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Olivia spent the night in a chair next to Elaine's bed. Neither of them slept much. Olivia wondered if she would ever sleep again. Everytime Elaine woke up and saw her there she would smile, thank her for being such a good friend, for being there when she needed her. Olivia wanted to crawl into a hole. A good friend? She was the worst sort of friend. What would Elaine think if she knew the truth? If she knew her good friend had just sold her and her son out for a party dress and a few thousand dollars? Bette came early in the morning and hugged Elaine in a tight bear hug, crying with her while Olivia sat guiltily in the chair and watched.
Bette couldn't believe she'd found the nerve to come, to face her friend and offer her comfort for her lost son. How could she live with her knowledge? Knowing that it was her own brother and husband who had caused all this suffering. Olivia was a much better friend, being there for Elaine while Bette kept her own secret hidden carefully away. She could barely face the two of them, knowing that she was part of the conspiracy now. What would they think if they knew what she did? That she had burned the documents implicating her husband in a baby stealing scheme?
Elaine forced herself to concentrate on the good things around her. She would be going home soon and had to think about Paula, about making the little girl's life as normal and happy as she could. As she looked at her two best friends she thanked God for them. She wasn't sure how she would deal with all of this is they weren't there. She could see they were hurting as much as she was and it helped somehow to know they understood. She smiled through her tears, "Thank you for helping with Paula and everything. I owe you both so much..." Bette looked at her shoes; Olivia looked at the walls; neither could answer...
When Mario opened the door he looked horrible. Suffering from a hangover and his hair uncombed, it was hard to recognize this man as a successful doctor. "What do you want, Del?" He grumbled as he recognized his visitor.
"Is Bette home?"
"No. She's at the hospital visiting the grieving mother." Mario snapped.
Del smiled, "Good... I'm sure Elaine will appreciate the support. Now we need to talk."
"I don't have anything to say to you."
"Well, I have plenty to say to you. Everything went smoothly and I don't intend to stand by and watch you screw it up... Now pull yourself together, clean up, and start enjoying that money you have stashed away now. My sister deserves the best, remember? Think of it that way. You can now give her what she deserves."
"And what about Elaine?"
"Elaine has Paula..." Del shrugged.
"Hello, Doctor." Elaine forced a smile. "I hope you are here to tell me I can go home to my daughter."
"That's exactly why I'm here. I've looked over your charts and everything seems to be in order. Do you have a way home."
"I'll take her..." Olivia and Bette answered together.
"I have plenty of people looking after me." Elaine squeezed the hands of the two best friends she'd ever known.
"Good morning, Sunshine!" Del walked past her as soon as the door was open.
"What do you want? I was trying to sleep."
"Sleep later, I brought you a surprise." Dell held up the dress he'd draped across is arm. "Go on, try it on. If it doesn't fit we'll need to find you something else, but I think this one will be perfect."
Olivia frowned, not looking at the gown, "I don't want..."
"Nonsense." Del leveled cold eyes on her. "The party is only a few days away and I mean for my date to look gorgeous. Try it on."
Olivia recognized that the words were not a request, but an order. She paused a moment before reaching over to take the dress. She felt like crying again as she walked into her bedroom to change. She had not only sold out her friend, but herself, and deep inside she knew it was too late to change that.
"I want to bury my baby in the Deschanel graveyard. He had a right to be there, Bette."
"They'll never allow it..."
"I know... That's why I'm not going to ask for their permission. But I will need you and Olivia to help me..."
Bette felt ill. She knew she would agree. She had to. She sat down on the couch and listened to Elaine's plan for stealing the tiny coffin and giving her son a final resting place amongst his relatives. It was the least she could do, Bette rationalized. Maybe, just maybe it would bring Elaine some peace. As long as she didn't realize that little coffin was empty...
"What about Felicity? I'm sure she'll be doing everything she can to ensure he is thinking about her."
"Felicity isn't even in the same league as you, Olivia..."
"That's what I'm worried about..."
"Hello, Bette. How's Elaine?"
"Better, I think... She seems to be dealing with it. Better than I would anyway."
"I can't imagine what she's going through..." Olivia dropped her eyes.
"Me either. I'm not sure I want to. Actually, Elaine is what I wanted to talk to you about. She wants to bury the baby in the Deschanel graveyard..." Olivia looked up, eyes wide and mouth opened. "I told her we'd help..."
As soon as they arrived Elaine was out of the car. Bette and Olivia both hesitated before they seemed to decide in unison that leaving Elaine alone with that coffin was not the best of ideas. The jumped out and went around to the back of the car where Elaine was just lifting the tiny casket out of the trunk. "I want to see him..."
"No!!!!!!" Two voices echoed as one in the darkness, stunning both Olivia and Bette as they turned towards each other, trying to read the other's objection while hiding their own.
Tears filled Elaine's eyes. "I just want to hold him once..."
Olivia was immediately in tears herself, a combination of sympathy, guilt, and terror. Bette put her arm around Elaine's shoulder's. "I know... I understand, but..." She had no idea but what. But he ain't in there and I have no idea where he is? Not on your life, Sweetheart! She looked desperately to Olivia, hoping she would be able to express her own objections.
"But he.. uh..." Olivia fumbled. "He wasn't prepared for a viewing, Elaine... It would only make things worse for you..."
"Right. Exactly... You don't want to see him like that, Elaine. The image you have of him should be the one from the delivery room... That's what you should remember."
Elaine smiled, "I am so glad I have both of you. You're right. I wasn't thinking. Let's get this done before someone catches us."
They carried the casket into the cemetery and found the area they were looking for. Then they took turns digging the tiny grave. Once the casket had been placed and covered Elaine said a small prayer over it. Olivia wondered if God really did strike people down with lightning bolts and kept an eye on the sky, certain she was going to be struck down at any minute.
Bette turned cold eyes on him, disgusted by what she saw. "Out." She stated simply and walked upstairs to shower.
Mario watched her, remembering the ashes in the trash and the missing forms. He knew she knew and that she hated him for it. Couldn't she see he'd done it for her? Just as she had covered it up for him? It should have brought them closer.. Why then could they barely stand to look at one another?
Sitting on the couch, staring at the dress Del had bought. That was what Olivia had been doing for 3 hours straight. The longer she stared at it, the sicker she felt. Now, only one hour before Del was supposed to pick her up, she was certain that there was no way in the world she would be able to go through with this. Who was she kidding anyway? Gregory had reportedly flown in that morning. Not reportedly, he had. One of the first things he'd done was to call Bette. Not her, Bette. And Bette had confirmed that that Felicity floozy had picked him up at the airport. She'd been cooing in his ear the whole time he was talking to Bette. No amount of money or any number of new dresses was going to change the fact that Felicity had something Olivia couldn't buy. Breeding, position, and respectability. All the things that would be important to Gregory's career...
Olivia looked miserable, her own anxiety and guilt mixing and expressing themselves in a physical form as the worst quesiness she'd experienced in a long time. "I don't feel so well..." She muttered, feeling near tears, but relieved to see Elaine there. Elaine would know what to do...
"Oh, Sweety.. What's wrong?" The mother in Elaine took over as she felt Olviia's forhead. "You don't have a fever...." She then proceeded to ask a number of embarresing questions that first annoyed and then made Olivia laugh.
"Stop... I'm okay. My word you are horrible!"
Elaine smiled. "I have a sneaking suspicion you're just nervous..." She stated as she picked up the afternoon paper from the coffee table. "Bette says Gregory made it on alright. And that he will definatly be at the party..."
"Oh what do I care about Gregory Richards?" Olivia said, slipping the protective cover from the dress in an attempt to hide the true feelings swirling within her.
Elaine smiled knowingly, "Why don't you run slip that on and Paula and I will help you with your hair. I promised Paula she could see you all dressed up and I know you aren't going to disappoint us..."
Olivia looked at the woman and child, remembered how much she owed them, and lifted tha hanger. "I'll just be a moment..."
Elaine grinned at her daughter. "Let's just hope Olivia doesn't have to deal with any wicked stepmothers..." She winked.
Olivia rolled her eyes, "No... Only the evil princess who wants the prince all to herself." She said without thinking.
Elaine laughed, "So it is about Gregory..." Olivia glared at her, making her laugh even harder.
"Just don't eat any apples!" Paula said, sounding quiet serious and sending both adults into fits of giggles.
The party was interrupted by the doorbell as Del arrived. He frowned as he heard the laughter from inside. He didn't like Elaine and Olivia spending a great deal of time together... But at least they seemed to be in good spirits and not crying over Elaine's brat.
Olivia opened the door and Del smiled, remembering what it was about her that had first attracted him. For a moment he was tempted to give up his own social climbing and go after her, but it passed quickly. They were both destined for bigger things. "Good evening, Olivia. Elaine... Are you ready?"
Olivia turned to Elaine who nodded, "We were just leaving... Call me tomorrow." She kissed Olivia's cheek before taking Paula's hand and slipping past Del on her way out.
"I'm as ready as I'm going to be." Olivia sighed as she faced Del. She had to admit that Elaine had done wonders gettnig her ready in time, and making her feel better. But now, with Del standing in front of her, and the party just moments away, she felt uneasy again. At this rate she was going to end up with ulcers...
"Nor do you want to look as if you are avoiding him. Relax, Olivia... It's only natural that we would wish to congratulate our friend on his return..." He laid his hand over hers and led her through the crowd towards Gregory.
"The pleasure is mine, Mr. Richards, I'm sure...."
Felicity was fuming, desperatly planning a means of heading off the disaster she saw developing. She turned to Del and realized instantly he knew what was happening, had probably been a part of it. She remembered his assurances of a year ago that Olivia was happily engaged to AJ and would not be a problem. Had he known even then? Everyone knew he was attepting to make headway into the elite social structure of Sunset Beach. But how would he benefit from the Brit's relationship with Gregory? If she could figure that out, maybe she could stop him. Stop them both. She would not give up her chance at regaining her fortune, certainly not to some low life European trash...
A fake smile as she tried to beg out, "Oh, Del, you know I would be absolutly delighted to dance with you, but I.."
The rest was cut off as he placed an insistent hand on her elbow, "Excellent. We'll be right back. You will keep an eye on my date for me, won't you, Gregory?" He didn't wait for the answer, but led Felicity to the dance floor.
"What the Hell are you up to, Douglas?" She snarled.
She smiled up at him as she sat, taking the glass from his hand and waiting for him to be seated before speaking. "I take it your trip was a success?"
"It was... But I am happy now to be home and have it behind me. How are things here? Elaine?" He asked, honestly concerned.
Olivia felt a tug of guilt, "She's okay... You heard about the baby?"
He nodded. "I'll have to stop in and see her. I feel terrible." Olivia started to say something, but seemed to be struggling. He reached across and took her hand. "It must be hard on all of you. I know how close you are..." Even as he said it his mind was drifting from Elaine. He glanced down at her hand in his and gently moved his thumb across it. Olivia's eyes met his and he smiled, knowing that she had felt the same thing he had at the touch.
"Don't feed me that bull. Why aren't you here with Madeline?"
"Because I'm here with Olivia..."
"Exactly! And we both know there is nothing going on there."
"She is a close friend of mine and my sister's. There was a party and she had no escort."
"So you dropped the woman you have been puruing for months to do a friend a favor? Balony! Half the men in Sunset Beach would have fallen over themselves to bring her if she needed a date."
Del laughed, "And would your date have been one of them?"
"Go to Hell, Del."
"I probably will... I probably will..."
"I don't think Felicity would like that..."
"Do you care?"
"Not at all." Her grin matched his as she stood to her feet and let him lead her to the dance floor, carefully avoiding the frustrated Felicity and increasingly amused Del.
"Are you enjoying yourself?"
"Mr. Douglas, someday, someone is going to put a bullet in you and I sincerely hope they get away with it." She turned on her heels and walked off, leaving him laughing behind her.
Gregory was just as much affected by the closeness as she was. The scent of her perfume and the feel of her body against was almost more than he could handle. He had to fight the urge to kiss her, knowing if he did he would not want to stop there. All the time he was away he had thought of her, imagined her in his arms like this. He had almost convinced himself that he had built her up in his mind, made her more beautiful than she was, more desirable. As he held her know he realized the opposite was true. As much as he had wanted her while he was gone the desire had faded somewhat. Now, in this close proximity, with her lips a slight turn of the head from his, he knew he would give up everything else for the chance to be with her. All his other dreams, everything he'd worked for his whole life, paled in comparison.
The song ended and Olivia felt herself tremble as he stepped back and looked into her eyes. Before either could speak Felicity was there, demanding his attention, insisting he come and meet some important person who had just arrived. Del stepped up and took her hand, leading her into the next dance, saving her from her own inability to move...
"I'm sorry we never got a chance to dance again." He said lightly. Back in control, his voice sounded friendly but not overly so.
"Perhaps another time..."
"Actually the firm has a dinner scheduled for next week. Perhaps, if you are available..."
Olivia glanced to ensure Felicity was still occupied. Gregory's hand caught her chin and turned her back to face him. "She isn't a concern..."
"Have you told her that?" She asked softly.
"I'll remind her..." He smiled.
Del arrived then, apologizing. "We should be going..."
"Of course. It was good to see you again, Del." He shook the other man's hand. "I'll call you concerning arrangements." He told Olivia before Del lead her away. In another minute Felicity was by his side, her arm around him, kissing his cheek and purring softly that they should go home. He glanced at her and then at the door Olivia had just disappeared through, "You're right. Get your coat and I'll be glad to drive you back to your house." He walked off before she could protest too loudly.
Olivia was silent on the ride home and Del let her think quietly for awhile, "You okay?" he asked finally. After all, he did care about her and, although everything had seemed to go well, he hadn't been privy to the conversation she'd had with Richards.
"Hmm, what? Oh yes, fine..." Olivia smiled, pulling herself back from her thoughts. "Are you going to be able to make things up with Madeline?"
"Don't worry about it," Del assured her, ever confident. "I'm guessing Gregory's remark when we left means you two have plans?"
"He invited me to a company dinner." She grinned.
"We'll have to celebrate." He laughed.
Gregory caught his breath and her hand in the same instant, "I'm tired, Felicity."
"Then let me help relax you." She kissed his neck, letting her tongue play teasingly against his skin before moving to his ear. "It's been a long time..."
Gregory couldn't deny the physical impact of her actions. He was a man and she was a very attractive woman. As he pulled up to a stoplight she moved and captured his mouth with hers in a passionate kiss. He responded for a moment, moving his hands over her body. Her hands were more daring and he pulled away as she touched him, "That's enough," he said firmly, driving again, glad no cars were behind him.
"Darling, I know you want it as badly as I do. You can't deny this..." Her hand moving again.
He grabbed her wrist, "Stop! Not tonight, Felicity."
She pulled back to her side of the car, sulking as he drove her the rest of the way home in silence.
"Where were you? I could have used some help with a certain tramp I happen to know you have the hots for."
Prescott laughed, "Such language.. Very unladylike, Felicity. Grandmother would be most unhappy with you. I was there, I split early. Don't tell me you weren't able to wiggle yourself between Gregory and Olivia Blake..."
"So you saw them? Why didn't you do anything? I can't believe how shamelessly she was throwing herself at him, rubbing herself against him like a cat in heat." Timothy felt it better not to point out that the only "cat" he had seen after Gregory Richards had been Felicity. She didn't seem to be in the mood to handle it well...
"I was hardly even with Olviia all night. She was giving Felicity Prescott a run for her money with Gregory Richards." He smiled, knowing Madeline would find the gossip irrisistable.
She squinted at him, trying to decide whether to believe him and if the story was worth letting him off the hook for, "You insisted on taking her to the party and she ignored you for the lawyer?"
"Exactly. Very humiliating..." He teased. "I told you I owed her a favor. Olivia isn't a threat to you, darling... No woman ever could be." He stepped closer to her again, sliding his arm around her waist.
"She used you to get near Gregory?" she asked doubtfully, beginning to play with his shirt.
"Exactly... And now I have repaid my favor and I am free to focus on what is important to me, on what I want...." He lowered his lips to her neck, tracing a line to the opening of her shirt as his hands moved over her hips.
"You're lucky I'm such a forgiving woman..." she replied, sliding his jacket from his shoulders.