She knew he’d come, not that she had anyone else she could call for this particular reason. Well, for any other reason really.
When had her life become so lonely? Few friends, keeping Rachel and Ella at bay. Oh, it was easy to think that by doing that she was keeping them safe, but the bonds the other Olivia had and relationships she maintained told Olivia that she was lying to herself. And allowing herself to get away with it by not thinking too hard on it.
She took another shot to push those thoughts away, not needing to think about that now. She had other things to worry about.
Was she really that damaged that she couldn’t even kiss someone without feeling frightened? She hadn’t thought so, but she’d received proof positive that she just might be. She knew she had issues, even before meeting the Bishops and finding out about the experiments done to her as a child.
Her test subject walked through the door not long after she’d finally gotten the courage to send her message. He took a minute to look around the bar before his eyes found her. He started to smile and stopped, as if detecting from the doorway that she wasn’t in the mood for smiles or banter.
“Dunham,” he said, taking a seat beside her. He signaled to the bartender for two more of what she was having. “Everything all right?”
He wasn’t really expecting her to answer so she didn’t. She waited until he’d taken his shot, watching him as he did. He peered at her from the corner of his eye as he set the glass down. Probably wondering what this late night call was about.
She was wondering the sanity in it herself. She could get demoted or fired. Lots of things entered her mind, but none of them seemed to matter. Not if she was that damaged.
And this man. He’d saved her life. It may have been the other universe’s Phillip Broyles, but that didn’t matter to her because she was pretty confident this one would do the same thing if the situation warranted it.
She leaned toward him then, puckering her lips as she got closer. Eyes closing so that she wouldn’t see his eyes and what he thought of her.
Their lips touched, lightly, gently, barely touching.
And she felt nothing.
Well, that wasn’t entirely true.
But there was no fear, no adrenaline rushing to her head, making her ears and heart pound furiously so that she’d flee from the situation causing her to feel so uncomfortable.
Instead she felt.
Okay. Content even.
Of course there may not have been anything around from the other universe just then, but she chose to believe it just hadn’t happened.
He made no effort to deepen the kiss. Or, for that matter, to pull away. She’d sort of expected that reaction by now.
He seemed to know she needed to do this, this was a test she needed to ace.
Lips closed over his top lip before pulling away, eyes still closed until she knew when she opened them again she’d see the bar and her shot glass in her hands.
They sat in silence, sharing a few more drinks as if nothing unusual had happened.
“May I ask what that was for?” he finally asked.
She’d expected it, knew it was coming, and had carefully thought out her answer.
“You gave up your life for me, left your wife and kids, leaving them probably to wonder what happened to you to get me back here. I had to make sure it wasn’t for nothing,” she whispered.
He gestured to the bartender for two more and she knew there would be no more questions or conversation. She needed him and he wouldn’t turn his back on her in a time of need.
In this world or the next.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com