A/N: Yes, I'm continuing this story :) For those of you still invested, I appreciate your patience as I know my updates are far and few between XO
Chapter 93: His Entire World
"He set fire to the world around him, but never let the flame touch her." -Anonymous
Olivia stared out the window oblivious to the fact her hands were slightly shaking. A mixture of emotions ran through her veins as she tried to wrap her head around what just occurred. Part of her wanted to blame Maya for setting this meeting up in the first place. A meeting she never asked for. A meeting she will likely never forget.
She closed her eyes and rested against the black leather behind her. One minute she was getting comfortable looking through the camera and the next she was being hit on. Visions of Evan filled her mind, followed by tears she desperately didn't want to shed. What was she thinking meeting Evan alone? And why didn't she follow her gut and leave sooner? She chastised herself replaying these questions in her mind and the longer she thought about the situation she was put in, the angrier she felt inside.
Without thinking she reached for her cellphone inside her bag and pressed a button. Seconds later Maya answered the phone and Olivia unleashed all her emotions giving her mother no choice but to remain silent.
"YOUR PRECIOUS DIRECTOR HAD THE NERVE TO MAKE A PASS AT ME! HOW COULD YOU PUT ME IN THIS SITUAITON, MOTHER! I NEVER SHOULD'VE LET YOU TALK ME INTO MEETING HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE! I DON'T EVEN KNOW IF I WANT TO DIRECT! WHY CAN'T YOU JUST LET ME LIVE AND STAY THE HELL OUT OF MY LIFE!"
By the time her rant was over, she was now in full blown tears fighting the urge to throw her phone out of the window.
"Olivia, my God what happened! I don't understand…. are you alright? Are you hurt?"
Maya's voice raised an octave and she could hear her mother on the move, no doubt rushing to find Eli. The thought of her father now being involved made her stomach turn and from the muffled voices on the other she knew her Dad would be taking over the conversation any moment.
"Honey take a breath," her father's worried voice chimed through just as she expected. "Are you hurt in any way?"
"Daddy, I'm not hurt! At least not physically. Evan is a pompous asshole and I will NEVER forgive Mother for arranging this meeting. What was she THINKING!"
"Sweetheart, you've mentioned several times how much you wanted to get into directing. Evan is highly respected in the industry. I promise you your Mother had good intentions. You KNOW she would NEVER willingly put you in harm's way."
Silence filled the line and for the second time during the drive she closed her eyes wishing she could completely erase the last hour of her life. Regret soon kicked in and once again she fought the urge to cry.
"I don't care how respected this man is, Daddy. He's a fucking nutcase."
For a minute she regretted using a curse word while talking to her father but it quickly faded as Eli continued making it apparent her word choice was the least of his concerns.
"Honey, what happened? Do we need to get the police involved?"
Olivia let out a deep sigh at the question and shook her head as if her parents could see her response.
"No, Daddy. The police aren't needed."
She purposely didn't answer the other question and it didn't go unnoticed. Once her head finally cleared, she spoke the only words that made sense to her in that very moment.
"I need to talk to Fitz about this first, Daddy. I will call you later."
Fitz held up his sister's phone and snapped several photos of Maddie and Marisa sitting on the floor with Hudson close by. His sister and Rick stopped by for a short visit and it warmed his heart to see his daughter completely smitten with her aunt. Tommy was nearby standing on the edge of the sofa holding himself steady. For the past few days, he gravitated to the same area and Fitz knew it was only a matter of time his son would begin walking.
They chatted for a while in the living room mainly focusing on the kids until Fitz heard his cell phone ringing from the kitchen. He stood and swiftly moved to answer the phone allowing it to ring twice. To his surprise his father in law's number flashed on the screen and for some reason worry set in. It was unusual he receive a call from Eli so whatever he was calling about had to be important.
Fitz could barely get the hello out when Eli began speaking, his words taking him completely and utter by surprise. He listened closely while staring into the living room. His eyes fixated on the back of Tommy's tiny head completely ignoring a curious Huds who stood near his treat jar. He could feel his blood pressure rising while anger mixed with annoyance oozed from his pores. Why was he having to hear this news from his in-laws? Why didn't' Olivia think to call him first?
Overall, the phone call was short, and Fitz wasted little time springing into action. He subtly motioned for Marisa to join him in the kitchen and tried his best to explain the situation without giving away too much information. Thankfully, his sister asked little questions, her focus on her niece and nephew. It was no secret she absolutely loved spending time with them, so she jumped at the chance to take them out for the afternoon.
The next few minutes consisted of them gathering everything they would need for their outing, including Maddie's favorite pair of sunglasses. Marisa and Rick were smitten with her fashion sense and despite wishing they weren't leaving under such circumstances he was grateful to have family so nearby. Once both kids were safely loaded, Fitz kissed them each goodbye while thanking his sister and Rick for being so gracious with the unexpected change in plans.
Fitz watched as they made its way down the long drive and returned to a pacing Hudson who must have sense his tension. Without having to be told, the chocolate lab retrieved to his spot under the fireplace while his master began pacing the hard wood floor. To his embarrassment he couldn't recall the name of the director Olivia was seeing that afternoon. When she mentioned the meeting, he honestly didn't think anything of it. But why would he, Olivia appeared thrilled about meeting with such an accomplished director.
He knew Olivia would be home any moment and for the life of him, he couldn't keep still. It was as if he was too afraid to fully process Eli's words because if he did, his mind would think the worst. Deep down he was disgusted with himself for not being there to protect Olivia. What if something happened to her? The thought alone turned his stomach into knots forcing him to sit down on the nearby stool. He rubbed his face several times and eventually sat long enough until he felt his heart rate slow and return to normal. The more he allowed his body to relax, the better he felt, and it wasn't long before he stood and headed upstairs deciding to take a shower, waiting for Olivia to return.
The hot shower felt refreshing and exactly what Fitz needed. He could tell by the noise downstairs Olivia was home, so he quickly changed and headed down to greet his wife. Hudson was clearly excited to see Olivia and was at her side in the kitchen. She was leaned against the counter with an open bottle of wine beside her.
"Where are the kids?"
He watched her take a long swig obviously waiting for Fitz to answer her question. She looked drop dead gorgeous and the thought of never allowing her to leave their house again suddenly entered his mind.
"They're with Risa and Rick. They stopped by and decided to take them out for the afternoon."
He could sense from Olivia's demeanor she needed space, so he made his way to the other side of the kitchen where they kept a stocked liquor cabinet. A glass of whiskey was eventually poured while Fitz contemplated whether he should bring up what happened with the director. They both remained silent for a while until Olivia's glass was completely empty. She turned to pour another when Fitz couldn't hold his tongue much longer.
"Are we going to talk about this, Liv? Or pretend it didn't happen?"
Olivia visibly tensed at the question but remained quiet staring at the granite beneath her.
"Why didn't you call me?"
The strain in his voice was evident and the sound alone pulled at her heart strings.
"I wanted to tell you in person. I didn't want this to be a conversation we had over the phone."
Like magic, the invisible walls that shielded her were now falling and he took advantage of the opportunity. Three steps later he was behind his wife slowing turning her body to fully face him. He lifted her chin until her eyes met his and it was at the precise moment tears began to prick her eyes. Fitz swallowed her up in a hug and lifted her until her bottom was placed on the granite. They embraced for a long time with Olivia quietly sobbing in the crook of his neck. He patiently stroked her hair until her last sniffle, allowing her to take all the time she needed.
"I'm sorry, Fitz."
"Baby, why are YOU sorry? You have NOTHING to apologize about! Nothing!"
"I never should've gone there to begin with. I don't know what I was thinking."
Fitz softly stroked her cheek with the back of his hand trying to understand why on earth she felt the need to apologize.
"Livvie, this was a meeting your MOTHER arranged. You need to go easy on yourself."
He watched as Olivia slowly sat up straighter wiping her tear stained face.
"When your Dad called, he said that piece of shit hit on you. What exactly did he do?"
Something within Olivia snapped and she suddenly had the desire to get everything out in the open.
"He was giving me a tour of the set and offered me a chance to see the director's area where the monitors are. I bent down to get a better look at the small monitor at the bottom. It was different than the others…something I've never seen before. I felt his hand on my back and it startled me to the point that I flinched. When I turned to face him, he had this look – like I insulted him. I point blank asked him what the hell he was doing and he made it VERY clear I was in his territory now; like he was happy to mentor me but it would come with a price."
"So, he basically said he wasn't mentoring you for free," Fitz interjected. "He expected you to sleep with him."
Olivia grew pale at Fitz's words and threw her arms around him again burying her face against his skin.
Fitz snuggled his nose in her hair and knew this asshole likely did this with other women. Surely, Olivia wasn't the first. The thought someone like him would abuse his power like this made him so angry. This man needed his ass kicked and he wanted nothing more than to be the person who taught him a lesson.
"What did you do after that?" He finally found the courage to continue speaking.
"I honestly don't even know," she whispered rubbing the side of her temples. "It all happened so fast. I told him to go to hell and then some people came in. I left after that and didn't look back."
"Thank God those people showed up." Fitz almost wished he knew who they were so he could offer his gratitude.
"I want to take a hot bath before the kids get back," Olivia said, slowly getting off the counter.
Fitz moved back a few steps allowing her the room needed.
"I need to check on something for work tomorrow, you relax, and I'll pick up dinner for us on my way home."
Olivia reached for his hand and linked fingers with his, kissing him softly on the lips.
"Take-out sounds perfect. Let's invite your sister and Rick to stay for dinner."
They exchanged I love you's before they eventually parted ways leaving Hudson uncertain on which human to follow.
Fitz grabbed his shoes from the mud room before grabbing his keys from the counter. He was halfway out the door when he stopped in his tracks. To his surprise, Olivia's driver was out front and approached him the moment the door opened.
"Mr. Grant, I wanted to make sure Mrs. Grant is okay. She seemed upset the entire ride home and I just didn't feel right leaving without checking on her."
Fitz shook the gentleman's hand and patted him on the back.
"I'm so glad you stayed. You are just the person I wanted to talk to. What's the address of the studio Olivia visited earlier?"
"I can drive you there, Sir."
"No, no….I appreciate the offer. I just need the address. You get home to your family, and don't worry about Mrs. Grant. She'll be just fine."
Marshall nodded his head in agreement and shook Fitz's hand once again before giving him the information needed. Fitz waited until he drove off before walking to his black Audi parked in the garage. The engine roared to life while Fitz stared down at the address. Without thinking, he plugged the information into his GPS on the dash and shifted into reverse with one thing on his mind.
It was now his turn to meet Evan.
Olivia slipped some comfortable jeans on along with her favorite top briefly, taking one last look in the mirror. She felt much better – her mind clearer and determined to face what happened to her in a professional manner. Her goal was to bring the director's behavior out in the open so other women didn't have to experience what she did. She had an agenda in her mind of what her next steps would be; but that is where they would have to stay, until tomorrow. Her children were downstairs, their little innocent voices reminding her of just how precious her family was and how grateful she had them in her life.
On her way downstairs she heard Marisa's voice first who appeared to be talking to Fitz. She tried to listen to the conversation but was quickly bombarded by Mads who began speaking a mile a minute. Her Uncle Rick apparently taught her a magic trick and she was all too eager to practice on Olivia. She followed Maddie to the living room and sat down as instructed next to Tommy who was already standing in his special spot. For a few moments she urged her son to try and take a few steps while adoring his pudgy cheeks with kisses, but that too didn't last long, as Madelyn was determined to have her mother's undivided attention.
Olivia made certain she oohed and aahed at all the appropriate times watching the card trick. Rick was behind Maddie whispering in her ear each time she forgot a step, making Olivia only smile more in adoration. She caught glimpse of Marisa going outside then coming directly back in carrying the takeout Fitz promised.
"Hey guys, dinner is here," Risa called loudly from the kitchen.
That was everyone's cue to gather into the kitchen. The smell was heavenly and exactly what Olivia was hoping Fitz would bring home. She now had Tommy in her arms and began placing him in his highchair when she asked Marisa about her conversation with her brother.
"He said he needed to take care of something out back and asked me to bring the food inside."
Marisa appeared un-phased by the call and continued grabbing plates and other essentials from different cabinets. Olivia secretly loved the fact Marisa was so comfortable in their home during times like this. She never hesitated to help and always made her feel so comfortable in her presence. Tommy quickly cut her concentration letting his mother know she wasn't moving fast enough to his standards. That's when she picked up the pace opening the fridge so she could tend to a now fussy Tommy.
"Liv, let me do this. You go and eat…I can take care of this little dumpling."
Marisa's offer was incredibly sweet, so she decided to hand over his bottle and baby food and take her up on her offer. She made sure Maddie had everything she needed before making her way over to the plates on the counter. She couldn't help but wonder where Fitz could be, so she decided to go find him before sitting down to eat. It was apparent he was still outside which is exactly here she headed – to his work shed in the back.
Hudson was first to greet Olivia and she bent down giving her sweet pup some much needed attention. She picked up a nearby ball and threw it hard on the other side of the yard which is exactly what he was hoping. Once he jetted off across the grass, she continued towards the shed looking for Fitz.
"Hey, come eat with us….. dinner is getting –"
She couldn't finish her sentence because the image of her husband's bloody hand stopped her dead in her tracks.
"Fitz! Oh my god, were you in an accident?"
Once her spousal instincts kicked in, she practically ran to Fitz trying to survey the damage. His knuckles were slightly bruised, and his middle finger had been cut to the point a stitch or two could be needed.
"Fitz! Answer me! What happened? How did THIS happen?"
Her voice was shaky and on the verge of tears at her husband's stoic face. He focused on his hand wrapping it several time not making eye contact. The more detached he acted, the faster she was able to connect the dots.
"Tell me you didn't. PLEASE tell me you didn't go confront Evan!"
Olivia stepped back a few steps afraid, now her turn to put distance between them.
"Fitz! ANSWER ME!"
The loudness of her voice nearly startled herself and it wasn't until that moment Fitz met her stare.
"Yes. I did go see Evan. I got the address from Marshall."
Olivia's eyes widened in complete horror while she placed both hands over her face hoping she would wake up and all this would be some sort of a twisted dream. Suddenly, she felt Fitz's hand and she flinched even farther backwards away from him. His hand was now bandaged – all the evidence covered up as if nothing happened. His face was now soft, and she couldn't decide if she wanted to curse at him or thank him. The wife in her couldn't believe Fitz would go to such lengths to protect her while her professional side couldn't believe Fitz would be so careless and stupid.
For the first time in her marriage she thought the worst of Fitz. Her words came out in full force and for the next full minute she unloaded, very similar to how she reacted towards Maya. The calmer Fitz appeared; the angrier Olivia became until she ultimately decided to stop. The best thing she could do for herself at this moment was leave the shed and return inside. Fitz was simply the last person she wanted to be around.
And between her words and actions, she made that abundantly clear.
Olivia returned alone and headed to the kitchen trying her best to act as if all was well. If Marisa or Rick wondered where Fitz was, they didn't vocalize it and for that Olivia was thankful. They continued eating dinner while Olivia picked at her food unable to muster an appetite. Maddie did her part keeping everyone entertained allowing Olivia to try and process the past ten minutes. Eventually, she heard Hudson bark which made her stand. Her heart sank as she watched Fitz's Audi leave down the driveway. She focused on the III sign on his license plate through the window and fought back the tears.
Fitz left without coming inside and a deep-rooted pain surfaced forcing her acting skills to make its debut. She turned and faced her family making up a complete lie about Fitz leaving. There was no doubt in her mind her sister and brother in law weren't buying her story, but she didn't care. All that mattered to her was getting them to leave. She wanted to be alone and cry her eyes out and this was the only thing she could think of.
To her surprise, Marisa suggested they take Maddie and Tommy home with them to spend the night. Madelyn grew beyond excited at the invitation and begged Olivia to give her permission. She was quick to ask Uncle Rick to show her more magic tricks and seeing her daughter so happy did her heart good.
For the next half hour Olivia packed up a suitcase filled with a mixture of her children's favorite things, along with their basic necessities. By the time she returned downstairs, the kitchen was once again tidy with an eager Maddie jumping around in sheer excitement. Rick was quick to take the suitcase and set it by the door until Olivia could get in her goodbyes. She took her time giving each of her children adoring kisses helping them get their shoes and jackets on.
"You better not walk without me, little mister," she playfully instructed her son. "I can't miss it! Please wait for mommy."
Tommy squealed in delight as if he understood his mother. Once a few more goodbyes were given, everyone headed outside. She grabbed her keys on the way out and unlocked her SUV so Rick could get the car seat. While he was installing Tommy's car seat, Olivia took the opportunity to give her son another kiss getting within Marisa's earshot.
"Thank you for everything, Marisa."
Marisa smiled and reached for Olivia's hand squeezing it lightly.
"Whatever Fitz did, just remember how much he loves you. You and the kids are his entire world."
Her words were sincere and just the kind of the comment a sister would make.
Whenever Olivia was in bed without Fitz, it always felt enormous. Tonight, was no different. It was nearly 9pm and still no word from him…not one phone call…. not one text message. Just as she wished, she cried her eyes out after the kids left. So many thoughts consumed her, she nearly felt as if she may be on the verge of a panic attack.
Along with her concern about Fitz's whereabouts, she also tried to run different scenarios regarding the fallout of Fitz's encounter with Evan. Would the police be notified? Would the press? Were there any witnesses? These unknown answers left her with a pounding headache and the desire to consume as much wine as humanly possible. The more she drank, the braver she felt to call her husband. Worry soon grew into anger and just as she was about to dial Fitz's number the phone rang in her hands startling her.
Maya's phone number flashed on the screen and without hesitation she pushed a button sending the call directly to voicemail. She placed the phone down on the bed in frustration as this was the last person she wanted to talk to. A few seconds later her phone rang and again it was Maya. This pattern continued once more until Olivia grew fed up with the fact her mother was NOT getting the hint. She pressed the button to answer and was preparing for battle when her mother's tone instantly stopped her.
"DO NOT HANG UP THIS PHONE OLIVIA! FITZ JUST LEFT AND HE IS A MESS! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW WORRIED HE IS THAT HE MESSED UP YOUR CAREER? WHAT DID YOU DO TO DRIVE HIM AWAY!"
Those words triggered Olivia and she refused to be silent any longer.
"WHAT I DID?! ME?! HOW TYPICAL OF YOU TO BLAME ME! OF COURSE, IT'S MY FAULT!"
The screaming match between the two women continued until her father of all people intervened.
"Olivia, stop. Sweetheart, no one is blaming you. But we are concerned. We've never seen Fitz this way and I can't help but agree with his actions. This happened to your mother once and I reacted just as Fitz did. NO ONE was going to harass her…not as long as I'm alive. And you know what happened?"
Olivia remained silent, somewhat shocked at the revelation.
"Word spread Maya Pope was NOT to be messed with. EVER."
"What if the police are called?"
"WHAT IF THEY ARE OLIVIA? The man gave you an ultimatum! If you want to be mentored, you must sleep with me. You could very well make this public yourself and RUIN his career. No telling how many other women he's done this to!"
Tears welled up in Olivia's eyes, her head now slightly spinning from hurting so much. It was rare when her father raised his voice towards her, so rare she could only think of two other times in her entire life that happened.
"Alright, Daddy. Alright! I need to go. I'm not feeling well."
A long pause ensued before Eli shared one last piece of wisdom.
"Honey, if your career ended tomorrow, do you think it's something you could truly get passed."
"Yes, Dad. I could get passed it."
Her response was filled with annoyance and she knew deep down if this was Maya asking, she would have already hung up the phone.
"What if you and Fitz divorce. Is that something you could get passed?"
The mere thought of this possibility made her nauseous.
"I understand what you're saying, Daddy. I need to go. I love you."
Olivia hung up the phone and headed straight for her medicine cabinet for some much-needed aspirin. Just as she was about to climb back into bed, Hudson barked downstairs letting her know Fitz was home. She sat on the edge and waited for him to enter replaying her father's words in her head. Eli was right…nothing was more important than her marriage. Nothing.
When Fitz finally entered, the look on his face completely matched how she was feeling on the inside. His hand had been rebandaged, no doubt thanks to her mother. She quickly pushed down the image of Maya tending to Fitz's hand, tending to him instead of her.
"Hi." Fitz leaned against the doorframe and waited, allowing his words to fall heavy into the air.
"Hi." Olivia's voice cracked at the word. "I was worried not knowing where you were." She spoke low but didn't break eye contact.
"I went to your parents. I figured if anyone could tell me how badly I messed up things for you, your Mom could."
"Fitz, please tell me what happened. I deserve to know."
Fitz thought about her request for a while before eventually taking a seat on the bed next to her.
"I told the person at the front desk who I was, and she directed me to the right floor. When I got inside, I asked around until I found Evan. He was in some small room alone in the far back looking at some type of film. He had no idea who I was, so I introduced myself. He got mouthy so I hit him. He fell back into some equipment and some people rushed in. I made it clear they ALL knew exactly why I was there and exactly why I kicked his ass. And before you say anything, I can't promise you I won't do this again, Olivia. If someone ever tries that again….so, help me God."
His voice grew low while Olivia studied his beautiful profile. She remained quiet until Fitz stood, indicating he wanted to shower.
"Let me get things ready for you," Olivia announced walking ahead of him, turning on the tub instead of the shower.
"You're not mad at me?" He seemed genuinely surprised by her offer.
Fitz was now in the bathroom watching Olivia gather a towel along with some other items.
"No, I'm not mad at you," she answered over her shoulder. You shouldn't get your hand wet though. A bath would be better."
Still not believing her offer, he quickly obliged and began taking off his clothes as best he could. Olivia noticed his struggle and quickly came to him, helping lift his shirt off and unzip his pants.
"Marisa texted me she had the kids tonight."
His voice was low and deep sending a tingle down her spine. God, how she loved his voice.
"I'm so grateful she was here."
Fitz kept quiet thinking about all he must have missed at dinner.
Olivia led Fitz to the tub and the moment his body hit the warm water, he instantly relaxed. He kept his eyes on Olivia watching her prep the sponge until it was a ball of suds. She sat on the edge of the tub and began gently rubbing his chest making a pattern of small circles. His stare was prominent and Olivia avoiding it as much as possible.
"I love you. I don't think you have any idea how much."
Olivia's arm stilled at his words finally making eye contact with him. His face looked so pained it made her heart ache. She couldn't articulate any words, a huge lump forming in her throat. The next moment was a blur as she bent down to kiss Fitz and suddenly felt herself being pulled into the tub clothes and all. Their kiss instantly deepened despite her being soaking wet as nothing else mattered. His bandage suddenly grazed her skin and she instinctively pulled away making certain his hand was alright.
"It's fine, baby. It'll give you a chance to play nurse later."
Her grin was infectious bringing a smile to Fitz's face. Their embrace was long which quickly led to Olivia stripping off her clothes and throwing the drenched garments on the floor. Water sloshed everywhere spilling over yet neither of them cared. She straddled his lap and slowly lowered her pussy down his shaft, the friction so exquisite her insides immediately moistened allowing her walls to expand.
Fitz was nestled in the crook of her neck showering her skin with open mouth kisses. Between her tight pussy and the way her breasts rubbed against his chest, he felt so content he never wanted to leave this position. He didn't care his hand was bandaged or that it was getting wet, he just wanted her…. needed her….and to hell with the rest of the world.
"I love you," Olivia suddenly whispered close to his ear. Fitz's grip around her tightened at the crack in her voice causing him to lean back to get a better view. Her eyes were glassy, the makeup around her eyes slightly smudged. Although she felt relieved, they were together again, she couldn't help the need to express her devotion. She kissed the corner of his mouth and leaned her forehead flush against his.
"I don't think you have any idea how much."