Ollie jerked awake, barely managing to choke back the scream that had welled up in his throat. Sweat covered his skin, causing his shirt to stick to his chest. His stomach was twisted in tight knots and he quickly got up, moving as quickly, but as quietly as he could to the bathroom, afraid he was about to throw up. He gagged as he hung over the toilet bowl, nothing coming up and tears burning in his eyes as the images from the nightmare lingered. He hated this and wondered when he would be normal, when he could live a normal life with Nola. Just the thought of her seemed to conjure her presence and he felt her fingers slide along his back and up to his neck where they gently massaged. “Ollie, you should have woke me.” She said softly.
“I…I couldn’t, not again.” He replied and she pulled him into her arms. He clung to her, his forehead resting against her shoulder as he cried.
“It’s okay, Ollie, I’m here for you.”
“You need rest, not to babysit me.”
“Ollie.” Her voice was still soft, yet reprimanding. “I love you, it’s okay to rely on me.”
He took a couple of deep breaths, trying to calm himself. “I’m alright, just go back to bed.” He pulled back and she gently wiped the tears off his face.
“Are you sure?”
“I just need a shower and some fresh air.”
“Want me to come with you, for fresh air I mean?”
He shook his head. “I won’t go far. Maybe Logan’s up and will go with me.” He pressed a kiss to her lips. “Please go back to bed, I’ve been waking you a lot lately.”
“Okay, but get me if you need me.”
He dropped down onto the edge of the tub once she had closed the door, his face falling into his hands, his entire body shaking. He still feared for her, feared he would be like his abusers, that he would bring her nothing but trouble. He already kept her from sleeping, had even accidentally hit her in his sleep and she still loved him. He wondered how long it would be before she tired of him, of always taking care of him.
The thought of her leaving brought him to silent tears. She was his happiness, his everything. If she ever got tired of him he didn’t think he could go on living, especially after everything that happened to him. He got up and turned on the water, all the while hoping she was getting some rest again. He mostly took the shower to let the water rush over him. it was incredibly calming and made his tense muscles loosen. He stayed under until there was no more hot water then went to check if Logan was up. “Logan?” he said at his bedroom door. No noise sounded on the other side so he gently pushed open the door, his frown deepening when he saw his friend sleeping. He sighed, shutting the door and deciding to go on his walk alone
The cool air felt good against his skin, helping to further clear his head. He sighed, feeling more defeated each day. It felt like he was getting worse. He feared hurting Nola in his sleep or turning out like the men who had taken him. It made him feel sick to his stomach. She was so understanding and helped him work through his issues without judgement. He grasped for normal each morning, wanting to do things for her, to go places with her, to let her touch him without panicking. He felt trapped in a cage that was his own body, like his very flesh held him back. Her smiles and sweet soothing words were almost too much. She put him back together, but at the same time he felt like he was just falling apart again. Even Logan seemed to be handling things better, even coming running if he heard screaming. It was like having an older brother. He still hadn’t found his family, but even so he seemed content with where he was. He wanted that, to feel at ease instead of like a mental patient. He could hear Nola now, her voice gently reprimanding him for talking down about himself.
Ollie didn’t go back inside and return to bed for hours but when he did he took Nola into his arms, holding her gently. He was so grateful to have her. He felt like he should do something to let her know how precious she was. He knew if he didn’t at least remind her all her patience with him was appreciated he really could lose her. He faded to sleep still holding her and when Nola woke in his arms she kissed him, careful not to wake him up. His face told her he had stayed up stressing and she wished he wouldn’t have insisted she go to bed. She didn’t mind being there for him. She had devoted her entire life to finding him, why would she mind staying up? She had done it plenty of nights trying to save him.
Logan was just putting coffee on when she walked out and he smiled at her then yawned. “Good morning.” He finally managed.
“Morning, sleep okay?”
He nodded. “How about you and Ollie?”
“He had another nightmare and tried to hide it from me.”
“He should know by now that you’re so in tune with him that there’s no way that’d work.” He opened the refrigerator and pulled out bacon and eggs. “Hungry?” She nodded. “Should I make some for Ollie?”
“I would, I’ll make him eat.”
“Is he okay?”
“He’s the same as always, I just wish he’d wake me. He’s getting better and keeping quiet and I don’t want him to withdraw. It doesn’t bother me, I want to help him.”
“Want me to talk to him?”
“It’s okay, I don’t want him to feel pressured. He’s been through so much, you both have, and I want him to come to me on his own, when he’s ready. Thank you though, I think having you here has really helped him get to where he is. You can relate to him because you’ve been through the same thing, so thank you for staying.
“You sell yourself too short Nola. I don’t think he could be saved without you. You are what keeps him going, you’re everything to him and he realyl should talk to you more about it. As far as me staying that was kind of you. I didn’t have anywhere to go and unlike him you didn’t know me. You’re a good woman Nola, you should give yourself more credit” They talked about every day things until breakfast was ready then Nola went back to her room to wake Ollie. She sat down, nudging him gently “sweetheart” he woke right up “morning”
“goodmorning” she said as sweetly as she always did, making his heart start pumping faster. Keeping that same soothing voice she said “come eat breakfast, please”
“for you..of course”
Ollie wasn’t hungry, his stomach was still all twisted, but he cleaned his plate anyway. The last thing he wanted to do was worry Nola. “Full?” She asked.
“Yeah. Thank you for making breakfast, Logan.” He replied as he stood and took his dishes to the sink. He still felt exhausted, but he wanted to be up with Nola.
“Why don’t you two go out today?” Logan suggested. “It’s nice out.”
Ollie’s heart stuttered as he sat back down in his seat. “Out?” He was sure he sounded nervous. Interacting with people was still hard for him, especially large crowds.
“We could go to the park or the beach.” Nola added. “Wouldn’t that be fun?”
He refrained from sighing. He was sure she wanted to do more, that there were places she loved that she wanted to take him. He felt frustration creeping back in and before he could stop himself he said, “How about a date?”
Nola looked a little surprised and Logan had stopped mid chew. “A date?” She replied.
“Yeah.” He couldn’t back out now. “A real date. I…I’ll go wherever you want.”
Nola felt a tug at her heart, she moved to hug Ollie “Ollie, it means so much to me you want to go on a real date. I’ll only go though if you promise to tell me right away if you need to come back to the house”
“I will, where do you want to go” she could hear how nervous he was but that wasn’t surprising, it was surprising to her he wanted to go out, and anywhere she wanted at that. Logan was proud of his friend. He needed to let himself heal and if he kept hiding he’d never heal, not completely. Logan had decided long ago he wasn’t going to let those bastards have power of him and he hoped Ollie would soon vow the same and give them the middle finger by being happy and living a good life with Nola. By cowering and hiding, by allowing them to still torture him in his mind Ollie was still letting them win.
“We could go out for lunch and check out the farmer’s market, there’s also the amusement park, but you might not like it because it’s crowded.” Nola said as she rattled of a few things. “There’s also the arcade, but it’s also crowded.”
“Nola, please don’t worry about the amount of people, just tell me where you want to go.” Ollie hated his issues caused her to make excuses for why they couldn’t go somewhere. “The arcade sounds fun and lunch. You could teach me how to play some of the games.”
“You should take her to the farmer’s market too, I’ve never been, but I hear they have some really neat stuff there.” Logan added.
“Okay, we’ll go there too.”
“I always like going to farmers markets in the morning. Can we go ahead and go?”
“yeah” she kissed his cheek “this really does mean so much to me..thank you for trying” He truly didn’t understand why she was thanking him. This is what he should be doing with her. They quickly got ready then went out to the car. Before she started it Nola took his hand “I mean it, I wont be unhappy with you if you get overwhelmed and need me to bring you home. Even if we just get through the farmers market together I’ll be incredibly happy”
“You’re too patient with me”
“You were held captive, abused then forced to abuse others almost your whole life so far Ollie. You…I lost you when you were only seven. Anybody would have issues for awhile”
“Logan is doing so well”
“You can’t compare progress Ollie. Everyone heals at different paces and some people are just born more able to handle that kind of trauma. I love you just the way you are and my patience will never run out. I need you to know that Ollie. I will never give up on you”
He just nodded, not knowing what else to say. Having her love and devotion made him feel like crying and he quickly swallowed down the lump in his throat, refusing to ruin their first date. Nola talked excitedly about all of the booths she had been to before and how she hoped some of them would be back this year. Ollie soaked it up, feeling more relaxed as her joy began to fill him. When they arrived he was surprised at how many cars were already parked there. “You ready?” She asked.
“Yeah, if I don’t start going out then I might never do it.”
“Don’t rush, baby steps.”
Her smiled helped ease some of the tension and he leaned over, pressing their lips together. “Thank you, Nola, let’s go.”
She had her fingers laced through his the moment she was around the car and he pulled her as close as he could as they made their way up to the long line of stalls. There was so much to take in, so many sounds and smells, people milling around, looking at each booth and lifting things to examine them. “So, what do you think?” She asked.
“It’s huge, I didn’t think there would be this much going on.”
“it’s nice though right? Besides the crowd?”
“Yeah, did you come to these a lot before you found me?”
“Yeah, you know I try to eat healthy and I feel better supporting these people then the grocery store chains. I like to think coming here I’m helping someone throw a birthday party or enabling a husband or wife to buy their significant other something they’ve been dieing to” Even though they’d be out for the day Nola had a freezer bag in her car so she was still able to buy some things for the house, knowing the freezer bag would keep the food from spoiling. Nola was impressed that Ollie made it through the entire thing without asking her to take him home. She decided to give him an opportunity for a break and asked “are you ready to go out somewhere for lunch or would you like to go home and have me make somthing for you before we do something else”
“If we go home I might chicken out and I really want to have this day with you. Will the food you bought be fine if we don’t go home?”
“Yeah, Its a pretty high quality freezer bag so I don’t have to worry about it. It’ll keep them cool”
“then lets go eat somewhere together”
The only time Ollie remembered getting tacos was when his captors would bring him and the others fast food. It was always soggy and cold, but they ate it anyway, to afraid to disobey and wind up getting beaten or worse. The place he and Nola were sitting in smelled amazing and she pointed out a few things on the menu he might like. “They make their own tortillas here.” She said. “They taste amazing.”
“You’ve never had burritos?”
“Not anything super fresh.”
“Then this will be a real treat for you, you might love them so much you start to get fat.” She teased, pinching his side.
“I don’t even think that’s a possibility, I’ve always had a real high metabolism.”
“I on the other hand would get fat if I let myself have burritos too often”
“You’re perfect, chubby or not so don’t worry about gaining weight”
“but you’ve never seen me chubby”
“I don’t have to to know I’d still think you are beautiful” he blushed but he spoke confidently to her. She had a way of giving him courage, of making him feel like he was worth something even if moments later he could feel like crap again. He was grateful for those moments she stirred confidence in him. They were still deciding by the time it was their turn but it wasn’t incredibly busy so neither they or the cashier were too worried about it. When they decided she put the order in and they moved out of the way to wait together. Nola hoped he would like these as much as she did.
Ollie ate like he was starving, causing Nola to giggle and him to blush with embarrassment. It wasn’t like he meant to eat like a pig, but sometimes he just couldn’t help himself. She reached over, patting his hand. “It’s okay.” She said with a big smile.
“It’s just sometimes, back then, they would reward or punish us with food.”
“Ollie, it’s fine, I’m just happy you like it.”
He gave her one of his gentle smiles. “I don’t think there’s anything you could give me that I would hate. Food, clothes, our home, I’ll love it all because I’m with you.”
“Ollie, you’re so sweet.” She pressed a kiss to his cheek and he turned his head, needing her lips. They were both flushed when he pulled back and he went back to eating, his heart dancing with happiness. He really couldn’t see a world without her in it and he was thankful he had been the only one taken then. Seeing that light in her eyes die would have ripped him to shreds.
As they threw away their trash Nola said “all there’s left that we planned is the arcade. I really think you’re going to have a good time. Maybe we can race”
“How would we do that in an arcade?”
“you’ll see” she said happily, holding his hand until they had to let go to load into the car. Ollie couldn’t help but look at her as she drove them over. She looked so utterly happy to be out with him. He was already worn out from being so stressed in the crowds but he wanted to do this more for her, he wanted to cause her happiness. He had enjoyed the day too and he knew if he kept making himself go out he’d eventually not even have to be stressed to have a fun day with her. They pulled up in another new area to him. Nola took Ollies hand again, hoping ti gave him strength as they began walking from teh parking lot to the sidewalk.
“How’re you feeling?”
“Good, emotionally a bit tired but today has been fun.” He could have lied and not mentioned being emotionally tired but he knew Nola would see through it. “thanks for being honest. I’m glad, this is going to be a blast, Once you get into games you wont notice everyone else” He held her hand a little tighter as they walked in. She pointed to where they could race “come on” she said cheerfully.
It took Ollie a few moments to get used to the controls, but once he did he was pulled into the game, everything but the sound of Nola’s laughter disappearing. He was so focused the he didn’t notice the young man leaning over his shoulder at first. He moved and Ollie let out a yelp, nearly falling out of his seat. “I’m sorry.” The kid said, backing up.
“Ollie, it’s okay, he didn’t mean anything by it.” Nola comforted as Ollie slid back in his seat, his heart beating like he had just run a marathon.
“It’s okay, a lot of people do that when they see how well you’re doing.”
“It just surprised me.” He looked embarrassed and a little sad.
“Do you want to go?”
“No, just give me a minute.” He turned to the boy. “You can watch if you want, just stand next to me, please.”
“alright” the boy stood next to him and Ollie began racing with her again. After they raced she decided to teach him air hockey which he also mastered quickly. He was like this as a child too. Everything they did it seemed he could master. She wondered if he realized that. Now that he was free he could become anything he wanted because he was so good at picking up things. She didn’t expect him to work, she would support him and let him stay home for the rest of their lives if he wanted but if he desired to get a job or go to college nothing but getting over his anxiety could ever stop him, not with how intelligent and adaptable he was.
Afterwards they took turns on the machines then played a few rounds of skeeball. It was after the skeeball that he asked if they could go back home “Of course baby, thank you so much for today. Would you mind us stopping at the store on the way so i can make us a really nice dinner?”
“Okay.” Ollie had only been in the store a couple of times with Nola and Logan and both times had ended with him having a panic attack and sitting in the car with Nola while Logan did the shopping. He bravely went in with her this time, telling himself he could do this, he just needed to keep close to Nola and not focus on the people or the noises. He knew if he could get through the farmer’s market and the arcade then he could help her with shopping. That was as normal as you got.
“How about enchiladas?” She asked as they moved into the frozen food section.
“You’re so easy, you know that.”
“Is that okay?”
“Of course, but remember that it’s okay to complain if you need to. If anyone deserves to it’s you.”
“I think you’ve earned that right more than me. You’re so patient and loving, there must be things you want too. I’ll give you everything, I promise.”
She stopped to kiss him and his heart did that little flip. “Don’t rush, I’m perfectly happy.”
They gazed into one anothers eyes a few seconds longer then she pulled the stouffers enchilada box from the freezer and set it in her cart. She felt like lemonade aswell so they went to the produce sections, picking up lemons and a few other fruits and vegetables while they were over there anyway. “is there anything we’re low on at the house you want Ollie?”
“Could I look at the cereals?”
“Of course, that means we need milk so lets grab that first, it’s closer” she was proud that he was not only in a store with her but clear enough of mind to pick something. They grabbed a gallon of milk then they went to the cereal isle. He grabbed a few different kinds he wanted to try and they headed to check out. She talked to him the entire time, trying to keep him focused on her and calm. Once in the car she asked “how was that?”
“I’m just glad I could give you your day..I was so scared I’d panic on you and ruin everything’
“You did really good, especially with that kid.”
“I was surprised at myself.”
She leaned over and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “We’ll keep going out until you don’t even think about the people or the noises.” When they made it home, the realized Logan wasn’t there and Nola found a note on the counter. “He said he went out to give us some alone time. He didn’t have to do that.” She put the note down. “He’s really sweet.”
“Yeah, he’s a good guy.” Ollie’s heart was beating nervously in his chest. Alone time?
“You alright?” Nola asked as she set the temperature on the oven.
“Yeah, just a little tired after today, but I’m happy I promise.”
“Pick a movie, I’ll watch any one you feel like”
“Yeah, you spent the day out with me, you should get to pick the movie. I can get this lemonade made while I wait for the oven to preheat”
“alright” it always took him an incredibly long time to pick a movie since he hadn’t been able to watch them while he was with his abductors. Every day was working for them or being raped or tortured in some other way. He didn’t know much yet about what type of movies or actors he preferred. He was glad she would be making lemonade because that took her awhile since she didn’t use mixes. He wouldn’t have to feel bad making her wait on him. She smiled as he walked out, planning to take her time so he’d have plenty of time to find something that truly interested him. She had noticed on more than one occasion he’d eventually just click something because he was worried about taking too long and she didn’t want that, especially not tonight.
First Nola combined sugar and water in a sauce pan so that could get boiling while she pulled out what she needed to juice the lemons. She was ready to slip the newly formed syrup from the sauce pan into the fridge by the time their oven preheated so she did that then slid their food in. There was nothing she could do until the syrup chilled so she went to him asking “did you pick one?”
“A series we could start if that’s okay”
“Of course that’s okay, that’ll give us plenty to watch tonight”
“I hope it’s good.” He clicked the first episode as she sat down next to him.
“I’m sure it will be.” She rested her head on his shoulder and his heart flipped in his chest. “I love you Ollie.”
“I love you too.” He wrapped his arms around her and they watched the show until she had to get up to finish making the lemonade. He paused it and sat there, patiently waiting.
“Here you go.” Nola said as she came back with two glasses of lemonade.
“You’re the best.”
“So, how was your first day out really?” She asked as he hit play.
“It was surprisingly good. I got a little nervous, but having you there made me feel better, knowing it was my choice also helped. I want to keep getting better for you Nola, I have so much I want to do with you. I…” he sighed. “Being able to have you touch me without having a panic attack would make me incredibly happy.” He felt heat crawling up his neck and he shot her a glance, seeing that her cheeks were tinted pink. “Sorry, was that too much?”
“No, it’s just you kind of keep that stuff to yourself. It makes me happy that you’re opening up more.”
“I know I need to, it’s just hard for so many reasons”
“What besides the pain from what happened?”
“Being afraid I’ll over burden you but…what you said in the car, I know you meant it so I’m going to stop letting myself think you’ll give up on me….”
“Ollie, You were my best friend as a child and when you were taken…I wasn’t able to be happy or move on without you. I spent all my free time searching for you and now I’ll give you all the time you need to heal and I’ll be right here to help you. I love you, I always have. I’ll tell you all that as many times as it takes for you to know it without any doubts” He pulled her into his arms, holding Nola tightly “thank you”
They stayed cuddled until the timer went off and Nola giggled when Ollie had trouble letting her go. “I’ll just be a minute baby, I don’t want the food to burn.” She gave him a quick kiss then went and took the enchiladas out and switched off the oven. She made their plates then took them into the living room. “Remember, it’s hot.”
“You know, you’d make a great mother.”
His heart jumped as he realized what he had just said. “Y…yeah, you’d be great. They way you’ve helped Logan and I, the way you helped those kids, you’d be amazing.”
“Well, I think you’d make a fantastic father.”
He looked at her and then away, feeling shame and doubt creeping in. “There’s no way some kid would want someone like me.”
“Ollie, no matter what you might think of yourself, I’m here to tell you that you’re a kind, loving person and that none of what’s happened if your fault. Besides, it’s not like we’re having a baby right this second, it was just a thought.”
“yeah…we’d have to be able to be intimate first”
“well you made a really good first step today. You stayed out the entire day with me, maybe soon we can start progress on being able to be more intimate”
“How would we start that?”
“It might be easier for us to start by letting you touch me without me touching you in return. I can get naked as far as you’re comfortable with and we’ll get as far as we can”
“we…um…could we start trying tonight to get farther?”
“you sure? I mean, that’s a lot of big steps in one day” he nodded “I do want to try as long as I wont hurt your feelings if I can’t”
“You wont hurt me atall Ollie”
“Okay..well…lets watch more of this while we eat and maybe we can try after” she kissed his cheek again “That sounds good to me” They cuddled until they were sure their food was cool then began eating, Ollie eating particularly slow from nerves. He was scared about so many things when it came to being intimate with Nola.
“We don’t have to.” Nola said once his plate was clean. “We have all the time in the world.”
“I…I need to do this. I won’t get better if I don’t try, right? So I’ll do it, I’m just scared.”
She took their plates and set them in the sink while he stopped the show and switched off the TV. He wasn’t sure how long they would be and didn’t see a point in keeping it paused. When she came back, she took his hand and pulled him into their room. His heart beat hard, his body shaking when she closed the door. “Hey, it’s okay, Ollie. I’m not going to do anything to you, I promise. You’re in charge.”
“I know, I’m sorry.” He took a couple of deep breaths. Nola would never hurt him or be disappointed in him, she wasn’t like that. “I’m alright.”
“Tell me what you want me to do.”
“Um, could…could I undress you?”
“Whatever you want, baby.”
He carefully undressed her, afraid of hurting her even doing this. He remembered the terror he felt, even from the first moments he was thrown into a room with a man. He’d get sick from the instant they’d start pulling off his clothes, if he even was wearing any. He had to keep reminding himself this wasn’t that, it was nowhere near the same thing. This woman loved him just as he loved her and she wanted to be with him in this way. Her skin felt so soft, even when he started to feel goosebumps from his touch “is that good?”
“yeah, I like your touch, you’re so sweet and tender” His heart pounded an extra hard beat as he finished removing her shirt. His breath caught at her beauty. How did he have such a gorgeous woman so devoted to him? “I…I…” he was nervous to ask to feel her chest”Yes Ollie?”
“Um…” she took his hand “hey, it’s me. What do you want? You don’t even have to ask, just do it if you want to”
“Can I…can I touch your…”
She smiled and pressed his hand to her breast, making his heart skip a beat. “It’s okay, I want you to, so don’t be afraid. I trust you, Ollie.”
He stepped closer, gently squeezing so she let out a little sigh of pleasure. He gently kissed her, his lips moving over her chin and down to her neck so she moaned. “Good or bad?” He asked against her skin.
He let his hands slide over her, his lips tentatively following. He gently sucked at her nipples, his teeth nibbling so she had to clench her fists to keep from grabbing him. He wanted to get at more of her, to see everything. “Could you lay down, I…I want to take your pants off.”
“Of course.” She was breathless, her heart jumping excitedly in her chest, her skin hot from his touch. She climbed onto the bed and he moved slowly over her, his hands moving to unbutton her jeans.
He easily pulled them and her underwear off, dropping them off the side of the bed and onto the floor of her room. His finger tips slid over her legs as he took her in “Nola, you’re so…you’re a goddess”
“You’re handsome too Ollie” He noticed she was wet between her legs and it made him want to taste her even more but he was nervous. Nola was patient with him though she craved more “Ollie, whatever you want, it’s okay” He kissed her belly button, working up his nerve to go lower. With each kiss that traveled down he grew more eager until he was finally low enough to lick her. She moaned deeply at his first long stroke. It caused him to blush but most of his nerves about this part were gone. He continued to lick her, enjoying the taste and the way she seemed to respond.
“Ol…Ollie.” Her cry sent a rush of heat to his groin and he was surprised at how hard he was. His hands came up to push her legs further apart and he pressed his mouth tightly against her, getting lost in each little writhe and moan. “Ollie, please.” She whimpered and he pulled back, pressing gentle kisses to her abdomen as he moved back up. He wanted her, to feel the heat of her wrapped around him.
“Nola, I love you, I love you so much, I…I want you.”
“I want you too.”
“I’m scared, but I really need you and I don’t know what to do.”
“Do you want me to undress you?” He nodded. “Tell me if you get scared.” She slowly pulled his shirt off, giving him time to protest and he let out a little gasp when they were skin to skin. His breath came out in small gasps and she ran her fingers through his hair, waiting for him to calm down. “I’m going to do your pants now, okay?”
She was just as careful with his pants, comforting him once they were off until he was ready. “I love you Nola” he whispered “I love you too baby”
“are you sure you want this too” he had to hear a yes from her again, he had to know he wasn’t being anything like those horrible, disgusting men who paid to sexually abuse him. “I do, I want you so much Ollie” That was all he needed to slide into her depths. “Oh Ollie” she deeply moaned again, arousing him even more. He had a sort of erratic pace at first, not quite sure what to do but eventually he found a rhythm. He was close to tears as he grew close to releasing inside of her. It was hard to believe something that used to be such a horror to him could be this amazing. As a child he would have never believed he could ever like sex but with Nola, he knew he would want to do this with her a lot more often. He moaned her name as he poured into her warmth “Ollie” she said sweetly as she hugged him.
He moved to her side, bringing her with him, his forehead pressed into her shoulder as he cried. He didn’t know why he was, but he couldn’t stop himself. She gently soothed him, her fingers rubbing his neck and back, running through his hair to massage his scalp. “Sorry, sorry.” He said, his voice full of his tears.
“Why baby?” She pulled back enough to see his face. “Tell me what’s on your mind.”
“Just, being able to do that with you. I thought…I thought I would never…but…”
“Shh, I love you.” She pressed little kisses to his lips. “I’m so proud of you baby, you’ve accomplished so much. See, you didn’t hurt me at all, I’m so happy, I love you so much.”
“Thank you, thank you for saving me. You have no idea how many times I wished I was dead. Thank you for not giving up on me, I love you.”
“I would have gone to the ends of the earth for you, Ollie.” He kept her pressed tightly against him, his forehead pressed against hers as he fought sleep. Today had been more exhausting than he was willing to admit and between his relief he hadn’t hurt Nola and her gentle rubbing he soon drifted off.
In the morning Nola woke first, smiling down at Ollie’s peaceful face. She brushed a feather light kiss onto his forehead then went to check if Logan was home. He was in the kitchen, making coffee as he always did in the mornings “how did it go?”
“He stayed out all day and last night..well…was really good” he understood what she was referring to and he seemed happy “good, I’m really happy for him, for you both. He’s a good guy and you are an amazing woman. Ollie and I would probably still be in hell if it weren’t for you.’
“lets make him a really nice breakfast, all of his favorites. Will you help me?”
“yeah” he took a long drink from his cup then set it down, going over to the cabinet with pans to pull out the ones he knew they’d need. The two of them got to work and soon had basically a buffet on the table there was so much food. “I don’t think the three of us can eat all this” Logan remarked with a chuckle “he deserves it, I can’t believe all the progress he made yesterday”
“He loves you, I know he’s always been trying his best” she hurried back to her room and woke Ollie “Hey baby, breakfast is ready, come on” It took him a second to wake but when he did he got right up and pulled his jeans and tshirt from the day before on. Logan chuckled at his face when he entered the kitchen “she wanted to really treat you this morning”
“he helped” she added
“You two didn’t have to do this, but thank you.”
She leaned down and kissed him, smiling at the little sigh of contentment he let out. She got them both coffee then took her place next to him. Ollie couldn’t help but feel like a burden had been lifted from his shoulders. He was still nervous and worried about how things would go from then on, but he felt better than he had and he knew that was a step in the right direction. He wanted to be strong like Logan and see his trauma as nothing more than a distant memory. He had to get stronger for Nola if he was ever going to give her the life she deserved.
“So what’s next for you two?” Logan asked.
“I don’t know, he’s done a lot lately, I think I’ll give him a break.” She smiled, brightening up the room and Ollie’s life.
“Maybe…maybe marriage then?” He said softly, testing the word. They both looked surprised again. “I mean if you want to, Nola, we can stay like this.”
Logan chuckled then let out a sigh. “You need to get used to just asking her outright.” He sighed and pointed at Nola. “Does that look like a no face to you, you dork?”
He turned his attention to Nola, his breath taken away by the love and joy he saw swimming there. “But you have to ask me properly.” She teased.
“Th…then I’ll need a ring, right?” He started to stand and she grabbed his arm, pulling him down then kissing him.
“Silly, of course I’ll marry you.”
“Yes, so eat your breakfast.”
Ollie relaxed, feeling embarrassed, but happy. Logan gave him a wink that said they would go ring shopping later. He let himself sink into the warmth of his little family, falling into happy conversation knowing his tomorrows were going to be filled with good memories like this.