stared at her.
She leaned into him; wrapping one arm around his waist while running the other up his chest then she kissed him. As her lips moved against his he managed to catch her bottom lip between his teeth and bit down; harder than he usually does which caught her by surprise. She quickly pulled away from him, “Rafi?” she whispered placing a finger on her lip.
He frowned, “I thought I told you to get out.”
“Rafi, please,” she hesitated.
He took a deep breath before saying, “I can’t do this right now.”
“You just need a distraction,” she sighed as leaned back into him.
As she lightly glided her fingers down the side of his face he took hold of her arm tightly, “I need time to re-evaluate-“
“Re-evaluate?” she repeated shocked, “Rafael I didn’t mean what I said.”
“I don’t care,” he mumbled as he moved her hand down to her side. “I know what you’re trying to do but it isn’t going to change anything… Not only did you kiss another man but what you just said-“ he sighed, “I just need to think about some things.”
“I didn’t kiss him,” she defended.
“So you said,” Rafael shrugged as he pushed her away him and started for the door again.
“Please Rafael,” she pleaded, “This shouldn’t change anything for us.”
“I just,” he huffed, “I need you to get out of my face.”
“We can talk about this,” she begged, “It was a one time mistake.”
“One for now,” he muttered under his breath. As he reached the door he turned to her; his hands trembling with anger, “I need you to leave,” he added opening the door.
“Are you going to come home tonight?” she asked cautiously, “I would really like it if you did.”
“No,” he said bluntly.
Olivia sighed as she started for the door, “Please… Just remember I didn’t mean for any of this to happen and that I really am sorry.”
Rafael turned his head away from her as she walked past him; his hand curled into a fist so tight his knuckles were white. He let out a shuddering breath as he said, “I had hoped you were different.”
“Rafael-“ she turned but he had closed the door behind her. Sighing, Olivia decided it was best to leave.
He turned on his heals and quickly made his way back to his seat. Once he sat back down he took a moment to take a much-needed deep breath, which didn’t calm him. His heart was beating so quickly he felt as if he was on the verge of a heart attack. Without thinking he searched though his inner jacket pockets for the small velvet box. As he took it out he saw his hands were still shaking, How could she! I can’t believe this; his mind raced which only made him angrier. He took the box in one hand and threw it across the room with so much force it flew into one of his shelves on the other side of the room; knocking down a beloved photo. He placed his elbows on his desk as he leaned forward; hands covering his face, his eyes watering against his palms. Feeling frustrated with himself he thought, How could I be so stupid to let this happen again. What am I going to do? I… I love her. Deciding he needed a distraction, he wiped his eyes with his palms then opened his briefcase; taking out a pile of paperwork along with his laptop and got started. As he buried himself in his work a few tears escaped his eyes rolling slowly down his face; without thinking he quickly wiped them away and continued working.
The next morning Rafael woke to the sound of something being placed in front of him, “I thought you would want a cup of coffee,” Carmen said quietly, “Long night?”
He felt stiff as he slowly got up off his desk; he looked down at the paperwork scattered everywhere as he said, “I guess so, I don’t remember falling asleep.” As he stretched he laughed, “I’m getting too old to be sleeping at my desk.”
Carmen smiled as she looked at her phone, “Your first meeting is in an hour then you have a few court appearances before lunch.”
“Thank you,” he smiled as he picked up his coffee. After taking a sip he added, “Any calls for me?”
“Not yet,” she shrugged, “Expecting any?”
Rafael sighed, “No.”
“Okay,” she nodded, “If you need me, I’ll be at my desk.”
“Thank you,” he replied as he watched her leave his office.
As he leaned back into his chair, drinking his coffee, he looked around his office and saw a knocked over photo. Frowning, he patted his jacket and realised the ring was gone. He rolled his eyes as he slowly got up from his chair, placing his coffee on the desk and made his away across the room. Once he got to the shelf he paused for a moment as he picked up the photo; Noah was smiling in the front holding a birthday present and in the background Olivia had surprised Rafael with a kiss on the cheek. As he stood there engrossed in the photo he unconsciously ran his fingers softly across his cheek. What a day that was, he admired as he gently stood the photo back on the shelf. He quickly searched the shelf and spotted the velvet box open against the wall; as he picked it up he saw the ring was missing. His heart sank, “Shit!” Rafael huffed as he frantically searched the shelf.
Lost in his panic he didn’t hear Carmen enter, “Mr Barba?” she asked cautiously.
He snapped his head around to her; “Did you or anyone clean up my office this morning?”
“No,” she shook her head, “I thought you’d want to sleep as long as you could.”
Rafael took a deep breath as he ran his fingers though his hair, “I can’t have lost it,” he muttered.
She slowly approached him, “Can I help look? What did you lose?” she asked confused.
“A ring-” he started.
“A RING!” she smiled, “Are you planning-“
“I… I don’t want to talk about it right now,” he frowned. “It’s complicated… I’ll find it, it can’t have gotten far.”
“I can help-“
“No,” he shook his head, “It’s fine.”
“Are you sure?” Carmen said concerned.
“Yes, if you haven’t seen it already it’ll be here,” he mumbled. “The less people in here the less likely it’ll get kicked under something.”
“Okay,” she sighed, “Call me if you need help.”
Rafael resumed his search when he heard the door click shut; he pulled out his books and knickknacks, throwing them haphazardly onto the table behind him. With the shelf stripped bare there was still no sign of the ring; he got down on his hands and knees and frantically started to search the floor. After ten minutes, he was just about ready to give up when something glistened under his lounge, catching his eye. He reached under and took hold of the ring, he sighed in relief as he sat leaning against the bookshelf. As he stared at it, “What am I going to do?” he whispered.
A few hours later Olivia hesitantly walked into Rafael’s office; she saw him at his desk, bitting his pen as he stared at his computer, “You slept here?” Olivia asked as she closed the door behind her.
Rafael didn’t look up from his computer as he answered, “Had to sleep somewhere.”
“You could have come home,” she sighed.
“No I couldn’t,” he mumbled.
“Can we talk?” she asked; walking up to his desk.
Rafael looked up, “About a case or…”
“Us,” Olivia nodded.
Sighing, Rafael stood up and walked around his desk; closing the gap between them until he was only a few steps away from her. He was already regretting this conversation so he paused for a moment while he stood there, just taking her in. He could always read her and the way she looked at him now told him all he needed to know; she was sorry but as he looked closer he also noticed the pain in her eyes. Was it because of him or because of Elliot? Rafael didn’t know which hurt more. “Tell me,” he hesitated; putting his hands in his pockets, “Is there more?”
“More?” she repeated.
“Do you have feelings for him? I’ve been hurt like this before, I just need to know what I should be expecting. So is there more you need to tell me?”
She took a few steps cautiously towards Rafael, “There is no more,” she said stopping just in front of him. “Maybe if this was a few years ago, I’d still want him but I don’t now. I’ve moved on, everything I have ever wanted I have achieved without him. It took me a while to see that he was holding me back but you never did that,” she smiled as she closed the gap between them. She wrapped her arms around his neck as she whispered, “I love you.”
He took his hands out of his pockets and wrapped them both around her waist, “I’m still angry,” he muttered.
“I know,” she replied.
“You know I’m in the middle of adopting Noah,” Rafael frowned. “If you don’t want me to, say so now and I’ll walk away from everything.”
“I didn’t mean what I said, I was angry,” she sighed. “I want us to be a family, I want you to be Noah’s father.”
Rafael nodded, “Okay, but I still can’t believe you said that to me.”
“You have no idea how sorry I am,” she sighed.
“I’m mad but I forgive you,” he reassured.
“I love you too much to let this stand in the way,” he paused, “But I just need some space right now.”
“Yeah,” she mumbled, “I’ll go and leave you alone. Just promise me you’ll come home tonight.”
“I will,” he hesitantly smiled. As the room fell to silence his eyes darted between hers and her lips, “I’m sorry for bitting you. Does it still hurt?”
“It’s tender but its not so bad now,” she sighed. He nodded but his grasp around her waist slightly tightened pulling her against him. She smiled as she read him; “Rafi,” she hesitated, “I only came here to check on you.”
“Mhmm,” he replied; his grip not loosening. After a while he sighed, “I should probably let you go… I have paperwork I need to get done.”
She leaned in and gave him a soft and lingering peck on his cheek, “Talk soon,” she smiled as she let go of him.
His arms fell to his sides as he watched her leave; once she was out of view he made his way back to his desk and sat down. This is what you want… She is what you want, he thought, you love her, sighing he buried himself back into his work.
Later that night as Rafael walked through the door he heard Noah laughing; continuing further towards the lounge room he smiled when he saw Noah and Olivia playing on the floor. He stood there watching them until Noah looked up, “Rafi!” he giggled.
“Hey kiddo,” Rafael grinned.
“I didn’t see you come in,” Olivia smiled. “How long have you been there?”
“A while,” Rafael said as he watched Noah run towards him. As Noah got close enough he jumped up; Rafael caught him and pulled him into a hug, “How’s my boy doing today?”
“Good,” Noah smiled. “We’re playing cops and robbers.”
“Is that so?” Rafael said raising an eyebrow, “Where’s my office?”
Noah laughed, “Rafi… You’re not a policeman-“
“No,” Rafael smiled. He pulled Noah in closer, “Lawyers are better anyway,” he whispered.
“I heard that,” Olivia laughed. Rafael chuckled as he put Noah down, “You’re home a little earlier than I was expecting.”
“Yeah,” Rafael nodded. “After last night I just thought…”
“I’m glad you came home,” Olivia said as she slowly stood up. “Are you still angry?”
“Yes,” Rafael said bluntly as he walked towards her. “But less than I was when I last saw you.”
“I’m sorry,” she sighed.
Rafael placed his hands on her hips and smiled, “It’s fine, I overreacted… I’m not going to let this ass-“ He paused as he glanced over to Noah; looking back to Olivia he continued, “This other guy change anything.”
Olivia smiled as she wrapped her arms around his neck, “It meant nothing-“
Rafael leaned in and kissed her; “Did that mean nothing to you?” he said resting his forehead on hers.
Kissing him back she smiled against his lips; “It meant everything.”
While they kissed Noah ran up to them and tugged on Rafael’s sleeve, “Rafi?”
Breaking the kiss he looked down at the little boy, “Yes?”
“Do you want to play?”
Rafael smirked, “Of course. Let me just get changed and we can play.”
“Okie,” Noah smiled. “Mommy are you going to keep playing?”
Smiling as she let go of Rafael, “Only if I get to be the cop this time.”
“Aww,” Noah sighed. “But the cop always wins-“
“Okay,” Olivia nodded. “You can be the good guy.”
“What about me?” Rafael asked.
“You can be a bad guy with Mommy,” Noah giggled.
“What?” he smiled, “Don’t you want my help catching her?”
“No,” Noah shrugged, “You two aren’t very good at being bad guys.”
Rafael chuckled as he looked over to Olivia, “I don’t’ know whether that’s a compliment or an insult.”
Olivia laughed, “I’m not sure.”
“Well, I guess I should get changed before I get in trouble,” Rafael said as he let go of her.
Olivia nodded as she watched him start to walk down the hallway. After ten minutes Rafael emerged back in the living room in his Harvard sweatshirt and a pair of black tracksuit pants, “What do you want for dinner?” Olivia asked.
“Um,” Rafael shrugged but before he could finish his thought Noah jumped out.
“BANG!” Noah yelled pointing his hands at Rafael like guns.
Rafael quickly placed his hands on his chest as he fell to his knees, “Oof you got me!”
Noah laughed, “You can’t talk you’re dead.”
Olivia smiled, “Take out?”
Rafael laid down on his stomach, “Can’t talk… I’m dead.”
Olivia rolled her eyes, “How about we pause for a moment so we can organise dinner-“
“I want fish and chips!” Noah giggled.
“Guess we’re having that,” Rafael quipped.
“Alright then,” she nodded.
Noah walked over to Rafael and sat on his back, “You’re under arrest!” he laughed.
Rafael bent one of his arms back and took hold of Noah’s legs, “Can’t stop me,” he laughed as he started to get up.
Noah swayed on Rafael’s back as he giggled, “Rafael be careful,” Olivia said as she pulled out her phone.
Rafael twisted his body as he took hold of Noah and pulled him around to his front, “I got you now,” he smiled as he started towards the lounge.
“Noo!” Noah yelled, “Rafi! You’re the bad guy!”
Rafael laughed as he gently dropped Noah on the lounge, “You’re gonna have to catch me.”
Noah jumped off the lounge and held his hands out as guns, “I’m gonna get you.” Rafael started to jog around the living room with Noah following close behind, “Freeze,” Noah giggled, “I’ll shoot you Rafi.”
“Go get your mother,” Rafael puffed. “She’s sitting right there.”
“Hey,” Olivia smirked looking up from her phone, “I’m organising dinner.”
“Dinner can wait,” Rafael said, “ I need help… He’s gonna shoot me.”
Olivia laughed as she placed the phone on the coffee table and started to chase Noah.
“Mommy!” Noah smiled; looking over his shoulder as he ran, “You’re not supposed to do that.” Rafael quickly turned while Noah was distracted and picked him up, “RAFI!”
Rafael tickled Noah as he lifted his shirt; “I got you,” he smiled.
“Rafi stop,” Noah chuckled as Rafael started to blow raspberries on his stomach. Olivia slowly made her way over to them and smiled as she gently ran her fingers through Noah’s hair while he laughed. “Put me down,” Noah panted out of breath.
“Gonna stop shooting me?” Rafael said as he pulled down Noah’s shirt.
“Okay,” Noah nodded.
“I’m going to finish ordering dinner and we can watch some TV while we wait,” Olivia said as she walked back to the lounge.
As Rafael put him on the floor Noah sighed, “But the good guy is meant to win.”
Rafael knelt down next to him with his arms behind his back, “You gonna arrest me?”
Noah smiled, “Yay. You’re under arrest!”
“Ah you got me,” Rafael smirked. “Gotta take me to jail now.”
“Yep,” Noah said as he guided Rafael towards the lounge. Rafael shuffled on his knees as Noah said, “Now you gotta go up against someone like you Rafi.”
Rafael glanced over to Olivia as he grinned, “No one can beat your Rafi, isn’t that right?”
“Sure is!” Noah smiled.
As they reached the lounge Rafael turned and sat on the floor in between Olivia’s legs; watching Noah as he walked towards his toy box. “That kid has a lot of energy,” Rafael chuckled. Olivia laughed as she gently ran her fingers through his hair; closing his eyes, he tilted his head back as he relaxed against her, “I love moments like this.”
“I love you,” Olivia smiled as she leaned down and kissed him softly on the forehead.
Opening his eyes he looked up at Olivia and smiled, “I love you too.”
The next day Rafael was getting off the elevator at the precinct when he took his eyes off his phone for a brief moment; long enough to see Elliot walking just ahead of him. Deciding to make a point Rafael put his phone away and called out, “Oi!”
“What?” Elliot frowned as he turned to face him.
“Back off,” he huffed; walking towards him, “She’s in a committed relationship.”
“She didn’t say anything to me,” Elliot smirked, “Mustn’t be that committed.”
“Fuck you,” Rafael snarled. “Kiss her again and we’re going to have a bigger problem.”
Rafael pushed past Elliot; bumping shoulders, and began to walk towards Olivia’s office when Elliot called out, “Bet she didn’t tell you she kissed me back.”
“She would never,” Rafael snarled; stopping in his tracks.
Elliot walked behind Rafael, “Oh but she did and she enjoyed herself,” he whispered.
Rafael spun around and punched Elliot so quickly he had no time to react, “She doesn’t keep secrets from me. You wasted your chance and because of that you will never have what I have with her.”
Elliot brought a hand up to his throbbing nose; as he removed his hand he saw there was blood. Furious; he grabbed Rafael by the scruff of the collar and pushed him up against the wall, “Sucker punch me again-“
“I’d say it’s an improvement,” Rafael remarked.
As Elliot brought his fist up he heard Fin shout out, “Stabler!” as he ran across the room.
“Rafael!” Carisi yelled following Fin.
Olivia; who was in her office, heard the commotion outside and ran to her door, “What’s going on?” she huffed as she opened it. She scanned the room and saw Rafael pinned against the wall with Carisi and Fin trying to get Elliot to let go. She ran over to them, “Elliot let him go!” she frowned. As she neared she saw the bloody nose he had, “What the hell is going on?”
“GET HIM OFF ME!” Rafael huffed.
Elliot snarled, “You’re lucky I don’t-“
“Don’t talk to him like that!” Carisi interrupted.
Elliot looked over to Carisi and laughed as he turned back to Rafael, “Gotta get other men to fight your battles, do we?”
“Let me go and I’ll show you a fight,” Rafael snarled.
Elliot let go of Rafael and took a step back; Carisi and Fin immediately jumped between them. Rafael clenched his fist so tight his knuckles were white, “Barba just walk away,” Carisi consoled.
Nostrils flaring Rafael huffed, “I’ll walk away when he does.”
“Why don’t we get out of here,” Fin suggested to Elliot.
“I’m sorry ‘Liv,” Elliot sighed, “I’ll come back later.” He promptly started for the elevator with Fin.
Rafael watched Elliot leave until he was out of sight then he turned his gaze to Olivia; she was livid, “MY OFFICE NOW!”
Taking a deep breath Rafael nodded, “I can explain.”
“You’re going to,” she huffed as they walked towards her office.
“He started it-“ Rafael began.
“This isn’t some school yard,” Olivia interrupted. She stopped just before her office and turned to him, “Get inside,” she commanded.
“Okay,” he sighed as he walked past her.
Once he was inside Olivia closed the door behind her, “What got into you?” she sighed looking over to him.
“I was telling him to back off,” Rafael explained. “I didn’t think-”
“No, you didn’t think,” she frowned, “He could have hurt you.”
“I can handle myself,” he sighed.
Olivia nodded, “I know you can but he’s an ex-marine and cop.”
“Doesn’t give him the right to kiss you,” he mumbled.
“Is that what that was about?” she sighed, “You know it meant nothing.”
“Not what he said,” he paused, “He said you, um, that you-“
“Why would I lie to you?” she reassured.
“I don’t like him,” he said. Taking a deep breath he added, “I’d do it again if I had to.”
Olivia walked up to Rafael, “What am I going to do with you?” she sighed. He lovingly watched her as she started to fix his collar; she looked up at him as she straightened out his tie, “You know you can’t fight him every time you disagree.”
He brought his hand up and embraced the side of her face, “Can we stop talking about him.” He started to softly trace her bottom lip with his thumb; “Let’s just not talk,” he smirked
“Raf,” she smiled, “We can’t-”
He leaned in and kissed her, “Take a break,” he smiled against her lips. Lost in the moment she kissed him back; he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her into him; tongues intertwining.
Olivia moved one arm around him as she ran the other along his chest, “Rafi-“ she muttered out of breath. “We need to-“
“Get out of here?” he smirked; kissing her again.
Breaking the kiss she smiled, “That’s not what I was going to say.”
“But you agree?” he chuckled.
“Raf-“ she was interrupted by a passionate kiss; he gently nipped at her bottom lip.
As the kiss broke he uttered out of breath, “Take the rest of the day off with me. Noah’s not home and Fin can cover for you.”
She brought her hand up off his chest and tangled her fingers gently in his hair, “I would love nothing more but you know I can’t.”
Rafael sighed as he let her go, “Cause he’s coming back?”
“Because it’s my job,” she corrected.
“Raincheck then,” he mumbled.
“Afraid so,” she nodded. She started back for her desk as she asked, “Why are you here anyway?”
Rafael reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a blue document, “To give you the warrant you asked for.”
Olivia frowned confused, “You could have emailed it to me.”
He shrugged, “I wanted to see you.”
“To convince me to leave?” she smiled.
“Well,” he hesitated, “I didn’t think of that till I saw you.”
“Oh,” she replied.
Moving towards her he sighed, “I actually wanted to remind you that I was working on some trial preparation tonight so don’t wait up for me, it’ll probably be late when I get home.”
“Oh yeah,” Olivia sighed. “I forgot… When do you think you’ll get home?”
“I don’t know,” Rafael shrugged. “I was kinda hoping you’d help me procrastinate.”
“Raf,” she smiled, “You know I can’t right now.”
“Yeah,” he nodded. “Worth a shot.”
She let out a small laugh; “Almost worked.”
“What’s stopping you?” he smirked as he leaned over her desk.
“Come on Rafael,” she sighed. “You said it yourself you have trial prep to work on and I have a busy afternoon ahead of me.”
“I can postpone my prep-“
Olivia shook her head, “Raincheck, remember?”
“Alright,” Rafael nodded. “I’ll see you later.”
“Try not to make a scene on your way out,” Olivia said.
“I’ll try,” Rafael shrugged, “Just depends on him-“
“Rafael,” Olivia frowned. “Don’t.”
“Fine,” he sighed as he turned towards the door. “I wont.”
“Thank you,” she said as she watched him leave.
Rafael spent the rest of the day locked away in his office towering over case after case. Before long his stomach was growling; looking at his watch he sighed, 9pm. He picked up one of the many coffee cups on his desk and went to take a sip but it was empty; “Come on,” he rolled his eyes. He relaxed into his chair and closed his eyes for a moment; not long after there was a quiet knock at his door. Opening his eyes he saw Olivia closing the door, “What are you doing here?” Rafael smiled. “It’s late.”
“I wanted to make sure you ate,” she replied showing the bag of food in her hand.
“Oh,” he replied watching her walk towards him. “You really didn’t have to. There’s a vending machine down the hallway.”
“A vending machine?” she repeated; eyebrow arched. “Really?”
Rafael laughed, “Okay, I’m sure whatever you brought would be better than that.”
“Oh I can guarantee it,” she replied; placing the bag on his desk as she walked around to him.
Rafael leaned back into his chair; looking up at her he smirked, “Starting with desert, are we?”
The lustful look in his eye made Olivia smile. “You said raincheck,” she reminded him as she sat on his lap; facing him.
“Sooner than I expected,” he chuckled; leaning up to kiss her. He placed one hand on her lower back her pulling her into him. She leaned in to the kiss; opening her mouth allowing their tongues to intertwine. As they passionately kissed Rafael heard a slight click; worried it was the chair he broke the kiss and looked. After he realised what it was he laughed, “You’re cuffing me to my chair?”
“You shouldn’t have made a scene in my squad room,” she smirked. “I only brought the one pair of cuffs, so I’m gonna have to improvise,” she chuckled as she started undoing his tie. Once it was undone she gently slid it out of his collar and wrapped it around his free wrist; tying it to the chair.
“Give me a kiss,” he grinned.
Olivia leaned in and kissed him; as their tongues danced from mouth to mouth Rafael felt Olivia slowly glide her hand down his chest, sending shivers down his spine. When she stopped just above his belt he paused as he smiled against her lips, “I love you,” he whispered out of breath. Olivia smiled as she started kissing him again; one hand untucking his shirt while she ran the other around his waist under his shirt. Her touch on his skin gave him goose bumps; he felt his pants start to get tighter. Smiling against his lips Olivia removed her hands from his waist and gently glided them up his shirt until she reached his collar. As she started to undo each button slowly she moved her kisses away from his lips; she started along his jawline then worked her way down his neck; nipping occasionally. Rafael closed his eyes as he moaned; he moved his head to the side giving Olivia more access to his neck. She lingered on his neck, peppering it with kisses, as she finished undoing his shirt; as it came loose she gently pulled apart his shirt and started to move her lips down further. She nipped at his skin as she worked her way down his slightly hairy chest, “God Liv,” Rafael grunted as he opened his eyes.
Olivia ran her fingers teasingly up and down his thigh, purposely avoiding his hard erection as she slowly slid backwards off Rafael’s lap; he watched her intently as she smiled back at him. He tried to move his hands towards her but his restraints stopped him, “Don’t keep teasing me,” he smirked. Olivia said nothing as she gave him a devilish smile while she began to unbuckle his belt and trousers. She tucked her fingers beneath the waistband of both his trousers and boxers; she tugged on them as Rafael sat up a little, watching her pull them down to his knees; releasing his erection. Rafael was at a loss for words; watching her longingly, as she ran the tips of her fingers up his thigh towards his shaft. She watched him as she took hold of him; moving along his length, his eyes rolled back as he closed them and started to thrust against her hand. Olivia slowly lowered her head she kissed the tip of his shaft occasionally running her tongue over his slit; Rafael moaned as he bucked towards her. Smiling at his response she slowly moved her tongue to the underside of his shaft; his fingers gripped the armrests tightly, “Oh god,” he groaned. Pleased with herself she took him in fully; moving her tongue all around his shaft as he thrusted his hips forwards, “F-Fu-ck,” he grunted. Rafael gasped as he felt Olivia taking as much of him as she could; any words he tried to say were replaced with low and quick grunts. Olivia used a hand around his base while she worked his slit with her tongue; listening out for his moans as they quickened. He was close. She paused; removing herself from him, “W-wh?” he panted.
“I told you,” she smiled, “You shouldn’t have made a scene in my office.”
“L-Liv,” he grunted as he frowned. “Y-you can’t do this.”
“Do what?” she smirked.
Rafael tried to move his hands towards her but his restraints tightened around his wrists, “Don’t leave me like this.”
“Okay,” Olivia nodded. She started on his shaft again; working him until he was close to finishing but stopping short a few more times.
“OLIVIA,” he yelled; frustrated, his shaft pulsing at the lack of release.
“What?” she grinned devilishly.
“Please!” he begged; tears forming in his eyes, “Just let me come.”
“I’m begging you-“
Olivia always loved it when Rafael begged her for anything but this will always be her favourite; “Alright… Only because dinner is getting cold.”
She took him in her mouth one last time; she took as much of him as she could she worked her tongue along his pulsing veins on his underside, “F-Fu-“ he barely managed between his moans. His grip on the chair tightened; his knuckles turning white, as he thrusted into her; shortly after he came in her mouth. Olivia continued to suck his shaft as she brought her hand up to work the base of him; she took his entire load. She loved the way he tasted. She licked the tip of his shaft as he came down from his high; making sure she got every last bit of him.
When she moved away from him he stuttered, “T-th-th-“
“You’re more than welcome,” she smirked. As Olivia stood up; pleased with herself she said, “So, what do you want to eat? I brought Chinese.”
He tried to catch his breath as he watched Olivia walk over to the bag on his desk, “Let me out of these cuffs and I’ll show you what I want,” he smirked.
“I don’t think so,” she chuckled.
“You can’t expect me to eat without any hands,” he frowned; his smirk still apparent.
“Fine,” she smiled as she walked back over to him, “I’ll undo your tie.”
Rafael watched her intently as she leaned over him; once his hand was free he quickly took hold of Olivia’s before she could walk away. “After that, I think I deserve a kiss,” he smiled. He pulled her forward and gave her a passionate kiss; as it broke he said gruffly, “How about you let me go and I can return the favour?”
“Nice try,” Olivia laughed. Rafael let her go and watched her dish up their dinner as he pulled up his pants; “It’s a little cold now,” she sighed.
“I don’t care,” he smiled; his lustful eyes running up and down her body. She gave him a container of food and a fork then moved her way to the other side of his desk; she sat down with her own container and started eating. While Rafael used his free hand to eat his eyes were glued to Olivia, “You’re gonna have to let me out of these cuffs eventually,” he smirked.
“Not right now,” she replied as she ate.
“You know what’s going to happen the second I’m free,” he replied; his eyes darting along her body.
“I know,” she nodded; unfazed by his words.
“Don’t pretend that you don’t want it as badly as I do,” he said.
Olivia couldn’t fight the smile, “Do I?”
“Oh come on Liv,” he sighed.
“Eat your dinner,” Olivia shrugged.
The room fell into a tense silence as Rafael did as he was told; once dinner was over Olivia stood up from her chair and started to collect the empty containers. While she was distracted Rafael reached down to his bottom draw and pulled out a key. She heard a slight clicking noise coming from Rafael’s direction as she placed the bag on the floor; she turned to find Rafael standing, in front of her; unbound with his shirt loosely hanging on either side of him, the look of desire evident in his eyes. “How did you?” she said confused.
Rafael smirked as he showed her the key in his hand; “I made a spare for moments like this.”
Olivia rolled her eyes as she smiled, “Of course you did.”
Rafael suddenly took hold of her hips and begun kissing her passionately; their tongues intertwining as he pushed her up against his desk. Without breaking the kiss he lifted Olivia quickly onto his desk as he started to grind against her; his hard erection running along her thigh. Olivia let out a quick gasp as he started to run his hands up and down her chest.
She broke the kiss; “Rafa- Slow… Down,” she whispered out of breath as he tore open the top half of her shirt.
Rafael continued as he begun to kiss along her neck working his way towards her chest. As he reached her breasts he nipped carefully at her skin while he ran his hands under her shirt and undid her bra. Impatient; he quickly moved his hands to her front and ripped her bra off; breaking the straps, and tossed it aside. He moved his kisses along her now free breast and focused on her nipple; occasionally alternating between sucking and biting. He slowly ran his hand along her thigh towards her waistband and started to undo her buttons. Moving his lips up her body again, nipping at her skin, until he reached her ear, he whispered, “Is this too much?”
“N-no,” she gasped, “Keep going.” Smiling Rafael leaned off her and started to rip her pants down; Olivia did everything she could to help him get them off her faster. Once they were off he paused for a moment admiring the way she was sitting half naked on his desk, “Are you just going to stand there?” Olivia frowned. Rafael immediately leaned back into her as he ferociously started to kiss her again. Olivia moaned into his mouth when she felt his hand slide underneath her panties; before long she felt his fingers enter her. She grunted as he started to gently run his fingers along her walls, “Raf-“ she shuddered. Olivia grabbed at his waistband pulling him in closer; she gently ran her fingers over the tight bulge in his pants, making Rafael grunt. As their kiss became more intense; their tongues fighting against each other, Rafael ran his other hand under her panties and started to rub circles on her clit.
Before long Olivia couldn’t stand it; she broke the kiss as she looked down at his pants and started undoing them, “Is this for me Papi?”
Rafael couldn’t help but smile when she called him that; “I’m in charge now,” he panted as he quickly removed his hands from her.
The lack of contact inside her was driving her insane, “Please.”
Rafael shook his head as he took hold of her arms; pulling them aside, “Begging already?” he smirked as he started to grind against her again.
As he peppered her with kisses along her neck she pleaded, “I want you inside of me-“
Shortly after Rafael quickly tucked his fingers underneath her waistband and pulled her panties to the floor; his own pants and boxers following close behind. Rafael leaned towards her his shaft just touching her entrance when he muttered out of breath, “Yes?”
“Rafael,” she frowned impatiently, “Just put it in already.” Laughing Rafael obliged as he pushed all of his length inside her; forcing Olivia to lie back against the desk, “F-fuck,” she uttered.
As Rafael starts to thrust into her he leaned down and kisses along her breasts working his way up to her lips. Olivia began to let out a loud moan when Rafael’s tongue interrupted. He massaged her breast with one hand as he started to move faster.
As they kissed Rafael grunted into her mouth as he pushed himself further into her, “God.”
When things started to quicken Rafael placed one hand tightly on the edge of the desk and the other firmly on her stomach as he pumped into her. With each deep thrust he could feel himself under his hand.
“Oh-oh FUCK,” Olivia moaned.
As he thrusts into her he felt the desk moving underneath them, “One of these days we’re going to break my desk,” he laughed out of breath.
“Shut up and fuck me,” she groaned.
“Come here then,” he said pulling her off the desk. He quickly spun her around; grabbing a fist full of hair with one hand he pulled her head back. Leaning forward he whispered, “This what you want?
“Y-yes,” she shuddered; feeling him deep inside her. She gripped the edges of his desk, hard, as he pulled her hair harder with each thrust, “G-God,” she moaned.
As she gripped the sides of his desk she felt his free hand slowly glide it’s way up her body until it rested on her breast. He yanked her hair pulling her head to the side as he leaned forward and peppered her neck with quick kisses. He moved along her neck and continued across her shoulder; biting her hard as he slowed his thrusts. Each thrust was deep and purposeful as he pushed all of his length inside her; he felt her legs quiver while she let out a loud moan.
“You don’t get to come until Papi says so,” he whispered into her ear; gently nipping at her earlobe.
“P-Papi,” Olivia shuddered, “P-Please.”
Rafael smiled as he leaned back; pulling her hair until she could see his face, “You’re going to be good, aren’t you?”
“Y-yes,” she said out of breath.
“Good.” He let some of the pressure on her hair go as he quickened his pace; causing them both to moan. The desk wobbled underneath them as he slammed into her.
Her eyes rolled back as she screamed, “O-oh Fuck!”
“Are you trying to get us caught?” Rafael laughed.
“Faster-“ Olivia begged.
“What did I say?” Rafael smirked as he slowed his pace.
“N-no,” Olivia said letting out a deep breath. “Papi please.”
He slowed to a rhythmic pace as he gently glided his hand of her breast and down her stomach; “Do you want to come?” he teased.
“Yes,” she said out of breath.
Rafael kissed along her neck and jawline as he continued to glide his hand down her body. He started to gently rub circles on her clit as he quickened his pace. Before long Olivia couldn’t fight it any more; she screamed out his name as she came. Rafael moved his hand from her hair and tightly gripped her hips in case her legs gave out. He leaned against her as he whispered, “We’re done when I finish.” His voice sent shivers down her already juddering body as she nodded. As he continued with his quick rhythmic thrusts he used one hand to resume rubbing circles on her clit while the other moved to her breast; pinching and twisting her nipple. They both started to grunt and moan loudly as he quickened every action he was doing. Breathless and unable to say anything Olivia just tightened her grip on his desk as she came again. Not long after Rafael let out a shuddering moan as he came inside her, his thrusts slowing with each stream that came out of him. Rafael leaned against her back as they both tried to catch their breaths, “W-well,” he panted, “That was fun.”
“Are you going to continue working?” she asked as she felt him leave her.
“I don’t think that’s possible now,” he smiled. “Besides I should really make sure you get home safely.”
“How chivalrous,” she laughed as she stood up. As she collected her clothes she looked over at the man she loved and smiled, “I love you.”
He walked over to her and placed a tender hand on her cheek as he said, “I love you too.”
The next morning Rafael left their room; dressed for work, to find Olivia frantically looking for something in the living room, “What did you lose now?” he asked as he walked towards her.
“Have you seen my handcuffs?” Olivia asked as she searched the lounge room.
Rafael laughed, “Have you tried the bed?”
“Rafael this is serious,” she sighed.
“I know,” he replied, “I’m being honest, wasn’t that were you last used them?”
“I’ve already checked there,” she mumbled.
“Well, if it’s not here then they could still be in my office, remember?” he smirked. “That was fun.”
“I thought we brought them home,” Olivia frowned.
“It’s not that big a deal,” he sighed, “If they’re still in my office, I’ll bring them to you later, just use another set until then.”
“Just call me if you find them,” she mumbled.
Rafael nodded; “I just hope Carmen doesn’t find them first,” he chuckled.
“Rafael,” she sighed as she searched the lounge one last time. “It won’t look good if I don’t have them…”
“So what?” Rafael shrugged as he walked up behind her. “If anyone says anything it’s because they know what we used them for and they’re just jealous they didn’t have as much fun as we did last night,” he added as he wrapped his arms around her waist and started kissing the back of her neck.
Olivia rolled her eyes as she turned to face him, “Just check your office and call me if you find them.”
“Fine, I’ll leave now,” he sighed as he let go of her. As he walked towards the door Olivia caught his hand; looking back at her he frowned confused, “What?”
She smiled as she closed the gap between, “You’re forgetting something.”
He smirked as he wrapped his arms around her again, “I thought you wanted me to-“
She interrupted him with a tender kiss; after the kiss broke Olivia said, “Okay… Now you can leave.”
“Maybe I don’t want to,” Rafael shrugged as he tightened his grip.
She let out a small laugh; “You have to… You should really finish that trial prep you were doing last night.”
“I guess,” he said; his eyes watching her lips as she spoke.
“Rafael,” Olivia sighed. “You need to find those cuffs for me.”
“Alright,” he mumbled. “One last kiss for the road?”
Olivia smiled as she leaned in and kissed him, “Better?” she smiled against his lips.
“It will have to do,” Rafael mumbled as he quickly snuck in an extra kiss. As the kiss broke he dropped his hands to his side and started for the door; “I’ll talk to you as soon as I find them.”
Half an hour later Rafael was mindlessly walking towards his office when Carmen smiled, “Morning.”
“Morning,” Rafael nodded.
“Busy night?” she asked.
“You know how trial prep is,” he shrugged as he entered his office. He walked towards his desk and smiled as he thought about the previous nights adventure; he turned his attention to his chair. His heart dropped a little when he couldn’t see the cuffs, “Where are they?” he questioned.
As he looked around his desk there was a subtle knock at the door; Rafael turned to find Carmen smiling at him, “Looking for something?”
“Um,” Rafael hesitated, “Have you seen… Um, never mind.”
Carmen smiled as she asked, “Late night visitors?”
“What?” he frowned.
She held out her hand showing the cuffs, “I cleaned your office this morning…”
Rafael’s mouth dropped, “I…” he mumbled; feeling his cheeks being to blush.
“I found the key on the floor,” she laughed, “Don’t worry I won’t say anything.”
“I appreciate that,” he said as he slowly made his way over to her. As she handed him the cuffs he sighed, “It’s been a rough few days-“
“You don’t need to explain,” she said. “Just tell Olivia that you have her cuffs… I’m sure she’s looking for them.”
Rafael laughed awkwardly, “I, um.”
“Never would have thought you would be embarrassed-“
“I’m not,” Rafael defended looking away from her. “I just don’t know what to say…”
“Mhmm,” she smirked, “I’ll be at my desk if you need me.”
Rafael nodded as he watched her turned towards her desk; once she was out of the doorway he quickly closed the door behind her and sighed. Well shit. Shaking his head he walked towards his chair and sat down; pulling his phone out he dialled Olivia’s number. “Hey,” he laughed, “Guess what I found…”
“My cuffs?” she asked.
“Well… I didn’t find them,” he admitted.
“Oh no,” she said.
Rafael laughed, “Yeah that was a fun conversation to have.”
“Guess we should stop-“
“Woah,” Rafael frowned. “No need to be rash… Carmen won’t say anything.”
Olivia laughed, “Okay well I’ll come by your office- Actually no.” She paused as she thought, “Why don’t you come to my office and give them to me.”
“Avoiding Carmen, are we?” Rafael quipped.
“Maybe for a few days,” Olivia admitted.
“Okay, I’ll bring them over later,” he nodded. “Oh and don’t forget to take tomorrow off or at least make it half a day.”
“Are you kidding me?” Rafael frowned. “It’s bad enough I’ve already postponed our date-”
“Calm down,” Olivia laughed, “I didn’t forget. I have Fin already covering for me tomorrow and Lucy agreed to take Noah for the night.”
“Don’t do that,” Rafael sighed, “I want this date to happen.”
“I know,” she replied, “It will everything is in order… It will happen.”
“Okay,” he mumbled. “Well I have to finish off some stuff before I can get to the precinct… I’ll see you later,” he said as he ended the call.
The next night there was a knock on the door, “Rafael can you get that?” Olivia called out. The only response she got was more knocking, “Are you kidding me, Rafael answer the door!” she frowned. Still no response from him but instead another knock; she sighed as she left her room, as she made her way towards the door she looked out for Rafael but there was no sign of him. “I swear to God Rafael if you-” she paused as she opened the door. The sight of Rafael standing in front of her holding a dozen roses greeted her; the mix of reds, pink and purples stood out against his black suit. He was wearing a striking blue paisley tie with a matching pocket square. “What are you doing?” she smiled. He just stood there at a loss for words as he looked her up and down; in complete awe. She was wearing an elegant dark navy blue dress that fell towards the floor with such grace. As it neared the floor there was some flecks of sliver shining off it; making it look like the night sky. “Rafael, what are you doing?” she repeated.
Rafael blinked a few times as he was pulled out of his trance, “I’m sorry,” he smiled as he looked at her face. “It seems I’m at a loss for words…”
She felt her cheeks being to blush, “You’ve seen this before,” she chuckled.
“Not on you,” he replied.
“Why aren’t you inside?”
“Oh right,” he laughed, “I’m picking you up for our date.”
“You live here,” she laughed, “You didn’t have to do this.”
“I know but I thought it would be a nice change… Oh and these are for you,” he added handing her the flowers.
“They’re beautiful,” she said as she pressed her nose into one; taking in the lovely aroma.
“They’re nothing compared to you,” he smiled.
“Are you gonna invite me in?” he quipped, “Or is your Papi home?”
“Come inside,” she said rolling her eyes but unable to hide her smile from his joke.
Rafael smirked as he walked past her, “So, almost ready?”
Olivia closed the door behind them and walked towards the kitchen, “Almost, I’ve just got to put my shoes on and put these in a vase-“
“Okay,” Rafael nodded as he looked at his watch, “Well we should start heading off soon.”
“Are you going to tell me where yet?” Olivia said as she took out a vase from the kitchen drawer.
Rafael walked into the kitchen and smiled, “No.”
“You have to give me something,” she sighed.
“Why don’t you let me finish that,” he said walking towards her. “And you go put your shoes on.”
As he placed a gentle hand on her shoulder she smiled, “Fine but I still want to know where we’re going.”
“Just accept the surprise,” he shrugged; taking the flowers from her.
Nodding Olivia started towards the bedroom; she paused when she reached the kitchen doorway and looked behind her to see Rafael gently arranging the flowers in the vase. She smiled as she ran back towards him wrapping her arms around his waist; giving him a kiss on the cheek, “I love them thank you.”
Rafael smiled as he turned his head towards her, “Go get ready.”
“Fine,” she laughed as turned away.
Rafael watched her as she left the room; laughing he shook his head and finished putting the flowers in the vase. He promptly filled them with water and as he turned around to place them on the counter he paused; Olivia was standing in the doorway again, smiling. He smirked as he quickly put the vase on the counter and walked towards her, “Now you’re taller than me.”
“It’s not by much… Is it a problem?” she said.
“Not at all,” he laughed as he leaned up and kissed her. “Now come on,” he added taking her hand, “We’re going to be late.”
Olivia nodded as she let him guide her out of the house; as they left she noticed a cab already waiting for them. As they neared the cab Olivia asked, “Going to tell me where we’re going yet?”
“Nope,” Rafael chuckled as he opened the car door.
Olivia laughed as she got in, “I had to try one more time.”
Twenty minutes later they arrived outside a restaurant; Rafael got out of the cab first and held out his hand, when Olivia took it he helped her out. “I’ll just be a minute,” Rafael said as he closed the door and moved towards the driver. Olivia took a few steps from the car as she admired the Italian restaurant he had chosen. Not long after Rafael had placed a gentle hand on the small of her back, “Ready?” he smiled.
She nodded as they started towards the door; he removed his hand as he opened the door and waited for Olivia to enter. He followed closely behind her as they approached the front counter; a hostess greeted them, “Evening, do you have a reservation?”
“We do,” Rafael nodded, “It should be under Barba.”
The woman paused as ran her finger down a book in front of her; “Ah yes,” she smiled. “Table for two.”
“That would be it,” Rafael smiled.
“Well follow me,” she said as she took hold of two menus.
As they walked across the room Olivia couldn’t help but smile while she looked around the restaurant. It was a charming little restaurant with dimly lit chandeliers hanging down; each table dressed in an elegant red cloth with a small rose centrepiece. “This place is beautiful,” she gawked.
“New here?” the woman smiled as she stopped in front of a booth.
“First time,” Olivia nodded. “I can’t believe I didn’t know this was here.”
Rafael walked around and helped Olivia slide into her seat as he said, “I think I made the right choice.”
Shortly after Rafael sat across from Olivia; he stared at her as he admired the way she smiled; “Did you want any water or other drinks before you order?”
“Yeah,” Rafael said; his eyes not leaving Olivia. “Can I get a bourbon?”
“Sure,” the woman nodded then turned her attention to Olivia, “Was there anything you wanted?
“Just a glass of your best red,” Olivia smiled as she flipped her hair out of her face.
“I’ll be back shortly with those.”
Olivia watched the woman as she left then turned her attention to Rafael; finding he was already smiling at her, “So what’s the occasion?”
“Who said there had to be an occasion?” Rafael laughed.
“Come on,” Olivia smiled, “This place is a little fancy for an ordinary date night.”
Rafael shrugged, “I saw this place a few weeks ago and wanted to bring you.”
“Alright,” Olivia nodded.
They fell into a comfortable silence as they stared into each other’s eyes; it was broken when Rafael chuckled to himself. Olivia frowned confused, “What?”
He grinned as he said, “I just can’t believe I’m lucky enough to be sitting across from you.”
“Oh Rafi,” Olivia said; feeling her cheeks start to blush.
“You are breathtakingly beautiful,” he smiled as he took hold of her hand. His eyes not leaving hers, “I love you so much.”
Olivia looked away from Rafael as she smiled from ear to ear, “I love you too.”
Not long after the woman returned with their drinks, “Here you go,” she smiled; placing them on the table. “Are we ready to order yet?”
Rafael let go of Olivia; “Not yet,” Rafael mumbled as he looked at the hostess.
“Okay,” she nodded. “I’ll give you some more time.”
“Thank you,” he smiled.
As the woman left Olivia smiled as she picked up the menu, “How long have you been planning this date?”
Rafael laughed, “Will you stop asking me about tonight.”
“Fiiine,” she chuckled.
“What time is Noah coming home tonight?” Rafael asked.
“He’s not,” Olivia smiled, “We have the whole house to ourselves, why?”
“Just seeing if we needed to be home at a certain time,” he shrugged as he picked up his own menu.
“Not tonight.” As they sat there looking at the menu Olivia asked, “How’s Noah’s adoption going?”
“Finalizing the paperwork now,” Rafael muttered as he took a sip of his drink. “I can’t wait till it’s all over and he’s my son.”
“He already is,” Olivia said looking up from her menu. “He idolizes you so much as it is.”
“I honestly love that kid so much,” Rafael smiled as he glanced over to her.
Olivia beamed as he said those words; “You make me so happy.”
Taking hold of her hand again; “That’s how you make me feel everyday,” he smirked. As he gently ran his thumb over the back of her hand he added, “Don’t suppose we could just skip dinner?”
“Rafael,” Olivia laughed, “You’re the one who organised it.”
“I know,” he nodded. “I just… I can’t wait.”
“Wait for what?” she asked confused, “To go home?”
“No,” he smiled. “You’re just gonna have to wait,” he teased.
“Oh come on,” Olivia rolled her eyes, “Will you just tell me?”
Rafael laughed as he glanced down at his menu, “So, what are you thinking of getting?”
“You know you want to tell me,” she smiled as she ran her foot gently along his calf.
“Oh don’t tease me,” he smirked as he put down his menu. “That’s just not fair.”
Olivia leaned towards him as she whispered, “If you tell me… I’ll make it worth your while.”
Rafael bit his bottom lip as he felt Olivia move her toes higher up his leg; “I’m not going to tell you-“
“Are you sure?” she smirked as she leaned in closer to him.
“God you’re amazing,” he grinned as he leaned towards her. “Now give me a kiss.” She gave him a quick tender kiss before leaning back in her chair, “Aw, is that all I get?” he sighed.
“You’re just gonna have to wait,” she repeated as she lifted her menu.
“Oh don’t use my words against me,” he laughed.
“How about we decide what to eat,” she smiled.
Rafael leaned back into his chair as he picked up his menu; they sat there talking back and forth about the options on the menu until the hostess walked back up the table, “Do you still need more time?”
Rafael looked over to Olivia as he said, “I’m good, what about you?”
“Yeah,” Olivia nodded then proceeded to tell the woman her order; not long after Rafael did the same.
They spent the next hour and a half smiling and laughing as they flirted; until Rafael checked his watch, “Oh I didn’t realise it was getting so late.”
“Got somewhere to be?” Olivia asked.
“Only with you,” he smiled. “But I think they might want this table,” he as he looked over to the hostess; who was eyeing them off.
Olivia laughed, “Okay.”
Rafael swiftly stood up from the table and held out his hand, “Shall we?”
She took hold of his hand and he helped her out of the booth, “What’s the plan now?”
“I don’t know,” Rafael shrugged, “I think we’re supposed to pay.”
Olivia rolled her eyes, “You know that’s not what I meant.”
Rafael wrapped one arm around Olivia’s waist as they walked towards the front counter, “Stay right here,” he smiled as he left to pay. When he came back he started for the door; opening it for her as she walked out. As they left the restaurant Olivia started to hail for a cab when Rafael pulled her away from the curb, “You know what,” he smiled. “I see a park entrance over there, how about we take a stroll?”
“That sounds nice,” she smiled as she took his hand. Rafael led Olivia across the road and into the park; as they walked further in Rafael smirked, “What?” Olivia questioned.
“What?” Rafael laughed.
“You’re smiling,” she replied, “Why?”
He shrugged, “I’m just enjoying your company.”
“Mhmm,” Olivia said raising an eyebrow.
Laughing, Rafael nodded, “Okay, you got me… I want to show you something.”
“What’s that?” Olivia asked curiously.
“You’re just gonna have to wait and see,” Rafael teased. The park was beautiful at night under the full moon; it allowed for a lovely moment between the two as they approached an old stone bridge. “It’s just a little further,” he said as they walked on the bridge.
Stopping at the top Olivia looked out over the edge, noting how the moonlight danced across the water running underneath them. “It really is beautiful Rafi,” she smiled.
Rafael watched Olivia as she looked out at the view; while she was distracted Rafael rummaged through his jacket pocket and pulled out a velvet box. He was so nervous he almost dropped the box as he got down on one knee. He paused as he admired her; noticing the way her dress shimmered in the moonlight. He smiled, “It’s not as beautiful as the view I’m looking at.”
Olivia looked around confused for a moment until she saw him, “Rafael,” she said breathless, “Yes!”
Rafael chuckled, “I haven’t even asked yet.”
“Sorry,” she smiled.
He cleared his throat, “Olivia, you have changed me, I’m a better person with you by my side. Honestly I haven’t been this happy in so long and I’m forever grateful that you’re the reason behind it. If you’ll let me, I know I can be a good husband and father…” he paused as he opened the box showing the diamond ring, “Olivia Margaret Benson, will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?”
Olivia smiled; tears forming in her eyes, unable to speak she nodded furiously.
“Well,” Rafael beamed as he took the ring from the box, “Can I have your hand?”
Olivia quickly held out her left hand in front of him; as he slid the ring on she smiled; tears of joy threating to fall, “It’s beautiful.”
Once he was done he slowly stood up and pulled her close to him, “I love you.”
“I love you too,” she grinned as she peppered him with kisses.
Kissing her back; “Do you want to go home?” he said against her lips.
“I want to tell everyone,” Olivia giggled.
Rafael broke the kiss and laughed, “You can do that in the morning.”
“Together?” Olivia asked.
“Of course,” he smiled as he took hold of her right hand. “Let’s go home.”
As they walked through the park Olivia couldn’t help but smile as she stared at the new ring on her hand; watching it shine in the moonlight.
The next morning Rafael walked Olivia into the squad room; hand in hand, “Guys,” Olivia beamed, “Can you meet us in the break room?”
“What’s this about?” Rollins asked.
As they turned towards the break room Rafael looked over his shoulder, “Just follow us.”
Fin, Carisi and Rollins slowly made their way into the break room; once inside Olivia kindly asked Fin, “Can you close the door?”
“What about Stabler?” Fin replied.
“He can find out later,” Rafael shrugged, “We want to tell our friends something before we tell anyone else.” Fin nodded and closed the door.
Rollins excitedly asked, “Sooo what’s this big news?”
Olivia and Rafael looked at each other and smiled; “You can tell them,” Rafael smirked, “I know you’ve been dying to.”
“Okay,” she grinned. Turning back to everyone she let go of Rafael’s hand showed everyone her ring, “We’re engaged!”
“Oh my god!” Rollins shrieked; walking towards Olivia, “It’s about time! Look at that thing!”
Fin walked up to Rafael and gave him a pat on the shoulder, “Congratulations,” he smiled.
“Thank you,” Rafael beamed, “I honestly didn’t think I would be doing this.”
Carisi stayed back near the door; “Congratulations you two,” he smiled, “I should get back to work though.”
“Oh, won’t you stay for a little,” Olivia sighed.
Carisi glanced over to Rafael, “No, I’ve got some leads I need to track down, I should get started.”
“Okay,” Olivia nodded.
“I’m happy for you two though,” Carisi said as he opened the door and left.
“You have to tell me everything!” Rollins beamed, “Don’t leave anything out.”
Olivia laughed, “Okay so-“
“I’m just going to go check up on him,” Rafael interrupted. “I’ll be back soon.” Olivia nodded; Rafael slowly made his way out the door, hearing Olivia recount the previous nights adventure. He looked around the squad room and only just caught a glimpse of Carisi walking around the corner towards the elevator; he promptly followed. As he got closer the elevator doors shut; sighing, he opened the doors to the stairs and proceeded to run down them. Panting, he saw Carisi walking towards the front doors, “Carisi!” he huffed, “Wait up!” Carisi kept continued to walk outside; Rafael ran after him, “Sonny, please stop.”
Carisi stopped; as he turned to face Rafael he looked around, “Why?”
“What?” Rafael gasped; catching up to Carisi.
“Just tell me why her?” Carisi repeated.
“I… I don’t know,” Rafael mumbled, “It just happened.”
“I spent months trying to get you to let me in,” Carisi sighed, “You never even said I love you back!”
“I know,” Rafael nodded, “But I did… I do-”
“The second I told you how I felt you withdrew from me; even more than you already were,” Carisi frowned. “Not long after you ended it… and NOW, now you’re engaged.”
“I had feelings for you and got scared…” he trailed off.
“I just don’t understand why her… What makes her so special? She’s broken your heart as many times as you’ve broken mine,” Carisi sighed, “I know because I was always there for you.”
Rafael stood stunned, “I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt you.”
Carisi shook his head, “The crazy thing is, I still love you but I’m happy you finally found someone that you’ll let in. Congratulations Barba,” he said and started to walk away.
“Sonny, please,” Rafael begged; trying to follow him.
Carisi stopped; turning to face Rafael, “Can I just ask you… Does Olivia even know about us… about you?”
Rafael looked away, “No and I wasn’t going to tell her.”
“That’s what I thought,” he mumbled; turning on his heels.
Rafael watched as Carisi walked away, “Sonny?” he called out.
“Don’t,” Carisi huffed, “I just need some time so please don’t contact me outside of work.”
Rafael sighed, “I’m sorry.”
“I know, now go enjoy your moment,” Carisi muttered as he kept walking.
Sighing Rafael turned on his heels and walked back into the precinct; once he got back into the break room he forced a smile as he listened to Amanda gawk at Olivia’s ring. Olivia saw him standing in the doorway, “Everything okay with Carisi?” she asked.
“It’s fine,” he nodded as he watched her walk towards him, “Misunderstanding is all.”
Olivia sighed as she pulled him into a hug, “Are you okay? You can tell me if something’s bothering you.”
“You kidding?” Rafael smirked as he leaned back to look at her. “I’m engaged to you. I’m more than okay, I’m ecstatic.”
As his smile faded Olivia replied, “What is it?”
Before he could answer Amanda came over smiling, “So picked any dates yet?”
Olivia laughed, “Not yet… we only got engaged last night.”
“I’ll, um, see you later,” Rafael mumbled as he stepped out of her embrace. “I’ve got to go to work.”
“Raf-“ Olivia sighed as she looked back to him, “Don’t go.”
Smiling, Rafael said, “It’s your moment besides I’m sure Carmen has been waiting for this news for awhile now.”
“It’s our moment.”
“I love you,” he said as he left.
A few days later Rafael was just outside his front door when he heard laughter coming from inside; as he unlocked it he was surprised to see Elliot Stabler sitting in the lounge room with Olivia. “Oh hey, didn’t know you were coming home so soon,” she said as she looked at Rafael.
“I thought I would surprise you,” Rafael frowned as he eyed off the man sitting in his spot.
“We were just talking about you,” Olivia smiled.
“I’m sure you were,” he remarked, “What’s he doing here?”
“He just popped in to say hello,” she answered.
Elliot slowly stood up, “I should probably get going ‘Liv.”
“I think you should,” Rafael added walking towards them.
“Rafael,” Olivia huffed.
“It’s fine,” Elliot smiled, “I have to get things ready.”
“Okay,” she sighed as she stood up next to him. “I’m sorry.”
“Honestly ‘Liv, it’s fine,” Elliot nodded, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
As Olivia walked Elliot to the door Rafael glared at them both; once the door closed he said, “Now why was he really here?”
“I told you,” she frowned, “He came over to say hello.”
“And what?” she huffed; walking towards him, “There’s nothing else to say.”
“Where’s your ring?” he asked flatly.
Olivia looked down at her left hand, “I was doing the dishes.”
Rafael scoffed, “Yeah, right.”
“It’s the truth,” she sighed.
“You know, I don’t think I’ve seen you wear it since I gave it to you-“
“Stop this, it’s getting ridiculous,” she huffed. “Of course I wear the ring, I only took it off to do the dishes… I only love you Rafael, you need to accept that there’s nothing going on between Elliot and I.”
“I hope not,” he sighed.
“Trust me,” she said as she pulled him into a hug, “What do you want me to do to prove that to you?”
“Don’t hire him,” he mumbled.
“I, uh,” she sighed.
He frowned, “You already hired him, didn’t you?”
“I did,” she said, “He needs this.”
“You didn’t want to consult me first?” Rafael growled.
“It’s not your choice,” she answered.
After a moment of thought Rafael huffed, “I don’t want to be that guy but I don’t want him coming around here… You’ve just decided for the both of us that he’s working SVU. At least here, in my own home I can have a say.”
“It’s my squad,” Olivia frowned.
“That I have to work with!” he yelled breaking the hug.
Olivia hesitated, “He’s a good cop, I could use someone who already knows the job-”
“And knows you,” he rolled his eyes.
“Mommy?” Noah mumbled as he walked towards them, “Rafi?”
“Hey buddy,” Rafael smiled; kneeling down, “Come here and give me a hug.”
“OKAY,” Noah grinned. He ran up to Rafael and jumped into his arms; as Rafael stood up he threw Noah up into the air. When he caught him again Rafael pulled Noah into him, “Again,” Noah laughed. Rafael chuckled as he did as he was told; afterwards Noah tightly hugged Rafael, “I missed you Rafi.”
“I missed you too,” he smirked, “Now, how about we get you in some proper clothes?”
“Are we going somewhere?” Olivia asked.
“Noah and I are,” Rafael replied.
Olivia’s heart dropped, “Where are you taking my son?”
“The park,” Rafael answered.
“It’s getting late, I don’t want him in the park at night,” she said.
“He’ll be fine,” he mumbled.
“I wanna go with Rafi,” Noah smiled.
“No Noah,” Olivia sighed. Turning her gaze to Rafael she added, “He’s not going, besides we’re not done talking.”
“Yes we are,” Rafael frowned. Looking to Noah he mumbled, “How about I take you to the park tomorrow after my run?”
“Okay,” Noah sighed disappointed.
“Instead why don’t you pick a movie and we can watch it in my room,” Rafael suggested.
“Any movie?” Noah asked.
Rafael smiled, “Any movie.”
“Yay,” Noah said excitedly. Once Rafael put him down Noah ran to cabinet under the TV in the lounge room and pulled out his favourite movie; as he turned around he looked at Olivia, “Are you coming too Mommy?”
Olivia glanced over to Rafael; he was avoiding her, before looking back at Noah, “I have some work I need to do,” she sighed. “You and Rafi make yourselves comfortable on the bed and I’ll come get you when dinner’s ready.”
“Oh,” Noah pouted.
“More room for us,” Rafael said. He held out a hand as Noah walked towards him; once Noah took his hand Rafael walked him towards his room.
An hour later Olivia cautiously opened the bedroom door to find Noah asleep in Rafael’s arms, “Can you come out here please?” she whispered.
Rafael looked down at the sleeping boy in his arms and sighed, “Okay.” As he carefully removed himself off the bed Noah began to wake up, “Shh,” he soothed as he ran his hand gently across Noah’s back. Once he knew Noah was asleep again Rafael leaned down and kissed him softly on the forehead then started for the door. He brushed pass Olivia as he left the room.
“I think we need to talk,” she said quietly as she closed the bedroom door.
As Olivia turned to face him she was surprised to find him already looking at her, “I’m sorry,” he said. “I know my behaviour has been terrible lately.”
“Why have you been acting this way?” Olivia sighed.
“Because it’s him,” he answered.
“There’s more to it than that,” she mumbled, “I know there is.”
Rafael closed his eyes for a moment while he thought of his answer; she was right, he thought, I should just tell her. Before long he opened his eyes and he found himself saying, “There’s nothing more.”
Olivia sighed, “I do hope that one day you will trust me enough to tell me the truth.”
“I am,” he replied. “I just don’t like the guy ‘Liv and you’ve now forced him down my throat.”
“You’re right,” she nodded, “I should have consulted you first but I could use someone like him.”
“I would have preferred it if you had of told me you were going to hire him before you told him,” he sighed. “I should have known first after everything he’s done.”
“I’m sorry,” she nodded, “But it is what it is now.”
“Yeah,” Rafael mumbled; looking down at the floor.
She could see there something else eating him up inside; “What is it?” Olivia asked.
“Don’t you trust me with Noah?” Rafael sheepishly asked.
“Of course I trust you, it’s just…” Olivia paused.
“You don’t think I can keep my son safe,” he sighed looking up at her. “That I’ll fail again.”
Olivia looked at him confused, “You’ve never failed to keep Noah safe.”
“Why wouldn’t you let me take him?”
“It wasn’t because of you Raf,” she sighed, “I wouldn’t take him at this time myself; you and I have seen the scum that comes from this city.” She slowly closed the gap between them, “It’s just part of being a parent; if there’s a chance something you do causes harm to your child you just wouldn’t do it.”
Rafael lowered his head; sighing he said, “Yeah you’re right. Losing a child because of your decisions will hurt you forever.”
Olivia pulled him into a hug, “Thank you for understanding,” she smiled.
“More than you know,” he mumbled; lowering his head into her shoulder before she saw the tears in his eyes.
“Are you okay?” she asked when she felt him shudder in her arms.
Wrapping his arms tightly around her he muttered, “I’m just sorry for everything, I don’t want to hurt you.”
“I know,” she comforted as she rubbed his back. “How about we order some take-away,” she suggested.
“I’m not hungry but order food for the two of you,” he sighed, lifting his head. “I think I just want to go to bed.”
“So early?” she questioned.
“Yeah,” he nodded, “I’m sorry.”
“Rafi, would you be opposed to a suggestion?” she asked, “I would like to spend some time with you, after all you came home early.”
Rafael smiled a little, “What did you have in mind?”
Olivia smiled as she took hold of his hand, “Well… How about I order dinner while you pick a movie and we spend the night on the lounge? Just a nice simple night.”
“Sure,” Rafael nodded. “I’d like that.”
The next morning Olivia woke to an empty bed; Rafael must be on his run already, she thought as she reached for her phone. It was 8:30am; Rafael would usually run around 5am or late at night when he couldn’t sleep but on the days he wasn’t working he’d leave at 8am. As Olivia sat up she figured he would be back in an hour and a half so she decided it was a good idea to have a shower then catch up on some paperwork before Noah wakes and her day really begins.
Ten minutes later Olivia was drying herself off when the house phone started to ring, wrapping the towel around herself she quickly jogged towards the phone next to her bed; hoping it didn’t wake Noah. “Hello,” Olivia answered.
“Is Mr Rafael Barba there?” a lady asked.
“No,” she replied, “Who’s calling?”
“I’m Margret, I’m calling on behalf of the Bank of America,” the woman responded.
“Oh?” Olivia frowned, “Is there something wrong with our account?”
“Mr Barba’s name is the only one on the account so I can’t disclose too much detail, sorry,” Margret sighed.
“Can you at least tell me what it’s about so I can tell him to call you back?” Olivia asked.
“It’s about his monthly transactions, the latest one has been declined and we just want to know if he would like to continue,” Margret answered.
“I’ll let him know when he comes back from his run,” Olivia sighed, “Thank you for calling.”
“No problem, have a lovely day,” Margret said; ending the call.
A secret account? Olivia thought, What is he hiding from me? Deciding she wasn’t going to wait for answers she dialled Amanda’s number, “Amanda, I need you to do something for me but you can’t tell anyone.”
“What’s going on?” Amanda hastily asked.
“I just need you to check on an account for me, get as much as you can without a warrant,” Olivia mumbled.
“Olivia, talk to me,” Amanda sighed, “What case is this?”
Olivia took a deep breath, “Can you just do it for me, no questions asked.”
“Okay but I don’t think I’ll be able to get a lot,” she replied.
“Thank you,” Olivia sighed, “Just text me what you find, please do it quickly.”
“I’ll have it to you within the hour,” Amanda responded; ending the call.
Almost an hour later Rafael entered their home; he continued into the living room where he saw Olivia sitting on the lounge, phone in hand, “Noah awake yet?” he asked checking his watch as he walked towards her.
“No,” she replied.
“Oh good,” he smiled, “Means I can have a shower before I take him to the park.”
“How about you take him later,” she suggested.
“He’ll be disappointed,” Rafael said confused, “Why?”
Before she replied a message came through on her phone; “One second,” she frowned as she opened it.
“Can’t take a day off?” he smirked.
She finished reading the message Amanda sent her and sighed, “It’s not work.”
“Not planning a secret engagement party, are you?” he quipped.
“I got a call earlier this morning,” Olivia began.
“Oh, what was it?” he asked.
She hesitated, “It was from the bank.”
“’Liv… How much did they say?” Rafael said seriously; his smile disappearing from his face. “I need to know what they said to you.”
“A transfer of yours has been declined and they wanted to see if you would like to continue with the monthly transitions,” she replied.
Rafael closed his eyes as he brought his hand to his mouth, “Okay,” he nodded; taking a deep breath. Opening his eyes he added, “I’ll deal with it.”
“What, that’s it?” she uttered; hint of anger in her voice.
“It’s not your problem,” Rafael shrugged as he began to walk away.
“Don’t walk away from me,” Olivia frowned, “You have a secret account, what for?”
“It’s nothing, just drop it,” Rafael sighed; turning to face her.
“No!” Olivia yelled as she stood up. “You and I are getting married, you shouldn’t keep such a big secret from me.”
“Just get over it,” Rafael huffed, “I got over you kissing another man. The least you could do is drop this-”
“I can’t and you know I can’t,” she replied, “It’s over $1,000 a month Rafael.”
“You had no right to access my account!”
“I knew you wouldn’t tell me about it,” Olivia sighed, “I just wanted to be sure you weren’t…”
“I wasn’t what?” he snarled, “Cheating? Being blackmailed? You had no right no matter what you thought.”
“Well, are you?”
“What!” Rafael growled, “No! I’m… It’s complicated. You don’t need to know.”
“Talk to me,” Olivia pushed. “We’re partners, you’re suppose to be able to trust me but if you can’t then…” she drifted off.
Rafael shook his head; frustrated he was pushed into an impossible situation, tell her or lose her, “Okay, fine,” he said rolling his eyes. “Remember a week or so ago I was pissed off at you for the father remark you made?” he sighed.
Olivia took a deep breath, “I do and I’m still sorry I said that.”
“Do you know why it pissed me off so much?”
“You told me it was because of Noah and his adoption,” Olivia replied.
“That’s part of it,” Rafael nodded. “But there’s more…”
“What does it have to do with your secret bank account?” she questioned.
“Everything,” he paused; closing his eyes, as he took a slow deep breath. When he opened his eyes he looked directly at Olivia, “I have a daughter.”
“I have a daughter,” Rafael repeated slowly; the words sounded foreign coming from him. Olivia’s eyes were shifting back and forth as she tried to process what Rafael had just said. Realising she’d have a lot of questions Rafael decided to continue, “It’s been years since I’ve seen her but there’s one day I’ll never forget… I decided to come home early one afternoon to talk to her but instead I found her on the floor. Everything went slow motion as I dropped everything and ran across the room; falling to the floor when I reached her. I begged God to save her as I rocked back and forth with her in my arms,” he paused; taking a deep breath, “She overdosed… She died in my arms ‘Liv, her heart stopped and that’s something I’ll never forget,” he sniffled; his eyes beginning to water.
“What happened to her?”
“I was frantic, I could barely think as I did everything I could to bring her back… and it’s a miracle something worked. But after that it wasn’t the same, I left her mother and she grew up hating me. She never wants to see me again so I do what I can to help her out. That’s why I send her money every month, in the hope that one day she’ll understand.”
“You never told me you had a daughter-“
“I never told anyone,” Rafael sighed. “It’s something I don’t like to publicly share.”
“Why’d you leave them?” Olivia asked cautiously.
“My then wife cheated on me,” he replied, “And my daughter… ‘Liv I really do hope you never have to deal with Noah hating you as much as she hates me.”
“Rafael, I’m so sorry,” she said closing the gap.
Rafael wiped the tears from his eyes, “It was a long time ago; over ten years and I still get emotional every time I think about seeing her lifeless body on the floor.”
Olivia pulled him into a hug, “I didn’t mean to bring up old wounds.”
“I know,” Rafael mumbled into her shoulder.
“Can I ask a question?” Olivia hesitated.
“What’s your daughters name?”
Rafael lifted his head; his eyes red, “No.”
Olivia frowned confused, “Raf?”
“I’m sorry but I’m not sharing anymore than what I’ve just told you,” he stepped out of the hug and started for the bedroom.
“Where are you going?” Olivia sighed.
“I need to lie down for a while,” he answered, “This isn’t an easy topic for me so I would appreciate it if you didn’t pursue it further.”