Just One Of Those Things
Disclaimers: Potty mouth warning. In this installment the characters use less then lady like expressions. I'm adding a discomfort warning to this installment: the tragic events that have recently occurred in my country are reflected. Some of you who have experienced losses due to the terrorist attacks and may be uncomfortable reading this at this time. I apologize for this I didn't realize when I created these characters that the plot line would run directly into a very harsh reality.
Thank you to my beta reader, Diva Babe
As Always For Heather
CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN
Olivia felt exhausted as she sat in the morning meeting. Carlos had certainly put her through the ringer yesterday. She had been as honest as she could be. Karla had been on edge since his arrival. She had tried to reassure the blonde that they had nothing to worry about, but still she worried. Something was up with Rob as well; he was more smug than normal. Something Olivia was certain wasn't possible. She thought Karla was going to fire him on the spot, but she didn't. Karla was tense and it showed. Most of the staff was hiding from their boss. Something was up and Olivia didn't have a clue as to just what it was.
So here she sat watching a tape with three of the account managers. Putting a spin on a tofu snack bar was a major pain in the ass. As much as people wanted to eat healthy in this area, there was no way this sucker was going to sell. She blew out an exasperated sigh as she turned to the men sitting across from her. They looked so helpless. "Okay, so it tastes disgusting and it's over priced," Olivia grumbled. "And somehow they honestly thought this would help their company's image?"
"Apparently," John sighed heavily.
"Not our problem," Olivia stated firmly. "Look, selling . . . what do they call it?"
"Tonutchoco," John answered solemnly.
"An unfortunate choice," Olivia noted. "But again, not our problem. That is up to their advertising department. Speaking of which, are we working with them?"
"They are convinced that this. . ." Shani pointed to the monitor, " . . . is the best marketing campaign since plop, plop, fizz, fizz."
Olivia couldn't help but smirk at the petite, dark-skinned woman. "Another error in judgment," she offered to her chuckling friend. "Our job is to make the company look good. Now if I understand it correctly, they are in deep doo-doo because they came out with a candy that sent a lot of kids to the dentist. Which explains why they thought coming out with a healthy product would help. Right idea. Wrong product. I'm thinking we need to focus on their more successful products. The ones that didn't crack kids teeth." Olivia looked up at the monitor in disgust. "I can't watch this anymore," she groaned as she shut off the tape.
The television switched over to regular viewing. Olivia's heart stopped when she saw the fiery images on the screen. "Oh my God!" she gasped. Everyone was stunned by the sight. Suddenly other people came rushing into the conference room, since it was the only one with a television.
"Is that The World Trade Center?" Shani asked in disbelief.
"We're under attack," someone explained.
"We couldn't be," Olivia responded numbly as a news announcer voice related the details. "Two planes?" she muttered.
"They were hijacked out of Logan this morning," Frank explained.
"What?" Olivia stammered clutching her heart suddenly. She turned up the volume as the details of the two flights that were on route to California were explained.
Olivia bolted out of her chair and raced over to Karla's office. It was still early and the office wasn't that busy yet. She knew Karla was there. She had arrived very early that morning. Olivia also knew why Karla had come in early. "Please," she prayed as she burst into her boss' office unannounced.
Karla looked up from her computer in surprise. Olivia tried to calm herself as she slowly closed the door behind her. "Olivia?" Karla began slowly. "What's wrong?"
"Karla . . ." she started to choke at what she had to ask, ". . . did you take Harry to the airport this morning?"
"Oh yeah," Karla chuckled, stopping as she took in the pained expression on Olivia's face. "Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my Dad and all but Harry is well . . . Harry."
"What flight?" Olivia inquired slowly praying she wouldn't hear what she knew was coming.
"What airline and what flight?" Olivia stepped closer crossing behind the desk.
"Why?" Karla's voice trembled.
Olivia knelt before her and took her shaking hands into her own. "Karla . . . this morning four planes were hijacked, two of them out of Logan on route to California." Olivia could feel Karla trembling; she had to continue hoping against hope that it wasn't true. "They were part of a terrorist attack. They were crashed into the World Trade Center. One of them was bound for L.A. Flight . . ."
"No." Karla tried to argue as the tears began to swell.
"Flight eleven," Olivia finished.
"No!" Karla screamed as Olivia stood quickly and took her into her arms. "No, it can't be." She began to sob as Olivia held onto her tightly.
Olivia rocked the normally stoic woman in her arms as she ran soothing circles along her back. Pausing only to brush aside her own tears, "I . . . uhm . . . I don't understand," Karla sobbed as she held onto Olivia tightly.
"Ssh," Olivia tried to comfort her. "Maybe he wasn't . . . on the plane. Did you see him take off?"
"No." Karla sniffed turning her blood shot eyes up to face Olivia who simply cupped her face gently. "He uhm . . . it always takes him so long to get through security," she explained. "I just said goodbye and left him there . . ." she sniffed, ". . . after I told him to stop meddling in my personal life," she admitted sadly.
There was a shy knock on the door. "Go away," they shouted in unison as they both glared at the intrusion. The door opened slowly; standing there in his battered jeans was Harry. "Skyler," was all he said. Karla jumped up almost knocking Olivia over as she rushed into her father's arms. "I didn't get on the plane," he explained. "I couldn't leave things the way they were," he continued. "It's okay, sweetheart. I just can't help myself. I needed to stick around and meddle a little more."
"Jesus Fucking Christ, Harry, you scared the shit out me," Karla blasted him as she took a step back. Olivia was a little surprised at the unusual choice of vocabulary but under the circumstances it was understandable.
"Skyler, I did not raise you to use that kind of freakin' language," Harry chastised her.
Olivia laughed at the exchange between father and daughter. "I was at your place watching the boob-tube when the news came on."
"How did you get into my apartment?" Karla teased him.
"That's not important," Harry quickly uttered. "I thought I better come over here since I couldn't get you on the phone."
"For once you thought right," Karla said as she hugged him once again.
"I can see you were in good hands though," Harry said softly as he smiled over Karla's shoulder at Olivia. Then he mouthed 'Thank You'.
Olivia suddenly felt awkward as she watched the two of them. "I better check on the staff," she muttered quickly. "I think everyone is in conference room A watching the news." She started to step past them when she felt Karla touching her arm gently.
"Why don't we all go?" Karla suggested tenderly.
Olivia simply nodded as the three of them made their way over to the conference room. Instinctively, she placed her hand on the small of Karla's back. They stepped into the room and watched in horror with everyone else as the details flooded their senses. Olivia looked around feeling a sense of loss she had never experienced before. This is Boston, how many of us know people in New York, she wondered as the tears fell slowly down her cheeks.
"How am I going to explain this to my kids?" John muttered absently.
Karla pulled Olivia closer to her as she cleared her throat. "Everyone go home," she announced. "Today is not a day to be at work." Everyone looked stunned. "Go be with your families," she added in a soft sincere tone. Everyone nodded mutely, still overwhelmed to the events of the morning. Slowly everyone shuffled out with a dazed expression on their faces.
Olivia remained behind with Karla and Harry. She didn't feel strong enough to leave Karla's side. "I need to call the rest of the staff," Karla said in a distant voice.
"I'll help," Olivia said as she wrapped an arm around Karla's waist seeking the comfort that she knew would be there.
Harry hugged the both them tightly. "When I got home from Vietnam, I never thought I'd be this afraid again," he said in a frightened tone.
They broke the tender embrace and made their way back to their offices and began the long series of telephone calls to employees, clients and the higher ups. No one was surprised that no business would be conducted that day. Just as they were finishing up, security arrived and informed them that the building was being shut down.
Wearily they gathered their belongings and headed towards the elevators. There was an eerie silence on the street that morning. "Nothing is ever going to be the same," Olivia said solemnly just above a whisper.
"Give us a moment," Karla addressed Harry.
Olivia watched as Karla stepped over to her, tentatively placing a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Come back to my place with us," she requested. Olivia was about to nod in agreement then suddenly felt awkward about the situation. "Don't second guess this, Olivia," Karla said gently. "No one should be alone today."
Olivia listened to her heart and simply nodded in agreement as she took Karla by the hand and the three of them walked off in search of a taxi, unaware that a pair of blood shot eyes were watching them from across the street.
CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT
Karla found herself back at her apartment sitting on the futon with Harry on one side and Olivia curled up next to her on the other. It was surreal watching the images on the television. Karla had to agree with Olivia's earlier statement, nothing was ever going to be the same. When they first arrived, Harry and Karla pushed the futon into an upright position, while Olivia called her family and friends. Then the three of them settled in and watched the news. You couldn't get away from the details as they grew grimmer with each passing moment.
As darkness fell, Harry let out an exhausted yawn. "Tired?" Karla asked her father, whom she had not let out of her sight since the scare she barely endured that morning. Funny I haven't let Olivia out of my sight either, she thought as she looked down at the blonde who was resting comfortably in the crook of her arm. It was a little strange that although they both spoke with Harry, neither had spoken to the other the entire afternoon.
"Yeah a little," Harry finally said as he stretched out. "I can crash in the other room." He offered as he nudged Karla gently. Not very subtle, Karla thought as she glared at him. She had spent most of the last couple of days trying to convince Harry that there could never be anything between her and Olivia. Harry wasn't buying it.
"You finally got a bed?" Olivia's voice question surprising Karla slightly.
"Something like that," Karla grumbled. "With Harry staying here the last few days, we needed to adjust the sleeping arrangements. I bought a mattress and a box spring the day he arrived. We had a hell of a time carrying it up here. I'll work on the bed some other time," Karla shrugged.
"I told her I could sleep on the floor," Harry griped.
"You are not sleeping on the floor." Karla rolled her eyes recalling the argument they had over the purchase. But it did get them off the subject of her love life ever so briefly.
"It's not like I've never done it before," he pointed out whimsically. "How did you know that Skyler didn't have a bed?" he asked suddenly.
Both women blushed furiously. Karla couldn't help recalling the last time they found themselves on the futon. It was the day they bought it. Olivia had busted her for checking out her backside. Then later they found themselves making out like a couple of teenagers. "I helped her move in," Olivia blurted out.
"Oh?" Harry responded with a snort. He yelped as Karla elbowed him in the ribs.
"I should go," Olivia said suddenly in a voice barely above a whisper.
"Huh?" Karla found herself saying, not quite believing what she had just heard. "Of course she's leaving, what did you think, she was going to move in? Idiot, Karla chastised herself. Yet her heart was aching suddenly; she wasn't prepared to release her hold on the endearing blonde. She needed to be close to her. If she was honest with herself she would have to admit that she was afraid. The events of the day had frightened her to her very core. It wasn't being alone that frightened her. It was being without Olivia.
"It's late," Olivia added, her eyes firmly focused on a spot on the floor. Karla could sense her hesitation but was paralyzed to stop her.
"You'll get a cab," Harry interjected thoughtfully.
"I . . . uhm. . ." Olivia muttered as Karla reluctantly released her hold on her.
"And didn't you say that the friend that you are staying with is staying at a friend's place?" Harry continued seemingly unaware of Olivia's apparent nervousness.
"Well yeah. . ." Olivia stammered as she wrapped her arms around herself.
"You shouldn't be alone," Harry concluded proudly.
There was a heavy silence in the air. Please don't go . . . I need you, Karla's mind screamed despite her efforts to shut out these thoughts. She looked over at Olivia. She looked like a lost little girl. The sight broke Karla's heart. "Harry, give us a moment," Karla said in a firm quiet voice. Harry simply nodded and departed into the kitchen followed by Howard.
"Olivia?" Karla questioned her gently.
"I don't want to go," Olivia whimpered. Instinctively, Karla wrapped her up in her arms. "But if I stay . . ." Olivia wrapped her arms around the taller woman. They were so close that Karla could feel the rapid beating of Olivia's heart. Karla ran a comforting hand down Olivia's trembling back. She kissed her gently on the top of her head then released her and stood before her. Olivia looked up at her in bewilderment until Karla offered her hand to the smaller woman.
"Stay," Karla found herself saying as she found herself locked in a fiery gaze.
She swallowed hard as Olivia stood and wrapped her smaller hand in hers. For a brief moment Karla felt things were suddenly right. After a day of turmoil and tragedy, she finally felt safe. She knew that they would deal with this tomorrow, but for tonight she needed this, they needed this. In some small way just to forget the outside world. "Good Night Harry," she called out as she led Olivia into the bedroom.
CHAPTER TWENTY NINE
Olivia allowed herself to be led into the darkened bedroom. She knew that she should feel uneasy or at least a little nervous. Somehow everything felt right. "Olivia?" Karla's voice trembled slightly as Olivia found herself turning into her awaiting arms.
"Sssh," Olivia offered in reassurance, her hands rubbing gentle circles across the taller woman's.
"I could have lost him," Karla choked out.
"I know," Olivia whispered reaching up and cupping Karla's face in the palm of her hands. She could barely make out the features of the woman who stood before her. Olivia could feel Karla's need; she understood it perfectly, she felt the same. "You didn't lose him." Olivia tried to comfort her, knowing that they both had many friends that they had yet to hear from.
Even in the darkness she could see Karla's brilliant, blue gaze capturing her. Her heart began to beat wildly as the current of desire ran through the both of them. "I need you." Karla's voice trembled.
"I need you too," Olivia asserted as she reached up her hand cradling the back of her head, leaning up while she pulled Karla's face to her own. She paused for the briefest moment, knowing that Karla's lips were just a breath away from her own. "But . . ." Karla began to protest weakly.
"No," Olivia resisted her protest in a husky tone. "Don't pull away from me" She couldn't stop herself, she knew that she needed to follow her heart this time. Her lips captured Karla's and she lost herself in the sweetness. Her need was aching inside of her as her tongue brushed against Karla's lips. She felt her lover tremble as she started to part her lips inviting Olivia in.
Olivia felt her body tense as Karla pulled away slightly. "Don't," she repeated in the same soft tone. "Please," she heard herself saying as her fingers lost themselves in thick black silkiness. "Just for tonight," Olivia explained. "We need each other . . . tomorrow we'll do what we always do. We'll pretend that we don't feel what we feel . . . that none of this is real." She felt her body reacting as Karla tightened her hold on her. "In the morning we'll tell each other lies about how adult we are. For tonight . . . don't think . . . just make love to me."
She swooned slightly as Karla kissed her. The kiss was tender at first then quickly deepened. Instinctively their mouths parted inviting one another in for a sweet exploration. Olivia felt herself being lowered onto the mattress. They stumbled slightly as the misjudged how low to the ground the mattress and box spring were. They laughed as the fell onto the mattress. Olivia smiled, suddenly feeling the horrors of the day drifting away.
At that moment in time nothing mattered to her except the feel of Karla's hands on her body. Karla gently brushed her bangs out of her eyes; a simple gesture that warmed Olivia's heart. "Say it again," Karla requested as her eyes sparkled.
"Make love to me," Olivia repeated as she tugged Karla's blouse out of her pants.
Karla began an assault on her neck as she nipped and tasted her. Olivia pulled Karla's blouse up, needing to feel her body against her own. Her need grew as Karla's thigh pressed against her center. Without realizing what she was doing, she grasped the material of Karla's blouse. She held the soft material tightly as she tugged. The sound of buttons scattering across the hardwood floor echoed as she lowered the blouse down the back of Karla's broad shoulders.
She moaned as she felt Karla's hands gliding up under her skirt. Olivia found herself slowing her movements as her fingers caressed Karla's shoulders. She wanted the moment to last forever. She allowed herself to become lost in Karla's exploration. This was not the all too consuming passion they had shared their first time together. She's loving me. She is making love to me, Olivia thought happily as the two women took lingering moments to undress one another, stealing kisses along exposed skin as clothing was removed and cast aside.
They were completely exposed to one another. Olivia drank in the sight of Karla's nakedness illuminated only by the moonlight. They were sitting up facing each other, their bodies not quite touching. Her fingers reaching out tenderly trailing a path down Karla's long arms. "I love . . ." she began absently, "your body," she added quickly knowing that she had almost revealed far too much. Tonight was not the night for promises that they might not be able to keep.
A sullen expression crossed Karla's chiseled features quickly. It vanished and was replaced by a warmth that made Olivia's weary heart beat just a little faster. "Kiss me," Karla murmured. Olivia answered her request as she brushed her lips against her lover's. They kissed again and again as their passion grew steadily. Olivia felt a moan escape her as Karla's body pressed against her own. The need for more increasing within her as she felt her body being lowered.
The feeling of Karla's body melting into her own caused her to groan in pleasure. Lying side by side, they continued to kiss passionately, their tongues dancing together in a sensual rhythm. They only broke away briefly when the need for oxygen overwhelmed them. She felt the weight of Karla's breasts in her hands, never realizing that her hands had strayed. Now she simply allowed herself to enjoy teasing Karla's erect nipples. "Olivia . . ." she heard Karla utter softly as she captured her lover's breast in her mouth.
She savored the taste of Karla's skin as she suckled her breasts. She was gentle with her teasing yet she was teasing the other woman just the same. She felt her wetness growing as two hands clasped her hips. Karla's body arched in response, eagerly offering up more of herself. Olivia kissed her way over to Karla's other breast, while her hand cupped the breast she had just abandoned.
Karla's touch guided her up to a somewhat sitting position. Olivia looked down at the long, firm body lying below her. Her fingertips touching lightly upon every inch of exposed skin. Karla looked up at her with an expression filled with pure love and desire as her fingers explored Olivia's body. Olivia sighed happily as she lowered her body back down onto the mattress.
She had positioned herself so that she was pleasantly greeted by Karla's dark curls. She licked her lips, her anticipation growing as she watched firm thighs parting, welcoming her in. She inhaled her lover's musky scent as her body began to burn. She felt Karla's long, soft hair caressing her thighs. Shivering as the taller woman tasted her.
Slowly she tasted Karla's passion as her lover mirrored her actions. Together they feasted upon one another's wetness, drinking in all the other had to offer. They tasted and teased each other as the fire built, tenderness falling away to urgent desire. Olivia shuddered as she felt Karla entering her. Her body arched pressing her center into Karla's eager mouth. The air escaping from her lungs as she released a strangled cry. Lowering her head to the sweet nectar, she suckled Karla's throbbing clit.
Karla's thighs trembled as Olivia's tongue taunted her. They held onto each other tightly, losing themselves in the wild rhythm. Their bodies rocked, as Olivia allowed Karla's fingers to plunge in and out of her. Harsh groans escaping, neither certain who was uttering them. Olivia fought the battle of giving in to the pleasure she was receiving and pleasuring her lover. They exploded together, their cries of passionate lost in their lover's wetness.
Olivia didn't allow herself to catch her breath. Stealthily she shifted so that she was now straddling Karla's body. Her fingers entering the slickened folds. Olivia's hips bucked wildly as Karla entered her. "Take me," she heard herself growl as they rode against one another. Sweat poured down their bodies as the orgasm ripped through both of them. Collapsing together they held each other tightly allowing the trembling to subside.
They separated as Karla grasped her tightly. The kiss was raw as they melded their bodies together. "I need you," Karla panted as their lips parted. The hunger of her need sent a searing jolt through Olivia's being.
"I'm yours," Olivia groaned as their hips met and began to grind together. Karla's hands cupped her backside encouraging her. Olivia clawed at her lover's back as she pressed deeper into Karla. "Baby, I need you," she begged as their bodies arched, once again cresting in unison.
Beneath the wild passion Olivia felt the underlying love flowing between them. They continued to pleasure each other throughout the evening until finally they collapsed. Exhausted, unable to offer anymore, they fell together. They held each other as they fell into a heavy slumber.
Karla rolled over in a huff as the morning sun greeted her. "I really need to put some curtains up," she grumbled to herself. She pulled the pillow over her head in an effort to hide from the day. If she didn't face the day, if she simply hid under the pillow, she wouldn't see what she already suspected. She could feel it in her heart; the other side of the bed was empty. She heard her cell phone chirping in the other room. "Rats!" she grumbled pulling the pillow from her face.
She sat up and looked over at the vacant space next to her. "I really hate the morning after with that woman," she muttered bitterly as she pulled herself up off the mattress. The phone continued to ring from the living room as she frantically searched for her bathrobe. Giving up, she quickly grabbed a t-shirt and a pair of boxer shorts. She dashed out into the living room to find Harry watching the news while chomping on a bowl of what appeared to be the last of her Captain Crunch. "James," she barked into the phone.
Listening carefully to the person on the other end and responding with her own questions, she felt the security of her world slipping away. She closed the telephone and looked over to her father and her cat relaxing on the futon. "Did you save me any?" she inquired with an accusing glare.
"Nope," Harry smiled back at her. "I wanted to but Howard said that you wouldn't mind."
Karla couldn't help but smiling in return as she sat down on the futon. "Did he now?" she inquired wryly. She found herself wincing slightly, her body still sore from last evenings activities. "Thanks for making up the futon," she offered.
"No problem," Harry responded. "I got up early." There was a slight discomfort to his tone. Karla looked at him questioningly. He cleared his throat before he continued. "I went for a walk. It was a nice night." She continued to look at him curiously. "Look, it's one thing to know your child is an adult. It's another to hear it."
"Ooops." She blushed. "Speaking of which what time did she leave?"
"What time did who leave?" the familiar voice teased her from the kitchen doorway. Karla smiled brightly as she looked over to see Olivia leaning against the doorframe. Her hair was wet and she was wrapped up in her bathrobe. The sight of the large robe covering her petite body made the woman appear like a small child playing dress up.
"You," Karla smirked. "I thought you had left," she explained as she stood and crossed over to the adorable blonde who held her heart.
"I was looking for this," Karla noted as she tugged playfully on the lapel of the terry cloth robe.
"I needed something to wear," Olivia countered her green eyes darkened slightly.
Karla's smile grew as she looked down at the woman who was still glowing from the love they had shared just a few hours ago. Karla lowered her head so she could greet Olivia properly. Olivia placed a gentle yet firm hand on Karla's chest, effectively halting the taller woman's actions. The smile fell from Karla's face instantly. "One of these days . . ." Karla muttered sadly, " . . . I'm going to give you a proper good morning kiss," she promised.
"We can't," Olivia replied sadly as she turned her gaze away.
"Someday," Karla reasserted more firmly.
"I put the coffee on," Olivia said ignoring Karla's promise as she stepped away from her. "I need to get going. We still have to work today."
"No we don't," Karla explained with a heavy sigh. "The building is still shut down."
"That makes sense," Harry threw in. "It's the tallest in the city."
"I just got off the phone with building security. They are closing the observation deck permanently."
"What?" Olivia gasped.
"They feel it's too much of a security risk," Karla explained further. "I should thank you for forcing me into having lunch up there last month."
"I remember," Olivia smiled thoughtfully. "P, B and J. You didn't eat your sandwich. You just kept pressing your face against the glass, looking out at the view of the city." Olivia laughed lightly at the memory. "You're just a tall child aren't you?"
Karla's breath caught in her chest as Olivia captured her in a knowing gaze. "That's my Skyler," Harry agreed.
"Has she always been like this?" Olivia pried.
"I'm getting some coffee," Karla groused knowing that Olivia was about to dig out as many of her deep, dark secrets as she could. "Would you like some, Blondie?" she threw in knowing that it would irritate Olivia.
"Yes please," Olivia responded as she clenched her jaw. "With . . ."
"I know." Karla waved her off. "Half a pound of sugar and a gallon of cream."
"Hmmf," came the reply from behind her as she padded her way off into the small kitchen. "So Harry . . ." she could hear Olivia begin.
"Oh brother," Karla muttered gruffly. When she emerged from the kitchen with two cups of coffee she could hear that the conversation was in full swing.
"I have no idea how she managed to get it stuck in her ear," Harry was explaining as Karla rolled her eyes in disgust.
"Here you go, Miss Sweet Tooth," she muttered as she handed a cup to Olivia who was laughing herself senseless.
"Nothing for dear old Dad?" Harry pouted.
"No, Benedict Arnold," Karla snorted. "You're on your own."
"Now, Skyler, I didn't say anything too embarrassing," Harry protested.
"Did you really like to eat crayons when you were a kid?" Olivia asked brightly.
Karla simply growled in response. "I have to call the staff to let them know that the building is still locked up." She glared at Harry as she snatched up her cell phone. Harry seemed to be unfazed. Accepting defeat for the moment she started to stomp off indignantly towards her bedroom.
"So why do you call her Skyler?" She shuddered as she heard Olivia asking the question.
"Because it's her name," Harry answered matter of factly.
"It is not," Karla argued as she stormed into her bedroom. She slammed the door behind her.
Muttering to herself, she changed her clothes and dug out her address book. She telephoned all of her staff, none of whom were surprised that there would be no work that day. Everyone she spoke with still seemed pretty shell-shocked. Well there was one notable exception, Rob. He just sounded drunk. He made one comment that made her shiver. He made some vague reference to her at least having someone around to help her out. It wasn't what he had said it was the way he said it. She responded by saying that she was happy that her father was safe. He simply sniffed indignantly as he hung up on her.
"There is no way that slimeball knows, she tried to convince herself. She found herself laying down on the mattress lost in thought when Olivia entered the bedroom shyly.
"Hey there," Olivia said carefully as she began to pick up her discarded clothing.
"You're leaving?" Karla asked in a flat tone.
"Yes," Olivia sighed.
Karla was suddenly angry. Taking a moment to bury the unwelcome emotion before she stood, she rummaged through her clothing and pulled out an old sweatshirt and a pair of sweat pants. "They won't be a great fit but they're clean," she offered in the same flat tone.
"Thank you," Olivia responded as she accepted the garments.
"I'll get you a bag for your stuff," Karla said as she started to step out of the room.
She felt herself tremble slightly as Olivia caught her by the arm. "So did you get the full party line from Harry?" she asked with a hint of bitterness. "Now you know. I'm nothing but a bastard, who was born in a beat up VW bus."
"Hey," Olivia said softly as she tightened her hold on the taller woman. "Do you think I care? I mean I care but not about that. In fact it's kind of cool. You know?"
"Cool?" Karla heard herself snap. "You think it's cool? Coming home from grade school asking your mom what that word means? Watching her cry? Feeling like you did something wrong."
"What is this?" Olivia asked softly pulling herself closer to Karla. "Harry loves you," Olivia stated sternly. "And from what he said, so does your mother. Just because some bullies . . ."
"It wasn't just the kids," Karla explained as she cast her eyes to floor. She knew if she looked at Olivia she would lose it.
"Bullies are bullies no matter how old they are," Olivia said tenderly.
Karla shrugged trying to regain her composure. "I don't want you to go," she admitted finally.
"I don't want to go," Olivia confessed with a heavy sigh. "But I have to. I'm already in too deep. Why do you have to be my boss?"
"One of God's cruel jokes, I guess." Karla found herself smiling as she wondered how Olivia was going to react when she left J&B. She stepped away from blonde her body instantly missing their connection. She retrieved the package that had been sitting there since their last encounter. "This belongs to you." She handed it over as her hands shook.
Olivia stared at her blankly. "It's your underwear," Karla explained as her face turned beet red.
"Excuse me?" Olivia choked as she accepted the package.
"That day in the office . . . " Karla stammered uncomfortably, " . . . you know . . . when we almost . . . on my desk . . ."
"Oh!" Olivia said as her jaw dropped and her face turned red as well. "Maybe you should just throw this out." She grimaced as she handed the package back.
"Good idea," Karla agreed. "Well I'll give you privacy. I need to go take a shower."
"Actually can I get changed in the bathroom first?" Olivia pointed to the unadorned windows. "You know you really should be unpacked by now," the blonde teased her.
"I'll get to it," Karla lied. The truth was the tiny apartment never felt like home to her. The only times she had been happy there was the few times Olivia had been there. "Go ahead." She nodded to the door.
Olivia gathered her belongings as Karla sat quietly on the futon next to Harry. Neither spoke. Olivia emerged from the bathroom and packed her clothing from the previous day in a bag. "I'll talk to you later," Olivia offered as she hung by the front door. Karla remained seated not looking at her. "It was nice talking to you, Harry," she added sincerely.
"Bye, Skyler." Karla simply waved to her still unable to look at her. She released a tense breath as she heard the front door closing.
"What is with you two?" Harry asked in exasperation.
"Give it a rest, Harry," Karla warned him.