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The Nineties

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The room was small, not exactly what she had pictured but what really did she expect from a dorm room. Her roommate hadn’t arrived yet so she watched as the movers her parents had hired carried boxes in. 

“Rutherford?” 

“Yes.” She replied, looking at the young man with thick dark brown hair standing in her doorway. He was wearing a dark green button up shirt untucked, with the sleeves rolled up and jeans. 

“Jocelyn, right? I’m Rafael Barba, the RA on this floor. I’m making rounds, seeing if anyone has questions, introducing myself to parents, that kind of thing.” 

“Jolie.”

“I’m sorry?” He appeared somewhat confused by the petit blonds response. 

“Sorry my name, I prefer Jolie.” She smiled, blushing slightly, tugging at the shoulder of her oversized flannel shirt that had fallen off exposing most of the black midriff top she was wearing underneath. 

“Jolie then, your parents around?” 

“No.” She said, dismissively. 

“Oh, I can come back later.”

“They are in London... or was it Frankfurt...” She trailed off slightly as she tried to remember where they had gone this time. 

“Oh... well... do you have any questions?”

“Actually yes. I’m supposed to meet with an adviser tomorrow but I can’t find the building on my map.” She said, picking up the map she had been studying from her unmade bed.

“You know you really should have your schedule set by now.” He smirked as she approached. 

“I do. I just focus better when I have things mapped out. We’re meeting to go over my graduation plan.” She replied. 

“What are you majoring in?” 

“Statistics.”

“Exciting.” He said, sarcastically. 

“Can you help me find the building or not?” She questioned, rolling her eyes at his comment. Rafael smiled and located the building on the map for her. “Thanks.” She highlighted it so she would be able to find it again easily. 

“I’ll be back around when your roommate get’s here, but if you need anything I’m just across the hall.” He pointed to a door about twenty feet from hers. 

“Good to know.” She smiled as he turned to leave, heading to the next dorm room. 

 

Jolie made her bed and started unpacking the boxes, trying to make her side of the room feel as homey as possible. She had made a pretty big dent when the quiet she was enjoying was interrupted by the chatter from a small family. 

“Oh Sarah, it’s perfect.” The woman who had to be Sarah’s mom said as they entered the room. The man Jolie assumed was Sarah’s dad snapped a picture and an adolescent boy rolled his eyes. 

“It’s a dorm room mom.” Sarah said, slightly embarrassed having noticed Jolie. 

“Hi. I’m Jolie.” She said introducing herself to the tall brunette. 

“Sarah.” Her new roommate replied. “I see you were smart and got here early so your parents couldn’t embarrass you.” 

“Something like that.” Jolie smiled. 

“Can I get a picture?” Sarah’s dad asked. 

“Sure.” Jolie replied moving closer to Sarah. 

“I’m sorry, he documents everything.” Sarah rolled her eyes. 

“He must spend a small fortune on film.” Jolie quipped, secretly thinking about how nice it must be to have parents that were actually there for the big moments in your life. 

“Hi, Birch?” Rafael said poking his head back in Jolie’s dorm room. 

“That’s us.” Sarah’s dad said turning to face him. 

“I’m Rafael Barba, the RA on this floor.” He started his rehearsed speech but Sarah’s brother interrupted. 

“RA?” 

“Resident Advisor.” Rafael clarified. 

The boy still looked confused but let it go. Jolie took note of the actually pretty decent questions Sarah’s parents asked before Rafael left again. 

“That’s convenient that he’s right across the hall.” Sarah’s mom said as she started to unpack the boxes Sarah’s dad and clearly annoyed younger brother were bringing in.

 

“I’m sorry, they can be a bit much.” Sarah sighed after her family finally left. 

“Don’t be, it’s nice.” Jolie smiled. 

“You’re just being polite, but I appreciate it.” Sarah smirked. 

“Where are you from?” 

“Raleigh, North Carolina. You?” Sarah returned the question. 

“Manhattan.”

“Are you nervous?” Sarah climbed on her bed, sitting so that she was facing Jolie’s side of the room. 

“Not really. I mean it’s school, you go to class, study, ask questions if you need help... same as any other school.” Jolie said dismissively. 

“Wow. I wish I could be as calm about this as you. I constantly second guess whether or not I should even be here.” Sarah sighed. 

“Why?”

“I guess it’s the scholarship thing.” Sarah replied, shrugging slightly. 

“At least that’s merit based. My father had to help fund a building to get my brother in and that only worked because three generations of my family have attended.” Jolie chuckled. 

“Really?”

“If they’re giving you money to be here you deserve to be here.” 

“Did the building thing help you?” Sarah asked mostly out of curiosity. 

“Probably didn’t hurt but I have my fathers work ethic, my brother’s lazy.” Jolie smiled. 

“So this dinner thing tonight, do you think our RA will be there?” Sarah lifted an eyebrow. 

“Not sure, but my god he’s hot, right?” Jolie grinned, causing them both to giggle.

 

Classes were going well, Jolie and Sarah had bonded pretty quickly and aside from the fact that she hadn’t heard from her parents since making arrangements to move, Jolie was pretty happy. She couldn’t believe her luck to have been roomed with someone who could actually stick to a study schedule. Everyday from four to six they both turned off all distractions and completed school work. They were both working on their respective beds when there was a knock on the door. Jolie gave Sarah a curious look before standing to answer. 

“Hey, how’s everything going?” Rafael asked as she opened the door. 

“Pretty good, how are you Sarah?” She smirked opening the door wider for him to see that Sarah was there as well. 

“I’m good.”

“Good, good...” Rafael paused briefly as though he were trying to think of something else to say. “Are your parents coming for parents day in a few weeks?”

“Doubtful.”

“What about yours Sarah?” He asked leaning into their room slightly. 

“They wouldn’t miss it. It’s going to be so embarrassing.” Sarah said rolling her eyes.

Jolie chuckled at her response before looking back up at Rafael, slightly surprised to see him staring at her. 

“Ok, just getting a head count.” He didn’t look away from Jolie causing her to smile  awkwardly, the corners of his lips turning up as she pushed him out the door blushing, going on about needing to finish her homework.

 

“He checks on us a lot.” Jolie said as she sat back down on her bed. 

“He checks on you.” Sarah smirked. 

“No he doesn’t.” 

“Sure.” Sarah chuckled to herself. 

“He has a girlfriend or something back in New York.” Jolie stated as if that should be enough proof to end Sarah’s accusation. 

“Yeah. Some girl from high school. No one ends up with the girl they dated in high school.” 

“Uh... Your dad did.” Jolie reminded her. 

“Well my parents aren’t normal.” Sarah smiled. 

“He told your parents he’s been an RA for two years now.” Jolie said, mostly thinking out loud. 

“So?” 

“I’m just saying, if they’ve made it two years long distance he’s probably not ending things anytime soon.”

“Or... your timings perfect.” Sarah smirked. 

“Whatever.” Jolie turned her attention back to her homework while trying to ignore the small smile that crept onto her face.

Chapter Text

“Hey Megan, your in my Calculus class right?” Jolie asked as she and Sarah stood outside Megan’s room. 

“Yeah, why?” 

“I was sick last Wednesday and I was hoping I could copy your notes.” 

“Oh yeah, no problem. I need them back tonight though.” Megan said as she rummaged through her bag for her spiral. 

Jolie was about to thank her when they heard Rafael yelling down the hall. “Go back to New York, Yelina.” 

“Rafi, wait.” She called, continuing to follow him stopping only when he slammed the door in her face. Megan, Sarah, and Jolie watched the interaction from Megan’s door. 

“What?” Yelina snapped noticing them, muttering something in Spanish under her breath before knocking on Rafael’s door. “Rafi can we just talk.”

Rafael opened the door to yell at her but stopped when he noticed Jolie and pulled Yelina in his room instead. 

“Did either of you take Spanish in high school?” Megan asked. 

“She called us nosy bitches.” Sarah said, causing the three of them to giggle.

 

They could still hear muffled voices yelling at each other but couldn’t make out what was being said so Sarah and Jolie decided to head back to their room to study. 

“I told you.” Sarah smirked. 

“Told me what?” Jolie asked. 

“No one ends up with the girl from high school.”

“They could just be having an argument.” Jolie said. Sarah lifted her eyebrows. “A really bad argument.” Jolie added, not being able to suppress the smile on her face. 

“So when are you going to make your move?” 

“And be a rebound. I don’t think so.” Jolie shook her head. 

“Oh come on, he likes you.”

“You don’t know that and if he does, he can make the first move, when he’s over her.”

 

It was Saturday afternoon, Sarah was at the library doing some research when Rafael knocked on their door. 

“Hey Rafael.” Jolie smiled, opening the door. 

“Hey, I just wanted to apologize for the argument you witnessed last week.” He sighed while leaning on the door frame. 

“No worries, you guys work it out?”  

Rafael chuckled softly, “There’s no working that out.” 

“Oh, I’m sorry.” She said softly. 

“Don’t be,” he sighed, “I was going to break up with her anyway, the distance was too much and she made no effort to visit. At least now I know why.” 

“What a bitch.” Jolie blurted causing Rafael looked at her curiously. “I just mean you kind of implied that she cheated and if that’s what happened then... well... what a bitch.” Jolie reiterated, a little softer this time. He didn’t say anything, simply smiled at her. “You want to talk?” 

“About the breakup? No.” He said answering his own question. 

“Oh, ok.” Jolie nodded, feeling stupid for asking. 

“Do you want to go for a walk?”  

“Sure, let me grab my jacket.” She smiled.

 

“There’s a question I’ve wanted to ask you since move in day, but I don’t want to over step.”

“Go for it. I assume it’s about my parents, or lack there of. You can ask whatever you want about them.” She said dismissively. 

“Why didn’t they drop you off? I mean you’re eighteen, it’s your first day of school, first time living away from home by yourself... Why weren’t they there?”   

“My father had work and my mom wanted to go shopping where ever it was he had to travel to.” Jolie sighed. 

“He couldn’t reschedule one week or your mom stay behind?” Rafael asked still completely puzzled. 

“Ah... a question I have asked myself repeatedly over the years.” She smiled before continuing, “I get my dad. His work is demanding, my mom just kind of goes where he goes. It’s what they did before we were born and since we had nannies they just continued to live the same life after. I’ve really never known anything different.” 

“It sounds lonely.” He sighed. 

“I prefer autonomous.” She smirked. 

“You know in Kantian moral philosophy autonomous is defined as...” He started but she finished it for him, “acting in accordance with one’s moral duty rather than one’s desires.” 

“Yeah.” He smiled looking slightly impressed. 

“I have all this freedom, but mostly I just want to accomplish the goals I have set for myself.” She sighed.

 

“Where have you been?” Sarah asked as Jolie walked back in their room. 

“Out for a walk, why?”  

“I am so confused on this math homework and I have a quiz tomorrow and I really need help.” Sarah said starting to panic. 

“Ok, first breath...” Jolie teased, “and then show me what you’re struggling with.” 

After Jolie explained limits for twenty minutes Sarah finally felt comfortable with them. 

“I don’t know how you enjoy math. I can’t wait until all my math credits are completed.” Sarah sighed. 

“I just like how reliable it is you know. You follow the steps, you get your answer. Yes, there is interpretation in some applications but the process of solving the problem is fairly stable.”

“You’re very strange.” 

“Yeah, I know.” Jolie smiled. 

“Were you walking alone?”

“What?” Jolie asked, somewhat confused as to what Sarah was referring too. 

“Earlier. You said you went for a walk. Were you alone?” Sarah smiled when she asked this time. 

“No.” Jolie replied, ignoring the look on Sarah’s face. 

“Really? Who were you with?” 

“Rafael.” Jolie shrugged. 

“Uh huh.” Sarah smirked. 

“We’re friends.”

“Sure.” Sarah nodded.

Chapter Text

“Hey.” Sarah said, as she dropped her bag on her desk. 

“Hey.” 

Jolie and Rafael were sitting on Jolie’s bed watching an episode of Mad About You on the small television she kept on a rolling cart in the corner of the room. 

“Oooh, I totally forgot it was Thursday. Move over.” Sarah climbed on the bed next to Jolie forcing her to squish closer to Rafael. 

“Sorry.” Jolie blushed when she sat on his hand. 

“No worries.” He smirked as he moved it from underneath her.

 

Rafael went back to his room after Frazier ended so that Sarah and Jolie could get ready for bed. 

“Ok, seriously, what is up with you two?” Sarah asked, as she finished brushing her teeth. 

“We’re friends.” Jolie stated for what felt like the hundredth time. 

“He’s always here.” 

“Is that a problem? I mean it’s your space too, he has a single so if you want we can hangout there sometimes.” Jolie offered, feeling bad for not having thought about Sarah. 

“No, I don’t care that he’s here, he’s nice. I just mean you two spend a lot of time together for friends.” She teasingly said the word friends. 

“Well we are.”

“Alright.” Sarah held her hands up signaling that she’d let it go for the night.

 

“Hey, what are you going to dress up as for Halloween?” Jolie asked Sarah as they were studying when she realized Halloween was fast approaching. 

“I haven’t decided yet. Maybe pick a character from a movie or something. It’s got to be simple I’m low on cash.”  

“We could do that scene from Dazed and Confused where they wear the senior shirts, you now the one I’m talking about?” They had just watched the movie the weekend before, so Jolie knew it would be fresh on her mind. 

“Yeah, you can be Simone and I’ll be Darla.” Sarah laughed. 

“Cause of our hair?” 

“Pretty much.”  

“Alright, it’s settled then. I’ll get the shirts made and all we have to do is get jean shorts and some knee socks.” Jolie chuckled.

 

“You do know it’s supposed to be in the forties tonight?” Rafael asked when Jolie emerged from her dorm room. 

“Yes, but it’s Halloween and you dress up on Halloween.” She smiled. 

“There are costumes that consist of warmer clothing than a cutoff shirt and shorts.” He half scolded while raising an eyebrow. 

“I’m Simone from Dazed and Confused, Sarah is Darla. These are the most notable outfits they wore. Besides, I don’t actually plan on going outside. The party is in the dorm.” She stated in defense of her outfit. 

“I suppose you have a point.” He conceded while shaking his head slightly. 

“What are you going as?” 

“I’m not dressing up.” He shrugged. 

“Why not?” She pouted. 

“Because it’s silly.” He replied, smiling when she pretended to be offended. 

“Come on.” She started dragging him toward his room. 

“Where are we going?” 

“To see what you have in your closet that I can turn into a costume for you.” 

He rolled his eyes but didn’t really put up much of a fight.

 

“Perfect.” She smiled pulling out a pair of black slacks, matching jacket, and a white dress shirt that he basically had for funerals and weddings at that point. 

“You want me to dress up like I’m going to a funeral?” He furrowed his brow at her. 

“What? I bet you look good in a suit.” She said, not noticing the corners of his lips pull up. 

“Oh! This is great!” She said finding a skinny black tie that he had from a brief job as a waiter. 

“Oh great. Now I’m going to look like a waiter.” He smirked. 

“No. It’s Reservoir Dogs.”

“I guess.” He sighed looking at the clothes she had laid out. 

“Ok, you get dressed and then come to my room when you’re done.” She grinned, quickly leaving before he could argue, although she did hear him mutter something in Spanish as the door closed.

 

“Where’s Rafael?” Sarah asked when she reentered the room. 

“Changing. Can you believe he thought he was going to get away with not dressing up?” Jolie scoffed. 

“And he’s changing just because you told him to?”

“You’re still on that? If he was interested he would have done something by now.” Jolie said, dismissing Sarah’s comment. 

“Fine, I’ll let it go.” Sarah smirked. 

A few minutes later there was a knock at the door. Jolie opened it to find Rafael standing there. 

“I knew you’d look good in a suit.” She smiled, opening the door wider for him to come in. 

“It needs something.” Sarah stated as she looked him up and down. 

“What?” Jolie asked as Sarah went to her closet. 

She pulled out a pair of black sunglasses she got as a promotional thing at some event on campus. For a pair of cheap sunglasses they really looked similar to the ones used in the movie. 

“Great, now I’m not going to be able to see all night.” He muttered while rolling his eyes. 

“You keep them in your pocket and when someone ask who you’re supposed to be, you pull them out. You don’t actually have to wear them all night.” Jolie smiled at his eye roll. “But you do for the picture.” 

She grabbed her camera off her desk and placed it on a shelf across the room from them, setting the timer. She made the three of them take a few pictures just to be safe. Then she handed the camera to Sarah to take one of her and Rafael and then to him to take one of her and Sarah. 

 

They had been at the party the common area for a while when Rafael who was standing only a few feet away, noticed a guy approach Jolie. 

“Hey Jolie!” The guy was speaking loudly, due to his inebriated state. 

“Hi Carter.” She said rolling her eyes. 

“You know we could have a little Dalton school reunion later.” Carter smiled, wrapping his arm around her waist. 

Rafael watched but didn’t react until he saw her forcibly push him off her. 

“Who the fuck are you?” Carter snapped as Rafael moved closer to her. 

“Go sleep it off, Carter.” Jolie said calmly. 

“You want to help me?” Carter grabbed for her again. 

This time Rafael put himself between them. “I’m pretty sure she doesn’t.” He wasn’t towering over Cater but at least remained eye level. 

“Oh yeah, and what are you going to do?” Carter laughed, looking back at his friend. 

“My neighborhood was a little rougher than yours, believe me you and your little buddy there don’t scare me.” Rafael said flatly, continuing to stare Carter down. 

“Whatever. If Jolie wants to slum, let her slum. I get it. I had a fling with our housekeepers daughter one summer. Best sex I’ve ever had.” Carter smirked as he backed up. 

Jolie had never seen Rafael look so angry. Carter’s friend must have noticed too because he grabbed Carter by the arm and started dragging him off. 

“You’re wasting your time anyway, man. She doesn’t spread her legs.” Carter laughed as he was drug away.

“Rafael, I’m sorry.” Jolie said, placing her hand on his arm. 

“It’s not your fault.” He said, calming slightly. 

“Yeah but it’s my past.” She sighed. 

“You dated that douche?” He asked not hiding the surprise in his voice. 

“God no! I’ve gone to school with him since kindergarten. I mean in full disclosure we were together,” she used air quotes around the word together, “for like a month in sixth grade until he tried to stick his tongue down my throat and feel me up.” 

“Even at eleven he was a douche.” Rafael huffed, his eyes softening as he looked at her. 

“You want to go watch a movie. We can roll my tv into your room.”

“Yeah, I’m kind of done with people.” He smiled following her to the elevator.

 

Chapter Text

Jolie woke up a little disoriented. It took her a few minutes to recognize the room she was in. Her television had static on the screen from where the movie had ended but no one had turned it off and Rafael’s arm was around her as they laid in a spooning position. She was tempted to lay in his arms for a bit longer but he started to stir. 

“Morning.” He yawned, dragging his hand across her bare stomach as he moved it to stretch. 

“Morning.” She smiled, sitting up on the edge of his bed. 

“You sleep ok?” He asked rubbing his eyes. 

“Yeah. I... I should get back to my room... you know... in case Sarah’s looking for me.” Jolie stammered. 

“Ok.” Rafael smirked.

 

“You little tramp!” Sarah teased as Jolie tried to sneak back into their room. 

“Nothing happened.” Jolie sighed. 

“You slept in his room.” Sarah eyebrows were higher than Jolie had ever seen them. 

“We fell asleep while watching a movie.” Jolie explained. 

“Sure.” Sarah said as Jolie rolled her eyes and went to answer the knock on the door. 

“Oh my god! Blake!” Jolie squealed when she saw her oldest friend standing at her doorway. 

“My classes for Monday were cancelled and I thought, hey Harvards only an hour and a half drive from Brown, so I decided to visit.” Blake smiled. 

Jolie grabbed Blake’s arm and dragged her into the room, introducing her to Sarah. 

“Why are you dressed like one of the girls from Dazed and Confused?” Blake asked, glancing at Jolie’s outfit. 

“Because she just got through with a walk of shame.” Sarah smirked. 

“Noooo.” Blake said, drawing out the word, looking at Jolie curiously. 

Jolie rolled her eyes. “It wasn’t a walk of shame. We fell asleep.” 

“If that’s the story you’re sticking with.” Sarah smirked. 

“Oh, Jolie doesn’t have sex, so odds are she’s telling the truth.” Blake said bluntly. 

“Really?” Sarah questioned. 

“I don’t, not have sex, I just haven’t. I’m allowed to be particular.” Jolie shrugged. 

“Would you with Rafael?” Sarah snickered. 

“Whose Rafael?” Blake asked. 

“Our extremely hot RA that she feel asleep watching a movie with last night.” Sarah said putting air quotes around fell asleep. 

“I don’t know. He’s never even kissed me.” Jolie sighed. 

“I’m going to need to meet this Rafael. Do you think he’d join us for lunch?” Blake grinned. 

“Oh, if Jolie asks he’ll be there.” Sarah smirked.

 

Blake had picked a fairly pricy place for lunch and Jolie noticed both Sarah and Rafael make a face when they looked at the menu. Jolie loved her, but Blake had a tendency to forget that there were people in the world who actually had to think about money. 

“Hey lunch is my treat.” Jolie smiled. 

“You don’t have to do that.” Rafael sighed. 

“As a thank you for last night.” Jolie patted his arm. 

“Last night?” Blake said raising an eyebrow. 

“We ran into Carter.” Jolie grumbled. 

“That prick got in to Harvard?” Blake asked looking rather shocked. 

“I guess, or he’s visiting Casey. They were both there.” Jolie replied. 

“In that case, find the most expensive thing on the menu, she definitely owes you.” Blake smirked. 

Rafael chuckled but still didn’t look happy about her paying. 

“Seriously though, I’m pretty sure daddy can handle it.” Jolie said leaning in close so that only he could hear her. 

“Daddy?” He said, lifting an eyebrow. 

“Shut up.” She smirked.

 

“So, you two went to Dalton together?” Rafael asked. 

“K through eleventh.” Blake said. 

“Why only through eleventh?” Sarah asked. 

“Because someone got themselves kicked out our senior year.” Jolie huffed. 

“Hey we couldn’t all be good little girls like you.” Blake teased. 

“Whatever.” Jolie rolled her eyes. 

“What’d you do to get kicked out?” Rafael asked. 

“A multitude of things over the years, but fellating Casey Maxwell, Cater’s friend you met last night, in the boys locker room is what got me sent to an all girls boarding school.” Blake chuckled. 

“Were you as much of a trouble maker as Blake?” Rafael asked Jolie, a hint of a smirk on his face. 

“Jolie?” Blake smirked. “No matter how hard I tried, she never gave into my bad influence.” 

“So no sexual favors on school property then?” Rafael chuckled. 

“Ha! If you were to tell me Jolie had never even seen a penis I’d believe you.” Blake laughed at least until Jolie kicked her under the table. 

Rafael covered his mouth with his napkin to hide his chuckle.

 

Rafael begged off to finish some school work when they got back to the dorm. 

“You were right about him being hot. You know if you’re not going to...” Blake started to tease as she plopped down on Jolie’s bed. 

“I will hurt you.” Jolie hissed. 

“I’m kidding. You know I’d never, but I do approve.” 

“Too bad there’s nothing to approve of.” Jolie sighed. 

“You’re both idiots.” 

“I know. They both like each other but neither will tell the other.” Sarah interjected from her side of the room. 

“Well he better, because there’s no way Jolie will make the first move.”

“You two know I’m still here, right?” Jolie said rolling her eyes.

 

Jolie was heading back to her room the Wednesday before Thanksgiving with her arms full of grocery bags. 

“Oh good you’re still here. I wanted to say bye before you headed home for the holiday.” Rafael said as they almost ran into each other. 

“I’m not going home.” She sighed. 

“Oh, well then I’ll see you around.” He smiled. 

“You’re staying too?” She asked perking up a bit. 

“Yeah the school pays time and a half if you work holidays, so I’m taking the morning shift.” 

“You expect to be busy?” 

“Doubt it. The campus is mostly cleared out as it is.” 

“I may come keep you company then.” She smiled, turning to finish her path to her room.

 

“Is this all you do?” Jolie asked while sitting at the dorms information desk with Rafael. 

“Pretty much. That’s why I normally bring something to work on. Occasionally someone will have a question but mostly I do homework.” Rafael replied. 

“There has to be a more interesting job on campus.” She had resorted to spinning in one of the desk chairs for entertainment. 

“Probably but this one gives a paycheck on top of covering room and board, otherwise there’s no way I would have tolerated being a RA for a second year.” 

“What? Do us lowly little freshman annoy you?” She chuckled. 

“Present company excluded, yes.” He smirked, causing her to blush.

 

“Why didn’t you go home for the holiday, I know it’s not so you could get an extra sixteen dollars on your check?” Jolie asked, after she got bored with the required reading for her history class. 

“My dad’s being... well, my dad. My mom’s defending him as usual and she invited Alex over whose bringing Yelina. I just didn’t want to be around all of that so I stayed.” He let out a breath as though the whole event would be exhausting. 

“You’re mom invited the guy your ex cheated on you with?” Jolie blurted. 

“It’s more complicated than that. Alex is like family. Our families do a lot together.” 

“Are you still upset over Yelina?” 

“No. I was never really upset over her. I was planning on breaking up with her anyway. I was just pissed to find out they had been sleeping together.” He shrugged. 

“Oh.” She nodded, pretending that she understood. 

“Why didn’t you go home?” He asked, changing the subject. 

“I’d rather be here than alone in an empty house.” 

“Where are your parents this time?” 

“Munich, I think.” She shrugged. “What time do you get off?” Jolie checked her watch. 

“In an hour.” 

“I’m going to run an errand, meet me at my room when you’re through?” Jolie asked as she gathered her things. 

“Ok.” He smiled.

 

Jolie smiled when Rafael’s knock on her door pulled her from the book she had started.

“Hey.”

“Come in.” She said, opening the door so he could enter. 

“Are you planing on eating your weight in sugar?” He asked, looking at the massive amount of junk food she had spread around the room. 

“This is my Thanksgiving ritual. I bought extra so there’s plenty for both of us.” She smiled. 

“It looks like enough for the whole floor.” He smirked. 

“I rented a bunch of movies too.”

 

They were curled up under a blanket on her bed watching a movie they had both seen. “Eating a ton of junk food and watching movies is your Thanksgiving ritual?” Rafael asked. 

“Yeah. My mom was born and grew up in London so it’s never really been an important holiday for her and my dad, well he’s always working so we’ve never really done anything for Thanksgiving. Since my brother and I were always off from school, we would get a bunch of junk food and have a movie marathon.” Jolie shrugged, opening a bag of chips and offering him some. 

He took a chip and smiled, leaning towards her slightly. She didn’t notice and instead got up to switch out the movies causing him to roll his eyes. 

“What do you want, Sleepless in Seattle or Tombstone?” She asked holding up the two different tapes. 

“Sleepless in Seattle, I want to actually watch Tombstone.” He replied, trailing off as he spoke the last part. 

“What?” She asked, having not heard what he said past Sleepless in Seattle. 

“Nothing.” He smirked as she climbed back on the bed next to him. 

He leaned in to kiss her again but she remained oblivious, reaching past him to grab an open bag of gummy worms. He closed his eyes briefly and exhaled through his nose. 

“Jolie.” He said, gently placing his hands on her arms to keep her from moving. 

“Yeah.” She smiled, looking up at him while chewing on a gummy worm. 

“Can you hold still?” He smirked not giving her time to answer as he pressed his lips to hers.

Her stomach did little flip flops as she eagerly returned his kiss. It wasn’t long before they were horizontal on her bed making out. His arms wrapped around her while her fingers ran through his hair. She felt his hands trace along her sides as his weight pressed against her. His hand gently grazed over the thin material of her tank top as it started to roam, brushing against the side of her breast before making its way down to the waist band of her pajama bottoms. 

“Rafael.” She panted as he ran is fingers along the elastic band. 

“Yes.” He hummed against her ear as he kissed her neck. 

“I like you and I want to kiss you, but I’m keeping my clothes on until I know what we’re doing.” She said as he continued plant kisses along her neck. 

“Fair enough.” He smirked moving his hand from her waist band and his lips back to hers.

 

“Morning.” Rafael smirked as Jolie stirred next to him. 

“Morning.” She said blushing slightly. 

“Can I take you out for breakfast?” 

“Yes.” She smiled. 

They spent the remainder of the weekend together, mostly horizontal in her room. “Rafael?” She panted between kisses Sunday afternoon. 

“Yes.” He barely pulled his lips from hers to reply. 

“I like you.” She said as he kissed her neck. 

“I like you too.” He said, moving back to her lips. 

“No, I mean I really like you.” She said pulling back from his kiss. Rafael smiled at her. “What?” She asked, pushing her bottom lip up. 

“You’re really cute when you want something.” He smirked. 

“What is it you think I want?”  

“To know how I feel about what we’re doing?” He smiled. 

“You could just tell me.” She sighed. 

“Well considering I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you since I met you I was kind of hoping this could be an exclusive thing.” 

“So I could call you my boyfriend.”  

“I might be offended if you didn’t.” He smiled, pressing his lips back into hers. 

They were both still engrossed in kissing the other when Sarah got back. 

“Finally.” She blurted as she opened the door. 

Both Rafael and Jolie chuckled before sitting up to talk with Sarah, neither wanting to make her feel like a third wheel.

Chapter Text

 

“Have you two... you know?” Sarah asked as she got bored studying for her history final. 

“No. I’ve thought about it, but I’m really anxious.” 

“Have you told him you haven’t?”

“No.” Jolie said meekly. 

“You need to.” 

“Are you sure? I mean he lets me set the pace. He may already assume.” 

“Believe me you’re going to want him to know for your first time.” Sarah said pointedly. 

“Is it going to hurt that much?” Jolie looked rather concerned as the color drained from her fcae. 

“Not that bad, but you will want him to be gentle.” 

“It’s going to be so embarrassing to tell him.” Jolie whined a bit as she covered her face with her hands. 

“Why? You’re eighteen. A lot of people wait until they’re out of high school to have sex. It’s probably the more mature thing to do.” Sarah shrugged. 

“You didn’t.” 

“Yes, but I dated the same guy for over two years. Truly we only broke up because we ended up at schools on opposite sides of the country. He’s the only guy I’ve been with and I’m in no rush to find someone new.” 

Jolie took a deep breath. “What do I even say? Oh by the way I have no idea when you’ll actually get laid again seeing as I’m terrified of your penis being inside me.” 

“Well hopefully not that.” Sarah laughed. 

“Thanks.” Jolie muttered.

 

Finals had kept them all really busy. Jolie hadn’t seen Rafael except for an occasional dinner in the dining hall seeing as when they had tried to study together, they proved to be too much of a distraction for the other. 

“Hey.” Jolie smiled when she opened her door to find Rafael standing there. 

“You finished your last final this morning, right?” He asked his eyes twinkling. 

“Yeah. You’re done too?”  

“Yep.” He smirked. 

“Your room?” She grinned, lifting her eyebrows. 

He didn’t say anything just took her hand, almost dragging her to his room. Once inside, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her, walking her backwards toward his bed. He climbed on top of her as they made out, his hands moved beneath her shirt to unclasp her bra. She helped him remove it from under her shirt before pulling him back to her lips. He reached underneath her shirt, gently touching her as his kisses moved lower down her neck. Pulling her shirt up he took one of her nipples in his mouth, tonguing it gently as she moaned. One of his hands reached under her skirt and tugged at her underwear. 

“Raf.” She panted, shifting slightly, pushing his hand away. 

“Ok.” He breathed moving his attention back to her upper half. 

They had been messing around for a while when his hand moved back down to her underwear. He didn’t try to remove them this time, but instead ran his fingers under the elastic. When she didn’t stop him he slid his finger along her slit. Her body twitched slightly but she continued kissing him so he pressed his finger harder against her and started to tease her clit. The more she moaned the faster he massaged her, his lips barely leaving hers. He felt her grip his hair as her breathing became labored, pulling away from his lips as she buckled beneath him. He lightly touched her and her whole body jerked. He smirked as he slid his hand back up to her side, pressing his lips to hers again. 

“You ok?” He asked as she laid in his arms. 

“I am.”

She was using his chest as a pillow, tracing shapes on his stomach, thinking that now would be a good time to bring up her virginity but chickened out, asking about Christmas instead. “Are you going to be in New York for Christmas?” 

“Unfortunately.” He sighed. 

“You don’t want to go home for Christmas?”  

“I do, just not for the whole break. I wish I could just show up for the whole Christmas thing and then leave.”

“Oh.” She really didn’t know what else to say and was afraid to ask why he didn’t want to go home, thinking that it might be because Alex would be bringing Yelina again. 

“What are you doing for Christmas?” 

“I’m going to the Hamptons.”  

“Your family finally getting together?” Rafael chuckled. 

“No, we haven’t done a real Christmas since I stopped believing in Santa. My parents will be someplace warm. I go to the Hamptons because it’s deserted. Somehow being surrounded by people in the city makes me feel even lonelier than when I’m completely alone, if that makes any sense.”  

“You couldn’t join your parents?” He pulled back a bit so he could see her. 

“I could but I actually like Christmas. The whole decorating the tree thing, making cookies with Tess, even the cold weather.” She smiled. 

“Who’s Tess?”  

“My nanny growing up. I mean she hasn’t been my nanny for years but she still drives out a few days before Christmas to bake cookies with me every year.”

“So it’s just going to be you for a few weeks?”

“Yep, I will go into the city to meet up with Blake for New Years.” 

“Don’t let her get you into trouble.” He smirked. 

“You could join us, since you’ll be there.” She rested her chin on his chest so she could see his face. 

“I’d like that.” He said, smiling at her. “The Hamptons isn’t that far, would you want to do Christmas dinner with my family?” 

“You know, if you wanted, you could join me in the Hamptons and we could go to your family thing together if you didn’t want to spend the whole break there.” 

“I have to be there for Midnight Mass.” He sighed. 

“I don’t mind.” Jolie smiled. 

“Yes but... my dad... I just don’t want you having to deal with him longer than you have to.” He grumbled. 

“I can always sleep at my house. You can too if you want.”

“That might actually make this bearable.” He smiled, pulling her to his lips.

 

“Thanks for dropping me off at the airport.” Sarah said as she climbed out of Jolie’s town car.  

“Of course.” Jolie gave her a hug as the driver pulled her bag from the trunk. 

“You two have fun over the holiday.” Sarah smiled leaning down to speak to Rafael as well. 

“You too.” Rafael smiled. Jolie climbed back in the car after Sarah entered the airport. “How long is this drive again?” Rafael sighed. 

“Almost five hours.” She said, smiling when he rolled his eyes. 

 

“Do your parents own this place or did you rent it?” Rafael asked as they entered the rather large home nestled on the shoreline. 

“They own it.” She said dismissively, setting her bag down. 

There was an undecorated tree lit up in the living room, by a large picture window overlooking the beach. Plastic bins containing decorations sat in the floor nearby and a small pile of neatly wrapped present were piled underneath. 

“Did Christmas elves get here before us?” He smirked. 

“My parents may not be here but they know I am. They always have the place set up before I get here.” She smiled, grabbing a movie off the coffee table and putting it in the VCR. 

“Miracle on Thirty Fourth Street?” He questioned, lifting an eyebrow. 

“It is Christmas time.” She smirked while rolling her eyes on her way to open a box of decorations. 

Rafael helped her decorate the tree, questioning a few of the ornaments that had clearly been made, at one point, by a younger Jolie. Together, they made grill cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for dinner, sitting in the breakfast nook to eat since it overlooked the water. 

“This house is kind of amazing.” He said as she showed him around. 

“This is my room but you can have whatever room you want.” She smiled as they stood in the doorway of her childhood room in her family’s summer home. 

“I’d like to have you in my arms while I sleep. What room can that happen in?” He smirked. 

“This one.” Her voice hitched slightly with her response. They had fallen asleep together, but never intentionally slept next to each other.

“I’ll bring our stuff up.” He said, giving her a kiss before making his way to get their things.

 

Jolie was still asleep when Rafael woke a few days before Christmas. He let her sleep as he snuck out of bed, making his way to the kitchen to start some coffee. He was startled when a woman roughly his grandmother’s age screamed as he entered the kitchen. 

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you. I’m here with Jolie.” He said not quite knowing who the woman he was talking to was. 

“Jolie invited you?” The woman said curiously looking him up and down. 

“Yes, she’s asleep but I can go get her if you want.” 

“No, let her sleep. I’m Tess by the way.” She replied. “Rafael.” He said, introducing himself. 

 

“Yay! You’re here.” Jolie squealed as she rushed past Rafael to hug Tess. 

“How’s school?” Tess asked. 

“Great. I love my classes and most of my professors. The people have been kind of great too.” Jolie smiled, glancing at Rafael. 

“I’m so glad.” 

“How are Jack and Rachel and the grandkids?” 

“Great. You know I just got another one.” Tess smiled. 

“I’m going to let you guys catch up and run take a shower.” Rafael said, excusing himself. 

“You’ve got a man here.” Tess smirked, giving Jolie a curious look after Rafael was out of earshot. 

“I do.” Jolie blushed. 

“I’ve never known you to even mention boys and all of sudden you’re spending Christmas with one?” She questioned, side eying her. 

“He’s different.” Jolie smiled. 

“I see.” Tess smirked.

 

Jolie excused herself to shower when Rafael returned. 

“Can I help with anything?” Rafael asked as Tess gathered the things they would need to make cookies. 

“Sure.” She said, directing him on where cookie sheets, parchment paper, and other supplies they would need were. “She’s different you know, not like the rest of her family.” 

“I kind of gathered that.” He smiled. 

“Don’t take that to mean she doesn’t love her family. Her father is probably her favorite person on the planet, she just rarely gets to see him.” 

“Good to know.” Rafael replied, not really expecting Jolie to be so fond of the father she never saw. 

“She’s special.” Tess noted. 

“Yes she is.” Rafael concurred, the tone in his voice made Tess smile. 

“Are we ready to bake cookies?” Jolie asked as she reentered the kitchen. 

“Just about.” Tess smiled as she watched Jolie and Rafael interact with each other playfully.

 

“Here.” Jolie said handing Rafael the last cookie from the plate of cookies she had decided to eat for breakfast. 

“You don’t want it?” 

“I can’t eat anymore sugar.” She replied, making a face. 

“I don’t think I’ve every heard you say those words.” He chuckled. 

“Do you want it?” She asked still holding the plate. 

“Not really.” He smiled. 

“Ok.” She said, placing the plate on the coffee table. 

Rafael got up and pulled something out from under the tree. “I got you something. I thought maybe since we were heading into the city later tonight, you could open it now instead of around my whole family tomorrow.” 

“Ok. I got you something too.” She smiled grabbing something from under the tree as well.

Jolie handed hers to him first and refused to take his gift until he opened it. It was a silver watch that was fairly simple in design, something he would have picked out for himself. 

“Thanks, it’s really nice.” He smiled, taking it out of the box. 

She helped him put it on before excepting the gift from him. Her eyes lit up when she opened it. He had a little round silver charm engraved with the word autonomous and had it put on a necklace. 

“You like it?” 

“I love it.” She smiled, turning so he could clasp it for her. 

“The word just seemed to have some meaning to you.”

“It does.” She smiled pressing her lips to his. Their kiss on the couch was getting heated when she stood and held her hand out to him. 

“Where are we going?” He asked, standing to follow her. 

“My room.” She smiled.

 

He pulled her against him when they entered, his hands pressed against the small of her back. His lips only leaving hers when he pulled her tank top off. She hadn’t bothered to put on a bra that morning so he gently touched her breast while she pulled his shirt off. His hands moved lower, running along the waist band of her pajama pants. She didn’t stop him when he hooked his thumbs under the elastic and started to tug them down. Instead, she helped, sitting on the bed so they could easily be removed. He inhaled as he licked his lower lip, watching her inch backwards on the bed underneath him. He was still in his pajama pants but she could feel him as he laid between her legs kissing her. His kissed moved lower, down her neck, her chest, her stomach, her inner thigh. She looked down to see him looking back at her, his head between her legs, when she felt his tongue lick her. He smirked to himself when she moaned as her head went back to the bed and continued tonguing her center. Her eyes shot open when he thrust two fingers into her. Nothing had ever been inside her, but once the initial shock was gone it felt good so she went with it, moaning louder now. He kept up the pace until he felt her back arch off the bed and her breathing become erratic. Slowly he moved his kisses back up to her lips.

“Rafael?” She panted as he laid beside her. 

“Yeah.” He hummed in her ear. 

“Did you bring a condom?” The question had barely been a whisper, but she managed eye contact. 

“I did, but we don’t have to.” He smiled, running hand through her hair. 

“I want to.” She breathed, pulling him to her lips. 

“Are you sure?”

She nodded. He gave her another quick kiss before he move to his bag to get a condom. She watched as he removed his remaining clothes before joining her back in bed pulling the covers over them. 

“Have you done this before?” He asked, having assumed the answer for a while. 

“No.” She whispered, shaking her head. 

“Are you absolutely sure you want to?” He asked, looking her in the eyes. 

“Yes.” She nodded. 

He opened the condom and rolled it on, moving between her legs. Noticing she looked scared he added, “If you want me to stop, just tell me. Ok?” 

She half smiled and nodded. He lined himself up and gently pushed the tip in as he kissed her. She made a little yelp as he pushed further in so he stopped and waited for a moment before continuing. It didn’t feel good but not as bad as she had built it up in her head so she relaxed a little. He pushed a little further but felt like he hit a barrier. Pulling back he pushed slightly harder than he would have liked, causing her to let out a short scream. 

“I’m sorry.” He said looking at her. 

“It’s ok.” She assured him, running her hand along his cheek. 

He pressed his forehead to hers before kissing her again, gently pushing in again. Her moans were not those of pleasure as her insides felt like they were burning or tearing, she couldn’t pin point the pain and while not unbearable, it wasn’t pleasant. After what felt like an eternity for both of them he bottomed out. 

“You still ok?” 

“Yeah.” She said with a quick nod.

He gave her some time to adjust before he pulled out slightly and pushed back in. She grimaced slightly before pulling his lips back to hers to give her something else to think about besides the discomfort. Either she was adjusting to him or the distraction of kissing him worked, slowly it started to hurt less. As her moans began to sound more like those of pleasure, Rafael pumped faster. She felt his thrust become more intentional as he grunted a few times before collapsing his weight against her. She ran her fingers through his hair as he caught his breath. 

“I’m going to go get rid of this. I’ll be right back. Ok?” He said, placing his hand on her cheek. 

“Ok.” She nodded. 

“How do you feel?” He asked, after he crawled back under the covers. 

“I’m good.” Jolie smiled. 

“I hate that it hurt.” He sighed, pulling her closer to him. 

“It would have hurt no matter what and I definitely didn’t want to have sex with anyone else.” She smirked. 

He kissed her forehead and held her in her bed for a while. 

“What time do we need to meet up with your family tonight?” She asked. 

“They want to do dinner at eight.” He sighed. 

She grabbed his wrist to look at the time. “I need to shower so I have time to do my hair.”

“Yeah, we should get going I guess.” He grumbled. 

 

Jolie’s town car dropped them off at his parents house in the Bronx around seven thirty. 

“Rafi, hi.” His mother said as she hugged him. 

“Mami this is my girlfriend, Jolie. Jolie this is my mom, Lucia.” He said introducing them. 

“It’s nice to meet you.” Jolie said with a little wave. 

“You too.” Lucia replied, inviting them further in the home. 

“Where’s dad?”

“He’s being your father and locked himself in that back room.” Catalina, his grandmother, said while rolling her eyes. 

“Is he going to join us for dinner?” Rafael asked. 

“I’ll take him a plate later.” Lucia muttered as she went back into the kitchen. 

“Jolie, this is my abuelita, Catalina.” Rafael smiled as he introduced them.

 

The four of them sat at the kitchen table and chatted, while his dad ate in the back room. 

“How did you meet?” Lucia asked. 

“She lives in the dorm, mami.” 

“Oh… and how long have you dating?” 

“I little over a month now.” Jolie smiled. 

“That’s not a very long time to be bringing her home for Christmas, Rafael.” Lucia spoke in Spanish. 

“What does that matter? I want her here.” He replied in Spanish. 

“Leave the boy alone.” Catalina interjected, also in Spanish. 

Jolie watched the interaction, feeling pretty sure that they were talking about her. 

“Where did you grow up?” Lucia asked, turning her attention back to Jolie. 

“Manhattan.” Jolie answered. 

“More specific.” Lucia clipped. 

“The upper east side.” 

“That’s where you two are staying tonight?”  

“Yes, mami.” Rafael replied. 

“Hmmm.” Lucia hummed. “Are you Catholic?”

“Jesus, mami.” Rafael exclaimed. 

“It’s not a judgement, just a question.”

“I am.” Jolie answered before Rafael said anything else. 

“You are?” Rafael asked, a little shocked at her answer. 

“My whole life.” Jolie smirked and Lucia smiled for the first time since they had arrived.

 

Rafael’s father didn’t say anything to Rafael or Jolie when he finally exited the room to go to Mass. Rafael and Jolie followed behind his grandmother, mother and father as they walked the eight blocks to the church. It had been a while since Jolie had attended a Mass but the routine came back to her easily. She noticed Yelina sitting with a guy around Rafael’s age, in a pew not too far from them. Rafael noticed Jolie glance toward Yelina and took her hand in his to bring her focus back to him. “It’s a small community.” He whispered.

“Hey, Rafi!” The guy who Yelina had been sitting next to called as they started to leave the church. 

“Alex.” Rafael replied. 

“I just wanted to see if we were still good, you know, we’ve known each other our whole lives.” 

“We’re fine Alex.” Rafael nodded as Yelina joined them. 

“Hi, I’m Yelina.” She said introducing herself to Jolie as she practically wrapped herself around Alex’s arm. 

“I’m Jolie.” 

“We have to go.” Rafael said as he heard his mom call out for them from across the church. 

“Will we see you tomorrow?” Yelina asked. 

“Yeah.” Rafael half sighed, as he guided Jolie towards his parents.

 

“That was fun.” Rafael said sarcastically as they entered her parents penthouse. 

“I’m pretty sure your mom hates me, but your father… he was pleasant.” Jolie said the last bit sarcastically. 

“My mother doesn’t hate you and trust me, it’s better that he didn’t say anything. He’s less pleasant when he opens his mouth.” Rafael sighed. 

“What time do we have to be there tomorrow?” Jolie asked looking at the clock. 

“Not until three.” He smiled, wrapping his arms around her. 

“Thank goodness. I need sleep.” She smiled, guiding him to her room. 

“This is were you grew up?” He asked as they entered a room that could easily have been the size of the one bedroom apartments in his parents building. 

“Yep.” Jolie sighed. 

 

“Hello?” Jolie said groggily as she answered the phone on the night stand next to her bed. “Hi Daddy!” She almost squealed as she hopped out of bed. “Yes. Merry Christmas to you too. Oh, I know...” Rafael watched her as she excitedly left the room speaking to her father. He knew that Tess had said she loved her father but he really hadn’t expected her to be so giddy. 

 

The dinner at Rafael’s parents had been going well. More people were there than she had expected but it helped make it so they could keep a low profile and not be bombarded with questions, and easier for her to avoid Alex and Yelina. After dinner, everyone was sitting around folding tables talking. Lucia started to clear dishes so Jolie offered to help. 

“Thank you.” Lucia smiled as they carried plates into the kitchen. 

Lucia was putting leftovers in Tupperware while Jolie washed dishes, when they heard yelling from the other room. Rafael’s father had finally decided to speak. 

“You think you’re so much better than the rest of us. Going off to your fancy school and bringing home your little rich girl.” His dad muttered in Spanish. 

“Excuse me?” Rafael snapped. 

“You heard me. Ever since you left for that place you’ve acted better than everyone. No wonder you couldn’t make it with Yelina.” His dad continued, gesturing toward where Yelina was sitting. Rafael got up to leave not wanting to listen to his father anymore. “That’s right leave and take your cash cow with you.” His dad yelled. 

“That girl in there, that you know nothing about, is the most amazing person I have ever met and I can guarantee that has nothing to do with money. I love her and I will not sit here and listen to you speak of something you have no clue about. I don’t think I’m better than where I came from but I know I’m better than you.” Rafael yelled back. 

The whole conversation had taken place in Spanish. Lucia looked at Jolie who was still quietly washing dishes. Jolie knew they were fighting, but she had no idea what was being said. 

Rafael bursted into the kitchen. “I’m sorry mami, but I can’t deal with him.” Rafael said, giving her a hug before taking Jolie’s hand and walking her out of the apartment. 

“What was that about?” Jolie asked as they stepped outside. 

“My father always thinking that I think I’m better than everyone because I got into Harvard.” Rafael sighed. 

“He does realize that that’s an accomplishment, right?” Jolie smiled, trying to cheer him up. 

“You’d think. I just needed to get out of there.” He sighed, continuing to hold her hand as they walked for a little while before sitting on a bench in a park. “I used to play here as a kid, with Alex and our friend Eddie.” 

“Was it nicer then.” She asked looking at the broken swings. 

“No, but when you’re a kid your imagination is better and you can make do with what you have.” Rafael smirked. Jolie squeezed his hand and smiled. “We gotta go.” Rafael croaked as a small group of guys entered the park from the opposite side. 

Jolie noticed and didn’t object when Rafael started pulling her along beside him as they quickly walked away from the park. 

“Where’s the fire?” They heard one of the guys cackle as they followed. 

“Shit.” Rafael muttered pulling her faster behind him. 

“Rafael.” Jolie said, trying to get his attention. He kept looking forward, dragging her behind him. “Raf, my car.” She said a bit more forcefully this time. 

He turned to see her town car pacing them. They quickly made their way to the car, he opened the door for her and climbed inside. 

“How did your car get here?” He asked after a few minutes. 

“It’s more of a security service than a car service. I’m always within sight once I leave a building.” Jolie shrugged. 

“You have a security detail?” He asked, furrowing his brow. 

“My father feels it’s just better all around to prevent me from being taken and held for ransom than to have to try to get me back.” She sighed. 

“Ransom?”

“It happens. My father just never wants it to happen to me. I think the whole Patty Hearst thing had an impact on him. It happened two years before they had me while my brother was still small and my father worked closely with the family for a while. He’d rather be safe than sorry.”

“Your fathers Malcolm Rutherford?” His mind was connecting the dots between what he knew about her and what he had read about Malcolm Rutherford. 

“Yes.” She sighed, she could tell he was thinking. 

“That guy’s intense.”

“He can be.”

“So at school, are they following you?”

“Not exactly.” Jolie chuckled, before continuing, “I mean they’re around but it’s more subtle than that.” 

“Do they report back to your father?” He asked, his brow furrowed and bottom lip pushed up slightly. 

“On my safety.” 

“But they know who I am, that you’re visiting my family... that I’ve been with you, staying with you I mean.” He questioned, almost sounding concerned. 

“Yes, but because I told them, not because they heard it from anyone else.” She replied, taking his hand in hers. 

“Did they run a background check on me?” 

“I have no idea and I really don’t want to know.” She sighed, looking a little sad. 

Rafael noticed and pulled her closer, wrapping his arm around her.

 

“You look happy.” Blake said as she sat on the terrace with Jolie. Rafael had decided to take a nap while they caught up since he wasn’t sure how late they’d be up that night. 

“I am.” Jolie smiled. 

“How happy?” Blake smirked. Jolie turned red and looked away from her. “Dude! You little hooch!” 

“Shut up.” Jolie whispered, looking around to make sure Rafael hadn’t appeared. 

“What, does he not know?” Blake laughed as Jolie glared at her. “How was it?” 

“Painful.” Jolie sighed. 

“Not the first time. How has it been since? I mean he looks like he’d be good.” Blake grinned. 

“There’s only been the one time.” 

“Well that sucks. You really need to do it again. I promise it gets better.” 

“I will, it only happened a week ago.” Jolie chuckled. 

“Maybe you should do it tonight. You can skip my party. I won’t hold against you.”

“I want to go to your party, but maybe we’ll sneak out early.” Jolie smiled. 

“That’s my girl.” Blake grinned as Jolie turned pink again. “What’s he working with?”

“What?” Jolie asked, confused by the question. 

“His package,” Blake lifted her eyebrows a couple times, “is he big, average... you know?” 

“I really don’t have anything to compare him to.” Jolie said waiting to avoid this question all together. 

“Yeah but you saw it, so...” Blake pressed. 

“It wasn’t small... I mean I wouldn’t want to know what large was if he was small.” Jolie said her face reddening again. 

“Ok... When he was hard, where did it come to?” Blake asked, despite Jolie’s discomfort with the subject. 

“What do you mean?” Jolie questioned. Blake moved her hand down her thigh trying to get her to estimate his length. “Jeez.” Jolie scoffed. 

“Come on, I’m your best friend. We’re supposed to talk about these things.” Blake grinned. 

“Fine, here I guess.” Jolie said, pointing to a place less than half way down her thigh. 

“There on him or that length on you?” Blake asked a little more serious now. 

“Him, why?” 

“He’s just taller than you, so that distance would be longer on him.”

“So...” Jolie clipped. 

“Just... damn. No wonder it hurt.” Blake chuckled as Jolie threw the pillow from her chair at her.

 

Jolie was wearing in a blue and gray plaid mini skirt, a long sleeved black midriff, and black boots that came to her knees. 

“You’re going to be cold.” Rafael said as she approached him. 

“That’s what jackets are for.” She smirked. 

“You want me to be cold too?” He asked as she rolled up the sleeves of his blue button up shirt. 

“No, you just look good with you shirt sleeves rolled up.” She smiled wrapping his arms around her when she finished. 

“You like my forearms?” He smirked while lifting a brow at her. 

“Since the first day I met you.” She smiled, pulling him down to kiss her.

 

“What are you drinking?” Rafael asked as Jolie approached him with a martini glass in her hand. 

“The bartender called it a flirtini, I asked for something sweat,” she smiled, taking a small sip, “What’s yours?” 

“Open bar, top shelf booze... I decided to try scotch.” 

“How is it?” 

“You want a sip?” He offered her his glass, watching her take a tiny sip and make a face. 

“That’s disgusting.” 

“Probably not as bad as yours.” He chuckled.

They ventured around Blake’s party for a bit, Jolie introducing him to people she knew. 

“Her parents just let her do this?” Rafael asked as they found a quiet space in the study. 

“Yeah, I’ve never understood that either. Mine give me a lot of space but if I threw a party in their house and charged it to my credit card they’d lose it.” She replied, shaking her head. 

“Did I see that Carter guy earlier? I though she didn’t like him.” 

“Yes but she fools around with his friend Casey, and where Casey goes, Carter goes.” Jolie said rolling her eyes. 

“Your world is very different than mine.” He said softly. 

“You want to get out of here?” 

“I wasn’t trying to get you to leave. It was just an observation.” 

“Yeah, but I’m kind of partied out. I didn’t even like half these people when I went to school with them. Besides my place has a better view of the Central Park fireworks.” Jolie smiled.

 

“How many drinks did you have?” Rafael asked as Jolie pulled him on top of her. 

She smiled and looked up at him. “Just the one. Why?” 

“Just checking.” He smirked, resuming their kiss. 

He reached his hand down, grazing her inner thigh with his fingertips before sliding them into her underwear. She moaned against his lips as he touched her, arching against him when he pushed two fingers in and moved his thumb to her clit. 

“Raf.” She gasped, gripping his hair as her body involuntarily tried to jerk away from his hand. He smiled and pressed his lips against hers, continuing to stroke her. She started to say something but she couldn’t, instead her whole body convulsed beneath him. Once he knew she had finished, he removed his hand from her, wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close to him. “You had more than one condom, right?” She asked. 

“I do.” He smirked. 

When he returned from his bag she started unbuttoning his shirt. “Jolie, I...” He breathed against her neck as he kissed her while helping her removed their clothing. 

“Yes.” She panted between kisses. 

“Nothing.” He quavered, instead climbing between her legs. She looked up at him as he rolled the condom on. He pressed his lips to hers, sinking himself inside her. She moaned but not out of pain this time. “You ok?” He asked when he was fully in. 

“Yes.” She smiled, cupping her hand on his cheek. 

He kissed her as he began to thrust in and out, his left arm supporting him while his right hand caressed her face and neck. After a bit he pulled out and rolled to his back. 

“You take control.” He said, pulling her on top of him and guiding her as she sat down. She moaned as he filled her and began to ride him a little awkwardly at first, his hands resting on her hips. Once she had established a pretty good rhythm he placed his thumb on her. She gasped at the contact but was soon moaning at his touch. Her movement became more erratic and she collapsed on his chest, his thumb still moving against her. Rafael listened to her moans, only removing his hand when he felt her tighten around him. Grabbing her hips he grunted a couple more thrust into her as he came. 

She laid on his chest for a while before he pulled out and went to dispose of the condom. Crawling back into her bed he pulled her into his arms. 

“I think we missed the fireworks.” He smirked as they laid there. 

“I’m pretty sure they’ll do it again next year.” She smiled, pulling him back to her lips.

Chapter Text

“My mom wants to have lunch.” Rafael said after he got off the phone. He had called to check in since he hadn’t spoken to her since he stormed out Christmas Day. 

“Ok. Just the two of you?” Jolie asked. 

“No.” He smirked wrapping his arm around her waist. 

“Are you sure. I really don’t think she likes me.” Jolie sighed. 

“She does.”

“You’re sweet but they think I’m just a spoiled little rich girl and I can’t really blame them. I’ve had everything in life pretty much handed to me.” She shrugged, casting her gaze out the window. 

“Do you want to know her exact words?” 

“I don’t know, do it?” Jolie said glumly. 

“She told me not to listen to my father. That you were always welcomed in her home.” The corners of his eyes crinkling as he continued. “and I’m quoting now, that little tramp was always too full of herself to ever offer to help with anything.” 

“What does that even mean?” 

“You have no idea how far the simple act of offering to help clean up after dinner went with my mami.” He smiled. 

“Is your dad going to be there?” She asked not really knowing what to think of his father. 

“No I wouldn’t be going if he was going.” Rafael huffed. 

“What’s his deal anyway?” 

“Growing up he could be physically abusive to my mom when he drank. That stopped when Eddie taught me how to throw a punch in high school, not that it stopped him from being verbally abusive. He’s gotten better since he got sick, but now mami just spends her time defending him. Like she owes him something.” Rafael hand tightly balled into a fist before stretching back out over her skin.

“I’m sorry Raf.” She said, turning to face him, tightly pulling him against her. 

“It is what it is.” He stated, his turn to gaze out the window.

 

Lunch was surprisingly pleasant. It was a restaurant Jolie had never been to but had made a mental note of the location so she could come back. 

“I wanted to apologize.” Lucia said when Rafael excused himself to go to the restroom. 

“It’s ok.” Jolie replied, not wanting to make his mother feel bad after how nice she had been during lunch. 

“No, it’s not. The things my husband said are not sentiments that are shared by the rest of our family.” 

“It doesn’t really matter what he said, I couldn’t understand him anyway.” 

“It matters that you know how I feel.” Lucia stressed. 

“So you wouldn’t prefer him to be with Yelina?” Jolie timidly asked the question she feared the answer to most. 

“Yelina deserves Alex. That boy will do something amazing with his life but his moral compass doesn’t point as due north as Rafi’s. Yelina never deserved my Rafi.” Lucia huffed slightly, mostly at the idea of her son still dating Yelina. She had seen her and Alex hanging around together for a while before the break up and was relieved when Rafael had told her it was over.

 

“How long have you two been back?” Sarah asked as she entered the dorm room to find Jolie and Rafael on Jolie’s bed watching a movie. 

“A few days.” Jolie replied, getting up to help Sarah drag her luggage in. 

“How was New York?” 

“Eventful.” Rafael huffed as he got up. 

“I’m going to go, give you some time to catch up.” He smiled giving Jolie a kiss on his way out. 

“What was that about?” Sarah questioned once he was out of the room. 

“Christmas dinner at his parents got a little heated.” Jolie sighed giving Sarah a please don’t ask about it look. 

“Ok... So three weeks sleeping in a house together with no parents around... Did you two...” Sarah smirked lifting her eyebrows. 

“Seriously.” Jolie sighed, her bright pink face not going unnoticed by Sarah. 

“My god you did. I was just joking.” Sarah laughed. 

“Whatever, I was probably going to tell you anyway.” 

“Uhhh... probably? You better have been planning on telling me. How was it?” Sarah grinned. 

“This question again.” Jolie huffed. 

“What?” Sarah asked furrowing her brow. “

I hung out with Blake over New Years.” Jolie explained, rolling her eyes. 

“So...” Sarah pressed. 

“It was good. I mean the first time was a bit more painful than I would have liked but it got better after that.”  

“How much better?” Sarah smirked. 

“A lot better.” Jolie blushed. “How was Raleigh?” Her attempt to change the subject worked. 

“It was good. My parents did the big Christmas thing. The whole family invaded our home for nearly two weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I love them but two weeks is a bit much.” Sarah said rolling her eyes. 

“Did your ex come home for the holidays?”Jolie asked as she mindlessly fiddled with the necklace Rafael had given her. 

“He did.” Sarah smiled. 

“What’s the smile for?” Jolie tilted her head curiously at the face Sarah had made. 

“We may have gotten back together.” 

“The whole breaking up thing not work for you guys?” Jolie chuckled. 

“Nope, and he transferred to MIT.” Sarah grinned. 

“Transferred to MIT, just like that.” Jolie said lifting a brow. 

“Well he had been waitlisted last fall so he took the spot at Stanford and reapplied without telling me for the spring semester. One of his professors from Stanford put in a good word for him and now he’s here.” Sarah’s grin only grew larger. 

“Andrews in Cambridge. I guess I’ll need to meet him.” Jolie smiled.

 

“What does la amo mean?” Jolie asked as she and Sarah were laying in their respective beds to sleep. 

“Amo is love. La amo is I love her. Did he say that?”

“I don’t know. I heard it while he was arguing with his father. That’s what I thought amo meant, but I had only ever heard te amo.” Jolie whispered, not wanting someone in the hall to be able to hear. 

“Well that would make sense if he was talking to his dad.” 

“Yeah, I guess.” Jolie sighed. 

“What are you not telling me?” 

“I just heard Yelina’s name during the conversation, beforehand.” Jolie grumbled. 

“The whole conversation was in Spanish?” Sarah asked. 

“Yes, why?” 

“You don’t know what was said then. You may haven’t have even heard what you thought you heard.” 

“Yeah, I know.” Jolie sighed, turning in her bed to face the wall. 

“Have you told him you love him?” 

“What makes you think I love him?”

“You gave your virginity to him. You wouldn’t have done that with just anyone.” 

“Yeah well, maybe I shouldn’t have.” Jolie’s voice cracked. 

“I promise you, you’re misreading this. That boy loves you, give him time, he’ll tell you.” Sarah assured her.

 

Rafael was laying on Jolie’s bed with her a few days later. She had come to the conclusion that Sarah was right and she was reading too much into what she thought she had heard and decided just to let things play out. 

“Hello.” She said answering the phone on her nightstand. “Hi daddy. Really?! No, classes don’t start until the twenty fifth. I’ll ask and call you back. Are you at home? Ok.” 

Rafael watched as she jotted down a number. “You sound excited.” He smiled as she hung up the phone. 

“Do you want to go to Aspen this weekend?” She blurted. 

“Colorado?” He questioned, not really knowing how to respond with the little information she had given him. 

“My parents invited us to go skiing this weekend. Classes don’t start until the Wednesday after next. We’ll be back Monday giving us over a week to get last minute things taken care of.” She pleaded. 

“I’ve never skied.” He could tell she really wanted to go, but didn’t know if he was ready to meet the family she never saw. 

“I don’t ski anyway, I was never any good at it.” She smiled. 

“Then why do you go?”  

“I like the snow, sledding, the hot tub, and the stars.” She grinned. 

“Are you sure your dad wants me to go?” 

“He invited you.” She shrugged. 

“So that he could have me taken and left on the side of a mountain somewhere?” He joked but he feared the truth might not be too far from that statement. 

“My fathers not like that.” Jolie assured him. 

“Yes the poor Cubano from the Bronx is exactly who he pictured his daughter with.” Rafael groaned. 

“My father was born into the family business but my grandfather built everything we have from almost nothing. He raised my father to respect people who worked hard for what they have, regardless of their background.” 

“I’m not sure I’m ready to meet your dad.” He sighed. 

“Oh.” She exhaled, looking a little sad. 

“It’s not that I don’t want to, he’s just kind of intimidating.” Rafael tried to explain. 

“You’ll have to meet him one day.” She said, her eyes still looking more sad than he would like. 

“Ok, I’ll go.” 

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll go. You can meet him another time.” Jolie sighed hating the hurt she was feeling. Not knowing if he really was afraid to meet her father or if he just didn’t want to meet her family. She had been scared to meet his but she did anyway. 

“That won’t work.”

“What?” She asked more wrapped in her own thoughts than their current conversation. 

“If you go then I have to spend that time without you and I don’t want that. I’ll go.” He smiled. 

“Are you sure?” She asked, appearing slightly happier. “

He can’t be worse than my dad.” Rafael chuckled.

 

Her car picked them up and drove them to the airport Thursday morning. It wasn’t the commercial airport he had dropped friends off at over the years but a private one. The car drove them right up to a hanger where he saw the man he had seen in pictures waiting with a woman who looked remarkably like Jolie only slightly older. 

“Daddy!” Jolie called as she jumped out of the car and ran to give her father a hug. 

“Hi sweetie.” Malcolm replied, picking his daughter up off the ground as they hugged. 

Rafael started to help with the luggage but the driver stopped him. “I’ve got this. You go be one of them right now.” He wasn’t insulting, but rather trying to help him knowing from the conversations he had overheard from the back seat that this was all new. 

“Thanks.” Rafael smiled nervously, before joining the group in the hanger. 

 

“Mom, Dad, this is my boyfriend Rafael. Raf this is my dad Malcolm and my mom Annalise.” Jolie said introducing them. 

“It’s nice to meet you.” Rafael said more confidently than he felt. 

“You’re planning on going to law school right?” Her father asked as he walked next to Rafael towards the plane. 

“I am.” 

“One of my undergrad classmates is a professor at Harvard Law. When you get closer to applying I can set up a meeting with him if you want. He’s very good friends with the dean of admissions.” 

“Ok.” Rafael replied not really knowing how to respond. 

“It’s always a good idea to make connections Rafael. Politics are a necessary hassle son, this world runs on who you know.” Malcolm smiled sensing Rafael’s uneasiness. 

Jolie grinned as she walked to the plane behind Rafael and her dad with her mom. 

“You look like you just threw on some rags.” Annalise scrunched up her face as she tugged at the black and white flannel shirt Jolie had tied around her waist. 

“Thanks.”Jolie replied sarcastically. 

“Did you get the clothes I sent?”

“I did.” Jolie smiled, pointing at the blue plaid skirt she was wearing. 

“Didn’t that come with a matching jacket?” Annalise asked. 

“You actually expected me to wear that?” Jolie cringed. 

“It would look nicer than what you’re currently wearing.” Her mother scoffed. 

Jolie had taken a white child size Harvard shirt and cut it into a crop top pairing it with the skirt her mom had sent, a flannel shirt, black tights, and her Doc Martins. 

“We have very different taste in fashion mom.” Jolie chuckled as her mother sighed plopping into the seat across from her.

 

“They put us in the same room?” Rafael asked as Jolie dropped her things down on the bed of the room she had taken him to in the cabin her parents had rented. 

“My mother put me on birth control at fourteen because of the rumors she heard about Blake. They have no idea you are my first.” Jolie replied dismissively as she started to take her toiletries to the en suite bathroom. 

“That doesn’t bother you?” Rafael followed to unpack his own toiletries. 

“Why should it? It’s not really a conversation I want to have with my parents.” 

“Yeah, but... It’s like they don’t know you.” Rafael sighed. 

“The number of people I have or haven’t slept with doesn’t define who I am.” Jolie smiled. 

“What are you smiling about?” Rafael asked, a puzzled look on his face. 

“You like it.” Jolie smirked. 

“I like what?” 

“You like that you’re the only person I’ve been with.” Jolie accused, her smile growing larger. 

“I like that you’re demure.” He smirked. 

“I’m not demure.” Jolie countered, gesturing to her exposed stomach and short skirt. 

“Fine, prudent.” He grinned. 

“You mean particular.” She chuckled. 

“I’m just glad you picked me.” He smirked pulling her against him. 

 

Everyone was gathered in the kitchen when Jolie and Rafael made it downstairs. 

“Ian! Beth!” Jolie squealed as she ran to hug the two who must have gotten in late the night before. 

“You brought someone?” Ian asked, his eyes shifting toward Rafael. 

“Oh! Rafael.” She blurted turning to pull Rafael toward them. “This is my brother Ian and his wife Beth. This is Rafael, my boyfriend.” Jolie grinned as she introduced them. 

“Boyfriend?” Ian repeated, lifting his eyebrows. 

“That’s what I said.” Jolie smiled. 

“It’s nice to meet you.” Ian smiled, reaching his hand out to Rafael’s to shake. 

“You too.” He replied. 

“What’s the plan for today?”Jolie asked as everyone sat at the table eating breakfast. 

“We’re going skiing, you can meet up with us around three for a late lunch, early dinner at the tavern.” Ian answered. 

“We can go skiing if you want.” Rafael offered. 

“Good luck getting Jolie on the slopes. She broke her leg when she was ten and has refused to put skies on since.” Malcolm chuckled. 

“It’s not a pain I wish to relive.” Jolie huffed. 

“Your chances are low of breaking it again.” Ian teased. 

“Yes but why take the risk.” Jolie gave her brother the best annoying little sister look she could.

 

“So what are we going to do today?” Rafael asked after her family had left to go skiing. 

“I want to soak in the hot tub, after that I’m not sure.” She smiled dragging him behind her to their room to change. She tossed him a robe to put over his swimsuit when she emerged from the bathroom wearing one of her own. 

“You are wearing a swimsuit, right?” He asked giving her a concerned look. 

“I am, but it’s cold outside.” She chuckled taking his hand as they walked to the raised back porch where they hot tub was. 

 

The view of snow and tree covered mountains were unobstructed by any other cabins from the hot tub. 

“Were you planning on wearing that around your family?” Rafael’s voice was slightly breathier and deeper than she had expected as she slipped her robe off. 

“I knew they’d go skiing at some point.” She replied, not bothering to turn to see him as she climbed in the water. 

“Jesus.” He exhaled as he followed her in. She sat across from him for a moment before making her way to sit on his lap, pressing her lips to his. “Jolie...” He sighed pulling away from her trying to stop his erection from growing any larger. 

“What?” She pouted. 

“Your family could come back.”  

“They wont.” She smiled pressing her lips to his neck. 

“What if something happens. The car breaks down. The slopes are closed.”

“They would call for another car and they checked the conditions of the slopes before they left. No one will be here for hours.” She smirked, holding her bathing suit bottoms up for him to see as she placed them on the edge of the hot tub. 

“I think I’ve been a bad influence on you.” He breathed, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her back on his lap.

His hands pulled at the strings of her top as she tugged his swim shorts down. She placed both articles of clothing with her bottoms before turning her attention back to him. Spinning her so that her back was against his chest, he lifted her so that he could enter her, easing her down gently onto him. She moaned pressing her weight against him as he filled her. Slowly she started grinding on him, enjoying the feeling of him inside her, his arms resting on her stomach. As she continued to rock her hips, he rolled a nipple between his fingers with his left hand and teased her clit with his right. She moaned loudly as her head jerked back resting against his shoulder, her breast lifting out of the water as she lifted away from him. He held her tight with his left arm, biting against her shoulder gently to prevent his own release while he push her hard back down on him. He held her as she caught her breath, enjoying the buoyancy of her breast in the water from his vantage point. 

“That was...” She panted, not really having a word to finish her thought. 

“I’m not done yet.” He whispered against her neck. 

She smiled and turned her head so she could kiss him as he lifted her up, moving her across the hot tub until her hands rested on the opposite edge and thrusted from behind. She looked over her shoulder at him and bit her lip. Having been close before, this sent him over the edge and he pumped a few last thrust into her, gripping her tight as he pulsated inside her. They stayed like that for a moment while they caught their breath. 

“Do you think we can get rid of my family again tomorrow?” She quipped as they curled up next to each other, both having put their swimsuits back on. 

 

“How was your day?” Jolie’s dad asked when they sat down at the table for dinner at The Tavern. 

“It was good. Lounged around a bit and then browsed some of the shops around here.” Jolie held up a shopping bag as if he needed proof. 

“We saw a brochure for a star gazing gondola ride tonight. Are you two interested?” Beth asked looking at Jolie and Rafael. 

“That could be nice.” Jolie smiled. 

“Mom, dad, what about you?” Ian asked. 

“We’ll let the kids enjoy some time without their parents and unwind at the cabin.” Malcolm smiled.

 

The brochure had suggested wearing warm layers, as they would have access to the lodge but would mostly be outside. Rafael chuckled when Jolie emerged in so many layers he wasn’t sure if she could move easily. 

“What? I get cold easily.” She said, defending her outfit. 

“Yes but you look like the Michelin Man.” He stated not being able to hold back a laugh. 

“Fine.” She huffed, removing a few layers before putting her heavy coat back on. 

“Better?”

“Much.” He replied, still biting back a smile.

 

The were chatting with Ian and Beth, drinking coffee in the lodge while waiting for it to get dark enough to enjoy the stars. 

“Dad say’s your planning on law school.” Ian’s statement was obviously directed to Rafael. 

“That’s the plan.”

“Do you know what kind of lawyer you’d like to be?” Beth asked. 

“I’m leaning toward criminal or corporate law at the moment.” 

“Really? I always saw you as a prosecutor.” Jolie said. 

“Why?” Rafael smirked. 

“Defense and corporate attorneys always seem a little amoral. You don’t.” She smiled. 

“A prosecutor would still fall under criminal law.” He replied. 

“Law school is three years?” Ian asked. 

“Yes.” Rafael replied. 

“Are you guys going to be okay with being long distance for a year?” Ian asked. 

“Why would we be long distance?” Jolie inquired. 

“You have three and a half years left of undergrad. Rafael has a year and a half and then three years of law school. That leaves a year of law school left for him after you’ve graduated.” Ian explained. 

“How about we make it a year before you start making arrangements for four years out.” Jolie smirked. 

“Oh, they’re calling everyone to go outside.” Beth announce interrupting the conversation.

 

“Is this what you meant by you liked the stars?” Rafael asked as they gazed up at more stars than he could ever hope to see from the city. 

“Yeah, but this is even prettier than from the valley where the cabin is.” She smiled. 

“I was just going along because it seemed like you were excited but this is more impressive than I thought it would be.” 

“Honestly I didn’t think it would be that much different up here. It really is beautiful.” 

He watched her as she set her camera up on the tripod she had brought, using a long exposure to take pictures. “Stand here.” She instructed as she dragged Rafael to stand in front of the lens. 

“Do I need to look at the camera?” He smirked as she started lining up the shot she wanted. 

“Not yet.” She replied and then had him move around a bit until she had him exactly where she wanted him in the shot. 

“I’m going to leave the lens open for a few seconds so hold really still.” She said as she stood next to him, the long shutter release in her hand. “You ready? Three, two, one.” She pushed the release holding the lens open so that she could get enough light to hopefully have them show up but not too much light that the stars didn’t. She made him take a few, varying the length of time she left the lens open. 

“Lets do another one.” He smirked cupping his hand against her jaw line and pulling her lips to his. She managed to take a few shots before his lips pulled away from hers. He pressed his forehead to hers and exhaled. She snuck in another picture before he spoke. “I love you.” He whispered, pulling back to look at her. 

“You what?” She asked, not harshly, just needing him to clarify what he said because she had barely heard him. 

“I love you,” he repeated, more assertion behind it this time, “I think I’ve loved you for as long as I’ve known you but I also realize that’s ridiculous.” 

She smiled at his skepticism and ran her thumb along his cheek. “I love you too.” Her eyes met his Jolie said, looking him in the eyes as she pulled him back to her lips.

 

Jolie was still asleep when Rafael woke up the next morning. He chuckled softly at her relaxed state, her mouth slightly parted and her hair messed over her cheek. Deciding not to wake her, he snuck out of the room to find coffee. 

“Morning.” Malcolm said, startling him slightly as he entered the kitchen. 

“Morning.” Rafael yawned. 

“Coffee?” Malcolm asked, holding up the pot he had just poured his own cup from. 

“Please.”

“Your intentions with my daughter...” Malcolm inquired while lifting a brow. 

“I love her.” Rafael replied, the tone in his voice eliciting a brief smile from Malcolm. 

“She must care for you too.” Malcolm stated, his face resuming its normal, more serious tone. 

“Why do you say that?” 

“Her whole life I’ve had security around her, my son as well. She’s never spent this much time with anyone other than Blake and I’m pretty sure you’re giving that crazy girl some competition in hours logged.” Malcolm smirked. 

“Is that ok?” Rafael question, almost afraid to hear the answer. 

“My daughter has good taste.” Malcolm smiled. 

“How much do you know about me?” Rafael asked, cocking an eyebrow. 

“More than you probably want me to know,” Malcolm reasoned, adding, “if it’s any consolation your professors speak very highly of you.” 

“Good to know.” Rafael huffed. 

“She’s my only daughter.” Malcolm said justifying his actions. 

“I still feel a little violated.” Rafael sighed. 

“I don’t pry as to what you and my daughter do in your free time. I just need to make sure she’s in good hands.” Malcolm stated. 

“Is she?” 

“I would have intervened a long time ago if I had any concerns.” Malcolm smiled. 

“We’ve only been together for two months.” Rafael stated slightly confused by his use of a long time ago. 

“Yes but you’ve been inseparable since September.” Malcolm chuckled. 

“Annalise, good morning.” Malcolm smiled, moving his attention from Rafael to his wife who had entered the kitchen. 

“Morning.” She yawned, her eyes addressing both men with the simple response as she made her way to the coffee maker. “Jolie not up yet?” She asked after a few sips of coffee. 

“Nope.” Rafael replied, mostly into the coffee mug he was taking a sip from.

“She’s going to drag you sledding later.” Annalise giggled. 

“You’re not going?” Rafael asked. 

“The hill she likes can be seen from the back porch. I think Malcolm and I will watch from there. I’m a little sore from skiing.” She smiled. 

“Ian and Beth will go though.” Malcolm added. 

 

“You’re slow!” Jolie yelled down to him from the top of the hill as he made his way back up to join her. 

“I’m sorry we can’t all prance up hill like some kind of mountain goat.” Rafael grumbled. 

“Just get up here.” She smiled choosing to ignore that he had just compared her to a goat. “Lets both ride down this time.” She suggested when he finally joined her. He rolled his eyes but sat behind her on the sled. 

They heard laughter from the direction of the cabin when they crashed on the landing. “You ok?” Jolie giggled as she rolled over to check on Rafael. 

“I am, but I think we should stick to solo rides.” He replied scooping up a handful of snow and smashing it over her head. Her mouth fell open as she feigned shock causing him to laugh. 

“Oh that’s it. Just remember, I’m more agile than you.” She threatened scooping a snowball of her own as she stood throwing it at him before he made it to his own feet.

 

“Your family is different than I imagined.” Rafael said as they hiked one of the trails behind the cabin on their last day. 

“You expect them to be snobs.” Jolie teased. 

“Not snobs, but I didn’t expect you guys to be so close. I mean you haven’t seen them the entire time I’ve known you.” He replied. 

“Yes but we talk. My dad tries to call every week and I talk to my mom and brother at least once a month.” She explained. 

“Your dad’s pragmatic.” Rafael smirked. 

“What did he do?” 

“Nothing I wouldn’t do if I had his resources and a daughter.” Rafael chuckled.

 

Chapter Text

“What are you listening to?” Rafael questioned as Jolie let him in her dorm room. 

“It’s a punk band out of California, NoFX.” Jolie replied, turning it down as Rafael made a face. 

“You actually like this?” He asked clearly not impressed by what he had heard. 

“It’s fun and there are some politically motivated songs.” She skipped it to Perfect Government which was technically a cover song but it still made her point. 

“You do realize your dad is one of those fat cats right?” Rafael smirked and wrapped his arm around her as she muttered. 

“Yes.” 

Jolie changed the music to the more mellow Buffalo Tom and joined Rafael on the bed to study. 

“Where’s your roommate?” 

“I’ll give you three guesses.” Jolie smirked. 

“MIT?” 

“Yep.” 

“Are we ever going to meet this Andrew guy?” He questioned, leaning against the wall as he pulled his book into his lap. 

“They want to double for Valentines, but I told her I’d ask you.” 

“It’s up to you. We can do something just the two of us or we can all go out.” He shrugged. 

“I’d like to go with them. I’ve always found the whole Valentines Day thing a little hokey anyway.” She said scrunching up her face before opening her own book to read.

 

Valentines Day fell on a Tuesday so Jolie suggested they all go out either the weekend before or after. 

“That’s not the same though. You’re supposed to go out on Valentine’s Day, besides it’s just dinner. We have to eat, even on a Tuesday.” Sarah countered. 

“Fine. Where do you want to go?” Jolie giggled, not expecting Sarah to be so into Valentine’s Day. 

“I don’t know, someplace nice.” Sarah smiled. 

“I’ll leave it up to you but don’t pick somewhere too nice. Rafael’s already picked up a second job bartending so I know money is an issue this semester and he’s too stubborn to let me pay.” 

“I thought the whole RA thing covered room and board.” Sarah furrowed her brow. 

“Yeah but I think he’s saving for next year when he’s not an RA anymore.” Jolie replied. 

“He can’t do it again? I’m thinking about it. I’m mean that would be a huge financial load off my parents next year since my scholarship doesn’t cover room and board.” Sarah flipped her notebook closed, too exhausted to study anymore. 

“Apparently he’s been taking summer classes since he started so he graduates in August. And you have to be my roommate when I move off campus next year.” Jolie smiled. 

“Has he applied to law school?” Sarah asked. 

“He is as we speak.”  

“What if he ends up somewhere else?”

“Then we’ll figure it out.” Jolie sighed. 

“You want to live with me next year?” Sarah asked with a silly grin on her face. 

“Of course. I don’t want to live alone and like I can find someone else that can stick to my crazy study schedule.” Jolie chuckled. 

“On a serious note though, I doubt I could afford to live where you could.” Sarah sighed. 

“My dad’s already suggested buying a small two bedroom house close to campus so if you want the other room it’s yours and if you think I’m charging you rent you’re crazy. I’d rather have a sane roommate than the money.” Jolie smiled.

 

Sarah found an Italian restaurant that was reasonably priced and the food was supposed to be really good. “Rafael. Jolie. This is Andrew. Andrew this is Rafael and Jolie.” Sarah said introducing everyone as they sat down at the table. 

“It’s nice to finally meet the two of you.” Andrew said. 

“You too.” Rafael and Jolie said. 

“How’d you find this place?” Jolie asked as she looked at the menu. 

“Megan suggested it.” Sarah smiled. 

“How are you liking MIT?” Rafael asked. 

“Well the weather was better at Stanford but MIT was always my first choice.” Andrew said as he smiled at Sarah. 

“My god, could you two be more sickeningly sweet.”Jolie teased. 

“Oh yeah like you and Rafael are so much better to be around.” Sarah giggled. 

 

After dinner they all went back to the dorm. “Hey Andrew shares a room with a really nerdy guy who is usually working in a lab somewhere but made it very clear he would be home tonight, sulking I guess. Are you by chance going to Rafael’s room tonight?” Sarah asked as she pulled Jolie aside. 

“I’m sure that can be arranged but I have an eight o’clock class so make sure he’s dressed or at least covered by six thirty so I can get ready in the morning.” Jolie smirked. 

“I will. Thank you!” Sarah grinned dragging Jolie into their room where Rafael and Andrew were talking. 

Jolie grabbed a wrapped package off her shelf and took Rafael’s hand. “Can I stay in your room tonight?” She whispered in his ear. 

He smiled and almost dragged her to his own dorm room. 

 

“I got you something.” She said handing him the package she had picked up. 

“You didn’t have to.” He smiled as she handed it to him. 

“It’s nothing big. I was going to give it to you anyway so I thought tonight would be a good time.” She smiled. 

He opened her gift to find a framed picture of the two of them looking at each other, their foreheads press together, with the stars behind them that she had taken in Aspen. 

“I told you it wasn’t much.” She shrugged. 

“It’s a great picture.” He smiled, setting it on the shelf by his bed. 

“I got you something too.” He said picking up a wrapped gift and handing it to her. 

“You really didn’t have to. I promise I’m really not that big on Valentines Day.” She sighed as she took it. 

“Good because it’s not romantic at all.” He smirked as she opened it. 

“You got me a book?” She giggled. 

“It’s You Can’t Be Neutral On A Moving Train, Howard Zinn’s autobiography. I thought you’d like it with your newfound interest in the American Civil Liberties Union and political issues.” Rafael said, trying to gage whether her giggle meant she liked it or not. 

“How do you do that?” She smiled. 

“Do what?” 

“Find me a gift that fits where I am in life perfectly.” She replied pulling him to her for a kiss. 

 

“Did you know he was terminated from his job as a professor at Spelman during the civil rights movement because he marched with his students?” Jolie asked as she flipped through the book Rafael had given her. 

“Do you even need to read the book?” He teased as he sat next to her. 

“I do.” She smiled, opening the book to the beginning and laying down on his bed. 

“You’re going to read it now?” He chuckled laying next to her. 

“Just a little. You can read with me.” She smiled. 

When they finished the first chapter she turned her head to ask if wanted to read another but was met by his lips before she could speak. She smiled and closed the book setting it on the nightstand as she wrapped her arms around him.

 

“I’m thinking about volunteering for them.” Jolie said as she laid in Rafael’s arms, his fingers tracing shapes on her bare back. 

“Volunteering for who?” He hummed against her forehead. 

“The ACLU. They have an office in Boston. I’m sure they need someone to help stuff envelopes or something. I’d like to work for an organization like that one day.” 

“Going to go to law school too?” He teased. 

“No. I’m sure they have to sift through data, I can help make sense of it. Make it usable.” She smiled. 

“You should then. Help you get your foot in the door.”

“My dad would love that.” Jolie said sarcastically. 

“He’s against volunteer work?” 

“No, if I ended up making pennies working for a nonprofit.” She rolled her eyes. 

“Why? Aren’t you financially set for life?” 

“Yes, but my father feels wealth should be increased with each generation. I’m not actually expected to live off my trust fund, I’m expected to grow it.” Jolie sighed. 

“Aren’t there more important things to focus on?” He asked while staring at the ceiling. 

“I think so, but not to my father.”  

“Does that mean you’re going to end up working a job you hate to make him happy?” 

“No. I can grow it no matter what job I end up working. He’ll see that eventually.” She smiled. 

“How?” 

“How will I grow it?” She asked for clarification. 

“Yes.” Rafael shifted to look at her. 

“Same way I do now. I have a few long term investments with dividends and a few I borderline day trade.” Jolie said dismissively, as though investing in the stock market was something everyone did. 

“You day trade?” Rafael questioned lifting an eyebrow. 

“No. I obsessively watch certain stocks and read about them, getting in and out every few days to weeks, sometimes months based on market earnings, quarterly reports, and honestly a lot of other factors.” Jolie explained. 

“Isn’t that risky?”  

“It can be. I’ve been down more than I’d like at times but I tend to come out ahead, taking a manageable loss on one stock so I can invest the remaining money in a stock with greater growth potential in hopes of coming out ahead.” 

“That sounds stressful.” He let out a little puff of air. 

“I’ve never taken a loss for the year.” She smiled. 

“So you technically have a yearly income.” Rafael smirked. 

“I even do my own taxes.” Jolie said playfully. 

“How much did you make last year?” 

“I did well last year.” She replied not really wanting to get into the actual amount. 

“You’re not going to tell me how much?” He coaxed as he ran his hand along her cheek. 

“I’m not.” She smiled, mimicking his hand movement on his cheek. 

“I already know you have money.” He smirked. 

“Yes but knowing I come from money and the money I’ve made independently are different things.” 

“I get that.” Rafael conceded, deciding to let it go. 

“Thank you.” Jolie smiled softly as she rested her head on his shoulder. 

“How does your investing fit in with your desire to be an activist?” Rafael teased. 

“I’m not opposed to money, it can be very useful in getting causes the push they need to get off the ground.” She replied.

Chapter Text

“You went to church?” Rafael asked, noticing the cross smudged on Jolie’s forehead as he opened the door, letting her in his room. 

“I’m a terrible Catholic in the sense that I rarely go to church, not even to attend midnight mass, but I am a typical Catholic when it comes to my own guilt and make up for those transgressions by over compensating during Lent.” Jolie smiled, sitting on his bed. 

“You really are Catholic?”

“I wasn’t lying to your mom at Christmas.” Jolie chuckled. 

“You’ve just never mentioned it.” He smirked. 

“Neither have you.”  

“This is true. So what are you giving up?”  

“I fast and am giving up sweets.” Jolie replied, laying back on his bed as he joined her. 

“You fast?”  

“Everyday, except Sundays, until sunset.” She smiled as she felt his fingertips tracing across her stomach. 

“And you’re giving up sweets over me?” He smirked, his hand exploring under her shirt now, enjoying the braless phase that seemed to be commonplace with her generation. 

“I think sweets will be more of a challenge.” She teased as she pulled him to her lips with her hand that was already nestled in his hair.

 

“What are you doing for spring break?” Jolie panted with Rafael still on top of her catching his own breath. 

“I was thinking about staying here but I can go to New York if you’ll be there.” He replied as he shifted to lay next to her. 

“I was thinking about someplace a little warmer, but wanted to see if you would like to join me.” 

“Warmer where?” He asked lifting an eyebrow. 

“Blake’s uncle has a house right on the coast in Miami. One of the rooms is ours if you want to go.”  

“So a lot of the people you went to high school with will be there?” He knew Blake liked to have people around. 

“More than likely.” She sighed. 

“Are you going even if I don’t go?” He wasn’t sure if she had sighed because of how he asked the question or because she wasn’t excited about her old classmates going either. 

“No. I’d like to see Blake but being stuck with everyone else without you would be annoying. I was hoping we could kind of do our own thing and meet up with Blake occasionally.” She ran her hand through his hair and smiled when he glances up at her. 

“How would we get there?” He asked not having the money for a plane ticket and not wanting her to pay his way either. 

“Blake offered us a ride if we join her in Providence.” Jolie grinned, purposefully being vague on the form of transportation they would take.

 

“You sure you and Andrew can’t go?” Jolie asked Sarah one more time as she double checked the bag she had packed. 

“Yeah. I’ve got a huge project that I’ve stupidly been procrastinating. I have to get most of it done this week. Besides, you haven’t got to go anywhere with Rafael alone. Enjoy this trip.”

“We wont be alone. Twenty people from my graduating class will be there.” Jolie made a face and rolled her eyes. 

“You have your own room to escape to when you don’t want to be around them and Miami’s a large city, I’m sure you can find things to do just the two of you.” Sarah assured her. 

“I know.” Jolie smiled.

 

Rafael carried Jolie’s bag for her as they got out of the car at a private airport in Providence. “I thought we were driving?” Rafael muttered while handing their bags to the attendant as they boarded Blake’s family’s plane. 

“I never said drive.” Jolie smiled giving him a kiss before running off to hug Blake. 

“I’m so glad you decided to come.” Blake motioned for both of them to sit across from her. 

“When are we leaving?” Jolie asked. 

“Maybe thirty minutes, where just waiting on Casey.” Blake said. 

“Just Casey?” Jolie asked lifting an eyebrow. 

“You know Carter.” Blake replied rolling her eyes. 

“Great.” Jolie sighed, taking Rafael’s hand in hers. 

 

“I missed you.” Casey breathed as he all but mounted Blake when he and Carter boarded the plane. 

“They do this often?” Rafael questioned. 

“Ughh, the Casey and Blake show. Don’t worry they come up for air occasionally.” Jolie smirked. 

“So they’re together?” He asked as Carter sat across from them, where Blake had been. 

“Not technically but...” Jolie started. 

“They wont admit it but those two are destined for each other.” Carter said finishing her thought. 

“You’re not being your typical douchebag self.” Jolie frowned at the slightly pale looking guy staring at the floor of the plane. 

“I’ll be more myself when we’re not about to be hurdled through the air in a tin can.” Carter huffed. 

“Carter doesn’t like flying.” Jolie chuckled as she interlaced her fingers with Rafael’s.

 

Jolie looked around the room as Rafael set their bags on the bed. “I will say when Blake plans something she goes all out.” Jolie smiled when she felt Rafael’s arms wrap around her waist as she stood looking out the window. 

“The view is kind of amazing.” He smirked, turning her to face him as he leaned down to kiss her. “What are our plans for this evening?”  

“I need food once the sun sets but other than that I’m open to suggestions.” She smiled. 

“I still can’t believe you fast for forty days.” He replied, running his thumb across her cheek. 

“So not the part of my statement I wanted you to focus on.” Jolie hummed, causing him to grin as she walked him backwards toward the bed.

 

The air was warm and heavy, but there was a nice breeze as Rafael and Jolie walked along the beach not too far from the house. A welcomed change from the still chilly weather in Cambridge. They had ventured to the beach with everyone else that evening but when the conversation became more about the past than present, Jolie had begged off taking Rafael with her. 

“Can you believe we’ve barely been together for four months.” Jolie said as he placed his arm around her waist. 

“Why, does it feel longer?” He teased. 

“Not in a bad way. I just mean there’s a comfort with you, like I’ve known you longer than I have.” Jolie smiled. 

“I know.” Rafael hummed, stopping to pull her into a kiss as waves splashed gently over their feet.

 

Jolie filled their week with touristy things, dragging him on a boat tour of the Everglades, a few museums, the Miami Seaquarium, a few outings to the beach, and the Cuban restaurant Versailles. 

“I guess with the Cuban community here I should have expected the food to be good.” Rafael smirked as they finished eating. 

“I’m glad you like it because I have nothing to compare the food to.” 

“What do you have planned for tomorrow?” 

“Blake’s chartered a yacht for everyone to party on.” Jolie sighed. 

“Don’t sound so excited.” He chuckled. 

“I’m ok with hanging out with everyone, I would just prefer to have the ability to leave when I’m ready, not be trapped on a boat.”

 

Rafael was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, while Jolie had just thrown a solid white skirt on over her navy blue bikini. 

“Here, get my back.” She smiled handing him her sunscreen. 

Rafael watched as she threw things into a bag to take with them. “You put a shirt in there in case you get too much sun didn’t you?” 

“I did.” She smirked, grabbing a ridiculous sun hat and placing it on her head. They hadn’t really spent much time laying out but her skin was definitely tan and her hair seemed slightly blonder. 

“Wait.” He said, pulling her back to him as she started toward the door. 

“What?” Her blue eyes almost matched her bathing suit as she looked up at him.

“Nothing,” he smirked leaning down to kiss her. 

“You know you can do that on the boat too.” She teased.

 

They had been on the yacht for a few hours. Jolie and Blake chatted with a few other girls from Dalton on the deck while Rafael had a pleasant conversation with Casey as they watched from a shaded area. He was planning to go to law school too and picking Rafael’s brain on the application process. 

“Hey Jolie!” Carter said loudly as he almost fell between her and Katie, who she had been sitting next to. 

“Damnit, Carter!” Katie snapped as he knocked her drink onto her, getting the attention of both Rafael and Casey. 

“Sorry Katie.” Carter slurred, offering her his half empty beer which she made a face at. 

“How much have you had to drink?” Jolie asked as he rested his arm on the back of the seat behind her. 

“Why, you want one? I can get you something?” Carter’s speech was barely understandable. 

“No. I’m good.” Jolie made eye contact with Rafael and rolled her eyes. The girls continued their conversation, more or less ignoring Carter who seemed to be content just sitting in the middle of them.

 

“Casey, can you bring me another beer?” Carter called. Casey rolled his eyes but took him one, before returning to his seat next to Rafael. “Jolie...” Carter slurred taking a sip. 

“Yes Carter.” She half sighed, not really wanting to deal with a drunk Carter. 

“Why’d you break up with me?” He tried to whisper. 

“You want to know why I broke up with you... in sixth grade?” She asked somewhat confused by his question. 

“Yeah.” He responded like it was a completely normal question. 

“If I recall, it was because you got mad when I wouldn’t let you stick your hand up my shirt.” She said. 

“Oh... You’re dating that guy?” He asked gesturing to Rafael. 

“Yes, Rafael’s my boyfriend.” 

“But you could go get a drink with me on the lower deck.” Carter whispered as Jolie felt his hand lightly run up her back. 

“That wouldn’t happen even if I were single.” She said as she stood to move away from him. Carter laughed as he grabbed her by her waist pulling her onto his lap, causing both Rafael and Casey to react. “You’re an ass!” She snapped pulling herself off him taking Rafael’s hand when he offered it. 

“You ok?” Rafael asked, pulling her closer to him. 

“She’s fine.” Carter chuckled leaning back against the seat as he stared at Rafael. 

“What’s your problem?” Rafael barked as he somewhat possessively place his arm around Jolie. 

“I’ve got this.” Casey said as he started toward Carter, wanting to avoid the scene he knew Carter would make if given the chance. 

“Looks like she finally spread her legs.” Carter laughed as Casey dragged him to the lower deck.

 

Rafael and Jolie were sitting with Blake on the plane waiting for Casey and Carter so they could fly back to Providence. 

“Three hours stuck on a plane with that douche.” Jolie muttered. 

“Carter caught a flight this morning. We’re just waiting on Casey.” Blake informed her. 

“He did?” Rafael asked. 

“Yeah. Casey told him he’d take him to the airport but he wasn’t flying back with us.” Blake replied. 

“Why does he have to act like that?” Jolie asked more rhetorically than anything. 

“Cut him some slack, he’s been in love with you since the sixth grade.” Blake chided. 

“No he hasn’t.” Jolie scoffed. 

“Yes he has. He tells Casey all the time how he wishes he had treated you differently.” Blake said. 

“Then why continue to be a dick for seven years. I mean if he truly thought that he should have done things differently then he could have made an attempt to actually be a decent person.” Jolie countered. 

“Yeah I know, but he’s really only that way when he drinks and I think the fact that you’re in a relationship made him worse.” 

“Then he shouldn’t drink.” Rafael interjected. 

“What?” Blake said, surprised by Rafael’s comment. 

“If dinking changes his demeanor that much then perhaps he shouldn’t drink.” He elaborated, disdain etched in his voice as his father entered his mind more so than Carter. 

“I’m not trying to make an excuse for Carter. I just feel a little bad for him. He never quite learned how to function as a normal person.” Blake sighed.

 

“Are you ok?” Jolie asked as she laid in Rafael’s bed. They had been back in Cambridge for a few hours but he still seemed a little sullen. 

“Yes. I just really wish that guy didn’t keep showing up.” Rafael replied, tightening his embrace on her. 

“Why don’t we avoid Blakes parties. I only like a few of the people that attend anyway.”

“Blake’s right about him being in love with you.” 

“That’s ridiculous.” She scoffed. 

“No, I’m serious. I saw the way he looked at you, us, on the flight down. He was dejected.” Rafael sighed. 

“Well, then I feel a little bad for him because I love this dark hair, green eyed, Cuban from the Bronx. Maybe you’ve met him.” Jolie smiled as he met her gaze when she looked up at him. 

“So you never loved him?”  

“I have only loved you.”  

“I love you too.” Rafael smiled. 

“What about you? Did you love Yelina?” Jolie couldn’t help herself from asking. 

“At one time, yes.” Rafael sighed as he replied truthfully. 

“Have you loved anyone else?” Jolie questioned. 

Rafael pinched the bridge of his nose and exhaled as he thought about his response. Had he really loved Lauren Sullivan or had it been more of an infatuation? “No.” He replied deciding it was the truth. 

Jolie smiled as she rested her head on his chest. It stung a bit to hear that he had loved Yelina, but she wouldn’t hold his past against him. How fair would that be? He loved her now and that was what mattered.

Chapter Text

“Can you believe it’s been a year?” Jolie lamented as she held up the copy of Rolling Stones she had purchased with Kurt Cobain on the cover. 

“A year since what?” Rafael looked up from the book he’d been reading for the last hour while she worked on homework. 

“Kurt’s death.”  

“Who?” 

“Kurt Cobain. Nirvana... Smells Like Teen Spirit... Come As You Are... Have you lived under a rock since 1991?” She added the last bit when she realized he still had no idea what she was talking about. 

“I’m sorry I don’t focus all my energy on music.” He smirked, finding her obsessions with different bands amusing. 

“Whatever.” Jolie sighed, turning her attention back to her linear algebra homework.

 

Jolie was in the middle of manipulating a matrix when she felt Rafael push her hair behind her ear. “Aren’t you supposed to be finishing your book?” She asked trying not to loose her place in the Gauss-Jordan elimination she was doing as she work the matrix to row echelon form. It was a rather large matrix and she had already messed up twice having to work back through each matrices she had written out for each step until she found her mistake. “Give me a minute.” She scolded as his hand reached under her tank top, his lips on her neck and shoulder. When his hand moved higher she took her free hand and pushed it away without taking her eyes off her work not wanting to lose her place. “Rafael Barba!” She squealed when his hand reached between her legs from underneath, since she had her knees bent and spiral resting resting on them. 

He had a grin on his face when she looked at him. “I’m sorry. You still need a minute?”

She should have found him annoying but that stupid grin was really cute. “Whatever, I’d have to start over again now anyway.” She smiled pulling him to her lips.

Her math book fell to the floor with a thud when he pushed her things off his bed causing them both to chuckle. Pulling her on top of him as he laid back on the bed and removed her top. Jolie sat up on his thighs and unbuttoned his jeans, moving backwards as she pulled them off. He lifted his hips when she reached up to pull his boxers off as well before climbing back on top of him to sit on his thighs again, taking him in her hand. The deep throaty sound he made as she moved her hand excited her. 

“Raf?” She whispered her voice cracking. 

“Uh huh.” He hummed. 

“I’m going to do something I’ve never done so feel free to give me guidance.”  

Rafael watched as she inched backwards so that she could move her mouth over him. She looked up at him as she took him in, bobbing her head as best she could given his size and her inexperience. 

“Jolie.” He half moaned as he lifted himself to an elbow and reached his other hand to the back of her head, effectively slowing her movements. “Don’t try to look at me.” 

Jolie took his advice, the new angle allowing her to take him deeper, eliciting a throaty groan from him.

“I’m going to readjust, ok?” Rafael said, lifting her from him. 

He shifted so that he was leaning against the wall but kept her perpendicular to him, moving her hair out of the way so he could watch as she took him her mouth again. With his right hand he reached under her skirt and into her underwear, his left remaining nestled in her hair. The more she moaned against him the more relaxed she became, taking more of him in. 

“My god.” He groaned, leaning his head back, his fingers pushing into her. “Jolie.” He moaned pulling her from him when he felt himself getting close. 

“Was it ok?” She asked as she sat on her knees next to him. 

Rafael breathed out a little puff of air as he smirked. “More than ok.” He pressed his forehead to hers while he reached under her skirt to pull her underwear off. 

She smiled as he pulled a condom from his night stand and climbed on top of her, easing himself inside. His kisses stifling her moans as he began thrusting into her, grunting his release shortly after he felt hers. 

 

“Jocelyn Rutherford!” 

Jolie looked up at Rafael as she heard her fathers rather angry voice calling from the hallway as he knocked on her dorm room door. 

“Is that your dad?” Rafael asked as he quickly climbed off of her trying his best to hide the condom and wrapper in the waste bin. 

“Yes.” She replied pulling her clothes back on. 

“Should you let him know you’re in my room?” Rafael was redressing himself as well, only more hastily than she seemed to be. 

“Is it wrong if I’m hoping he’ll give up and go home.” She smirked. 

“What did you do?” He asked sitting next to her on the bed. 

“I made a rather large donation to a local women’s shelter.” The mischievous smile on her face didn’t exactly make him feel better about the fact that her father was close enough to hear outside his dorm room.

Rafael looked at her and then his door as they heard muffled voices and then footsteps heading towards his room. He scrambled to set the bed up again the way it had looked earlier while they had been studying not wanting her dad to think they had been doing what they had been doing.

“Jocelyn!” Her fathers voice boomed outside Rafael’s door as he knocked. 

“Hi daddy.” Jolie smiled as she opened the door. 

“Don’t daddy me, do you know how many zero’s were after that five on the check you wrote? I had to request a copy to verify the handwriting before I could believe you’d actually written it.” Malcolm resembled the man Rafael feared he’d be before he’d actually met him.

“It was for a good cause and it’s a tax write off.” Jolie replied calmly. 

“I’m ok with you volunteering your time with the ACLU, charity is good, but your bleeding heart is going to bankrupt you.” Malcolm barked. 

“I highly doubt that.” Jolie scoffed. 

Rafael sat silently on his bed hoping her father wouldn’t notice him, knowing how disheveled his and Jolie’s clothes looked. 

“Is this your influence?” Malcolm asked, turning to him. 

“Not mine, but I don’t discourage it.” Rafael replied. 

“Could you?” Malcolm almost pleaded. 

“Do you really think I could even if I wanted to?” Rafael smirked. 

“You need to run these things by me.” Malcolm sighed returning his attention to his daughter. 

“Why? The cost for you to fly here and yell at me between taking time off work, the pilots time, staff, and fuel was more than I donated.” Jolie countered clearly not intimidated by her dad. 

“I really hate that you got my propensity for numbers.” Malcolm grumbled. 

“No you don’t.” Jolie smirked. 

“You know sometimes, I just want to be right.” Malcolm chuckled. 

“I’m sure I’ll mess up again sometime. Maybe you’ll get your chance then.” Jolie teased. 

Malcolm rolled his eyes. “Why don’t you two finish getting dressed and I’ll take you to dinner.” Malcolm offered, finding some small pleasure in Rafael’s discomfort.

 

Jolie took her dad to her room while Rafael fixed his hair and cleaned himself up, excusing herself to the bathroom to do the same. Malcolm took them to eat at a nice seafood restaurant in Boston. 

“Did Ian Jacobs contact you?” Malcolm asked Rafael once they had ordered. 

“He did. We’ve met up a few times to go over my application and he’s been really helpful answering any questions I’ve had.”  

“When should you hear something?”

“Dr. Jacobs said they’d most likely review my grades from this semester, since I still have classes this summer, but I should hear something by mid June.” Rafael sounded anxious because he was anxious. The whole applying to law school while still having a summer of undergrad to complete was extremely daunting.

“I’m sure you’ll get in. Graduating in three years with a 4.0 GPA, not to mention your letters of recommendation, it’s not lacking in merit.” Malcolm smiled reassuringly. 

“I hope so, the idea of leaving Cambridge in a few months sounds terrible.” Rafael sighed hating the idea of leaving Jolie anytime soon.

 

Malcolm left shortly after dinner, Jolie and Rafael returned to his room once he had. 

“Jolie?” Rafael hummed against her scalp as she laid in his arms. 

“Yes.” She smiled as she traced shapes on his chest over his shirt. 

“What had you done before you met me?” He asked, thinking about how she told him she had never given head before. 

“What do you mean?”  

“I know your were a virgin but what had you done?” He questioned, running his hands through her hair. 

“You’re pretty much my first everything. I mean I’ve dated but not anyone I was interested in enough to call a boyfriend and they definitely never got passed my clothes.” Jolie replied. 

“I’m the only person to ever touch you?” He half whispered the question. 

“Is that ok?” 

“Of course.” Rafael hummed, pulling her protectively against him.

Chapter Text

“This place is nice.” Sarah said as Jolie showed her around the house she would be living in for the remainder of undergrad. 

“I know and it’s walking distance to campus.” Jolie smiled. 

“Is Rafael going to move in too?” Sarah grinned. 

“No, even if he wasn’t too proud to live in my house, it’s a little soon to move in together. He’s been looking at places with David, since they both have applied to law school, as well as small garage apartments. Hopefully he hears something early June so he can grab something before all the affordable housing is gone.” Jolie sighed. 

“Which one is your room?” 

“I was thinking I’d take the one with the bathroom. You can pick between the other two and we can make the third an office.” 

“My dad has some reservations. He kind of wants me to do the RA thing and stay in the dorm.” Sarah peaked into the larger of the two rooms, pouting a bit when she glanced at the bathroom. 

“But this would allow you more free time to study.” 

“I know, but he’s afraid we’ll have a falling out and then you could just kick me out without warning.” Sarah sighed. 

“Then we’ll create a lease,” Jolie replied dismissively before asking again, “which room do you want?” 

 

Jolie woke early Saturday morning and took her family plane to Raleigh, North Carolina. 

“Hi Mr. Birch.” Jolie said as he opened the door, not exactly expecting to see his daughters roommate. 

“Is everything ok?” He asked, curious as to why she was there. 

“I wanted to bring you a lease for Sarah if you decide to let her move in with me. I’ve already signed it but you can read it over, have a lawyer read it over. I basically set it up where she owes a penny in rent every month, because you apparently have to put some amount down, and protected her from me being able to evict her without notice or cause.” Jolie stated handing him the lease. 

Sarah’s dad looked at he like she was slightly crazy. 

“I’m not trying to force your hand. You don’t have to let her live with, I just had to try. She’s been a great roommate and I really don’t want to live alone.” She added. 

“I’ll think it over.”

“That’s all I ask.” Jolie replied. 

“You know you could have just mailed this and called me.” 

“Yes, but my father says if you want someone to take you seriously you have to show up.” Jolie smiled before turning to return to the car.

 

“Where have you been all day?” Rafael asked when he saw her heading down the hall toward her room. 

“I had to run an errand. How much studying do you have?” Jolie smiled. 

“I’m pretty caught up, why?” He asked lifting a brow. 

“I just thought we could start my birthday month off right.” She smirked as she dragged him toward the stairs. 

“Where are we going?” He asked half expecting from the way she said it to go back to his room. 

“You’ll see.” She smirked.

 

“Ice cream?” He asked shaking his head as they stood outside Lizzy’s. 

“What did you think I wanted.” She teased as she dragged him into the ice cream parlor. 

Rafael had a single scoop of chocolate in a cup and rolled his eyes when Jolie set down with a chocolate dipped cone with bright pink strawberry ice cream and sprinkles. 

“I’m dating a child.” He chuckled as she tried to stop a drip from running down the cone. 

“I turn nineteen this month.” She smiled, playing into his insult. 

“When?”  

“The twenty first.” 

“You really celebrate the whole month?”  

“No. I just refer to it as my birthday month because it’s the month my birthday is in. When’s yours?” She questioned. 

“October twenty fourth.” He smiled knowing she’d be irritated he didn’t tell her. 

“Why didn’t you say anything?” She huffed. 

“We weren’t dating yet.” He shrugged. 

“I would have still liked to have known.” Jolie grumbled. 

“You do now.” Rafael smirked, sliding her chair closer to his. 

“So, the entire time we’ve been together you could have been buying me booze?” She giggled. 

“Yes, because you drink so often.” He said while rolling his eyes.

 

“What do you want to do for your birthday?” Rafael asked as they laid in his bed. 

“There’s this band, Lagwagon, I know you’re not a huge fan of my music but they’re playing in Boston the Saturday before my birthday and I was hoping you’d go with me.” Jolie almost begged. 

“I’d go with you even if it weren’t your birthday.” He smiled. 

“Ok. Finals will be done by then so I’m going to invite Sarah and Andrew too.” Jolie grinned. 

“Do you have any of their music?” 

“I do.” She eyed him suspiciously as she tried to figure out where he was going. 

“You want to play some of it?”

“You’re letting me play my punk music... in your room... at your suggestion?” Jolie smirked. 

“It is your birthday month.” He chuckled. 

Jolie grinned as she hurried to her room to grab the two CD’s they had released, putting Trashed on first because it was her favorite. 

“I will say this is better than some of the music you’ve played for me.” Rafael said. 

“So you like it?” 

“I didn’t say that.” He smirked.

 

“When do we have to be out of the dorm again?” Jolie asked as Rafael helped her pack up her things. 

“By the nineteenth, unless you’re taking summer classes like me.” He smiled. 

“Are you sure the movers can move my things too.” Sarah asked from her side of the room. 

“If it’s in a box they will take it to the house. I’ve schedule it for the seventeenth so make sure you have everything packed by then.”

“Whose sick idea was it to have move out so close to the end of finals. Like we’re not under enough stress as it is.” Sarah complained. 

“I know right?” Jolie commiserated. 

 

Jolie had the house furnished before they moved, purchasing furniture for every room including Sarah’s, though she had her pick out something she liked. Sarah had originally protested but Jolie had assured her when she sold the house after she graduated she would sell it furnished or move the furniture to her new home and saw no reason for Sarah’s parents to lug her bed room furniture up from Raleigh. 

“I’m so glad your dad finally agreed to you living here.” Jolie smiled as they unpacked the living room. 

“Me too. I mean the RA thing wouldn’t have been too bad, but I’m so excited not to have communal showers anymore.” Sarah chuckled. 

“I know. Rafael has already said he will be taking advantage of my shower this summer.” Jolie grinned.

 

“The singers kind of hot.” Sarah said to Jolie as Lagwagon played. 

“That he is.” Jolie smirked. 

“You think he’s attractive?” Rafael asked. 

“Not as cute as you.” She smiled pulling him down to kiss her. 

“You definitely have a type.” Andrew teased. 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jolie scoffed. 

“Look at him. Dark hair, light eyes, not exactly tall...” Andrew grinned at the annoyed look Rafael had given him. 

“No one is tall when you’re six two... And I have at least four inches on that guy.” Rafael huffed, gesturing to the singer who couldn’t be more than five six. 

“They are both taller than me.” Jolie smiled. 

“That’s not saying much.” Andrew chuckled. 

“You really like that guy?” Rafael questioned. 

“I said Joey Cape was attractive, but I’ve never met him so I couldn’t possibly like him.” Jolie assured him, finding some amusement in his jealousy. 

“You know his name?” Rafael questioned, cocking an eyebrow. 

“I can name the rest of the members too if you’d like. The drummer is Derrick Plourde, the tall guitarist is Chris Flippin...” Jolie was going to list them all but Rafael stopped her. 

“Ok, I get it. I don’t know how you have time to get your school work done, but I get it.” 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” She pouted. 

“It’s just when you like a band you learn everything you can about them.” 

“I like to learn things and they are slowly becoming one of my favorite bands.” Jolie smiled.

 

“It’s after midnight.” Rafael noted as they entered Jolie’s room after returning home from the show. 

“So it is.” She smiled, turning to face him as he placed his arms around her waist. 

“Technically your birthday.” He smirked as he ran his fingers under the hem of her shirt at the small of her back. 

“Technically.” She replied looking up at him. 

“What do you want for you birthday?” He asked, his hands moving to her stomach, his fingertips barely grazing her skin, her shirt lifting higher as they moved towards her chest. 

“Cake.” She grinned. 

“Cake?” He furrowed his brow, pausing the movement of his hands but not removing them from her. 

Jolie ran her hand into his hair, “after we wake up, at some point, I want cake.” 

She smiled while pulling him to her lips, ignoring his eye roll. His hands resumed their path, his thumb grazing her nipple before he discarded the shirt completely. Jolie walked him to her bed, their clothes littering the floor as they went. 

“Are you sure cakes what you want?” Rafael smiled as he laid on top of her. 

“I didn’t say cake was the only thing I wanted.” She replied, gasping softly as she felt him push in.

Chapter Text

“What class are you taking again?” Rafael asked as he and Jolie made breakfast. 

“I’m getting my English lit class out of the way. I enjoy reading for fun but have never really been a fan of the books usually assigned in literature classes, so I figure suffering through a month is better than a full semester.” She smiled as she watched him flip a pancake. 

“Is that the only class you’re taking?” 

“The first summer session, I’m getting biology out of the way the second.” She made a face indicating she found the topic boring. 

“Not a fan of science?” He teased. 

“I prefer physics to biology.”  

“Because it’s number driven?” He asked. 

“Exactly.” She smiled as she plated the eggs.

 

Jolie’s place was so close to campus Rafael had pretty much been living with her that summer. They spent all their free time together anyway. If he happened to need something from his dorm room he would swing by and get it on his way to her house after class. By mid June most of the things he used daily had made their way to her place. 

Jolie was reading a book for her literature class at one end of the couch while Rafael worked on a paper at the other end. Her feet kept bumping into his thigh as she readjusted her position on the couch. 

“What are you doing?” She questioned when she looked over her book to see him moving her legs so he could climb between them. 

“Nothing.” He smirked, reaching under her skirt to pull her panties off. 

“You know I’m actually enjoying this book.” She pouted as his head inched closer to her center. 

“You can keep reading.” He gave her a mischievous look before his tongue made contact. Jolie attempted to read for a bit but it proved to be pointless as she was soon moaning with her head pushed back against the armrest, the book having fallen to the floor as her hands were now gripped in his hair.

 

“You know you can’t do that when Sarah gets back from Raleigh.” She scolded as he pulled her to sit on his lap. 

“Yes but that won’t be until August.” He breathed as he pressed his lips to hers. 

“You really are a distraction.” She smiled as her hands reached to unfasten his pants. 

“I think you’re the distraction, always walking around in these short skirts.” He teased while running his fingers under the hem over her thigh. 

“That’s right, blame the clothes, not your twenty one year old libido.” She smirked tugging his pants down. Rafael lifted enough so that she could get them off his hips and pushed them so that they pooled around his ankles himself. 

“Turn around.” He instructed, the corners of his lips twitching up as he quickly lifted his brows. 

Jolie looked at him curiously but obliged. He guided her onto him and then pulled her back to lean against his chest. She moaned as his hands reached under her shirt while he thrust. 

“Fuck, Raf.” She panted as his right hand massaged her clit, her head pushing back against his shoulder. 

Jolie’s left hand gripped his hair as she turned to look at him, his lips crashing into hers when she did. She moaned against them when she came, both of his hands gripping her hips to hold her in place as he thrusted towards his own release.

 

“We need to take advantage of the couch until Sarah gets back.” Jolie panted, Rafael’s hands resting on her stomach while she continued to sit on him leaning back against his chest. 

“I thought I was a distraction.” He smirked. 

“You are, but you’re a distraction I like having around.” She smiled. 

Jolie started to get up but he pulled her tighter against him and pressed his lips firmly to hers placing his hand on her cheek as she wrapped her arm around his neck. 

“I love you.” He breathed when their lips finally parted. 

“I love you, too.” She smiled before dragging him to the bedroom to sleep.

 

“What’s that?” Jolie asked as Rafael entered the living room carrying a stack of mail. 

“I stopped by the dorms to pick up the mail I’ve left sitting for a couple weeks.” He said dropping three rather large envelopes on her coffee table. 

“Where’d you get in?” She asked as she sat on the couch next to him. 

“I haven’t opened them, how do you know I got in?” He asked. 

“Little envelope, rejection, big... you’re in. So where’d you get in?” She smiled. 

“You open them. I can’t.” He exhaled, handing the envelopes to her. 

She smiled as she started with the one from Columbia despite him having the one from Harvard on top. 

“Really?” He huffed. 

“You told me to open, this is the order I’m going in.” She replied.

He rolled his eyes as she slowly opened the envelope. “Congratulations, Rafael Barba...” She read. 

“Ok, next.” He interrupted. 

Jolie smiled and started opening the one from Yale, giggling when he rolled his eyes. “Congratulations, Rafael Barba...” She started. 

“Next.” He interrupted again. 

Jolie picked up the one from Harvard and slowly opened it. “Oh...” She frowned. 

“What?” He snapped, grabbing the paper from her causing her to giggle. 

“I’m only teasing, you’re in.” 

 

Rafael sat on the couch next to her. “I get to stay in Cambridge.” He smiled, pulling her into him. 

“Are you sure?” She asked as she read through the letter from Yale. 

“Why would you ask that?” He asked. 

“Yale’s offering you a full scholarship.” Jolie replied handing him the letter. She watched as he read through it, knowing the money would be something he couldn’t turn down. 

Rafael set it on the coffee table and picked the letter from Harvard up and finished reading through it, audibly sighing with relief when he did. “So did Harvard.” He smiled handing her the letter. 

“Thank god, because the idea of you leaving... I don’t even want to think about it.” She said looking sad. 

“I’m not going anywhere.” He smiled leaning in to kiss her. 

“Do you know where you want to live?”  

“I need to find out if David heard something, because the best place is a two bedroom not too far from here actually. If not there’s a garage efficiency that I should be able to swing solo.” Rafael sighed.

 

David had also been admitted to Harvard Law so they had quickly put a down payment on the two bedroom not wanting to loose it when demand increased in July. 

“You’re three blocks away.” Jolie smiled as he showed her around the place. 

“I told you it wasn’t far from your place.” Rafael replied, dragging her to what would be his room. 

“Does it come furnished?” She asked noticing the place was filled with furniture. 

“It does.” He said, sighing at one less expense he had to endure. The furniture may have been dated but it was in good condition so he wouldn’t complain. The only thing he had to get was a mattress. 

“Maybe I’ll do that with my house.” Jolie said mostly to herself. 

“Do what?”  

“Rent it out instead of selling it after graduation.” Jolie stated. 

“You’re house? I thought your dad bought it.” Rafael said, furrowing his brow slightly. 

“No I bought it as an investment. The housing market in Cambridge is fantastic. It’ll go up in value in the three short years I’ll live in it.” Jolie smiled, taking his hand as they walked back to her place. 

“Your dad helped though?” Rafael inquired. 

“I had his lawyers look over the paperwork.” She replied dismissively before pulling him through some sprinklers in a yard down the street from hers.

Chapter Text

The Fourth of July fell the week between the first and second summer session. Jolie had a love hate relationship with the holiday. Part of her loved going to the Hamptons, being with her family, and watching the fireworks. The other part hated that it was the busiest time of the year in the Hamptons. While she had her parents home to escape to when she had her fill of the socialites, she preferred the Hamptons in the winter when it was deserted. Not that it took much arm twisting, but she convince Rafael to join her. 

“I heard you got into to Harvard Law.” Malcolm smiled as he sat in a chair next to Rafael on the deck. 

“Did Dr. Jacobs tell you that or Jolie?” Rafael asked. 

“Dr. Jacobs. I’ve known since the beginning of June.” Malcolm grinned. 

“You could have told me so I could stop stressing about it.” Rafael sighed. 

“Would you have really wanted me to tell you before your letter came?” 

“I guess not.” Rafael replied.

 

Jolie was taking Rafael to a few of the social obligations she needed to attend. The country club was first on her list of obligations to mark off. She hated going there, it was full of vapid girls trying to find a suitable husband, the Carters of the world ever willing to take advantage, and men her fathers age or older playing golf. But for her fathers business she needed to make an appearance and be polite. 

“Kitty, Birdie, hi! This is my boyfriend Rafael.” Jolie said as she introduced him to two girls sitting on the patio of the restaurant where she had planned for them to eat lunch. 

“Whose his dad?” Birdie asked curiously, not bothering to hide the fact that she was checking him out. 

“No one that frequents here. We met at Harvard.” Jolie replied, the corners of her lips tugging upward at Birdies face when Rafael placed his arm around her. 

“I need to do that, find someone outside of all this. The pools getting a bit dry.” Kitty huffed. 

“Perhaps if you didn’t give it up so easily.” Birdie chided. 

“We’ll see you around.” Jolie smiled as she took the opportunity of their bickering to escape to the table. 

“Anyone not named after an animal here?” He joked as they sat. 

“There’s a girl named Lemon.” Jolie chuckled. 

“Nooo...” Rafael replied in disbelief. 

“I’m completely serious.” Jolie said, giving him a ‘this is what I grew up with’ face.

 

“Did you have one of those coming out things?” Rafael asked as they walked back to her parents house. 

“You mean a cotillion?” She giggled. 

“Now I’m almost afraid to hear the answer since you know what it’s called.” He grinned. 

“I didn’t have one despite my mothers best efforts. I flat out refused to be presented to society in a sexist mating ritual.” Jolie shuddered at the memory of her mother trying to persuade her with a frilly white dress. Rafael laughed at her response and took her hand in his. 

“Hey Jolie! ...and Jolie’s boyfriend.” Carter smiled as he approached them. 

“Hi Carter.” Jolie replied, rolling her eyes at his refusal to learn Rafael’s name. 

“Are you going to Casey’s parents party tomorrow?” He asked, eyeing her hand in Rafael’s. 

“I go every year.”  

“Good. I’ll see you tomorrow then.” Carter replied as he continued passed them without really acknowledging Rafael. 

“I really don’t like that guy.” Rafael huffed. 

“Me either.” Jolie commiserated dragging Rafael slightly as she continued the walk home.

“Are all the people you went to school with out here this weekend?” Rafael inquired. 

“No. Casey’s dad has a house a couple lots down from ours and always throws a big Fourth of July party. That’s the only reason Carter’s here, Blake will be here tomorrow but that will be it from Dalton. The party is more for his dad’s business than for Casey to invite a bunch of school friends. I only go because my dad is invited.” Jolie explained. 

“What does Carter’s dad do to get on the invite list?” Rafael asked. 

“Carter’s dad owns a chain of car washes but he’s not notable enough to be invited to the party. Carter only goes because he’s been friends with Casey since kindergarten.” 

“Your world’s kind of harsh.”  

“You have no idea.” Jolie sighed.

 

“Blake!” Jolie squealed as she ran to hug her friend. 

“I see you still have the boy.” Blake smirked as she waved at Rafael. 

“I see you’re still denying your feelings for Casey.” Jolie replied garnering an eye roll from Blake. 

“How’d you make out grade wise?” Blake asked as she followed Jolie back to Rafael. 

“4.0, you?” Jolie questioned. 

“I really hate that you do that.” Blake huffed as the three of them found a seat. 

“Do what?”  

“Always make A’s. I though for sure, now that you were distracted, your grades would slip but no, of course not.”  

“I don’t party like you do.” Jolie smirked. 

“How about you Rafael, how much do you have left?” Blake asked ignoring Jolie’s comment. 

“One class and I’m done with undergrad.” He smiled. 

“You graduate in August? Why didn’t you tell me?” Blake chided giving Jolie a light shove. 

“I didn’t think you were that interested.” Jolie chuckled. 

“So what happens now?” Blake asked. 

“What do you mean?” Jolie frowned. 

“Well is Rafael staying Cambridge while you finish school or going back to New York?” 

“I’ll still be in Cambridge, I’m going to Harvard Law.” He replied. 

“You have to get like a 173 on your LSAT to manage that.” Blake noted, having listened to Casey talk about it enough times. 

“178.” Jolie smirked as Rafael rolled his eyes. 

“Can you help Casey study next summer or give him some advice? He’s really stressing about getting a high enough score to get in.” Blake asked, the fact that she cared more for Casey than she admitted clear in her voice. 

 

Jolie was making her way back from an upstairs restroom when Carter started down the hall towards her. 

“Jolie.” He slurred. 

“Great, you’re drunk.” Jolie huffed as he got closer. 

“You know you’re hardly ever alone anymore.” Carter stated, grabbing her by the waist as she passed him. 

“What the fuck Carter!” Jolie yelled as he pinned her against the wall. “Get off me!” She screamed when he leaned closer in an attempt to kiss her. 

The commotion could be heard downstairs and both Rafael and Malcolm made their way to her simultaneously. Jolie kneed Carter in the crotch as Rafael and her father rounded the corner into view, causing Carter to back up enough for Jolie to get away from him. 

“That’s right, run to your poor little Cubano.” Carter chuckled as Rafael wrapped his left arm around Jolie, balling his right hand into a fist. 

“I’ve got this, son.” Malcolm said as he rested his hand on Rafael’s shoulder. 

“You call that trash son?” Carter barked. 

Malcolm turned to Carter and Rafael hoped he never saw the look on Jolie’s father’s face directed towards him. “You listen and listen well. A mans character is based on his actions, lets talk about yours. You graduated at the bottom of your class, completely wasting the opportunity your father worked hard to provide for you. You ride on the coat tails of the friends you’ve made and act as though the world owes you something. It would be a shame if all those car washes your father owns, the ones that let you live something that resembles a tiny spec of the lifestyle my family lives, were to suddenly find themselves in competition with a lower priced car wash across the street. It wouldn’t take much either, wouldn’t even matter if they were profitable just as long as you felt it. See while your father has built a sustainable business for himself he doesn’t exactly manage his money well. If his businesses started to close... How long do you think it would be until your father was left with nothing? And I promise you, if you ever lay a hand on my daughter again, I will personally make sure your family loses the financial freedom you so enjoy.” Malcolm threatened, understanding that the status that came with money was the only thing Carter truly cared about. 

“Yes sir.” Carter whispered, knowing how low on this particular totem pole his family really sat. 

“I swear Carter, if you ever pull something like that again, it’ll be that last time you’re invited to anything associated with Blake or me.” Casey stated, his father and him having joined the group. 

“Why don’t you go to your room and sleep it off.” Jack Maxwell, Casey’s dad, suggested. 

“Yes, sir.” Carter replied, making his way to the room they had offered him. 

He had spent every summer with the Maxwells for as long as he could remember and wasn’t going to jeopardize that relationship even if he was intoxicated. 

“You like scotch?” Jack asked Rafael, the tension dissipating after Carter left. 

“I do.” He replied. 

“Good man,” Jack said clapping him on the back, “I’ve got a twenty five year old Macallen in the study.” 

Malcolm gestured for Rafael to follow when he didn’t initially and her reluctantly moved forward, tugging Jolie along with him.

“Are you ok?” Rafael asked Jolie. 

“I am. I’ll find Blake. Go. Network. Jack Maxwell is friends with more judges and DA’s than anyone I know, believe me, he’s a connection you want.” Jolie whispered as she shooed him off. Rafael hesitantly followed the men, relieved to see Casey would be joining them as well.

 

“This is Rafael Barba, my daughters boyfriend,” Malcolm said as he introduced Rafael to a few men already sitting in the study, “Rafael this is Judge Walter Schreiber, Judge William Wright, District Attorney Adam Schiff, and you know Ian.” 

“Dr. Jacobs.” Rafael said as a greeting. 

“Congratulations by the way.” Jacobs noted, knowing acceptance letters had gone out. 

“Thanks.” Rafael smiled. 

“Congratulations on what?” Wright asked as Jack handed Rafael a glass of scotch and gestured to a seat. 

“Rafael just got accepted to Harvard Law class of 98.” Jacobs announced to the group. “Does you daughter have good taste or did you lend a helping hand like you did with your son?” Schreiber teased. 

“She has good taste. His GPA and LSAT scores stand on their own.” Malcolm smiled. 

“It’s true. He was in the yes pile long before the applications even reached my desk. I would have fought for you if needed.” Jacobs who had possibly had a few too many drinks already said as he leaned toward Rafael. 

“I appreciate that.” Rafael smiled.

 

“What did you get on the LSAT if you don’t mind me asking?” Casey inquired as the older men started complaining about an absent mutual friend. 

“A 178.” Rafael replied trying to follow the conversation when it moved to a case he had been reading about. 

“Damn.” Casey sighed. 

“Time willing, I’ll help you study when you’re to that point if you keep that creep away from Jolie.” Rafael offered, sensing the stress Casey was putting on himself. 

“Carter just lost all visitation rights to Harvard.” Casey smiled. 

“Where does he go to school anyway?” Rafael asked. 

“Hudson.” Casey scoffed. 

“Bradley is the trial judge, right?” Rafael interjected, turning from Casey and officially making himself part of the conversation. 

“He is. If you were prosecuting, were would you start?” Schiff asked. 

“You always discuss other peoples trials?” Rafael questioned, borrowing his brow slightly. 

“We can’t exactly talk about our own.” Schreiber smirked. 

“I see your point.” Rafael nodded. 

“So...?” Schiff nudged Rafael for a response to his original question. 

Rafael responded with a confidence matching the older men. Casey watched, hoping that when he was entering law school this would come as easily for him.

 

“Are you sure you don’t want to stay the rest of the week?” Annalise asked as Rafael helped carry Jolie’s bag to the car. 

“Rafael promised his mom we would visit before heading back to Cambridge. He hasn’t seen his family since Christmas.” Jolie replied, smiling at Rafael when he joined her. 

“You two are staying at our place?”  

“Yes mom.”  

“Ok. Be careful sweetheart.” Annalise said pulling her daughter in for a hug. 

“We will.” Jolie smiled as she climbed in the car after Rafael. 

“So what’s the plan with your parents?” She asked as they rode back to the city. 

“There’s a gathering on Thursday and then my mom wants to grab lunch on Friday. We can head back anytime after that.”

“I’ll set it up to head back on Saturday then.” Jolie said, snuggling against him in the back seat.

 

“Hi Jolie, Rafi.” Lucia greeted as she let them in the apartment. 

“Hi mami.” Rafael replied. 

“Hi Mrs. Barba.” Jolie smiled. 

“Lucia, please.” Lucia said, insisting Jolie call her by her first name. 

“Please tell me this gathering is happening in the courtyard not the apartment.” Rafael sighed, noticing the platers of food set out around the living room. 

“It is. Your mother has everything out in case you were hungry before we headed down there.” Catalina said as she entered the living room. 

“Abuelita.” Rafael smiled as he moved to hug her. 

“Veo que todavía estás con la chica de Navidad. Ella me gusta. (I see you are still with the girl from Christmas. I like her.)” Catalina smiled. 

“Mejor que la otra chica? (Better than the other girl?)” He smirked. 

“Mucho. (Much.)” She nodded, knowing Rafael knew she never liked Yelina. 

“That’s it, I’m taking Spanish as my foreign language next semester.” Jolie grumbled, causing the others to chuckle. 

“Then we will help you learn.” Lucia said, smiling as she started to gather the food. 

“What can we help with?” Jolie said, offering up both her and Rafael for assistance. 

“Mucho mejor. (So much better.)” Lucia whispered to Rafael as she handed him a plater before handing Jolie one as well.

 

“Rafi, man! How’s it going?” Alex asked as he approached Rafael and Jolie, Yelina attached to his arm and another guy following not far behind. 

“Good. How are you?” Rafael replied. 

“Good, good. I’ve got a year left at Lehman, but I heard you finish in a month.” Alex said. 

“I do and start law school the Monday after graduation.” Rafael smiled. 

“You’re going to Harvard for law school?” Yelina asked, interjecting herself into the conversation. 

“He is.” Jolie smiled moving to stand next to Rafael but not attaching herself to him. 

“Julie, right?” Yelina smiled. 

“Jolie.” She corrected, having been around enough fake people in her life to see through Yelina’s charade. 

“I was close.” Yelina chuckled. 

Jolie chuckled politely deciding to ignore her, Yelina had nothing on the cattiness of the Birdies in her world. 

“Jolie this is my other good friend, Eddy. Eddy this is my girlfriend, Jolie.” Rafael said introducing them. 

“You traded up.” Eddy whispered so that Yelina couldn’t hear him, still slightly put off by how her and Alex had treated Rafael. Jolie bit back a smirk as she had been close enough to hear. 

“Lucia invited us and Eddy to your graduation. I thought we might go if that’s ok with you.” Alex said. 

“It would be nice for my two best friends there.” Rafael smiled. 

“Good, we’ll take you out to celebrate after if we can crash on your floor.” 

“The place I’m renting is kind of small and I don’t know if my roommate is going to be ok with people crashing that close to school starting.” Rafael sighed and then turned to Jolie. “Do you think Sarah would mind if we all stayed with you?” 

Jolie knew he was mentioning Sarah to give her an out if she wanted, but truthfully the idea had already popped in her head. “I’ll double check with Sarah, but I doubt it would be a problem.” Jolie replied, smiling when Rafael pulled her against his side and kissing her head.

 

“Great.” Rafael sighed as his father made his way to a table, Lucia frantically putting a plate together for him. 

“Have you spoken to him since Christmas?” Jolie asked. 

“No and I’d just assume not.” Rafael hissed guiding her to a seat at a table with Eddy. 

Jolie watched as Alex and Yelina sat at the table with Rafael’s father. “They seem close.”  

“The son he never had.” He huffed. Jolie didn’t say anything, not really knowing what to say. “You know he used to accuse my mom of cheating on him, seeming to forget I have his mother’s coloring and eyes.”

“I’m sorry.” Jolie whispered, placing her hand on his. 

“It’s fine.” He sighed, turning his attention to Eddy. 

Jolie glanced at the table with Rafael’s parents laughing as they talked with Alex and Yelina, not understanding how anyone could treat their own son the way his dad treated him.

 

“Raf.” Jolie said softly as they rode back to Cambridge. 

“Yes.” He hummed against her ear as she leaned into his side. 

“Why aren’t you more mad at Alex?” 

“Why should I be mad at Alex?” Rafael replied, his arm that was around her giving her a gentle squeeze. 

“He did sleep with your girlfriend.”  

“If I still cared about Yelina at all that would be a problem, but I don’t. She’s been an after thought since move in day at the dorms and this tiny blond rolled her eyes at me when I poked fun of her major.” He smiled turning to look at her. 

“It’s more the principle of it.” Jolie smirked as she looked up at him. 

“I’ve known Alex almost my whole life. He’s just one of those people you can’t help but like.” Rafael shrugged. 

“Your dad sure can’t.” She huffed. 

“My mom loves him too, sometimes I think more than me.” Rafael sighed. 

“I doubt that.” Jolie said, taking his hand in hers as she thought about the conversation his mother had had with her at their lunch after Christmas when he had excused himself to the restroom. 

“Everybody likes Alex. It’ll make him a great politician one day.” 

Jolie didn’t respond, merely ran her hand along his cheek in complete disbelief that he couldn’t see it. Alex came off just as glib and superficial as most of the politicians her father new. Lucia and Rafael were both right. Alex would make a great politician one day and Yelina deserved him.

Chapter Text

“You seriously invited your boyfriends ex and the guy she cheated on him with to crash at our house?” Sarah said in disbelief. 

“I invited Rafael’s oldest friends to crash. If he wants to be friends with Alex I’m not going to stop him.” Jolie replied. 

“Yes but Yelina will be with Alex.” Sarah scoffed. “

Believe me, I’m not worried about her going after Rafael. She has made her choice and makes sure everyone knows Alex is hers.” Jolie said rolling her eyes at how Yelina always seemed to be attached to Alex in some way. 

“You don’t worry that Rafael still has feelings for her?”  

“Not really.” Jolie smiled. 

“After Christmas you were.” Sarah reminded her. 

“Yes, but that was a little over a month into our relationship after I had slept with him and feeling a bit insecure. He doesn’t even look at her like he despises her, it’s more like he simply acknowledges that she’s there.” Jolie replied, truly not feeling threatened by Yelina anymore.

 

Sarah and Jolie were sitting on the couch when Rafael walked in and plopped down next to Jolie. He had a weird mixture of emotions present on his face, somehow managing to look both relieved and nervous at the same time. 

“You’re done.” Jolie stated, taking his hand in hers as her facial expression poked fun at him. 

“I know,” he rolled his eyes at her which caused her to laugh, “it’s just strange to have taken my last final.” 

“I’m sure you’ll have plenty of test to make up for it in law school.” Jolie smiled, leaning into his side. 

“You know most people have a summer to process graduation before jumping into law school. I had chapters assigned for class before I even took my last final.” Rafael sighed. 

“When will you know your grade?” Sarah asked. 

“They have to get graduating seniors grades in by tomorrow. I’ll stop by the registrar on Friday to make sure everything is in.” He replied sounding a little anxious. 

 

“Jolie, hi!” Lucia said as they almost ran into each other at the graduation ceremony. 

“Hi Lucia.” Jolie smiled giving her and Catalina a hug. “Oh mom, dad, this is Rafael’s mom and grandmother, Lucia and Catalina. These are my parents Malcolm and Annalise.” Jolie turned to introduce them. 

“It’s nice to meet you.” Lucia smiled. 

“You too. We are very fond of your son.” Malcolm replied. 

“We’re quite fond of him as well.” Catalina grinned.

“Alex and Eddie have saved some seats. I was hoping to find you so you could sit with us.” Lucia said, as she started guiding the group toward their seats. 

“Is Rafael’s father here?” Malcolm whispered to Jolie as they followed. 

“No, honestly I think Raf would prefer it this way though.” Jolie replied, soft enough that only her father could hear. Jolie, Sarah, and Andrew took their seats with Malcolm and Annalise on the row behind Lucia, Catalina, Eddie, Alex, and Yelina.

“This is Alex, Eddie, and Yelina. These are my parents Malcolm and Annalise, my roommate Sarah and her boyfriend Andrew.” Jolie smiled as she introduced the remaining people to each other. 

“Did you guys have plans for lunch after the ceremony?” Malcolm asked. 

“Mamá and I were going to catch the train back while the kids stay behind for the night.” Lucia replied. 

“If you want to grab lunch before you go I’d like to take everyone out as a graduation present to Rafael.” Malcolm offered. 

“Our train isn’t until four Lucia.” Catalina interjected. 

“I suppose we could.” Lucia smiled. 

“Great. I’ll go make a reservation.” Malcolm said as he got up to make the call.

 

“I’m going to go to the restroom before it starts.” Sarah whispered to Jolie as she started to stand. 

“I’ll go with you.” Jolie said, getting up to follow. The two girls made their way down the aisle to the nearest building. 

“She’s like almost sitting in his lap.” Sarah giggled as they got far enough away that they couldn’t be heard by the group they were sitting with. 

“I told you, but we’re going to be nice unless she isn’t. I’m mean she hasn’t really done anything to me.” Jolie said, wanting things to go smoothly with Rafael’s friends. 

“She called us nosy bitches.” 

“Because we were blatantly eves dropping.” Jolie stated, giving Sarah a look to say they probably deserved it. 

“Fine, I’ll be nice.” Sarah smiled.

 

The restaurants close to campus had been booked for weeks so Malcolm hadn’t even tried, instead making a reservation at a restaurant in Boston. It would be closer to the train for Lucia and Catalina anyway. He also arranged for two SUV’s to drive them to the restaurant after the ceremony was over. Rafael rode in the one with Jolie, her parents, Sarah, and Andrew while his family and friends rode in the other. 

“You didn’t have to do this.” Rafael said to Malcolm in reference to lunch on the drive. 

“Nonsense. It’s lunch and there was no sense in everyone taking multiple taxi’s.” Malcolm said dismissively. 

“Thank you.” Rafael smiled. 

 

“Este restaurante es demasiado. (This restaurant is too much.)” Lucia whispered to Rafael as she looked at the menu. 

“Es un buen gesto mami. (It’s a nice gesture mami.)” Rafael replied urging her to not worry about the price. Truthfully, he appreciated Malcolm taking them to lunch and showing up for his graduation. It was more than his own father had done. 

“Mr. Rutherford, what do you do?” Alex asked. 

“I took over as Chairman of Rutherford Enterprise after my father retired. My son is now acting CEO. We mostly deal with real estate ventures.” Malcolm replied. 

“Will you work for your family’s business?” Yelina asked Jolie. 

“Not if I can help it.” Jolie smiled. 

“Jolie wants to walk her own path. It’s a shame though because I would choose you to leave the business to over Ian. I mean don’t get me wrong, your brother can manage it but you inherited the innovation your grandfather had to continue to grow the company.” Malcolm smirked. 

“Not to mention your work ethic and number sense. Poor Ian hates math.” Jolie chuckled. 

“What are your plans for the future?” Malcolm asked, turning his attention back to Alex. 

“I want to give back to the community we grew up in. I’m planning on working in local government in the Bronx and then later running for office once I have something worth while attached to my name.” Alex replied. 

“You and Rafael have a good heads on your shoulders. What about you Eddie? What are your plans?” Malcolm inquired. 

“These two have the brains. They more or less just keep me out of trouble.” Eddie smiled dismissively. 

“You’ve got to stop selling yourself short Eddie, you can do so much more than you tell yourself.” Rafael stated. 

“I’ll just continue to keep my head above water.” Eddie shrugged, feeling a little out of place at the table.

 

“What’s the plan for tonight?” Alex asked as they entered Jolie’s house. 

“I was kind of thinking we could go to a local pub that’s eighteen and up until ten and then maybe head back to Jolie’s since she’s not twenty one yet.” Rafael suggested. 

“That’s fine. We can get some stuff to drink here.” Yelina smiled. 

“Jolie already took care of that.” Sarah replied, gesturing to the small built in bar area just off the living room. 

“How?” Rafael furrowed his brow. 

“My dad took care of it.” She smiled. 

“You dad isn’t concerned that you’re drinking?” Alex asked slightly confused since the man he met earlier didn’t really strike him as the type to supply his daughter with enough alcohol for a small party. 

“He trust me. Besides, I rarely have more than one and he’d rather me drink at home.” Jolie shrugged. 

“We could just stay here if you wanted.” Alex said as he looked through the selection. 

“That’s up to you guys. I celebrated at a few parties in May when most of my friend here graduated so I’m fine with just hanging out.” Rafael stated. 

“We’d actually be able to talk more.” Eddie added.

With the plans for the evening decided, they all settled in around the living room. 

“Where’s the restroom?” Yelina asked. 

“Oh, yeah. Let me show you and I can show you where you’ll be sleeping.” Jolie said as she got up. Yelina followed Jolie down a hall. “The bathroom is here,” she said, pointing to the open door as they passed, “and I thought you and Alex could take the Murphy bed in the study.” Jolie guided her into the study where she had already pulled the bed out. It took up the majority of the room, both her and Sarah’s desk chairs pushed as far as they would go under the desk to make room for it, but she had wanted the ability to have a guest room if needed without giving up a quiet study place. 

“This is perfect, thank you.” Yelina replied. 

“Will Eddie be ok with the couch?” Jolie asked. 

“Eddie doesn’t ask for much. He’d be ok with the floor, if that’s all you had to offer.” Yelina assured her. 

 

Jolie made her way behind the bar when she returned to the living room. 

“What are you doing?” Rafael asked as he watched her start pouring vodka into a cocktail shaker. 

“I’m making a martini if anyone wants one.” She smiled. 

“I’ll try one.” Sarah said. 

Rafael rolled his eyes and joined her behind the bar. “You plan on getting drunk?” He smirked. 

“Not really.” She smiled, handing him the bottle of scotch she had asked her father to get. 

“Your dad already picked up lunch.” He sighed, looking at the bottle he knew had to have been expensive. 

“That’s your graduation present from me.” Jolie said, knowing how much he had taken to scotch. 

“You mind if I share?” He whispered in her ear as he hugged her. 

“Not at all.” She smiled, finishing up the drinks she was making, while Rafael poured each of the guys some scotch. He had offered Yelina some when she returned but she decided on wine instead. Sarah made a face at the martini and opted for wine as well.

 

By round two, Eddie and Andrew had both switched to beer, Alex and Rafael continued with the scotch, Jolie was on her second martini, while Yelina and Sarah had another glass of wine. The group sat around the living room, wherever they could find a seat, catching up and sharing stories. 

“I didn’t realize how close all four of you were.” Jolie said as she finished her third martini. 

“Yeah, Alex, Rafi, and Eddie have known each other since grade school but I met both Alex and Rafi at the bodega when my family moved into the neighborhood my senior year of high school. I was so mad about leaving my friends and then these two made me feel so welcomed.” She smiled at the memory. 

“That’s because we both wanted to date you.” Alex chuckled. 

Sarah glanced at Jolie but she didn’t seem to be phased by his comment as she leaned against Rafael. They were both sitting in the floor, his back against the wall as she sat between his legs. 

“Things seemed to have worked out for the best.” Yelina smiled when she noticed how happy Rafael seemed with Jolie. 

She really hadn’t meant to hurt him, the distance had just been hard and she spent so much time with Alex and Eddie. The feelings she had for Alex developed slowly and then one day he kissed her. Things had escalated from there and she felt terrible about how they had handled everything. Yelina hoped being here helped and that they could somehow all be friends again, including Jolie, she was beginning to like her.

 

“I think we’re going to bed.” Sarah yawned as she stood with Andrew. 

“What time is it?” Rafael questioned. 

“Almost one.” Alex replied. 

“We should probably get some sleep too. I still have three chapters to read tomorrow for class on Monday.” Rafael sighed. 

“That’s just not right.” Eddie laughed. 

“What?” Rafael smiled. 

“You graduated this morning and start law school on Monday.” Eddie answered. 

“You’re telling me.” Rafael chuckled. 

Eddie made himself comfortable under the blanket on the couch while everyone else dispersed to their respective rooms for the evening. 

 

“Are you drunk?” Rafael laughed when Jolie nearly fell on him as they entered her room. 

“Maybe a little.” She giggled, not bothering to change from the dress she had worn to his graduation as she climbed in bed. 

“You want to sleep in your dress?” He asked as he stripped to his boxers. 

“No.” She mumbled into the mattress as she tried to reach the zipped. 

Rafael chuckled as she wiggled around but failed to get the zipper. “Here.” He smiled, climbing on the bed and unzipped it for her. 

“Thanks.” She giggled, wiggling out of the dress and tossing it in the floor as she pulled him next to her. 

“Jolie...” He said hesitantly when she pressed her lips to his, her hand reaching into his boxers. 

“I’m really horny.” She purred into his ear, smiling when she felt him him twitch. He looked at her and she smiled before pressing her lips back to his.

 

Rafael unsnapped her bra and removed it moaning into their kiss as she continued to stroke him. 

“Raf.” Jolie whispered as she moved her kisses to his neck. 

“Yes.” He hummed. 

“Can I be on top?” She asked as she inched his boxers off. 

“You can do whatever you want.” He replied leaning his head back as she took him in her mouth. She had improved at this task since April and he was soon biting back a moan as he rested his hand on the back of her head. 

“Jolie...” He moaned, leaning up so he could look at her. 

Her eyes met his and any attempt to warn her was muffled by a grunt as he came. Jolie didn’t stop but continued to bob on him, taking advantage of his semi flaccid state to take all of him in, her tongue massaging against him as she gently sucked him deeper. This action caused him to become fully erect again. She smiled and licked up his shaft before moving to sit on him. He hadn’t even noticed she had removed her panties. His hands gripped her sides as she rode him, her head tilted back when she moved so he hit just the right spot. 

“Jesus, Raf!” She moaned. 

“I’m not sure I can take credit for that.” He smirked letting her continue to control her own pleasure, neither of them noticing the door to her room crack open slightly. Rafael watched her as he slid his hands up her sides to her breast. 

“My god.” She panted. 

Rafael took over, thrusting from below as her body jerked and he felt her tighten around him. When she collapsed against him he rolled them over and continued to pound into her, pressing his lips to hers. Jolie’s back arched off the bed, pushing her chest into his as she came again. “Now that I’ll take credit for.” He grinned, slowing his thrust to give her a moment to recover. 

“Are you close?” She asked. 

“I can be if you want or I can go a little longer.” He smirked. 

“I could go a little longer.” Jolie smiled, biting her bottom lip as she pulled him to her lips. 

Rafael slowly picked up his pace again and it wasn’t long before she was moaning against his lips. Her hands gripped his hair as she climaxed again, Rafael grunting into her neck at his own release.

They had barely caught their breath when her bedroom door swung open. “What the fuck.” Jolie blurted as she pulled the blanket over them. 

“Sorry, I thought this was the bathroom.” Alex said, pulling the door shut almost as quickly as it had opened. 

Jolie glared at Rafael. 

“What, he’s had a lot to drink. He just got confused.” Rafael shrugged, pulling her into his arms under the covers. 

“The bathroom isn’t even close to my room.” Jolie huffed, getting a weird vibe from the encounter. The way the house was set up you would have to leave the hall with the study and Sarah’s room, go through the living room and then go down a different short hallway to get to her room. 

“Maybe someone was in the bathroom and he thought there was another one over here.” Rafael reasoned, wrapping his arms tighter around her. 

“Maybe.” Jolie sighed, still slightly put off. She smiled and rolled her eyes when Rafael nuzzled against her neck and stole most of her pillow.

 

Rafael and Jolie took his friends to lunch in Boston before they caught the train back. Jolie noticed Alex almost leering at her a few times, but dismissed it as her own paranoia. 

“I had a really good time. Next time you two are in New York we should all go out.” Yelina suggested. 

“We should.” Jolie smiled, she had started to actually like Yelina. 

“I’m sorry we can’t wait for the train with you guys but I really have to finish my chapters before tomorrow.” Rafael apologized. 

“It’s good. Go become a bad ass lawyer.” Alex smiled, giving his friend a hug. 

Jolie dropped Rafael off at his place on her way home. 

“You ok?” Sarah asked after Jolie had paced the living room a few times. 

Jolie told her what happened but Sarah sided with Rafael, that it had just been an accident. 

“I guess you’re right. I’m just being paranoid.” Jolie sighed. 

“Yelina’s actually pretty nice.” Sarah said as they sat down on the couch. 

“Yeah, I may have misread her initially.” Jolie replied. 

“You had every right to jump to a rash decision, she is your boyfriends ex.” Sarah chuckled. 

“I suppose. Hopefully I’m wrong about Alex too. She deserves someone better than that.” Jolie smiled.

Chapter Text

 

Law school was keeping Rafael extremely busy. So busy, they had to schedule time to see each other, making Jolie almost miss living in the dorms where he was just across the hall. 

“Is your work load going to be like this for three years?” Jolie asked as they cuddled in her bed. 

“I’m pretty sure we’re suffering through the weeding out process.” Rafael sighed. 

“I guess they have to see who can handle the stress.” She smiled. 

“It’s really not that bad since you worked out a schedule.” He said pulling her closer to him. 

“Yeah, my anal retentiveness at its finest. I’ve never been more on top of my school work.” She chuckled. It was true though, with him working, in class, or studying for class she had a lot of free time, more than she really wanted. 

“How’s Spanish going this semester? I had hoped to be able to help you more.” He smiled. 

“Aced my first test. You worry about your work and don’t be surprised when I can finally understand the little things you mutter under your breath.” She teased. 

“You sure you don’t want to take French instead.” He grinned as he pushed himself on top of her. 

“Positive.” She smirked, wrapping her arms around him when his lips met hers.

 

“Jolie, can you help train? I’ve got to leave early to make up a test I missed.” Claire asked as she walked a guy maybe a year older than Jolie up to her. 

“Sure.” Jolie smiled. She had gone back to volunteering with the ACLU and given her extra free time she was there a lot now. 

“Great. This is Jason, we have a few classes together at Boston College. Just show him around and have him help you with mailers.” Claire smiled as she grabbed her bag to leave. 

“Sorry you got stuck with me.” He’s sound sincere if there wasn’t a playful smirk tugging at his lips. 

“No worries,” Jolie smiled, “though you may be sorry you volunteered after the hundredth envelope you’ve stuffed.” Jolie showed him around and then set him up with a stack of mailers, envelopes, and an envelope moistener. 

“You like Bad Religion?” Jason asked as they worked. 

“I do. What made you ask that?”  

“You’re shirt.” He smiled, pointing toward her. 

“Oh, yeah.” Jolie chuckled, having forgotten she was wearing a Bad Religion shirt that day. 

“What about Pennywise?” 

“I like them too.” She smiled. 

“Are you going to their show next weekend?”  

“I didn’t even know they were touring.” Jolie frowned. She’d always kept up with shows in New York, but had never looked into venues in Boston.  

“You should go. There’s a group of us that’ll be there.” He smiled as he jotted down the name of the club and date on the back of an envelope for her. 

“I would like to see them.” She said as she took the envelope from him. 

 

“Hey Sarah, do you want to go to a show next weekend?” Jolie asked when she got home that evening. 

“Andrew and I have a date night planned. Take Rafael.” Sarah suggested. 

“I’ll ask but I’m pretty sure he works.” Jolie sighed. 

“Would you be ok with going alone?”  

“I have no problem going alone but this new guy at the ACLU invited me to meet up with him and some friends. I’d rather take someone with me until I know him a little better.” Jolie shrugged. 

“Oh... yeah, you need to find out if he invited you because he’s interested or as a friend.” Sarah said, widening her eyes slightly. 

“He didn’t ask me out.” Jolie assured her. 

“Sometimes guys ask you out without actually asking you out. You know to meet up with a group to gauge if you’re interested.” Sarah stated. 

“So I shouldn’t go?”  

“If you want to see the band, go. If you run into the guy just make sure you bring up Rafael at some point so he knows your not available.” Sarah smiled. 

“I can do that next time he shows up at the ACLU.” Jolie smiled. 

“Is he cute?”  

“What?”  

“The guy that invited you, is he cute?” Sarah repeated. 

“I wasn’t really paying attention, but I guess.” Jolie replied. 

“You might want to mention it to Rafael before you go then.”  

“I wouldn’t need to mention meeting up with a guy if he wasn’t cute?” Jolie chuckled, having every intention of telling Rafael. 

 

Sunday was a day they had set aside for each other. No work, no volunteering, no school... if they could help it. 

“Raf...” Jolie said, turning her head to look at him as he spooned in her bed. 

“Yes.” He smiled. 

“Do you have to work Friday?”  

“I do but David really needs some extra cash right now so I’m sure he could take my shift if needed.” He replied. 

“Really?” 

“What ever it is you want to do, I’m there. I’ve missed you.” Rafael smiled, pulling her to his lips. 

“It’s a punk show.” Jolie said quickly, not wanting him to change his mind. 

“Ok.” He hummed, his hand moving beneath her shirt as he kissed her again.

 

“Jason tells me you’re coming on Friday to see Pennywise with us.” Claire said as they worked to help organize an event the ACLU was having the following month. 

“Your going too?” Jolie asked. 

“Yeah, I mean I’ve never heard of the band but I’ve been crushing on Jason for months now and he invited me... so...” Claire shrugged. 

“Do you want to borrow a CD?” 

“That would be fantastic.” Claire smiled. Jolie made her way to her backpack and pulled out Pennywise’s self titled album, handing it to her. “You carry it with you?” Claire smirked. 

“I’ve been listening to them as I walk to class in anticipation of the show.”  

“Are you bringing your boyfriend?” Claire asked. 

“He’s going.” Jolie smiled, excited that he had gotten off from work. 

 

Rafael sat on her bed as Jolie decided what to where to the show that night. It was still warm enough to get away with a skirt so she put on a solid gray one, pairing it with a white midriff she had added a Lagwagon logo to herself. A pair of Doc Martins and a ton of bracelets later she had completed her look. 

“Do I need to change?” He teased as he wrapped his arms around her while she looked in her full length mirror. His hair was perfectly styled and he wore jeans and the same dark green button up from the first day she met him. His clean cut look the perfect contrast to her more edgy one. 

“Not a thing.” She smiled, pulling him over her shoulder to meet her lips.

 

“Hey Jason. Claire. This is my boyfriend Rafael.” Jolie said when she found them sitting with a small group at a table in the back of the club. 

“Jolie! Great, you made it,” Jason said, turning to Rafael, “it’s nice to meet you.” 

“You too.” Rafael replied. 

“This is Samantha, Ryan, Tom, Josh, and Patrick.” Jason said as he gestured around the table. “This is Jolie and her boyfriend Rafael.”  

“Do you go to Boston College too?” Josh asked as they pulled up two chairs to sit. 

“No. I met Claire and Jason at the ACLU.” Jolie replied. 

“That’s cool.” Josh said. 

“Hey Jolie can I borrow you for a sec?” Claire asked, motioning for her to get up. 

“Sure.” Jolie gave Rafael a quick, I wont be long look, before making her way to follow Claire. 

“What’s up?” Jolie asked. 

“I feel really out of my element.” Claire said, nervously looking as a guy with a Mohawk and spikes on his clothes passed them. 

“I promise he’s harmless.” Jolie chuckled. 

“He doesn’t look harmless.” Claire sighed. 

“The Casualties are opening, the whole band looks like that. Pennywise dresses more like Jason does. As long as you stay out of the circle pit you should be fine.” Jolie smiled. 

“Circle pit?” Claire’s eyes widened. 

“I’m kidding. Punks are all about picking each other up when they fall, you’d be fine there too.” Jolie grinned. 

“You are sooo not helping.” Claire said rolling her eyes. 

“How’s it going with Jason?” Jolie asked. 

“Good, I think. He’s sitting next to me.” Claire smiled. 

“What was that about?” Rafael whispered when she got back. 

“Girl talk.” Jolie smiled. 

“About me?” He smirked lifting an eyebrow. 

“Nope.” She replied, gesturing to a nervous Claire as Jason turned to talk to her. 

“Oh.” He smiled pulling her tighter to him.

 

“Have you seen Pennywise before?” Patrick asked Rafael. 

“I haven’t.” Rafael replied turning to Jolie. 

“No. I’ve wanted to but I kept missing them. I only knew about this show because of Jason.” Jolie said. 

“What about the Casualties?” Tom asked. This was between sets and he had noticed her singing along. Rafael had been somewhat surprised by that as well. 

“Lots of times. They’re from New York. I knew the music scene better there than I do here.” Jolie replied. 

“How long have you listened to this music?” Rafael asked curiously. 

“My brother introduced my to Suicidal Tendencies in eighth grade and I’ve been finding my own path ever since.”

“I can’t imagine Ian listening to punk.” Rafael said shaking his head. 

“That’s because you’ve seen the grown up, I work for my father Ian. Not the person I grew up with.” Jolie smiled, remembering the look on her fathers face when Ian got suspended from school for dying his hair green. The school probably would have overlooked the dress code violation if he hadn’t dyed half the boys bathroom green in the process. 

“How does your father feel about your taste in music?” Rafael questioned. 

“He lets me do my own thing. Sometimes I’m glad I wasn’t put under the pressure Ian was. He’s always been expected to take over the business. I know my father said he’d prefer me but that’s not how it works. Ian’s always been the heir to the Rutherford empire, not me.” Jolie said, whispering the last bit so only Rafael could hear. 

She learned early that this scene wasn’t always excepting of trust fund kids. Her family was the epitome of what half the music she listened to rallied against. It never bothered her because she liked to use her means to promote change, but that would take too long to explain while sitting and enjoying a show. 

“It’s a little misogynistic isn’t it?” Rafael asked. 

“Oh it has nothing to do with him being male, just the first born.” Jolie smiled. 

“Would you want to?” 

“Take over the business? No. I have no interest in the real estate business. It seems boring.” 

“This coming from the girl who can spend four hours working through a single math problem.” He teased. 

Chapter Text

“What are you watching?” Rafael asked when he got to Jolie’s house Saturday afternoon. 

“Shhhh!” Both Jolie and Sarah said at the same time as they continued to intently watch, at least until a commercial break. 

“What an ass.” Sarah scoffed at the television. 

“I know, right.” Jolie agreed. 

“And again I ask, what are you watching?” Rafael said looking at the two girls. 

“A My So Called Life marathon on MTV.” Jolie answered. 

“I can’t believe we didn’t watch this when it was actually on.” Sarah sighed. 

“I can’t believe they cancelled it.” Jolie lamented. 

“Isn’t this show about high school?” Rafael asked, but he was shushed again as the commercial ended.

 

“How do they make someone who barely speaks so desirable?” Jolie huffed, causing Rafael to give her a curious look. “I mean I like intelligent guys and I know Jordan would bore me in two seconds but somehow I keep rooting for them to get together.” Jolie continued, ignoring the look from Rafael. 

“So you don’t want her to end up with Brian?” Sarah smirked. 

“Not really, but I’m sure that’s done on purpose too.” Jolie chuckled. 

Rafael watched with them, slowly getting sucked in himself even though he was making fun of it. He rolled his eyes as both girls squealed when Jordan took Angela’s hand in the hall at school while Buffalo Tom played in the background. 

“How many more are there?” He asked. 

“That’s it for today. The last ones are on tomorrow.” Sarah answered. 

“You’re ok with watching it tomorrow right?” Jolie almost begged, desperately wanting to know how the season ended. 

“I’ll bring some school work to do.” He chuckled, following her when she stood to go to bed. Lounging around watching tv wasn’t how had planned to spend his rare weekend off, but as long as Jolie was next to him he was happy.

 

“What the hell was that?” Jolie huffed at the screen. 

“I think they broke up because she wouldn’t sleep with him.” Rafael said as he read for class next to her on the couch. 

“I got that. I’m talking about the crappy way they broke up, like they didn’t really break up.” Jolie scoffed. 

“I’m going back to your previous assessment of him being an ass. I mean a cute ass but an ass.” Sarah smiled. 

“So who are you, in the show?” Rafael asked setting his book down. 

“What?” Sarah furrowed her brow. 

“The two of you always used to assign each other to different characters in the tv shows we’d watch together. So who’s who?” Rafael asked again. 

“I hadn’t really thought about it. Neither of us are really a Rayanne.” Sarah said as she thought. 

“But Blake is.” Jolie said causing both of them to giggle. 

“You’re definitely the Angela out of the two of us.” Sarah said to Jolie. 

“Does that make you Sharon?” Jolie asked. 

“I’m pretty sure we had a similar conversation before you...” Sarah stopped herself as she realized she was referencing the conversation about Jolie telling Rafael, who was sitting right there, about being a virgin. 

“I know you two talk, but I think she gets it.” He smirked. 

“So does that make Rafael, Jordan or is he our Ricky?” Jolie chuckled. 

“How about I’m the older guy she meets when she inevitably goes off to college.” Rafael suggested, not really wanting to be assigned either character. 

“That’s even better, high school relationships never last anyway.” Jolie smiled, pushing herself closer to him. 

“Hey!” Sarah pouted. 

“Don’t worry, you and Andrew aren’t normal, just like your parents.” Jolie chuckled.

 

“I think I know what we’re doing for Halloween this year.” Sarah said as they left the theater after watching Empire Records. 

“It would be easy. I already have the gray skirt and I could easily find a black top like the one Gina wears.” Jolie shrugged. 

“You don’t want to dress like Corey?” Sarah asked. 

“You look way more like Liv Tyler than I do.” Jolie chuckled. “Yes but Rafael could pull off A.J. and A.J. ends up with Corey.”  

“Does it really matter if the couples match?” 

“I guess not.” Sarah replied. 

“Who is Andrew going to be?”  

“Mark.” Sarah chuckled. 

 

Jolie was starting to hang out with Jason a bit more outside of the ACLU since he was almost always up for going to a show and a lot of her favorite bands seemed to be doing fall tours. It was pretty much always the same group, Samantha, Ryan, Tom, Josh, Patrick, and occasionally Claire. 

“This is the fourth show this month.” Rafael said when she mentioned wanting to go see The Vandals. 

“Can you go?”  

“Doubtful,” He sighed, “I’d like to. I don’t know how much I like you hanging out with this Jason guy all the time.” 

“It’s nice to have company at shows. It’s group anyway and he’s dating Claire now.” Jolie said. 

“He’s dating Claire?” Rafael asked, perking up slightly. 

“Were you jealous?” Jolie chuckled. 

“I just wish I could spend more time with you.” He huffed. 

“I miss you too.” Jolie smiled, pushing him back on her bed and kissing him. 

“Jolie...” He exhaled, putting his hands on her shoulders. 

“I know... I know... you have to read.” She grumbled, pulling herself off him. 

“I can’t come over when have school work if you can’t behave yourself.” He smirked. 

“Yeah, yeah. I have homework anyway.” Jolie huffed, giving him a little smile as she pulled her books from her bag

 

“Can you two not dress weather appropriate on Halloween?” Rafael asked when Jolie let him into the living room. 

“I have a sweater on.” She smiled, holding her arms out to show off the long sleeves on the mid drift sweater she had found to match the one in the movie. 

“Great. Your arms are covered.” He scoffed. 

“Come with me.” Jolie said dragging him behind her to her room. 

“I hate that you know my clothing size.” He huffed when he saw that she had an outfit put together for him as well. 

“Andrew is dressing up too.” She smiled as he begrudgingly started to change. 

“What does that have to do with me?” He grumbled. 

“Here.” Jolie grinned handing him the lanyard name tag she had printed for him, putting hers on at the same time. 

“I still wish you were wearing more clothes...” He muttered as he put the lanyard around his neck. 

“There’s a scene where she literally wears nothing but an apron.” Jolie smirked. 

“I’ll stop complaining.” Rafael said, shaking his head.

 

The party was at a house a block over from hers. 

“Megan, hey!” Sarah called over the music. 

“Glad you guys could make it,” Megan smiled, “there’s beer in the back, wine in the kitchen, and some fruity punch that my roommate put entirely too much vodka in on the dining room table, seriously, it burns.” 

“Wine for me.” Sarah said. 

“I’ll grab a beer, you two want?” Jolie asked Rafael and Andrew. 

“Sure.” They both replied. 

“Jolie, hi.” Casey greeted when she stepped out the back door. 

“Hey Casey, how’s Blake? I haven’t heard from her in a while.”  

“She’s actually taking school seriously this semester, she wants to bump her GPA.” He smiled. 

“Are you two ever going to admit you’re actually in a relationship?” She teased. 

“Actually, we decided that since the first year being at separate schools wasn’t so bad we would make things official.” Casey smiled. 

“Are you serious?” Jolie squealed, hugging him. 

“I am. That’s why she wants to bump her GPA, she wants options for grad school so she can be close to wherever I end up for law school.” 

“This makes me so happy.” Jolie smiled. 

“Hey is Rafael with you?”  

“Yeah, I was just grabbing beers and then heading back.”  

“Great. I wanted to pick his brain about possibly helping me study for the LSAT this summer.” He said, following her back into the house.

“Look who I found outside.” Jolie said as she handed Rafael and Andrew their beers. 

“Casey, hi.” Rafael nodded. 

“This is my roommate Sarah and her boyfriend Andrew.” Jolie smiled introducing them. 

“Oh and this is my roommate, David.” Rafael said introducing David to everyone, since no one had actually met him yet. 

“How’s living with Rafael working out?” Sarah asked David. 

“He spends most of his free time at Jolie’s so it’s almost like I have the place to myself. We get along pretty well when he’s there too though.” David replied. 

“How’s the first semester of law school going?” Casey asked. 

“It’s brutal. I really hope this work load is just to see who can cut it and not a glimpse into our future.” David sighed. 

 

Sarah and Jolie left the guys to go find Megan. She was one of the few people from the dorms they had kept in contact with.

“So how long have you two actually been together now?” Megan asked Jolie, gesturing with her eye back toward Rafael who was laughing at something Carter had said. 

“I guess we started dating over Thanksgiving break last year.” Jolie replied. 

“Really? I thought you slept with him last Halloween.” Megan said. 

“We fell asleep while watching a movie in his dorm. Nothing happened.” Jolie stated. 

“Ok...” Megan said as though she didn’t believe her. 

“Seriously, he didn’t even kiss me until Thanksgiving.” Jolie assured her. 

“Either way, every girl on our floor kind of hated you.” Megan chuckled. 

“What? Why?”  

“Because he always hung out with you. You never noticed the girls trying to hang around him after word spread that he was single?” Megan laughed. 

“No... That happened?” Jolie asked, looking to Sarah. 

“Oh yeah. They’d go to his door to ‘get advice on something’ and when he wasn’t there they’d come to ours.” Sarah said. 

“Really? How did I not know this?” Jolie racked her brain while trying to remember people knocking on their dorm door while looking for Rafael. If it happened she had no recollection of it.

“It was when you two were “just friends” and always out doing something together.” Sarah chuckled, putting air quotes around just friends. 

“We spent a lot of time in his room watching movies.” Jolie said still trying to figure out how she missed a bunch of girls knocking on his door. 

“That really didn’t start until after you slept in his room on Halloween. They just kind of assumed you were together and stopped trying.” Megan smiled.

 

“Did you know that a lot of the girls on our floor in the dorms had a thing for you?” Jolie asked as they crawled into her bed. 

“You mean the little puppy dogs that tried to follow me around when I’d leave my room? Yes, I vaguely remember them.” He chuckled. 

“Did you like that?”  

“It was annoying. Every time I left my room one of them would be waiting to ask me a ridiculous question they clearly knew the answer to. Believe me, acting stupid is not going to garner my attention.” He huffed. 

“Did you think I was one of them?” Jolie asked. 

“No. I enjoyed hanging out with you, liked you, but I couldn’t tell if you liked me too... Why do you think it took me so long to actually kiss you?” Rafael smiled. 

“I had no idea those other girls were doing that.” She stated. 

“I know. It was rather endearing.” He smirked. 

“You know one year ago today was the first time I slept in your arms” Jolie smiled. 

“I remember. I also remember the next morning, when you panicked and used Sarah as an excuse to leave my room. That was the moment I knew you liked me.” He grinned. 

“I wasn’t that obvious.” Jolie scoffed. 

“I... I should get back to my room... you know... in case Sarah’s looking for me.” Rafael said mocking her. 

“Whatever...” Jolie replied rolling her eyes. 

“It was cute.” He smiled, pulling her closer to him.

Chapter Text

“Are you working this weekend?” Jolie asked as they ate breakfast before heading to class. 

“I’m not but I’m also not really up for a punk show.” Rafael sighed. 

“That’s good, because I was thinking I could take you out for a late birthday dinner since we did Halloween last weekend and you had to work on your actual birthday.” Jolie said taking her cereal bowl to the sink. 

“If you want.” He smiled as he wrapped his arms around her after dropping his own bowl in the sink. 

“I’ll make a reservation.” She turned her head for a quick kiss and then wiggled out of his arms to grab her backpack. “You ready?” 

“Yes.” Rafael grabbed his own bag and followed her out of the house.

“I love that the law school is on the way to the main campus and I get to walk you to class.” Jolie smirked as they walked hand in hand to school. 

“I love that your car drops us off when it’s raining and ridiculously cold outside.” Rafael laughed. 

“I love that too.” She smiled.

 

“Hi Rafael!” A girl said as they approached his building. 

“April, hi. This is my girlfriend Jolie. Jolie this is April, we have a few classes together.” Rafael said introducing them. 

“A few? I probably see more of you than she does.” April joked, while barely acknowledging Jolie’s existence. 

“I doubt that.” Jolie muttered under her breath before politely smiling. 

“So how long have you two been together?” April asked. 

“A year this month.” Rafael said pulling Jolie closer to him by the arm he had wrapped around her waist. 

“It really doesn’t seem like it’s been a year.” Jolie smiled. 

“No it doesn’t.” He smiled back. 

“Have you decided if you’re going to participate in the mock trials?” April asked. 

“I signed up last week.” Rafael replied. 

“Raf, I’ve got to get to class.” Jolie interrupted when she looked at her watch. 

“Ok. Can you get lunch today?”  

“Yes, meet me outside Lowell around one.” 

“Ok.” He smiled, giving her a kiss as she left. 

“I think I’m going to sign up too. Maybe we’ll get paired together.” Jolie heard April say as she headed toward the exit.

 

“How many classes do you have with April?” Jolie asked at lunch, trying not to come off sounding jealous. 

“All but one.” He replied. 

“And she’s nice?”  

“I guess. Honestly, I try to avoid her.” He said. 

“You do?” Jolie lifted her gaze to look at him, perking up slightly. 

“Yeah, she’s very loud and a bit pushy. It’ll probably work out in her favor as a lawyer but it can be a bit abrasive at times.” Rafael stated. 

“You don’t have to be the loudest person in the room to be an effective lawyer. Most of the ones I know are fairly reserved, picking their timing when they speak to make the most use of their words.” Jolie smiled. 

“I agree. She’s smart though, definitely chooses her moments to be pushy.” He chuckled. 

“Do you want to be paired with her for the mock trials?”  

“David and I are already paired up. We thought it would be easier since we’re roommates. April and my styles don’t exactly mesh. We’d end up arguing more than working.” Rafael rolled his eyes at the thought of being stuck working with April and Jolie relax even more.

 

“You know you already got me Blacks Law Dictionary for my birthday, you didn’t have to take me out too.” Rafael said as they laid on her bed after getting back from dinner. 

“Yes but that was kind of a selfish present on my part so I felt you deserved dinner as well.” Jolie smiled. 

“How was that selfish?”  

“Because you refused to spend the extra money on it when you bought your books for class since the library had a bunch of copies, but then you spent so much time there referencing it. I thought if you had your own copy you could spend some of that time with me... even if your nose was in the book I got you.” She chuckled. 

“So far that has worked out in your favor.” He smirked. 

“If I recall it’s somewhere in my room as we speak.” She smiled, pulling herself to his lips. 

“Now I know we did this somewhere around my birthday.” He said as she climbed on top of him. 

“Oh yeah, I guess we don’t need to do it again then.” Jolie teased starting to climb of him. 

“Wait, my memory is a little foggy.” He smiled, bringing her back to his lips. 

“It’s foggy, huh?” She smirked between kisses. 

“Very foggy.” He hummed. 

“Well first I think I did something for you.” She said as she kissed down his chest. 

“Really... what was that?” Rafael asked, his voice catching slightly as she pulled him free. Jolie didn’t respond, just took him in her mouth. Rafael moaned as he rested his hand on her head, pulling himself up slightly to watch her. “Dios mío, Jolie.” He breathed as she took him most of the way in. He let her continue for a bit before he pulled her back to his lips, their clothes being removed rather hastily, before he rolled her beneath him. 

“I’m pretty sure you let me finish last time.” She teased between kisses. 

“I want to be inside you.” He whispered in her ear as he eased himself into her. 

Jolie smiled as she pulled him to her lips, her hips lifting to meet his. She moaned as he thrust. Rafael adjusted himself so that he hit her at a slightly different angle. 

“Fuck, Raf!” Jolie gasped, her back arching and head tilting backwards. 

“Are you ok?” He panted, not altering his pace. 

“Yeah... yes...” She managed to get out as her hand gripped tighter into his hair. 

It wasn’t long before her body was bucking against him. Rafael kept pumping into her as she came, the sounds from her almost inaudible. 

“Raf... I can’t.” She panted as he continued to thrust into her. 

“I’m almost there.” He breathed against her neck. 

“My god.” Jolie moaned as she felt another orgasm building. 

“You need a break?” He asked. 

“No... don’t stop.” She panted beginning to jerk beneath him again. Rafael held out as long as he could before grunting his release, slowing to rest on top of her. “Wow.” She panted as she caught her breath. 

“I love you.” He panted. 

“I love you too.” Jolie smiled, turning to kiss him.

“Are you staying here for Thanksgiving or going to New York?” Jolie asked as Rafael held her. 

“My mom invited us both if you’re up for it. I want to be wherever you are since our anniversary is on the twenty fourth.” He smiled squeezing her slightly. 

“I’m good with whatever you want to do. I’ve never done an actual Thanksgiving before.” 

“We can go, but they do things a little different than the traditional Thanksgiving you see on television.” Rafael stated. 

“What’s different?” 

“Mainly the food.” He chuckled. 

“Can we watch the parade in the morning?”  

“If you want. They never end up eating until late. Did you want to watch it on tv or actually go?”  

“On tv, while still in pajamas preferably.” She smiled.

 

Jolie smiled when Rafael opened his eyes and yawning as he stretched. 

“Morning.” 

“What time is it?” He asked, noticing she was already sitting up and the television was on. 

“Ten.” She replied, offering him a Twizzler from the bag she had. 

“I’m good.” Rafael chuckled while rolling his eyes. 

“Suit yourself.” Jolie smiled continuing to eat on the one she had in her hand. 

“How long have you been up?” He pulled himself to sit next to her. 

“Since the parade started at nine.” 

“You could have woke me up.” 

“I was enjoying you snoring next to me.” Jolie grinned. 

“I do not snore.” Rafael huffed. 

“Fine breathing audibly.” She giggled. 

“Do I really snore?”  

“Not in an annoying way, it’s a very soft sound and rather cute if you ask me.” She smiled. 

“Do you want something besides sugar for breakfast?”  

“Sure.” She shrugged following him to her parents kitchen.

 

“I still can’t get over how large this place is.” Rafael said as he made eggs. 

“One of the benefits of working in real estate, you have an advantage when buying your home.” Jolie replied. 

“Have you always lived here?” 

“We moved in when I was six, I vaguely remember the place before but it wasn’t much different. I just know they liked this location better.” 

“Do you want toast with your eggs?” Rafael asked as he got some bread out of the pantry. Jolie held up the bag of Twizzlers and shook her head. “More sugar... of course.” He chuckled. 

“What time do we need to be at your parents?” She stood to move to the table with him when he plated the eggs. 

“Well, dinner is scheduled for four which means we wont eat until six and since I’d like to see as little of my dad as possible I’m thinking we plan to get there around four at the earliest.” He sighed, taking the seat next to her. 

“We wont be late?”  

“I promise.” He smiled.

 

“Jolie, Rafi, I’m so glad you decided to come.” Lucia smiled as she let them in. 

“Hi mami.” Rafael said giving her a hug. 

“Hi Lucia.” Jolie smiled when she was pulled into a hug after Rafael. 

“Mi juez.” Catalina called from across the living room. 

“That’s cute.” Jolie smirked as they made their way to her. 

“What is?” 

“That she calls you her judge.” Jolie whispered. 

“You are learning something in your Spanish classes.” He chuckled. 

“Yes... my and judge... so difficult.” Jolie smiled. 

“Abuelita I’ve barely started law school.” Rafael said as he gave her a hug. 

“Eh...” Catalina shrugged dismissively turning her attention to Jolie, “y nuestro pequeño matemático.” 

“I’m assuming that has something do due with math.” Jolie chuckled as she hugged her. 

“I called you our little mathematician.” Catalina smiled. 

 

“I told you.” Rafael said when his mother started setting food on the table at six fifteen. 

“Told her what?” Yelina asked. 

“That, although my mother said we’d eat at four, it would be more like six.” He chuckled. 

“At least you warned her, remember when I brought Ashley and she kept grumbling and staring at the clock.” Alex laughed. 

“Whose Ashley?” Yelina huffed. 

“Just some girl he met on a field trip to a museum in tenth grade. It was like two weeks before Thanksgiving and he somehow convinced her to join us.” Eddie chuckled. 

“How long did you two date?” Yelina asked. 

“Maybe two months.” Alex replied. 

“And did you sleep with her?” Yelina snapped. 

“What? No.” Alex replied taking her hand. 

“You slept with half the neighborhood.” Yelina muttered, pulling her hand away. 

Jolie placed her hand gently on Rafael’s leg and gave him a ‘this is awkward’ look. 

“Relájate Yelina. Un hombre real puede tener un poco de pasado. Lo has ganado. (Relax Yelina. A real man may have a bit of a past. You’ve won him.)” Rafael’s father said from across the room. 

“Fine.” Yelina sighed. 

“That was all before you.” Alex smiled taking her hand in his again. 

“Él es más hombre que mi hijo. (He’s more man than my son.)” His dad added. 

“And there it is...” Rafael huffed.

“¿Tienes un problema, Rafi? (You have a problem, Rafi?)” His dad asked. 

“Of course I have a problem.” Rafael barked. 

“Rafi! Ahora no es el momento. (Rafi! Now is not the time.)” Lucia interjected. 

“Lo siento mami. (I’m sorry mami.)” Rafael grumbled as he continued to glare at his father. 

“Eres parte del problema, Lucia, lo convertiste en un chico tan mama. (You’re part of the problem Lucia, you turned him into such a mama’s boy.)” Rafael’s father scoffed. 

“Better that than to be like you.” Rafael muttered. 

“¡Disculpe! (Excuse me!)” His father barked. 

“You heard me.” Rafael huffed. 

“Eres ingrato, pobre excusa para un hijo. (You ungrateful, poor excuse for a son.)” He snarled as he made his why toward Rafael. 

“What dad? What are you going to do? Hit me? Think about how well that worked out for you last time.” Rafael fumed standing when his father got close. He may not have been the tallest man in the room but he still had a few inches on his dad. 

“¡Eso es suficiente! Ambos se sentarán y comerán y ninguno de los dos hablará con el otro por el resto de la noche. ¿Está claro? (That’s enough! You will both sit and eat and neither of you will speak to the other for the rest of the evening. Is that clear?)” Lucia huffed, giving them both a look. 

“Yes, Sí.” They both replied, moving back to their respective chairs.

 

Jolie didn’t say much through dinner, she mostly let Rafael stew. 

“Do you want some pie?” He asked taking her hand from her lap and into his. 

“What kind of pie?” She smiled. 

“I’m pretty sure there’s pumpkin, cherry, and possibly a chocolate.” Rafael replied. 

“I’ll take a little slice of all three.”  

“Ok.” He smirked, kissing her forehead as he got up. 

“Why do you goad him Rafi?” Lucia asked when he entered the kitchen to get dessert. 

“Me? I’m not the one who constantly brings up my failure as a son.” Rafael huffed, adding a little flan to the plate as well. 

“He has his faults but...” Lucia started. 

“Faults?!” Rafael interrupted. 

“He’s sick, Rafi. Who knows how much time he has left with us. Would it hurt you to tolerate him?” Lucia scolded. 

“If he took better care of himself...” Rafael started but stopped at the look his mother gave him. “Fine.” He huffed, kissing her cheek as he left with the plate. 

 

“I said a little slice of each.” Jolie chuckled when he sat the plate in front of her. 

“Uh... I’ve seen you with dessert and I was planning on eating a bite or two.” He smiled. 

“That is so not fair.” Yelina sighed. 

“What’s not fair?” Jolie asked as she took a large bite of the pumpkin pie. 

“That you can eat that. If I even look at sweets I gain five pounds.” Yelina chuckled. 

“I just hope my metabolism keeps up as I get older like my moms has.” Jolie said. 

“Does she workout?” Yelina asked. 

“Nope, she absolutely hates to sweat...” Jolie replied rolling her eyes. 

“If you never have to worry about what you eat is it ok if I hate you a little?” Yelina joked. 

“I give you full permission.” Jolie smiled. 

“A los hombres les gusta una mujer con curvas. La chica de Rafi es demasiado flaca. (Men like a woman with curves. Rafi’s girl is too skinny.)” Rafael’s dad interjected from across the room. 

“And on that note...” Rafael said standing to leave. 

“It was good to see you guys again.” Jolie said to Alex, Yelina, and Eddie as she stood with Rafael. 

“Así es, Rafi, huye como siempre haces. (That’s right Rafi, run away like you always do.)” His dad chuckled. 

“Bye mami, abuelita.” Rafael said giving them each a kiss on the cheek as he ignored his father. 

 

“Are you ok?” Jolie asked once they were in her car. 

“I may just skip Christmas this year. I’m tired of listening to him.” Rafael huffed. 

“You’re mom seems to have a say in things.” She smiled. 

“That’s because he depends on her now that he’s sick. She seems to forget how things were as recently as five years ago.” He sighed. 

“What was the exchange with Alex and Yelina about?” Jolie asked changing the subject. 

“I asked Eddie the same thing,” he chuckled, “apparently she found out how many of the neighborhood girls he slept with before they got together.” 

“How many?” She asked curiously. 

“I wouldn’t even begin to guess but I know he got around.”  

“Did you?”  

“You know everyone I’ve been with.” He said, pulling her closer to him. 

“So just two?” She clarified. 

“Just two.” He replied, pulling her lips to his.

 

“Morning.” Jolie smiled as Rafael squeezed her while they laid in bed. 

“You know...” He hummed as his hand grazed her stomach along the bottom of her tank top, “one year ago today was the first time I got up the nerve to kiss you.” 

“Was it?” She teased. 

“It was.” He breathed as he pressed his lips to hers, his hand breaching the bottom of her shirt. “It took me three tries before you sat still long enough for me to actually do it too, you’re lucky I didn’t give up.” He chuckled against her neck while he gently tugged her tank top off. 

“Is that why you held my arms and asked me to hold still?” Jolie giggled as she watched him kiss down her chest. 

“In your defense you were hopped up on sugar.” He smirked up at her before taking a nipple in his mouth. 

“I still get little butterflies when I think about that kiss.” She said, gasping slightly at what he was doing to her. 

“You do?” Rafael asked stopping to look up at her. 

“I knew how I felt about you but wasn’t sure how you felt. That kiss was everything I had wanted.” Jolie smiled as he pulled himself back up to her lips. 

Rafael tugged at her pajama pants but couldn’t get them to budge from his new position so she removed them, along with his boxers. She smiled beneath their kiss when he whimpered softly as she lightly ran her hand up his shaft on her way to removing his shirt. 

“Jolie...” He breathed as he moved between her legs. 

“Yes.” She smiled, looking up at him. 

“I didn’t know it was possible to love someone as much as I love you.” He said, intently looking into her eyes. 

“I love you too... each day more than the last.” Jolie replied running her hand behind his ear and pulling him back to her lips. 

Chapter Text

“Are you serious!?!” Jolie exclaimed over the phone as Rafael walked into her living room. 

“Hey.” He smiled, giving her a peck on the cheek and a curious look at the giddy expression on her face. 

“Hey daddy, hang on a second,” she said before turning to Rafael, “Do you have a passport?” 

“Me?” Rafael questioned pointing to himself as he chewed on the chip he had just placed in his mouth from the bag she had open on the coffee table. 

“Yes.” She nodded. 

“I do.” He replied, still slightly confused. 

“Where you serious about not wanting to spend Christmas with your family?” Jolie asked. 

“I was.” He huffed. 

“Would you want to spend it with mine?”  

“That could be nice.” Rafael smiled. 

Jolie grinned and turned her attention back to her dad on the phone. “Ok, yes, Raf will go too.”

 

“Where did I just agree to go.” Rafael chuckled when she sat down. 

“Switzerland.” Jolie smiled. 

“Switzerland?” He repeated, choking on the sip of water he had just taken. 

“Yeah, my mom and her sister got together when my dad was in London on business last month and I guess they were reminiscing on Christmas from when they were kids. Anyway, they decided that they should get the family together for Christmas this year. We’re the only ones on this side of the Atlantic on my moms side of the family so my father suggested Gstaad.” Jolie beamed. 

“You seem excited.” Rafael smiled. 

“I love Christmas. The last time my family got together for one I was eleven. Ian and Beth will be there. Oh! Beth’s pregnant too! I can’t believe I forgot to tell you that. My dad promised me a tree and all the other hokey Christmas stuff I love. And I get to share that with you.” She smiled, cuddling against him on the couch. 

 

“I am so jealous.” Sarah giggled as she drank a glass of wine on their couch. 

“Of what?” Jolie questioned from the bar area as she poured herself another martini. 

“You and Raf get to jet off to Switzerland for Christmas while Andrew and I mosey on back to Raleigh...” She muttered. 

“Mosey?” Jolie chuckled. 

“This is my fourth glass, it’s the best I could come up with to offset jet.” Sarah smiled. 

“I am so excited.” Jolie grinned. 

“Yeah, yeah... just tell me you failed one of your finals or something.” Sarah chuckled. 

“Who failed a final?” Rafael asked as he entered the living room. 

“No one.” Jolie smiled, handing him a glass of scotch. 

“What’s this for?”  

“We’re celebrating the end of the semester. We both took our last final today and you just got here from yours.” She grinned. 

“It’s barely four o’clock.” He stated. 

“So we’ll be passed out by nine.” Sarah giggled. 

“She’s had way more than me.” Jolie laughed. 

“Don’t worry, Andrew will be here soon and then my drunk ass will be his problem.” Sarah giggled again. 

“What is all that?” Rafael questioned, pointing to a stack of wrapped presents in the corner of the living room. 

“The presents we got everyone.” Jolie smiled. 

“We?”  

“Yes. I figured the presents could be from both of us since you really don’t know anyone well enough to pick out a gift and I didn’t want to put that pressure on you.” Jolie smiled. 

“You know I love you right.” He smirked. 

 

“Is she asleep?” Jolie asked Andrew. Sarah was lightly snoring with her head on his lap as she laid on the couch. 

“That she is.” Andrew chuckled. 

“What time did you two start drinking?” Rafael asked noticing the clock said seven thirty. 

“Sarah was almost finished with her second glass when I got home at three.” Jolie smiled. 

“I’m pretty sure she finished off the bottle.” Andrew said, rolling his eyes as he carried Sarah to her room. 

“How are you liking MIT?” Rafael asked when he returned. 

“It’s great actually. It was always my first choice and not just because Sarah is here. I’ve wanted to go to MIT since I was eight. It has completely lived up to what I had hoped it would be.”  

“I like it when things work out.” Jolie smiled. 

“How are you liking law school?” Andrew asked. 

“I know I complain about the work load but my abuelita was right, I’m really enjoying it.” Rafael replied. 

“Abuelita?” Andrew questioned. 

“His granny.” Jolie grinned. 

“I don’t know how much I like you taking Spanish anymore.” Rafael smirked.

 

“What are you reading?” Ian asked as he plopped next to Jolie and Rafael on the bench seat of their family plane. They were a few hours into their flight and Rafael had already fallen asleep using her lap as a pillow. 

“A guide book.” Jolie smiled holding up the cover for him to see. 

“You do know we can just see what they have when we get there right?” Ian teased. 

“Did you know they do a winter hike that supposed to have some fantastic views? I think we’ll do that while you guys ski.” Jolie smiled, showing him the picture in the book. 

“Uh, no... you have to keep Beth company while I ski. I’ll go with you another day though.” Ian smiled. 

“Fine, I suppose Raf and I can hangout with Beth and you can join us on our hike.” Jolie smiled. 

“You know it’s going to be morning when we get there and he’s the only one of us that isn’t going to be jet lagged.” Ian chuckled as he gestured to Rafael. 

“I know. I’m a little envious, I never could sleep on planes.” Jolie said. 

“None of us can. Must be a Rutherford thing.” Ian smiled, patting her leg as he stood to rejoin his wife.

 

“Raf... we’re here.” Jolie said softly as she woke him up. 

“Already?” He yawned. 

“You’ve been asleep for seven hours.” Jolie chuckled. 

“Did you sleep at all?” Rafael asked as they stood. 

“No, but I never do on planes. I did exchange my leg for a pillow at one point so I could move around.” She smiled. 

“What time is it?”  

“Nine in Gstaad, three am in New York.”  

“I’ll wait a few hours to call my mom then.” He smirked. 

“Jolie, Rafael.” Malcolm called from the tarmac. 

“Come on.” Jolie grinned, pulling him behind her. 

“Yes, daddy.” She smiled. 

“So the plan is to get settled in at the cabin and then grab a bite to eat. Does that work for the two of you?” Malcolm asked. 

“It does.” Jolie replied.

 

“So Ian tells me you’re the top student in your class.” Malcolm said as they sat to eat. Rafael who looked slightly confused turned to Jolie’s brother. 

“Not me, Ian Jacobs, though I am his namesake.” Ian chuckled. 

“Dr. Jacobs, right... yeah, so far.” Rafael replied. 

“You didn’t tell me that.” Jolie smiled. 

“It’s only the first semester.” Rafael sighed. 

“Still an accomplishment.” She smiled. 

“Jolie’s right, stay humble but celebrate the small victories along the way. They will keep you motivated.” Malcolm stated. 

“Beth and I are going shopping after lunch, do you want to join us Jolie, let the boys have some fun before the rest of our crazy family gets here tomorrow?” Annalise smiled. 

“Sure, I need to get that baby some cute clothes anyway.” Jolie smiled at Beth. 

“Between your mom and my mom this baby is going to have more clothes than he can possibly wear.” Beth chuckled. 

“He? Ian didn’t tell me you knew the gender.” Jolie said, hitting her brother. 

“We found out last week.” Beth smiled.

 

“How was drinks with my dad and Ian?” Jolie ask when she got back to their room. 

“I’m pretty sure I’m drunk.” Rafael slurred. 

“You definitely sound drunk.” Jolie chuckled. 

“Your dad really likes scotch.” He said not intentionally emphasizing the end of the word scotch. 

“Yes he does.” She replied as she took his shoes off. Rafael was laying on his back, fully clothed with his feet hanging off the end of the bed, staring at the ceiling. 

“The rooms been spinning for a while now.” He muttered. 

“Are you going to be sick?” Jolie asked pulling him to sit up. 

“No. I should probably sleep though.” He smiled. 

“What are you smiling at?” She chuckled as she help him take his pants off. 

“You’re really pretty.” He slurred moving her hair off her neck. 

“I’m also really tired.” Jolie said shaking her head as she changed into her pajamas. 

“So, no sex?” Rafael pouted. 

“If you let me sleep tonight, I’ll make it up to you tomorrow.” Jolie smiled as she crawled in bed next to him. 

“Tomorrow morning?” He asked, as he cuddle next to her. 

“If you’re not too hungover.” She chuckled.

 

“Here.” Malcolm said handing Rafael a Bloody Mary at breakfast. 

“I really don’t think more alcohol is the answer.” Rafael muttered. 

“I promise it will help... at least a little.” He smiled. 

“Why doesn’t it look like you or Ian feel worse than you do?” Rafael muttered. 

“I’m pretty sure we drink that amount of scotch on a more regular basis than you do.” Ian chuckled. 

“I didn’t say or do anything stupid did I?” Rafael grumbled. 

“Surprisingly, no. Your vocabulary seemed to expand the more you drank. Ian got a dictionary out at one point.” Malcolm laughed. 

“You did seem to want to make it very clear that you love Jolie.” Ian chuckled again. 

Rafael groaned and put his head on the table. 

“Ok... Let’s stop picking on Raf,” Jolie giggled, gently running her hand through his hair, “when is everyone supposed to get here?” 

“Tillie and her family will be here around noon and your grandparents arrive at five.” Annalise smiled. 

“What are we doing until then?” Jolie asked. 

“I thought you might like to decorate the tree while watching Christmas movies.” Malcolm smiled. 

“You know if you could fly Tess in so we could bake cookies I would have everything I love about Christmas in one place.” Jolie smiled. 

“Tillie said she’d like to bake some with her kids, I’m sure she’ll let you join her. You can even call Tess and talk while you do.” Annalise suggested.

 

Tillie and her husband, Geoffrey, arrived with their kids, Piper and Oliver, a little after noon. Rafael watched from the couch as Jolie helped her cousins, who were eight and ten, decorate the lower portion of the tree she had saved for them. 

“You still have a headache?” Ian asked, sitting next to Rafael on the couch. 

“No, I actually feel a lot better.” He replied, smiling as Jolie dropped tinsel on Piper’s head. 

“Good, because I was hoping you could do something for me.” Ian said, garnering all of Rafael’s attention. 

“What?” He asked. 

“I want to surprise Beth with a sleigh ride tomorrow. I’ve reserved two, one for us and one for you and Jolie. I just need you to make sure they get to the restaurant by six so we can make it on time. Whether you tell Jolie or let it be a surprise is up to you.” Ian whispered. 

“Getting them to dinner by six won’t be that hard.” Rafael smiled. 

“You’d think. When Jolie is on vacation mode she doesn’t exactly like to stick to a schedule. If you get desperate feign hunger.” Ian chuckled.

 

“Gran! Pappy!” Jolie squealed when her grandparents entered the cabin. 

“Ok... that hurt my head.” Rafael groaned as Ian chuckled. Both Ian and Rafael got up to greet the newest arrivals. 

“Jolie, you’re all grown up. You look just like your mom when she was nineteen.” Her grandmother smiled, pulling her into a hug. 

“It’s been too long.” Her grandfather said, giving her a hug as well. 

“Rafael, these are my grandparents, Ben and Doris Walker. This is my boyfriend Rafael.” Jolie smiled as she introduced them. 

“She has a boyfriend...” Doris said eying Rafael. 

“...and Ian’s married with a kid on the way...” Ben added. 

“When did we get so old?” Doris chuckled. 

“Promise you’ll visit this side of the pond more often than your mother did when she first had you and Ian when you two decide to procreate.” Ben smiled. 

“Those are going to be some pretty babies.” Dorris smiled. 

“We should talk my dad into making this a yearly thing.” Jolie suggested, ignoring her grandparents comments on babies. 

“Now that I can get on board with.” Ben grinned.

 

“That wasn’t too much was it?” Jolie asked when they sat down on the couch, watching Piper and Oliver as they counted the presents under the tree. 

“Was what too much?” Rafael asked. 

“My Gran and Pappy going on about our future babies... I mean I don’t even know if you want kids.”  

“I want kids... especially after watching you decorate the tree with Piper and Oliver.” He smiled. 

“You do? You don’t exactly strike me as a kid person.”  

“I’m not a huge fan of other peoples kids but my own would be different.” He replied. 

“They would?”  

“Yes,” Rafael smiled, “how many are we talking here?” 

“I want three, two girls and a boy... in that order.” Jolie grinned. 

“You know you don’t really get a say in that right?” He chuckled. 

“That’s what you think.” She smiled pulling up to kiss him.

 

“At first I thought a day at the spa sounded kind of miserable but I have to admit that I enjoyed myself.” Rafael said. 

“You just liked the sauna.” Jolie chuckled. 

“You need to have one of those installed in your house.” He smiled. 

“I could.” She said, cuddling against him. 

“Ok, I’m passed the whole morning sickness phase, but you guys are making me queasy.” Beth poked. 

“Like you and Ian weren’t just as bad if not worse when you too would come home from school on break.” Jolie smirked, turning towards her. 

“Whatever...” Beth said pretending to have no idea what she was talking about. 

“Oooo, lets stop in this store.” Jolie said as they passed a small shop of just Christmas stuff. 

“Quickly,” Rafael said rolling his eyes as he looked at his watch, “I’m getting hungry.” 

“Yeah, yeah... we’ll get you fed.” Jolie smirked, dragging him behind her.

 

“Six ten, not bad.” Ian whispered to Rafael when they walked in the restaurant. 

“I’m going to have to eat three meals to make her think I was really as hungry as I said I was...” Rafael muttered as Ian laughed. 

“How was skiing?” Beth asked walking up to her husband. 

“It was terrible.” Ian smirked. 

“Liar.” She pouted. 

“We’ll come back.” Ian said. 

“You promise.” Beth huffed. 

“We’ll have to teach Kevin one day.” Ian said, laughing when Beth scrunched up her nose. “Not Kevin then...” 

“Toby?” Beth suggested getting a similar face from Ian. 

“We’ll figure it out.” Ian chuckled.

 

“Where are we going?” Jolie asked Ian as her and Rafael walked behind him and Beth after dinner. 

“You’ll see.” Ian replied, shaking his head. 

“Raf, do you know where we’re going?” Jolie asked. 

“Would you kiss her or something so she’ll stop asking questions.” Ian teased. Rafael shrugged, chuckling at the pout Jolie made. 

“Oh my...” Beth breathed as they rounded a group of trees to find rows of horse drawn sleighs being guided down a softly lit path, the orange glow bouncing off the snow. 

“Ok that is really pretty.” Jolie smiled. 

“I know Beth is missing out on a lot of the activities she likes so I was hoping this would make up for it a little.” Ian grinned. 

“It does.” Beth smiled pulling him in for a kiss. 

“And we get to be here because...” Jolie asked turning to Rafael. 

“Your brother needed an accomplice.” Rafael chuckled. 

“How long have you known?” She asked as they climbed in their sleigh. 

“Since yesterday.” He smiled. 

“And Ian told you not to tell me.”  

“No... he gave me the option. I just thought it would be a nice surprise for you too.” Rafael smiled, pulling the blanket over their legs. 

 

“This is really pretty.” Jolie said as she cuddled closer to Rafael. 

“Yes it is.” He agreed. 

The path took them along a tree lined edge of the mountain with views of the different villages below. The fact that they were lit up for Christmas making it all more breathtaking. 

“What names do you have picked out?” Rafael asked after they had been riding for a bit. 

“What?” She asked not knowing what he was taking about. 

“For our future kids. I know you and you like to plan so I assume you have a name or two thought of.” He chuckled. 

“Allison is nonnegotiable. I’ve wanted to name my daughter Allison for as long as I can remember.” Jolie stated. 

“I can live with Allison.” Rafael smiled. 

“I also really like Katherine, but I would call her Kate and I honestly haven’t picked out a boys name.” 

“Does it have to be Katherine as long as you could call her Kate?” Rafael asked. 

“I guess not, why?”  

“We could name our second hypothetical daughter Catalina, after my abuelita, and you could still call her Kate, just maybe spell it with a C.” He smiled. 

“It is a pretty name... Do you have any boy names floating around in that head of yours?” She chuckled. 

“I’ve always liked Misael, but I understand if it’s too Spanish sounding...” He trailed off as he spoke. 

“I have no problem with that as long as you don’t mind me calling him Cy, I’ve always liked the nickname Cy.” Jolie smiled. 

“You’ve always liked the name Cy?”  

“Yes but not as a stand alone name and I really don’t like Cyrus enough use it so Misael is actually kind of perfect.” She said. 

“So, that’s settled... we’ve named the children we could possibly have one day.” He smirked. 

“Unless we end up with all boys.” Jolie laughed. 

“We can cross that bridge when we get there.” Rafael chuckled as he shook his head.

 

“You know my favorite thing about spending the holidays with your family?” Rafael hummed as they cuddled in bed after midnight mass. It had just been the two of them. Jolie had found a charming little Catholic Church not too far from the cabin and took him because she knew even though he didn’t say it, it was important to him and his mother that he went. 

“What?” She smiled. 

“No one fights or argues.” 

“They do, especially my dad and Ian. They have just gotten better about it now that Ian’s older though and doesn’t act out.”

“You know what I mean.” Rafael sighed. 

“Yes. I know what you mean.” Jolie said, squeezing him tighter to her.

 

“Cinnamon rolls.” Jolie smiled as she sat up in bed. 

“What?” Rafael yawned. 

“Gran is making cinnamon rolls.” Jolie squeaked jumping out of bed. 

“You really have a problem when it comes to sweets.” He chuckled, climbing out of bed after her. 

“Whatever. Grans cinnamon rolls are the best cinnamon rolls you’ll ever have.” She smiled, dragging him behind her to the shower in the ensuite bathroom. 

“You know I can shower by myself.” He chuckled. 

“It’ll take too much time.” She said pulling his shirt off. 

“Raf!” She scolded when he reached between her legs. 

“You should have let me shower solo.” He smirked, pulling her to his lips. 

“If I miss out on cinnamon rolls...” Jolie teased as he turned her so she faced the wall, lifting her slightly as he pushed into her. 

“I’m sure they’ll save you some.” Rafael purred against her ear as he started to thrust. 

Jolie kept her moans quiet not knowing how thick the walls were, hoping that since she hadn’t heard anyone talking or moving about the house once they were in their room that they were pretty thick. “Raf...” She panted when he reached his hand around to massage her clit while he pumped. “My god.” She moaned a little louder than she intended when she came, pushing harder against him as her hips bucked. 

Rafael pumped a few more times before pushing in hard and holding her, her back pressed against his chest. They stayed like that, panting, for a few minutes before finishing up their shower. 

 

“Oh Jolie, you just missed Grans cinnamon rolls.” Ian teased as she and Rafael entered the kitchen. 

“Whatever Ian, I see them right there.” Jolie said rolling her eyes as she made her way to the counter to put two on a plate. Rafael followed grabbing two as well. 

“What time do you want to do presents?” Annalise asked as everybody gathered in the living room. 

“I’m pretty sure Piper and Oliver’s vote is for now.” Tillie chuckled as the two children played close to the tree. 

“Hey Oliver, Piper. Can you two make sure everybody has a gift and then we can all open one at once.” Malcolm smiled. 

The two kids nodded and rushed to the tree to start passing out gifts. It wasn’t the most organized effort and soon all the presents had been passed to their recipients. 

“That works too,” Malcolm chuckled, “go ahead and open them.” 

The scene was chaotic and soon, piles of paper filled the space between the couches and chairs. 

“Oh, that ones from me. Open the small one first.” Rafael said as Jolie picked up his gift. 

“It’s a picture of a record player.” She said furrowing her brow. 

“Yes, because I didn’t think the actual record player would travel across the Atlantic so well.” He smirked. 

“You got me a record player?” She grinned. 

“It’s secondhand because I couldn’t for the life of me find a new one, but you seemed so excited that your bands sold their music on vinyl that...” He didn’t get to finish as Jolie pressed her lips to his. “I take it you like it then.” He chuckled. 

“I assume this is a record then.” She smiled. 

“The shape give it away.” He laughed. 

“It’s either that or a calendar.” Jolie smirked as she opened it to find the Lagwagon album Duh. 

“I contacted that record store you like to shop at in New York and he said the vinyls purple or something... whatever that means.” Rafael stated. 

“There were only like 500 copies printed on purple vinyl and it was released in ninety two so I’m not quite sure how you managed this.” She squeaked, kissing him again, before peaking at the actual record. 

“Ok, ok... open mine.” She smiled, pulling the present she got him from his stack. 

“You got me a first edition of Slaughterhouse Five.” Rafael smiled. 

“Open it.” She grinned, tapping the cover. Rafael opened the book, flipping through to the title page. 

“It’s signed... You got me a signed first edition of my favorite book.” Rafael exhaled. 

“It’s in pretty good condition too.” Jolie smiled. 

Rafael smirked at her comment and kissed her again. 

Chapter Text

“Hey sorry we missed your party.” Jolie apologized when she met up with Blake after they got back to New York. 

“I would have missed my own party if my parents had taken me to Gstaad for Christmas.” Blake chuckled. 

“Well I’m glad you understand then.” Jolie smirked. 

“Where is your boy anyway?”  

“He went to visit his mom and grandmother since he didn’t spend Christmas with them.” 

“And you didn’t go with him?”  

“I’m going over for dinner tonight. We don’t do everything together.” Jolie smirked. 

“Could have fooled me.” Blake teased. 

“How are things with Casey?” Jolie asked. 

“Great.” Blake grinned and almost immediately rolled her eyes at herself, “god, now I sound like you.” 

“It’s nice that you’re happy.” Jolie chuckled. 

 

“How was lunch with Blake?” Rafael asked when Jolie got to his parents house. 

“Good. She’s stupid happy with Casey which I find kind of humorous since they both tried to deny their feelings for each other for so long.” Jolie chuckled. 

“How’s it been here?” They were both sitting on his parents couch and the house was oddly quiet. Every time she had been there it had been filled with neighbors and friends... his grandmother. As far as she could tell they were the only two people in the apartment. 

“Mami and my abuelita went to grab a few items for dinner. I’m supposed to check on what’s in the oven. My dad is in the back room ignoring me so... pretty normal.” He smiled. 

“Do you still have a room here?”  

“Why?” Rafael questioned, furrowing his brow. 

“I’m just curious what your childhood room looked like?” Jolie smiled. 

“You want to see my room? It hasn’t changed much since high school. I mean I only sleep here when I come back for holidays and even less now that I sleep at your place.” 

“That’s kind of the point. I want to see I glimpse into high school Rafael.” She smirked. 

“Fine.” He sighed, dragging her to the kitchen to check on the food, before making their way down the hall.

 

“Ok,” he said pausing outside of the door leading to his old room, “you can’t judge me for my taste from over four years ago. I seriously never come in here anymore and haven’t really cared to change anything.” 

“Oh my god! You’re embarrassed of something... This is going to be amazing.”Jolie squeaked, her eyes getting bigger. 

“Never mind you can’t see.” Rafael huffed, starting to drag her away. 

“Oh, come on. I’ll be nice.” She smiled. Rafael rolled his eyes and opened the door, sighing when Jolie excitedly entered. “Christina Applegate, huh?” She smirked as she noticed a poster of her hanging on a wall. 

“She’s kind of hot.” He shrugged, biting back a smile as Jolie turned to face him. 

“That’s better than my brother I guess. I mean all through high school he had a shrine to Alyssa Milano on his wall.” Jolie chuckled, noticing him squish up his face about the same time she noticed the picture of Alyssa Milano on the wall behind him. “At least it’s just a picture or two... seriously my brother had a shrine, his wall was literally wallpapered with her face.” Jolie said, turning to take in the rest of his room. Aside from being a little dark, it was more or less what she pictured. A twin size bed with dark blue bedding was pushed against one wall, a dresser and book shelf against another, while a small desk sat in front of the only window in the room. 

“What posters did you have on your wall?” Rafael asked, pulling her against him. 

“You’ve seen my room.” Jolie smirked, looking up at him. 

“Yeah, just because you’ve actually redecorated doesn’t mean the posters didn’t used to be there.”  

“Actually, thanks to my mom my rooms has always looked like that. Believe me it would be a little more edgy if I had had any say.” 

“That really isn’t fair.” Rafael sighed. 

“Micheal J Fox.” 

“What?” Rafael asked. 

“In Back to the Future, that was my embarrassing celebrity crush... him and Johnny Depp, he was so hot in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.” She smiled. 

“Was? That movie only came out three years ago.” He chuckled. 

“Whatever... I think you’re cuter than both of them.” She smiled, wrapping her arms around his waist. 

“Cute? You just said Johnny Depp was hot?” Rafael smirked. 

“Shut up.” Jolie chuckled, pulling him to her lips.

Jolie walked Rafael backwards toward his bed, climbing on his lap when he set down. 

“You know I’ve never actually kissed someone in my room before.” He said between kisses. 

“I don’t believe that.” She smiled pulling back from his lips to look at him. 

“I’m serious.”  

“Not even Yelina?”  

“Why would we have come here, her parents were never home and my dad never leaves.”  

“So you’ve never done anything here?” She asked, running her hands down his chest towards his crotch. 

“Jolie...” He breathed, stopping her hands, “the walls are paper thin and my mom will be back any minute.” 

“You’re not that loud.” She smiled, moving to the floor between his legs. Rafael watched, half tempted to stop her, as she unfastened his jeans and pulled him out. 

“Fuck, Jolie...” He quietly groaned as she took him in her mouth while bobbing her head. His hand was holding her hair out of the way allowing him a better view as she swirled her tongue against him, gently sucking him deeper each time her head bobbed back down on him. “Fuck...” He panted, both wanting and desperately not wanting to release at the same time. “Jolie...” He moaned softly, tapping her when he couldn’t use words to signal anymore. 

Jolie pushed him as far down as she could, holding him there as she gently moved her tongue against him. His hand gripped slightly tighter into her hair, keeping her in place as he bucked against her. 

“You’re a little crazy, you know that.” He panted when she sat on his bed next to him. 

“You didn’t exactly stop me.” Jolie smiled, watching him as he adjusted his pants so he could button them. 

“That’s not the point.” He smirked. 

Jolie opened her mouth to counter when Lucia called from the other room. “Rafi, we’re back. Where are you?” 

“Jolie and I are in my room.” He answered, rolling his eyes when Jolie giggled.

 

“How many classes are you taking this semester?” Jolie asked Sarah as she watched her lug in a couple bags full of books from the schools bookstore. 

“Five, but one of my teachers listed half the library as required reading on the syllabus.” Sarah huffed. 

“I don’t know if this will make up for it or not but I decided to buy a computer for our study so we could actually type our papers at home instead of scheduling time at the library.” 

“Bless you.” Sarah smiled. 

“I told Raf he could use it and Andrews welcome as well.” Jolie added. 

“And if it becomes crazy we can create our own sign up schedule.” Sarah chuckled. 

“Or I can get a second one.” Jolie laughed. The computer had been a bit pricy but her father had suggested two to begin with. Jolie was the one who wanted to see how much use this one received before adding the additional expense. “I had internet set up too, but it’s so slow I’m not sure what good it’ll do.” 

 

By the end of the month Jolie was considering a second computer. Between Rafael and Sarah typing papers most evenings she was thankful her and Andrew’s majors were number driven. While he did have general classes, English and what not, that required him to write papers, his engineering degree was heavily math and physics focused. The amount of writing Rafael had seemed to have intensified this semester, or she just hadn’t noticed how much time he spent at the library before and Sarah was majoring in some obscure English literature that Jolie found both fascinating and tedious. So many papers over books, comparing and contrasting authors and genres, analyzing themes and characters. Jolie was happy to stick with her numbers, analyzing data made so much more sense to her.

“Are you really going to get a second computer?” Rafael asked as they laid in her bed. 

“I’m thinking about it. I hate interrupting you or Sarah when I need to use it. You two have so much more writing than I do.” Jolie replied. 

“Yes but it’s your computer, you shouldn’t feel bad if you need to use it.”  

“I know, but a second would make things that much easier.” She smiled. 

“I don’t mind using the ones in the law library. It’s always quiet there and scheduling isn’t terribly difficult.”  

“But I like how often you’re here,” Jolie smirked, “even if you are in the other room typing until your fingers bleed.” 

“So you’re going to get another computer just to keep me from leaving?” He chuckled. 

“Exactly.” She smiled.

Chapter Text

“I can’t believe you wanted to see a punk band on Valentines Day.” Rafael chuckled as they walked to the club. 

“I could careless about Valentines, I am however surprised you agreed to join me.” 

“I don’t hate your music, I’m just not a fan of it.” He smirked. 

“That and you actually had a free evening.” Jolie chuckled. 

She glanced around the venue when they entered, spotting Jason and Claire at a table towards the back with a few of the other regulars they hung out with from Boston College. 

“Hi Jolie.” Samantha greeted when they walked up. 

“Hey, you remember Rafael?” Jolie asked. 

“Vaguely, you should really join us more.” Samantha smiled. 

“I know. School seems to suck up all my time lately.” Rafael replied, though he also had to be in the right mood to join Jolie at a show. The fast paced music had a tendency to put him on edge. 

“Are you at Harvard too?” Patrick asked. 

Harvard had come up casually in one of their many conversations between sets, but Jolie still hadn’t mentioned anything about who her family was. 

“Harvard Law now.” Rafael replied. 

“You might want to befriend this guy Josh. Maybe he can defend you when you inevitably get yourself arrested for your stupid antics.” Patrick chuckled.

 

“So...” Jolie pried as they listened to the opening act. 

“It’s not exactly what I expected.” Rafael smirked, speaking almost directly into her ear. 

“I know, I wanted to surprise you. Tonight has music for both of us.” 

He hadn’t paid attention to who was on the marquee as they had entered the venue because he figured he wouldn’t recognize who was listed anyway. “What do you mean?” 

“Well, I have no idea who this is,” Jolie said, gesturing to the guy with a keyboard on the stage, “but you know The Smoking Popes?” 

“That’s the band you’ve been listening to nonstop lately? I kind of like them.” He smiled. 

“Well they are playing and so is someone you’re going to like even more.” Jolie grinned. 

Rafael was about to inquire about who she meant when the guy with the keyboard thanked the crowd, telling everyone to stick around for Elliott Smith. 

“Elliott Smith?” Rafael asked, turning quickly to face her. He was one of the few artist she listened to that Rafael had actually asked to borrowed the CD. 

“I thought you’d like it.” Jolie grinned. 

“How would you have surprised me if I had begged off from going to a ‘punk’ show?” He smirked. 

“Whined about wanting to spend Valentines Day with you.” She chuckled.

 

Both Jolie and Rafael had enjoyed Elliott Smith’s set and it seemed so had the rest of the table. 

“This isn’t what this group typically drags me to.” Claire chuckled as she listened to the various conversations happening around the table. 

“We are allowed to listen to a variety of music.” Tom stated, he was typically quiet, taking in his surroundings more than contributing to them. 

“I know, I just wasn’t expecting it.” Claire smiled. 

“You know a lot of the bands we normally drag you to see are influenced by Elliott Smith.” Samantha said. 

“That’s true. I started listening to Elliott Smith because Joey Cape mentioned him in an interview.” Jolie added. 

“So I listen to Elliott Smith because your unattainable crush listens to Elliott Smith.” Rafael teased. 

“It’s not a crush. I just think he’s attractive and like their music.” Jolie countered. 

“Is he on your list?” Jason chuckled. 

“My what?” Jolie asked. 

“You know, your list of famous, or in this case sudo famous, people you’re allowed to sleep with?” Josh chimed in. 

“I have no such list.” Jolie replied. 

“We could help you create one. It could be fun.” Jason suggested, chuckling again. 

“I hate to disappoint, but the only person, famous or otherwise, I want to sleep with is sitting next to me.” Jolie smiled, playfully smacking Patrick when he teasingly inched his chair closer to her goofily exclaiming, “ohh la la” and lifting his eyebrows a couple times.

 

The conversation died down a bit when The Smoking Popes took the stage. They were fairly mellow and most of their songs were about love which would have been perfect for Valentine’s Day if they didn’t focus on losing love or unrequited love. 

“This is kind of depressing.” Rafael whispered so only Jolie could hear. 

“A little, but to love someone so much that your songs can create emotions in others is kind of beautiful.” Jolie said, smiling up at him. 

“You’re crazy.” He smirked. 

“You love me.” She grinned, pulling up to kiss him. 

“That I definitely do.” He breathed when her lips separated from his. 

Jolie’s attention went back to the stage, as Rafael was distracted by the annoyed look on Claire’s face. She was staring at Jason who wasn’t watching the band, but in turn was staring at Jolie, a rather pained look on his face. 

“Well here I am, wondering down a darkened road. Your love shines... always in my heart... always in my heart.” Josh from The Smoking Popes sang as the band played a new song. 

“That’s it, I’m done.” Claire snapped, pulling Jason, along with the rest of the tables, attention to her. 

“Where are you going?” Jason asked, following her as she grabbed her purse and headed for the exit. 

“What the hell just happened?” Patrick questioned as the group watched the two argue from a distance. 

“I have no idea.” Samantha replied. 

Rafael held his tongue, knowing from the reaction the small group was having that none of them had witnessed what he had, though he assumed from Claire’s reaction that it wasn’t the first time she had caught Jason staring at Jolie.

“Hey... I’m going to get out of here.” Jason said softly when he returned to the table. 

“Did she just break up with you?” Josh less than tactfully asked. 

“Yeah... so as to not bum everyone out, I’m gonna go.” Jason said, forcing a smile. 

“Nonsense. It’s damage control time.” Josh replied, forcing Jason to sit down as he hurried off to the bar. 

“I can play wingman... get you laid tonight. Every girl in this place is listening to depressing love songs on Valentine’s Day... if they’re single it’s easy pickings.” Patrick chuckled. 

“That’s disgusting.” Jolie huffed. 

“Doesn’t make it less true.” Patrick smirked. 

“God, you’re a pig.” Samatha chuckled. 

“I think I just want to drink myself stupid tonight.” Jason sighed. 

“Have it your way.” Patrick shrugged as Josh returned with a bucket of beers. 

Rafael almost felt bad for Jason, the girl he was seeing breaking up with him and the girl he wanted to date witnessing the whole thing. He would have actually felt bad for Jason if the girl he wanted to date wasn’t Jolie. Rafael couldn’t help the jealousy that that provoked, even though he knew Jolie didn’t have a clue as to how Jason felt. She was so perceptive about so many things, but not this... not when someone she knew pined for her. He had seen it with Carter and now with Jason. 

 

Jason had downed three of the beers by the time The Smoking Popes set ended and Rafael suggested they head home. 

“So soon? It’s only midnight.” Josh argued. 

“Yes, but we have class tomorrow.” Rafael countered. 

“So do we.” Patrick smiled, just to be a pain. 

“Raf’s right, my eight am class is going to come too quickly at this point as it is.” Jolie said, standing when Rafael did. 

“You Harvard types are total drags.” Josh teased. 

“Yes, but it’s how we remain at Harvard.” Jolie smiled. 

“Yeah, yeah... Have a good night.” Josh smirked. 

“Good night.” Jolie replied, shaking her head slightly as she and Rafael left, a flash of relief passing over Jason’s face as they did.

“I wonder why Claire broke up with Jason...” Jolie questioned as they climbed in the backseat of her car. 

“Rafael’s first or just your’s tonight?” The driver asked. 

“Just mine.” She replied. 

“You know them better than I do.” Rafael shrugged, deciding not to mention what he saw to Jolie. 

“This is true. I’ll ask Claire next time I see her at the ACLU.” Jolie said, cuddling closer to him.

 

“Does she know how loud she is?” Rafael chuckled as they entered Jolie’s house to the sounds of Sarah and Andrew clearly enjoying each other in her room. 

“Come on.” Jolie laughed, dragging him to her own room. “Better?” She asked, once they were inside and her roommate could no longer be heard. 

“Getting there.” He smirked, pulling her against him. 

“But Mr. Barba, I thought you had an early class tomorrow...” Jolie could barely get the Mr. Barba out without chuckling. 

“Shut up.” Rafael smiled, rolling his eyes when she giggled as he pushed her on the bed. 

Jolie stripped her clothes off as she sat on the edge of her bed, pulling Rafael to her by the waist of his pants once she was down to her underwear. Her fingers tugging them tighter as she unfastened them, letting them fall to the floor as she took him out of his boxers. Rafael ran his hand through her hair as she licked him, groaning softly when she began to bob on him. 

“I love you.” He hummed, leaning down to kiss her before climbing on top of her, removing the remainder of their clothing as he did. 

“I love you too.” Jolie smiled, gasping slightly when he tongued her nipple before gently pushing into her. 

Rafael thrust until he heard her moans change, becoming more desperate, waiting for her before he grunted his own release, collapsing on her when he did. 

“What time do you need to get up in the morning?” Jolie asked, reaching to set her alarm as he cuddled next to her. 

“Six.” Rafael grumbled. 

“That will work for me too, as long as we can shower together.” Jolie smiled. 

“That’s always fine with me.” He smirked.

 

“Did you talk with Claire?” Rafael asked when she returned home from volunteering at the ACLU. He had been in her study working on a paper, not that he needed an excuse to be at her house. 

“No she switched her schedule. I guess she wanted to avoid Jason but he wasn’t there either.” Jolie replied. 

“He’s probably avoiding her too. Why don’t you call her?” He suggested, pulling her next to him on the couch. 

“I don’t have her number, only Jason’s. He’s the one who invites me to shows.” She shrugged. 

“Oh...” Rafael sighed. He had hoped that maybe Claire would mention that Jason liked Jolie so he didn’t have to. No matter how he thought about bringing it up he felt it came off wreaking of jealousy. 

“I did call Jason. We’re having lunch tomorrow. I’ll see if he’ll tell me.” Jolie smiled. 

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”  

“Why not? We’re friends, I know him as well as I know Claire.” Jolie shrugged. 

“I was just thinking of Claire, she might take it the wrong way.” He said, definitely not broaching the subject of his own concerns. 

“Why would she do that? She knows I’m completely in love with you.” Jolie smiled, pressing her lips to his. 

“I don’t know... woman have done crazier things.” He chuckled.

Chapter Text

“You’re hanging out with Jason again?” Rafael frowned when she mentioned going to another show. It was the third one in less than a week. 

“Jason and everyone else.” Jolie smiled. 

The group Jason had introduced her to had quickly become some of her favorite people to attend shows with. They were crazier than the people she grew up with or currently went to school with, more carefree, and they were smart too, Boston College not being the easiest of schools to get into. Samantha and Ryan were locals, Tom from Seattle, Josh and Patrick from Las Angelas, though hadn’t known each other prior, and Jason from Chicago. It was an interesting group and she liked hanging out with them. 

“When is this show?”  

“Friday, are you thinking about going?” Jolie grinned, wrapping her arms around his neck. 

“It seems it’s the only way I’ll see you.” He smirked, giving her a quick kiss before heading out for work.

 

“You brought Rafael again.” Samantha smiled as Jolie and Rafael joined the table. 

“That I did.” Jolie grinned, pulling him closer to her. 

“This isn’t exactly your music is it?” Jason asked. 

“Not exactly, but it seems she has a good group to enjoy it with.” Rafael replied. 

“What exactly do you two have in common?” Jason questioned while taking a sip of his drink and Rafael got the distinct impression that he’d rather him not be there. 

“Plenty,” Jolie smiled, “but what fun would it be if we didn’t introduce the other to new things.” The tension between the two going unnoticed by her. 

“Are you going to continue volunteering with the ACLU?” Ryan asked, pulling Jason’s attention to him. 

“No. That was Claires world before mine so I’ll leave it for her. I already started working with Amnesty International.” Jason shrugged. 

“That’s a great organization too.” Jolie stated and Rafael was thankful she hadn’t mention that Claire had switched up her schedule, half afraid Jason would want to spend more time with her. 

Jason loosened up after another drink and almost reminded Rafael of the same person he had met while he was dating Claire. Rafael decided he might be reading more into Jason’s behavior than was actually there, maybe he was just being a jerk because he was still upset about the breakup. When the rest of the night went smoothly so he decided to let it go.

 

“Are you sure your father won’t mind?” Sarah asked for the umpteenth time about Jolie coordinating the use of her family’s plane for Sarah and Andrew to fly back to Raleigh. 

“I promise. Go. See you family. Give you father my condolences.” Jolie said, giving Sarah a hug as she hurried her out the door. 

Sarah’s uncle had unexpectedly passed and the funeral was being held the first weekend of spring break. The semester had been so busy for Rafael that Jolie decided staying in Cambridge for the break would be nice way to let them unwind a little. That and she had a few projects coming up that she wanted to get a head start on since a ton of bands, including her favorite would be traveling through Boston in the upcoming weeks.

 

“Whose that?” Rafael asked when the doorbell rang as they cuddled on her couch. 

“Jason and a few of the others. I invited them over to watch the movie with us. I thought I told you.” Jolie smiled. 

“I don’t think you did.” Rafael said, trying to hide his annoyance. It seemed that ever since Claire and Jason had broken up Jolie had been spending a lot of time with him. 

“Hey Rafael.” Samantha and Ryan said in unison as they entered Jolie’s place. 

“Hey.” He replied, watching as they plopped down in a chair, Samantha almost sitting in Ryan’s lap. Patrick and Josh took up places on the floor and Jason sat in another chair as Jolie resumed her spot with Rafael on the couch. 

“Your place is nice, better than the cheap apartment I can afford off campus. You must have roommates?” Samatha said as she looked around. 

“I do. She had a death in the family and had to go back to Raleigh for the break, otherwise you’d be meeting her.” Jolie smiled. 

“Must be expensive to live this close to campus in Cambridge.” Patrick stated. 

“I have amazing negotiating skill.” Jolie chuckled. She still wasn’t ready to inform them who her father was. 

 

“Good Riddance is playing Wednesday, whose interested?” Jason asked after the movie ended. 

Patrick was lounging on the floor tossing popcorn to Samantha who was trying to catch it in her mouth as Ryan batted it away. 

“We are.” Samantha chuckled as Ryan caught the latest piece and popped it in his own mouth. 

“What time Wednesday?” Josh asked. 

“Seven, I think.” Jason replied. 

“I should be able to go, I get off work at six.” Josh said. 

“What about you?” Jason asked turning to Jolie. 

“I should be free... Raf?” Jolie said, turning to Rafael. 

“I work that night.” Rafael sighed, not really wanting her to hang out with Jason without him. 

“TSOL, The Adolescents, Suicide Machines, and a few others are playing this weekend and in the up coming weeks. You can join us for some of those.” Jason smiled for the first time all night as he spoke to Rafael. 

 

Rafael had managed to attend a few shows with Jolie that weekend and Sarah made it back the Saturday before school started up again. 

“How was your break?” Sarah asked as she and Jolie sat on the couch. 

“Fantastically lazy. It was definitely needed.” Jolie smiled, “How was Raleigh?” 

“It was sad, but nice to see my family. My uncle was really loved, so tons of people I hadn’t seen in years were there.” Sarah smiled. 

Jolie started to speak when the doorbell rang. “Hey...” Jolie stammered, a little confused to see Jason standing at her door. 

“I hope this is ok? I was just out driving because I really didn’t want to go home yet and found myself in Cambridge.” He shrugged. 

“Yeah, it’s fine. Come in.” Jolie said, opening the door wider for him to enter. 

“This is Sarah, my roommate. Sarah this is Jason.” Jolie said introducing them. 

“Hey.” Sarah and Jason greeted the other. 

 

The three of them were mindlessly watching television when Rafael let himself into Jolie’s house. 

“Hey Raf.” Jolie smiled, getting up to greet him. 

Rafael gave her a kiss as his eyes lingered on Jason. “Can I borrow you for a minute?” He asked, taking her hand and gesturing towards her bedroom. 

“Sure.” Jolie smiled. 

“Why is he here?” Rafael asked, the bitterness in his voice not going unnoticed by Jolie. 

“Relax, will you... He was out driving, trying to clear his head and ended up in Cambridge.” 

“Sure...” Rafael huffed. 

“What’s bothering you?” 

She didn’t understand why he seemed jealous. She had been hanging out with Jason since September and it had never seemed to bother him before. Granted Jason had never been in her living room when he got there, but it’s not like they were even sitting on the couch together. Jolie had been in one of the chairs on the opposite side of the room from the chair Jason was sitting in. 

“Nothing.” Rafael sighed, running his hand through her hair before leaning down to kiss her. 

“I’m going to head out.” Jason said when they reentered the living room. 

“Ok. You’re still planning on Bad Religion next weekend?” Jolie questioned as Jason made his way to the door. 

“Of course, it’s Bad Religion,” he smiled, “thanks for letting me hang for a bit.” 

“Anytime.” Jolie smiled.

 

“What do you think?” Jolie asked. She was grinning up at Rafael while they stood behind the pit watching Bad Religion. 

“They’re one of the more tolerable bands you listen to.” He smirked. 

“What kind of music do you listen to?” Jason interjected, having been listening to their conversation. 

“I tend to focus my energy on my studies rather than obsessing over less significant things.” Rafael huffed. 

“Thanks.” Jolie muttered. 

“You know what I mean.” Rafael sighed. 

“I know,” Jolie smiled, “Raf would prefer to curl up with a good book in a nice quiet room.” She had turned her attention to Jason, but gently squeezed Rafael when she spoke. 

“Sounds like you found yourself an exciting one.” Jason said sarcastically under his breath, just loud enough for Rafael to hear him. 

“What is your problem?” Rafael huffed when Jolie left to get a water. 

“You really think the two of you have enough in common to last?” Jason chuckled. 

“There’s more to Jolie than the music she listens to.” Rafael scoffed. 

“Yeah, we volunteer for the same causes, listen to the same music, enjoy the same movies... I don’t remember seeing you at the ACLU.”  

“I work to supplement my scholarship. That coupled with studying barely leaves me time to see Jolie, much less volunteer. It has no barring on my philanthropic interest. Jolie’s not on scholarship and doesn’t need to work, so she has the time to volunteer.” Rafael fumed, both he and Jason staring at each other as Jolie appeared again. 

“What’d I miss?” She smiled. 

“Nothing” They both hissed.

 

“I really don’t like that guy.” Rafael said as they walked into her house. 

“He’s just going through a rough time.” Jolie smiled dragging Rafael toward her room. 

“Yeah but he’s always around.” He complained as she pushed him down on her bed. 

“He’s just someone to go to shows with when you can’t or don’t want to. You don’t exactly like my music.” Jolie said as she climbed on his lap. 

“Yeah, but I don’t trust him.” Rafael replied, stopping her from kissing him to look at her. 

“You trust me though.” She smiled pressing her lips to his again. 

He hummed softly into her kiss before pulling back. “I do, but there is something about him. I don’t want you hanging out with him.” It came out more demanding than he meant it to, but he didn’t walk it back. 

“You’re picking my friends now?” Jolie scoffed as she stood up. 

“No. I just don’t trust him.” Rafael restated, taking her hand in his. 

“Or you don’t trust me.” She accused, pulling away. 

“I don’t see what the big deal is. I don’t want my girlfriend hanging out with another guy.” Rafael barked as he made his way out of her bedroom. 

“Are you serious?” She frowned as she followed. 

“It’s either me or him.” Rafael challenged as he stood with his hand on the knob of her front door. 

“You’re really telling me who I can and can’t be friends with?” She questioned, completely shocked by what was happening. 

“I guess I have my answer.” He fumed, slamming the door behind him as he left.

 

“What’s going on?” Sarah asked as she and Andrew exited her bedroom. 

“I think Rafael just broke up with me.” Jolie whispered as tears began to form, making her way back to her bedroom. 

“Are you sure?” Sarah asked, following her and closing the door behind them. 

“He told me to choose between him and Jason.” Jolie replied, tears flowing freely. 

“You only think of Jason as a friend.” Sarah said. 

“That’s what I told him, but he told me I couldn’t be friends with him anymore, that he didn’t trust him and when I accused him of telling me who I could be friends with he acted like I chose Jason and left.” She was sobbing at that point and Sarah had to piece together half of what she had said.

“You’ll talk. He’s just upset right now. Give him time to cool off. He loves you.” Sarah assured her. 

“I don’t even understand what happened though. I mean I know Jason’s been around more lately but it’s only because he’s lonely.”  

“You really don’t see it?” Sarah questioned. 

“See what?” Jolie sniffled. 

“Jeez...” Sarah’s eyes widened in disbelief as her brow flattened. “I’ve only been around him a couple times, but that boy has it bad for you.”  

“What? No he doesn’t.” Jolie argued, trying to think back to the times she’d spent with Jason. 

“He just happened to be in Cambridge... a good twenty minutes away from where he lives with nothing but you to bring him here.” Sarah said, quirking her brow. 

“So Raf’s jealous of some guy I have absolutely no interest in?” Jolie pouted. 

“It would seem so.” Sarah said, pushing her bottom lip up. 

“What do I do?” Jolie asked, tears forming again. 

“Let him cool off tonight then call him in the morning.” Sarah suggested.

Chapter Text

 

Jolie tried calling the next day but he didn’t answer and eventually she just got a busy signal. She tried going by his place but David said he was at school. 

“You need to eat.” Sarah said as Jolie pushed food around her plate. 

“I’m not hungry.” Jolie muttered as she got up and dumped the food in the trash on her way to the sink. 

“You really should eat... you won’t get a chance to again until after the sunsets tomorrow.” Sarah stated, reminding her that lent wouldn’t end for another week still. 

“Then I’ll be hungry.” Jolie shrugged, disappearing to her room. 

 

One week went by, then two. Rafael had made no attempt what so ever to contact her. She decided to see if he would talk to her if she ran into him on campus. Walking up to the place she knew he liked to study between classes, she saw him, but he wasn’t alone. She had seen the girl before when she would meet up with him after class, hell he had even introduced them... April she believed her name was. She couldn’t believe what she was happening when April, who seemed to notice her, leaned forward and kissed him. Jolie paused for a moment before turning and rushing off, skipping her last class for the day and heading home.

 

“What are you listening to?” Sarah asked as she barged in Jolie’s room. 

“The Smoking Popes.” Jolie replied. 

“What, did you find the sappiest album you own and put it on repeat?” Sarah questioned, pressing stop on Jolie’s CD player. 

“He wont even talk to me.”  

“He’ll come around.”  

“I saw him kissing someone when I attempted to talk to him at school yesterday.” Jolie said, the familiar tears forming at the corners of her eyes again. 

“Are you sure?” Sarah asked sitting next to Jolie on her bed. 

“I’m upset, not blind. I know what I saw.” Jolie huffed wiping tears as she stood to change. 

“Where are you going?” Sarah questioned as Jolie change into a short red plaid skirt, black tank top, and a black and white flannel shirt. 

“My favorite band is playing tonight so I’m going to go. If he can kiss someone else I can enjoy some music.” Jolie replied, slipping on some black bracelets that covered a good portion of her wrist. 

Sarah watched as she slipped on her converse and looked at her outfit in the mirror, her gaze going to the necklace Rafael had given her. She started to remove it and then sighed, dropping it back around her neck. 

“Do you want me to go with you?” Sarah asked. 

“No. I’ll be fine.” Jolie replied, shoving her ID and some cash in the pocket she’d sown onto the inner waistband of the skirt and headed out.

 

She stood to the side leaning against a wall as she watched Lagwagon’s set, smiling for the first time in a while. Getting out had helped, the music had helped. It felt good to be surrounded by people who weren’t walking on eggshells around her. She glanced around the club and was relieved to not see Jason or any of the others anywhere. She enjoyed their company at shows but had decided it would be best to cut ties, even if Rafael never spoke to her again. She wasn’t interested in Jason like that and didn’t feel comfortable leading him on now that she knew how he felt. No Use For a Name was on when someone leaned against the wall next to her. 

“You haven’t left this spot since you got here.” He said causing her to turn and look at him. 

“You’re Joey Cape.” She stated as though he didn’t know who he was. 

“I am.” He smiled. 

He was the lead singer of her favorite band and she wasn’t quite sure why he was talking to her. 

“How do you know I haven’t left this spot?” Talking to someone completely unassociated with anyone she knew could be a nice distraction. 

“You’re noticeable.” He replied with a little smirk. 

“Are you flirting with me?” She teased, surprised at how easily it came out. 

“I was trying.” He chuckled. 

“I’m Jolie.” She smiled and shifted her body to face him. If Rafael could move on she could flirt. 

“Do you want a drink, Jolie?” Joey asked. 

“Sure.” She said, following him to the bar. He ordered two beers, handing her one and guiding her outside to the patio so they could talk without yelling over the music.

“Do you attend Boston College?” He asked as they sat down, knowing she was young but trying to figure out how young. 

“No, Harvard.” She said dismissively. 

“Harvard.” He said sounding impressed. 

“Two years now.” She smirked. 

“So you’re twenty?” He questioned as he watched her take a sip of the beer he had bought her. 

“I will be next month.” She grinned as he made a face as he rubbed his eyes. 

“How old are you?” 

“Too old.” He smirked. 

“How old?” She pressed. 

“Twenty eight.” He reluctantly replied. 

“That’s not that old.” She smiled.

Their conversation flowed easily as they talked about current events and her volunteer work with the ACLU. 

“So they are taking on the Communications Decency Act?” Joey asked. 

“They’re in the process of building their case. It probably wont go to court until next year though.” 

“What exactly do you do as a volunteer?”  

“I mostly help with mailers, I mean the Boston office isn’t their main office. I get to do a little more with local issues.” She smiled as she watched him finish his second beer. 

“Do you want to get out of here?” He asked, the corners of his mouth twitching up slightly. 

“Ummm… ok.” She nodded, her voice barely above a whisper.

He held her hand as she followed him to the hotel his band was staying at, not too far from the venue. She took a deep breath as he opened the door to the room and pulled her in, his lips pressing against hers as the door shut. Joey walked her to the bed and pulled her into his arms, his hand caressing her face as they kissed. Slowly his hand ran down her neck, over her chest, stopping at the bottom of her tank top before slipping underneath and reaching to her breast. Her breathing hitched as she thought about Rafael and then pushed him from her mind, he had moved on anyway. She continued to kiss him as his hand moved to her inner thigh, lightly touching her as it move towards her center. 

“Wait, wait.” She panted, pulling away from him, hating the fact the her eyes were filling with tears. 

“What... what’s wrong?” Joey asked not understanding why she had suddenly stopped him. 

“I’m sorry. I thought I could but I can’t.” She said wiping tears from her eyes and sitting on the edge of the bed. 

“Did I misread something?”  

“No. I thought I wanted to. I mean if he can move on I can too, but,” she looked at Joey, “I don’t want to be with anyone else.” 

Joey pulled her into a hug, kissing the top of her head. “Who ever this guy is, he’s an idiot.”

“I’m sorry.”  

“For what?” He questioned as he held her. 

“You probably could still get laid if you want to go back.” She assumed that’s all she was since he would be gone in the morning. 

“I’ve never really been one to sleep with random girls while on tour. I really didn’t start talking to you with any expectations I just thought you were pretty.” He replied as he rubbed her shoulder. 

“Yeah but I flirted and came back to your room.” She huffed, mostly at herself, feeling kind of like a jerk. 

“Hey, I’ve been there. It’s better this way. Once I slept with someone else a week after breaking up with a girlfriend, only to reconcile a week later. Needless to say when she found out we broke up again.” He chuckled lightly. 

“Thanks for not making this worse.” She sighed, half smiling up at him. 

He returned her smile as he rested his hand on her cheek, pressing his lips to hers again. It felt natural, like a goodbye of sorts so she returned the kiss. 

“I’ll walk you back to your car.” He offered when their lips parted. 

“That’s ok. I’m sure it’s out front.” She replied as she got up not bothering to explain despite the puzzled look on his face. 

“Hey if you’re in a better place next time my band comes through Boston, single or not... find me.” He said. 

“Ok.” She smiled before leaving. 

When she walked back into the house everything seemed the same. She sighed as she made her way back to her room and put The Smoking Popes back on then laid back down on her bed to cry. 

 

Another week of wallowing went by and Sarah had decided enough was enough. 

“That’s it get dressed, we’re going to a party.” Sarah said as she turned Jolie’s music off. 

“I don’t want to go to a party.” Jolie grumbled. 

“I don’t care. You have to get out of the house.”  

“I go to class.” Jolie argued but Sarah just gave her an annoyed look so she got dressed.

Jolie was miserable. Everyone around her was drunk and all she wanted to do was crawl in her bed and listen to Pretty Pathetic on repeat. 

“This is better than sitting at home isn’t it?” Sarah asked as she handed Jolie a drink. 

“Sure.” Jolie muttered not even bothering to take a sip. 

“Come on.” Sarah said dragging her to dance. 

Jolie wished she had stayed leaning against the wall because from her new vantage point she could see Rafael talking to a different girl she had seen in his law classes. “I’m going home.” Jolie huffed handing Sarah the drink she had given her and making her way out of the party. 

“Son of a bitch.” Sarah blurted noticing Rafael. 

“What?” Andrew said as she gestured toward Rafael who was still standing with the girl but had noticed Jolie as she left. Rafael followed but she was in her car before he made it outside, barely seeing her drive off as he stopped to catch his breath. 

“Damn it.” He muttered and started the seven block hike to her house.

 

“You should have seen me smiling, like the world was mine. She used to call me baby, softly, sometimes, but if I dwell on those days too long I fell like my life is over...” He could hear the music when he got there. 

“Jesus Christ.” He chuckle softly as he shook his head and knocked on the door. 

She didn’t answer, but he assumed it was because her music was so loud. He made his way to her bedroom window and knocked. The blinds shifted slightly as she peeked through. He smirked and lifted his eyebrows as she looked at him. She raised the blinds and opened the window. 

“What do you want?” She asked, turning the music down slightly. 

“You.” He smiled. 

“Who’s the girl you were with tonight?” She huffed. 

“I was dragged out by David and some other law school friends much like you were dragged out by Sarah and Andrew. I was not there with anyone I was however politely making conversation with a girl in my class.”  

Jolie thought back to what she had seen and in hindsight remembered seeing David and two other guys he had class class with nearby too. 

“Can I come in?”  

“I guess.” Jolie replied, moving so he could climb through her window. 

“I’m sorry.” He said once he was inside. 

“What, It didn’t work out with April?” She huffed. 

“What?” He asked truly confused. 

“I saw her kiss you.” Jolie replied wiping away a tear. 

“She kissed me once but I stopped her. I can’t believe you saw that... it couldn’t have lasted more than a few seconds.” He sighed. 

“I saw her kiss you and I thought you had moved on. I didn’t exactly stick around to watch.” Jolie muttered. 

“Jesus... We were talking about class and she asked about you because I had been in such a bad mood. I told her that we weren’t exactly talking at the moment and the next thing I know she kissed me.” Rafael said, his eyes softening as he looked at her. 

“She saw me and then kissed you, so I thought...” Jolie whispered. 

“You’re the only one I want to kiss.” He smiled running his hand through her hair. 

“I’m sorry too then.” She said as he sat next to her on the bed. 

“For what? You can be friends with whoever you want. I trust you and that’s all that matters.” Rafael said placing his hand on her cheek. 

“No, not that. I’m not talking to Jason anymore anyway. I went to a Lagwagon show the day after I saw April kiss you and kind of made out with Joey Cape.” She told him, wanting to be honest, but maybe not too honest, extremely thankful that she hadn’t gone any further. 

“You made out with the lead singer of your favorite band, whom you find attractive… That’s unlike you.” He smiled. 

“I was upset.”  

“Anyone else.” He asked looking at her. 

“God no!” She blurted causing him to chuckle. 

“I’ve missed you.” He said pressing his forehead to hers. 

“I’ve tried to talk to you.” She spoke, bringing her hands to his face, something she had wanted to do since his face appeared in her window. 

“I know. I was upset and wanted to convince myself I was right.” He sighed. 

“You’re stubborn.” She giggled through tears. 

“Too much for my own good it seems.” He smirked, pressing his lips to hers and pulling her against him.

They were half naked on her bed when Sarah barged in. “Are you ok?” 

“Don’t you knock?” Jolie chuckled as she quickly covered them with her blanket. 

“Sorry, I didn’t expect you to have company.” Sarah smiled as she backed out of the room. 

“About time.” Jolie heard Sarah mutter as she made her back to Andrew.

Chapter Text

“What do you want to do for your birthday?” Rafael asked as they laid bed. They had finished finals the day before and it was the first full day in a while he hadn’t had work or school allowing them both an opportunity to sleep in. 

“I’m not really up for celebrating this year.” Jolie grumbled. 

“Why not?” He asked pulling her closer. 

“I just don’t want to. Don’t get me anything either.” She huffed. 

“If I recall last year you claimed the entire month and now you don’t want to even acknowledge your birthday...” Rafael said, not letting her let this go. 

“I just don’t feel like I deserve to celebrate me this year.” 

“Why?”  

“I feel guilty...” Jolie muttered. 

“About that band guy?”  

“Yes. I thought you had kissed someone else and felt justified, but now that I know it was a misunderstanding I feel shitty.”  

“And if I hadn’t been an ass about the whole Jason thing… actually talked to you, we could have avoided this whole mess. It’s not like if we had been together you wouldn’t have made out with him.” 

“Of course not.” 

“That’s all that matters then. Now I’d like to know what you want to do for your birthday.” He said, pinning her beneath him. 

“To redo the month of April.” She huffed. 

“If I can find a time machine I’ll give you that, until then what do you realistically want to do for your birthday?” Rafael asked, kissing her neck. 

“To eat cake.” She giggled when his hair tickled her.

 

“Why are you being so hard on yourself? So you kissed another guy while you were broken up. It’s not like you had sex with him.” Sarah chided as Jolie moped around the house while Rafael was at work. 

“But I thought about it.” Jolie huffed. 

“I’ve thought about having sex with lots of people I will never meet, it doesn’t mean I actually would. It’s called fantasy.” Sarah said, trying to cheer her up. 

“Have you thought about it while kissing them in their hotel room.” Jolie muttered, still angry with herself. 

“You went to his hotel room?” That little detail had been left out of Jolie’s original version. 

“It was stupid.” 

“Yes, it was. You don’t know what he could have done. What if he hadn’t taken no for an answer.” Sarah scolded. 

“Well he did. He was actually pretty decent about the whole thing.”  

“Lucky for you.” Sarah huffed. 

“If I promise never to go to the hotel of some guy I don’t know again, will you let this go?” Jolie grumbled. 

“I’m just saying that was really stupid.”  

“I know.” Jolie exhaled, staring at nothing on the wall. 

“Look, stupid or not, you need to stop beating yourself up over this. So you went to his room and considered going further. The point is you didn’t. You don’t want to be with anyone else and you weren’t. Don’t obsess over a choice you almost made while feeling rejected by the only person you’ve ever loved.” Sarah stated. 

“I feel bad though, I can’t help it.” 

“You’re allowed to feel bad, just don’t obsess... or you’ll never move past it.” Sarah gave her a supportive little smile and patted her shoulder.

 

Another week went by and Jolie finally started getting out of her funk. 

“There’s a party at one of my classmates houses tonight, do you want to go?” Rafael asked as they cuddled on her couch. Sarah and Andrew had gone back to Raleigh for the summer and Rafael had started spending most nights at her place again, neither of them planning to leave Cambridge for the summer partially because Rafael wanted to work full time since he didn’t have summer classes for a change. 

“It could be fun.” Jolie smiled.

 

When they got to the party David greeted them dragging behind him a thin auburn haired girl. “Raf, Jolie... I am so gad you two are here. I swear Kyle invited the people he knew didn’t get along just to watch them argue.” David chuckled. 

“I’m Rita.” The girl with David interjected, extending her hand to Jolie. 

“I’m Jolie.” Jolie smiled, shaking the extended hand. 

“Yes, Barba’s girlfriend.” Rita nodded. 

“Do you go to law school with them?” Jolie asked since the only people that called him Barba were other law students. 

“Hopefully next year.”  

“Rita just graduated Harvard undergrad, she’s applied to Columbia, Princeton, Yale, and Harvard Law for next year.” David smiled, pulling her closer. 

“Wait are you two dating?” Jolie asked, looking between David and Rita. 

“For a year now.” David smiled. 

“I figured Barba would have mentioned me as much as he complains about my things taking over the bathroom.” Rita smirked. 

“And yet somehow you haven’t come up.” Rafael grumbled.

 

“She seems nice.” Jolie smiled when Rita and David left to find one of their other classmates that was supposed to be there. 

“You think everyone seems nice.” Rafael smirked, pulling her into his arms. 

“Not everyone.” She grumbled, glancing over his shoulder to where she had seen April earlier. She was still there, a small smirk on her face when she noticed Jolie looking at her. 

“Your mood shifted.” Rafael noted, pulling back to look at her. 

“Will she be in all your classes again next semester?” Jolie asked, gesturing to April with her eyes. 

“They like to assign you to cohorts each semester so you get consistency in the people you work with but they change the cohorts up every semester to allow you to work with different people too.”  

“So, what you’re saying is you don’t know yet.” Jolie chuckled. 

“I wont know until my classes start, unless you want me to track her down to compare our schedules.” Rafael teased. 

“I’d prefer you didn’t.” She smiled. 

“That’s what I thought.” He smirked, pulling her closer again to kiss her.

 

“What is this?” Jolie chuckled when she got home from volunteering to find Rafael in her kitchen with a bunch of tiny bakery boxes covering the counter. 

“You said you wanted to eat cake.” He smirked. 

“One cake would have been sufficient.” She smiled, giving him a kiss before glancing around the room. 

“I agree, but I couldn’t decide on the type of cake to get. I know you like chocolate, but you also like red velvet and carrot and strawberry and coconut and... well I don’t think there’s a flavor you don’t like.” Rafael chuckled. 

“Lemon.”  

“I’m sorry.” He said. “I don’t like lemon cakes or bars or any lemon flavored dessert.” She smiled. 

“Noted.” He smirked. 

“There has to be twenty cakes here.” Jolie said softly, looking around the kitchen again. 

“Yeah... I contacted a little bakery to see what I could do to get different flavored cupcakes or something and they suggested sample cakes, like they do for wedding tastings. There are flavors I’ve never even heard of, I’m mean, caramel apple and cookies and cream... those are other desserts, not cake. Which one do you want to start with?” Rafael smiled, handing her a fork. Jolie took the fork and set it on the counter without turning from Rafael and pulled him to her lips. “Seriously which one do you want to try first?” He panted when their lips parted. 

“The caramel apple one but I want birthday sex first.” She smiled while dragging him towards her room. 

“Cake gets me laid.” He chuckled. 

“No... the thought behind the cake is getting you laid.” She smirked, pushing him on her bed.

Chapter Text

“What’s wrong with you?” Jolie asked as Rafael muttered to himself while pacing her living room. 

“David.” He grumbled. 

“Ok...” Jolie said, furrowing her brow. 

“He just told me he’s moving in with his girlfriend.” Rafael huffed. 

“Rita? She seemed nice.”  

“She’s overbearing...” He grumbled. 

“So... just spend more time here and less time at your place if you want to avoid her.” 

“He’s moving into her place. This means when our lease ends at the end of July, I no longer have a roommate.” Rafael exhaled, sitting on the couch next to her. 

“Oh...” Jolie hummed as she thought. 

“Yeah, he’s already started moving his stuff to her place. I’m going to start looking at efficiencies tomorrow.” 

“You could just move in here.” She shrugged, looking up at him. 

“You want to live together?” 

“I like sleeping next to you. The idea of waking up next to you everyday and coming home to you every evening is appealing.” Jolie smiled. 

“Even though we broke up recently?” 

“You plan on breaking up with me again?” She chuckled. 

“I plan on spending the rest of my life with you.” He smirked, pulling her onto his lap. 

“Good. Then move in with me.” She giggled. 

“Sarah won’t mind?”  

“You want me to call her and check first?” She asked, running her hand through his hair. 

“Let me hear her reaction and I’ll give you my answer.” He smiled.

 

Jolie chuckled and grabbed the cordless off the side table without moving from his lap. Rafael rolled his eyes and shook his head when she made a face as it rang. 

“Hi Mr. Birch. Is Sarah around?” Jolie asked, playfully shoving Rafael’s shoulder as he distracted her while mouthing for her to put it on speaker. 

“Just a second.” Mr. Birch replied, palming the phone as he went to find his daughter. “Sarah, it’s Jolie.” 

“Jolie, how’s Cambridge?” Sarah said, taking the phone from her dad. 

“Good. I have a question for you.” Jolie replied, getting straight to the point of her call. 

“Shoot.” 

“What would you think if I asked Rafael to move in with us?” 

“How would that be any different than now.” Sarah chuckled. 

“I’m serious. He’d be here everyday.” Jolie stated. 

“Again... how would that be different?” Sarah continued to chuckle. 

“So you’d be ok with it?”  

“I like Rafael. I mean, he wasn’t my favorite person during the month of April, but I knew that wouldn’t last. Ask him to move in. At least this way if you two get in a stupid fight again you’ll be forced to deal with each other and Rafael won’t be able to be a stubborn ass and ignore all of us again.” Sarah replied. 

“I don’t plan on being a stubborn ass again.” Rafael huffed. 

“You’ve already asked him?” Sarah laughed. 

“I knew you wouldn’t care, Rafael’s the one who needed reassuring.”Jolie chuckled. 

“So, are we going to be roomies?” Sarah said from her end of the line. 

“It looks that way.” Rafael replied, shaking his head at her use of the word roomie. 

“Is that all you needed?” Sarah asked. 

“Yep.” Jolie replied. 

“Ok, call me later and let me know how the move goes.” Sarah said. 

“I don’t have much stuff.” Rafael stated. 

“Yes but you will both have to agree on where to put the things you do have.” Sarah laughed. 

“Bye.” Jolie chuckled.

“So that’s a yes?” Jolie grinned. 

“Yes.” He smirked at how excited she was. 

“Good.” She said hopping off the couch. 

“Where are you going?” 

“We need to go get boxes and start moving your stuff.” 

“Right now?” He chuckled. 

“Yes.” She smiled, grabbing his hand and dragging him off the couch after her.

 

By the end of the week, they had all of his things moved in and placed almost seamlessly in her home. He and David had given notice on their place and the landlord already had someone interested, wanting to move in during July so he might even get to save that months rent. 

“Can I at least pay maybe half of my old rent each month?” He asked as they laid in bed. 

“You’re not paying me to live here.” Jolie stated. 

“But...” 

“No. When we move back to New York in two years I will sell this place and make a profit. I’m not making money off you in the mean time.” Jolie interrupted. 

“But you’re ok with taking Sarah’s money?” He asked. 

“I don’t charge Sarah rent. The lease I made up was to protect her from me kicking her out if we had a falling out, and even that was mostly for her fathers sake. I had to put in some amount so I technically charge her a penny each month. She gave me a dollar and joked about paying in advance for the next eight years. I can do the same for you if you want.” Jolie smiled. 

“That won’t be necessary.” He smirked, rolling her beneath him. 

“Are you sure? You are going to be a lawyer. If you want a contract, I can get you one.” She teased. 

“Shut up.” Rafael smirked, kissing her.

Chapter Text

“Jolie! Rafael!” Annalise yelled up the stairs. 

“Why?!” Jolie groaned, pushing herself up from Rafael’s chest. 

“I’m pretty sure she wanted to do lunch at the country club.” Rafael said, smiling at the face she made. 

“I hate the club.” Jolie grumbled. 

“Just one more thing to love about you.” He smirked, pulling her closer. 

“At least Blake and Casey will be there to give us someone to talk to besides Kitty and Birdie.” Jolie sighed, rolling her eyes. 

“I do kind of want to meet the one named Lemon.” Rafael smirked. 

“Come on.” Jolie chuckled, “let’s shower and get dressed before my mom actually comes up here to wake us up.” 

 

“Rafael!” Jolie scolded, pushing his hand from between her legs. “I really meant a shower.” 

“You’d think you’d learn I can’t keep my hands to myself by now.” He grinned. 

“You’re going to have to. I still need to do my hair and makeup and my mom will want to leave on time.” She smiled, running her hands through his wet hair. “Unless you want to explain to my mom why we’re running late.” 

Rafael bit his lip and smiled at her. “I’ll behave.” 

“Good.” Jolie chuckled, handing him the shampoo.

 

The club was busy due to the Fourth of July holiday, but Annalise had called ahead and they were seated almost immediately. Blake and Casey joining them a few minutes later. 

“Are we late?” Blake asked as they sat. 

“No, we got here early.” Annalise replied. 

“I wanted to give you both a heads up that Carter is here. He promised to be on his best behavior, and I assume he will be. My father basically revoked his invitation if he tried anything like last year.” Casey had wanted to get telling them out of the way before they ran into him. 

“I still plan to steer clear.” Jolie huffed. 

“How’s Brown treating you?” Annalise asked Blake. It was her alma mater, and though she was pleased that both of her children attended Harvard, she enjoyed talking to Blake about things specific to their collegiate experience. 

“It’s good. I’ve brought my GPA up high enough that I should be able to go to grad school no matter where Casey eventually get’s in for law school.” Blake smiled. Casey groaned at the prospect of his upcoming practice LSAT with the tutor his father had hired. “You’ll do fine.” She added, tapping his leg. 

“That’s what I’m afraid of... fine isn’t good enough.” Casey grumbled. 

“You’re taking your LSAT already?” Rafael asked. 

“I’m taking a practice one next month and then for real in December.” Casey sighed, he was dreading this test more and more each day. 

“Bring the results by Jolie’s and I’ll give you tips on the area’s you’re struggling in. Most of it’s how you think about what is being asked, not the question itself.” Rafael stated. 

“Sorry I’m late.” Malcolm said as he walked up to the table. 

“Daddy!” Jolie blurted, jumping out of her chair to hug him, “I thought you weren’t getting in until tomorrow?” 

“All a ruse.” Malcolm smiled. “I wanted to surprise you.” 

“She always did like you better than me.” Annalise chuckled. Jolie was definitely a daddy’s girl, but she got along with her mother... as long as Annalise wasn’t trying to dress her. 

“Whatever mom.” Jolie smiled. 

“So a little birdie tells me you moved in together.” Malcolm said, causing Rafael to nearly choke on the sip of water he had just taken. 

“Relax, Raf. That little birdie was me and he’s just screwing with you.” Jolie chuckled. 

“It’s no fun if you tell him.” Malcolm grinned, both he and Jolie taking their seats at the table. 

“Be nice daddy.” Jolie scolded. 

“It doesn’t exactly help that you call him daddy.” Rafael sighed. 

“Can’t help it, it’s what I’ve always called him.” Jolie smiled. 

“Unless she’s mad at me, then it’s father.” Malcolm chuckled. 

“Yes father... sure father...” Blake teased, doing her best imitation of a younger, sullen Jolie, emphasizing the word father. 

“Alright, can we go back to teasing Rafael?” Jolie said, rolling her eyes. 

“Please don’t.” Rafael grumbled causing her to smile.

 

“I can’t believe you’re not here.” Jolie scolded as she spoke on the phone while getting ready for Casey’s father’s Fourth of July party. 

“Whose not here?” Rafael whispered. He was wearing jeans and a nice button up shirt, just in case Malcolm dragged him off for scotch again with the group of judges and lawyers he and Jack Maxwell were friendly with. Jolie on the other hand had picked out a red bikini and slipped a white sun dress over it. 

“Yes, but I was looking forward to seeing that baby.” Jolie grumbled, ignoring Rafael’s question, but he assumed that she was talking to her brother.

 

The party had the same people Jolie had expected to see, the same politicians and business tycoons there every year. If they had children they were there as well. 

“Jolie!” Birdie waved from across the room they had entered. 

“Let’s make this quick.” Jolie muttered, causing Rafael to fight back a chuckle. 

“Who’s your date?” Kitty asked when they reached them. 

“I introduced you last year.” Jolie smiled. 

“Look who you’re talking to. They have about ten brain cells between the two of them.” A tall blond Rafael hadn’t met before stated. 

“Screw you Lem.” Birdie scoffed. 

“I’m only teasing.” Lemon smiled and Rafael immediately disliked her. 

“This is Rafael, my boyfriend. Rafael you remember Kitty and Birdie, and this is Lemon.” Jolie said, reintroducing them. 

“He’s not from our world.” Lemon noted, looking him up a down. 

“What does that matter?” Jolie snapped. 

“Well I guess it wouldn’t for you, you have the Rutherford fortune. No need to find your own Rockefeller to marry.” Lemon smiled. 

“If that’s your only goal in life...” Jolie muttered, her annoyance with Lemon’s comments only seeming to goad her on. 

“I’m just saying it must be nice to pick someone for other reasons than their potential,” Lemon smirked, “you’re dad must be so pleased.” 

“Why am I pleased?” Malcolm asked, walking up behind them. 

“With my choice in Rafael.” Jolie said, smiling at her dad. 

“Still top of his class at Harvard Law, determined, intelligent, absolutely adores my daughter... what’s not to be pleased with?” Malcolm smiled. 

“You always did have good timing, daddy.” Jolie chuckled. 

“Can I borrow Rafael for a bit?” Malcolm asked, placing his hand on Rafael’s shoulder. 

“I suppose...” Jolie smiled, giving Rafael a quick kiss before her father took him from her. 

“Harvard Law?” Lemon questioned, her face a little less amused than before. 

“You know Lemon, you really just come off as an ignorant bitch when you assume you know more than you do.” Jolie huffed, leaving the three girls to find Blake.

 

“Where’s your boy?” Blake asked when Jolie plopped down next to her on the couch she was sitting on. 

“My father pulled him away to his little boys club.” Jolie replied. 

“You’re referring to the room full of judges and prosecutors as his little boys club?” Blake chuckled. 

“I am.” Jolie smiled. 

“Jack dragged Casey there too.” Blake said. 

“Why does Jack invite Tom and Vivian Huff?” Jolie muttered, still annoyed with the conversation she had just had with their daughter. 

“Because Vivian is his sister.” Blake chuckled. She had seen Jolie and Rafael talking to Lemon and assumed the question had more to do with that. 

“Is Lemon around a lot when you spend time with Casey?” Jolie questioned. She knew they were cousins but had no idea how close Casey’s family was. This was the only time of year she saw Lemon, but it was also the only time of year she saw any of Casey’s extended family. 

“Not really, but Casey has warned me that she’ll be around for holidays in the future. He knows I can’t stand her. Jack likes me though, always has. He thinks it’s funny when I complain about her.” Blake chuckled. 

“How does Karen feel about you?” Jolie giggled. The whole boy’s locker room incident had landed both, Blake and Casey, in a lot of trouble and took a sizable donation from the Maxwell’s to prevent Casey’s expulsion. 

“Casey’s mom is warming up to me.” Blake smiled.

“Has he cut back on drinking?” Jolie whispered, leaning closer to Blake as she gestured toward Carter who was talking, not far from them, with a few of Jack’s business associates kids. 

“He has. It’s a little weird because he almost resembles a decent guy half the time now.” 

“I’ll take your word for it.” Jolie muttered. 

“I honestly don’t blame you, I’d avoid him too. He crossed a line last year. He knows that.” Blake said. 

“He has left Rafael and me alone. Every time I’ve noticed him, he’s made an effort to move to another area of the house.” Jolie sighed. 

“I want sparklers.” Blake blurted rather randomly. There was a television on in a room just over Jolie’s shoulder and a shot of kids playing with them had been on. 

“You want sparklers?” Jolie repeated, furrowing her brow. Blake pointed to the television. “Let’s go get sparklers then.” Jolie chuckled. 

“I’ll drive!” Blake grinned, heading toward Jack’s study where Rafael and Casey were. 

“Blake! We can just take my car service.” Jolie called after her. 

“But I want to drive.” Blake smiled, pulling Jolie into the room after her. 

“You do realize they will follow us anyway...” Jolie whispered, not really wanting to interrupt the conversations happening in this room, but Blake merely shrugged and dragged Jolie behind her. 

 

“Hi Blake.” Jack Maxwell said, shaking his head as she approached Casey. 

“I just want to get Casey’s keys. We’re going to run an errand.” Blake smiled. 

Jolie hung back until her father called her over. “Jack, I’d like you to meet my daughter Jolie. Jolie this is Jack McCoy and Claire Kincaid. I think everyone else you know.” 

“It’s nice to meet you, and it’s nice to see it’s a little less of a boys club... as long as they’re behaving.” Jolie teased, shaking their hands. 

“They’re behaving.” Claire smirked. Jolie knew the people in that room were decent men, she had known them most her life. 

“How’s our Rafael here treating you?” Ian Jacobs questioned. 

“I’ve got no complaints.” She said, running her hand through his hair, smiling when he looked up at her. 

“What are you going on an errand for?” Rafael asked. 

“Sparklers.” Jolie grinned. 

“And you’re twelve again.” Rafael chuckled, shaking his head. 

“Don’t worry, we’ll get enough for you too.” Jolie smirked. 

“That’s really ok.” Rafael replied, a small smile tugging at his lips. 

“I’m pretty sure you’re losing that battle.” Malcolm chuckled. 

“The sad thing is I know you’re right.” Rafael smiled.

 

Jolie had gone back to her parents house to grab her camera and tripod, dragging Blake along with her. Then the two of them set up a blanket on the beach, bringing a few snacks and drinks from the party. Jolie was still setting her camera up when Rafael and Casey joined them. 

“This is nice.” Casey smiled, wrapping his arms around Blake. 

“That didn’t take long.” Rafael chuckled as he joined Jolie by the tripod, his comment in reference to Casey’s tongue seeming to be down Blakes throat. 

“We thought we’d watch the fireworks from here.” Jolie smiled, pulling him to stand in front of her camera so she could line up her shot. 

Once everything was set where she wanted it and the camera set to a long exposure, she grabbed one of the sparklers and the long shutter release and joined Rafael. Jolie lit the sparkler, pressed the shutter release and drew a heart around them with the sparkler before letting the lens closed, repeating the shot a few times in hopes of getting the outcome she wanted. With the next sparkler she gave him one and had him draw a J while she drew a R, again repeating the shot multiple times. Blake and Casey finally came and joined them. Jolie went through a few rolls of film, some shots with the four of them, some just her and Rafael, and some just Blake and Casey.

 

“How did it go with my father?” Jolie asked when they finally crawled in her bed. 

“Great actually. That McCoy guy knows the DA in Brooklyn pretty well, so if there isn’t anything available in Manhattan when I graduate that’s always a possibility. Both Schreiber and Wright offered to let me clerk with them next summer.” Rafael smiled, pulling her closer to him. 

“Not too bad for only meeting them twice.” Jolie chuckled. 

“It doesn’t hurt that your father keeps talking me up.” Rafael sighed. 

“What was that for?” 

“What was what for?” 

“The sigh.” She frowned. 

“I just sometimes wonder if your dad speaks so highly of me because he wants better for his daughter.”  

“My dad speaks highly of you because of the things you’ve accomplished. His reputation is everything. He wouldn’t risk it just because we’re dating. If he didn’t think you were good enough for me he’d tell me, he wouldn’t waste time trying to help you out. That’s not how my dad works. When Malcolm Rutherford recommends someone people listen because he doesn’t do it unless he means it.” 

“He’s an intimidating man.” Rafael said, relaxing slightly. 

“Whatever, he’s a big teddy bear.” Jolie chuckled.

 

Jolie was sitting on the couch in her living room when Rafael let himself in. “What’s that?” She asked looking at the mail that seemed to have been ran over a few times in the process of getting to her door. 

“My mail has finally being forwarded.” He replied, cuddling next to her. 

“What are the ones that look like cards.”  

“Not sure, they’re both from Alex so I assume one is a graduation invite, though I thought he was supposed to graduate last May.”  

“Things happen, open it and find out.” Jolie smiled. 

The first one was a graduation announcement, the ceremony would be the weekend before classes started up again. Jolie rambled something about using her fathers plane and then handed him the second envelope. 

“They’re getting married.” Rafael stated, not exactly sounding pleased. 

“Does that bother you?” Jolie asked furrowing her brow. 

“No, I mean I’m happy for them... but... I guess part of me always thought they’d end up cheating on each other.”  

“Thought or hoped?” Jolie smirked. 

“Maybe a tiny vindictive part of me hoped, but I really am happy for them.” He said a small smile tugging at his lips when she chuckled. 

“When is it?”  

“December seventeenth.” Rafael said handing her the invitation. 

“Did you see the back?” Jolie asked, handing it back to him. 

“I guess I should call him.” Rafael sighed, reaching past her on the couch to grab the cordless off the side table. 

“Are you going to do it?” Jolie asked as he dial. 

“Be his best man?” He asked, continuing when Jolie nodded. “Of course. He’s my best friend.”

Chapter Text

“You look bored.” Rafael smirked when Jolie closed the book she was reading for the third time in ten minutes. 

“I’m fine.” She sighed. 

“You don’t have to sit with me while I take advantage of the empty library.” He chuckled. 

“I know, I just really want to read this book but it’s soooo booorrriinng. I thought sitting in a library would force me to, since I’d have nothing else to do.” Jolie half whined. 

“You want to help me find the books I want to check out? We can head home after that.” 

“Sure.” She shrugged, hopping off the table she was sitting on. 

Rafael took her hand as they made their way deeper into the stacks. If Jolie had thought the main area was empty, the stacks were flat out deserted. 

“It’s kind of creepy back here.” She muttered moving closer to Rafael. He smiled and turned her down the row he wanted.

 

“Is that all of them?” She asked. 

They were really far back in the stacks and Rafael had pulled four books off various shelves. 

“It is.” He smirked, tugging her against him and kissing her. 

“Rafael.” She scolded, pulling away from him when his hand ran under her skirt. 

“What? It’s deserted up here.” He smiled, pulling her closer again. 

“We are still in public... on campus...” She countered between kisses. Fighting him less and less as his hand reached into her underwear. “Raf.” She panted when her back pressed against a wall and he slipped a finger into her. 

“We can go home if you want.” He smiled though his fingers hadn’t stopped. 

“Sex in the stacks... it’s like a right of passage or something?” Jolie panted, pressing her lips harder against his. 

“I’m not sure it’s a right of passage as much as a thing people do, but sure.” He smiled, tugging her underwear down enough so that she could kick it off. 

“What if someone comes?” She questioned as she unfastened his jeans. 

“I’m hoping you do.” He smirked. 

“Rafael!” She scolded again, smacking his arm. 

Rafael chuckled and lifted her, lowering her onto him as he pushed into her against the wall. Her legs wrapped around his waist and she muffled her moans against his shoulder as he thrust into her. Jolie reached her hand between them, mimicking the motions he would have normally made with his own hand is they weren’t currently being used to support her. It was an effective effort to speed things along given their location.

“Fuck.” She groaned, her head tilting back against the wall, her free hand gripping tightly in his hair as he grunted. “Raf...” She panted, desperately trying not to make too much noise as she constricted around him. 

As soon as he felt her tighten, Rafael let go. He had found the experience exciting, but didn’t want to risk getting caught by taking too long. He thrust two more times, holding her against the wall with the last one. 

“I think you’re a bad influence on me.” Jolie chuckled, watching him adjust himself and zip his pants up while slipping her underwear back on. 

“You have to admit it was fun.” Rafael smirked. 

“That is not the point.” She smiled, taking his hand when he offered it.

 

“Rafael, hi.” April said as they nearly bumped into her while entering the main area of the library again. Jolie was on his other side and hadn’t been noticed by April until he turned to acknowledge her. 

“April.” 

“You two got back together.” She stated. 

“We did.” Rafael replied flatly. 

He initially hadn’t cared that she had kissed him after he mentioned the breakup and had simply told her he wasn’t interested. Now that he knew she had seen Jolie moments before the kiss, that she had set in motion the events leading to Jolie kissing someone else, that she had made it so Jolie had been hurt worse than he had already done... he had no desire to entertain niceties with her. 

“Oh, well... I’m happy for you.” April forced a smile. 

“I doubt that.” Rafael huffed, pulling Jolie with him as he made his way to the checkout counter. 

“You were a bit harsh.” Jolie said when they got a little further from April. 

“No I wasn’t. I had already hurt you because I was jealous and too stubborn to admit. It kills me that she purposely kissed me in front of you. I would never want to hurt you like that.” He sighed. 

Jolie followed behind him, but didn’t say anything. She had felt like someone punched her in the gut when she saw them kiss and hated to think that Rafael had felt the same way when she had told him about kissing Joey Cape. 

“You know I love you?” She whispered, her face guilt ridden. 

“Yes,” he smiled, “and I love you too, no matter who you kissed while I was being an idiot.”

 

“Alex’s graduation is at nine next Saturday, so I thought we could fly in Friday evening and fly back Sunday afternoon. That way if you want to go out with Alex to celebrate you can.” Jolie said as they cooked dinner together. 

“You were serious about using your fathers plane?” Rafael asked, dropping pasta noodles in the boiling water. 

“That’s what we have it for. It just makes more sense than driving. I already checked that it’s available, we just need to pick a time so we have someone to fly it.” She smiled, dumping the jar of pasta sauce in a pot. 

“One of us should really learn how to cook.” He chuckled. 

Dinner would be edible but it was far from actual cooking. 

“I’ll leave that to you,” Jolie smirked, “seriously though, what time?” 

“I guess leave here at five on Friday and fly back around one on Sunday.” He replied. 

“I’ll schedule it.” Jolie smiled.

 

Rafael and Jolie were staying at her parents place the two nights they were in New York. They would see his mother at the gathering after the ceremony and the ceremony itself since his and Alex’s families were so close. Jolie got up earlier than she had all summer so that she could get ready, letting Rafael sleep at least until she was out of her shower. 

“Didn’t trust me to join you.” He smirked, noticing her hair was wet when she woke him. 

“I was just letting you sleep a little longer.” She smiled. 

Coffee and pastries were set out in the the kitchen when they made their way downstairs. 

“Will you two be late tonight?” Malcolm asked as he flipped through his newspaper. 

Jolie had never been one to be late, even with Blake dragging her around the city, Jolie always stuck to curfew... not that she had one now. 

“I’m actually not sure what the plans are for after the ceremony other than lunch with the families.” Rafael replied. 

“Just take the car service and don’t be too loud when you come in.” Malcolm smiled.

 

The ceremony was larger than Jolie had expected for a summer graduation, but they still managed to find Lucia fairly easily. 

“Your dad has a spot saved with Alex’s parents. I’m going to wait here for Yelina.” Lucia smiled, giving them both a hug. 

“Your dad’s here?” Jolie whispered as they walked to find their seats. 

“Alex is the son he wished he had.” Rafael huffed. 

Jolie took his hand and pulled him closer to her. “I’m sure if Alex were his son and you were the friend that Alex would be saying the same thing about you.” 

“Meaning?” 

“He doesn’t actually care about Alex, just hurting you.” Jolie huffed. The more she got to know his father and the way he had treated both Rafael and Lucia, the less she hid what she thought of him. 

“I hadn’t thought of it like that before...” Rafael sighed. 

“Does it make it better or worse?” 

“Honestly, it helps.” He smiled.

 

Rafael and Jolie sat in the seats on the row behind Rafael’s dad and Alex’s parents. Yelina and Eddie sat with them on that row once they and Lucia joined the group. 

“Congratulations!” Jolie smiled, leaning across Rafael to see the ring Alex had picked out for Yelina. 

“Thank you! I am so excited. Tell me you both can make it, I know Rafi will be there as best man and all, but I wasn’t sure Harvard’s exam schedule.” Yelina smiled. 

“I’ll be there. My last final is at eight am on the sixteen.” Jolie replied. 

“Fantastic.” Yelina said, the smile still plastered on her face as she fiddled with her ring. 

“You know Rafael, if you hadn’t gone off to your fancy school more people might have gone to your graduation.” His dad interjected. 

“I have no issue with you not being at my graduation.” Rafael stated. 

His dad glared at him but seemed to decide against making a scene in the crowded stands.

 

The ceremony had droned on forever, one speaker after another, and then the walking of the graduates. 

“Lunch will be at two.” Lucia said when the ceremony finally ended, quickly ushering Rafael’s dad away so she could start cooking. 

“That gives us two hours at least. Alex wanted to get a drink with his two best friends before an afternoon of dealing with your families.” Yelina chuckled. 

 

They stopped at a bar not far from the building both Alex and Rafael had grown up in. The bar was quiet, but it was also noon. 

“What do you want?” Yelina asked Jolie as she and Alex stood to go to the bar. 

“Water is fine.” Jolie replied, she was still only twenty, but didn’t exactly want to remind everyone else that. 

“I’ll get you a beer and a water,” Yelina smiled, “believe me a little alcohol helps when it comes to his father.” She gestured with her head towards Rafael and made her way to the bar with Alex. 

“I thought your father loved her.” Jolie whispered. 

“He loves her now that she’s with Alex. When she was with me he thought she could do better.” He shrugged. 

 

“Will you be able to come up for my bachelor party?” Alex asked as he and Yelina returned to the table with drinks, Eddie following not far behind. 

“It’s still the weekend before?” Rafael asked. 

“Yes that Saturday.” Yelina replied. 

“I should be able to, can I crash with you or Eddie though? I’d really prefer not to stay at my parents and Jolie will be stuck in Cambridge until her finals are over.”  

“That shouldn’t be a problem, may even be better that way for what I have planned.” Alex chuckled. 

“I’m sorry I can’t help more.” Rafael said. 

“Don’t be, a bachelor party planned by you would be boring.” Alex smirked. 

“I’ve made him promise that they’d only go to a strip club, not hirer one.” Yelina said, though Jolie wasn’t sure if Yelina was trying to reassure herself or Jolie. 

“I promise, looking no touching. I meant it more in case he got drunk.” Alex said, pulling Yelina into his lap.

 

When they arrived at Rafael’s parents building a large gathering had already formed in the outdoor space in the center of the U shaped building. 

“You do know that when people throw you a graduation party it is customary to show up.” Someone Jolie had never met teased Alex, clapping him on the back and dragging him toward other people she didn’t know. 

“It’s mostly Alex’s family so my father should behave... wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone.” Rafael whispered, pulling her closer to him as they made their way towards the table his family was sitting at. 

“Jolie, I’m so glad you could join us.” Catalina smiled, pulling her into a hug. 

“It’s always nice to see you.” Jolie smiled. 

“¿Cómo va tu español? (How’s your Spanish coming?)” Catalina questioned a small smile on her face. 

“Soy un estudio rápido. (I’m a quick study.)” Jolie chuckled as Rafael rolled his eyes and Catalina’s smile grew larger. 

“Bien por ti, el rubio puede aprender español. (Good for you, the blond can learn Spanish.)” His father grumbled, but Rafael ignored it. He had decided that he was no longer going to let his father impact how he felt, it couldn’t be any less healthy than constantly trying to gain his approval. “¿Qué acabas de ignorar a tu padre ahora? (What you just ignore your father now?)” His father snapped. Rafael still didn’t respond which only seemed to make him angrier. He stood to yell at his son, and instead collapsed, Lucia screaming as she rushed to his side. 

“Rafi, where are you going?” Lucia yelled after him when he started for the building. 

“To call for an ambulance.” Rafael shouted back, mostly to be heard over the commotion, and continued toward the nearest phone.

 

“Are you ok?” Jolie asked as he paced in the waiting area. 

“This will somehow be my fault.” Rafael grumbled. 

“Raf...” She half scolded, pulling himto sit next to her. “This isn’t your fault. You said he’s been sick for a while and needs to take better care of himself. His inability to control his temper is his own fault.” 

“I know.” He huffed. 

They sat there in silence, Jolie’s hand holding Rafael’s, which was squeezing hard enough that she was pretty sure her fingers weren’t getting adequate blood flow. 

“Rafi?” Lucia said softly, joining them in the waiting room. 

“How is he?” Rafael asked and Jolie almost grimaced out loud as he squeezed her hand harder. 

“He’s going to be fine. Just a touch of angina, the doctors want to keep him a few days and drastically change his diet. We’ll see how that one goes.” Lucia chuckle at her husbands stubbornness when it came to food and Jolie felt Rafael’s grip on her hand relax. 

“So he’s going to be ok?” Rafael asked. 

Lucia nodded and smiled, “do you want to see him?” 

“No,” Rafael shook his head, “I think we’ll head back to Jolie’s parents.” 

“Raf, are you sure?” Jolie asked, glancing between him and Lucia. 

“It’s ok.” Lucia nodded. 

“Let’s go.” Rafael exhaled almost dragging Jolie behind him. 

“Rafael?” Jolie furrowed her brow as he continued to pull her through the maze of hospital hallways. 

“I just needed to know he’s ok... but I have nothing to say to him.” Rafael had pulled her to a stop and was looking at her, his eyes sadder than she’s expected from the way he was acting. 

“Ok.” She nodded, walking next to him now that he slowed his pace, her fingers interlocked with his.

Chapter Text

Jolie was laying on her bed surrounded by various books in both mathematics and physics not to mention her spirals, a portable CD player next to her with the cord to her earbuds draped across her arm. She was quietly singing along to whatever song she was listening to as she worked through a physics problem on maximum trajectory length, completely oblivious to Rafael watching her from the doorway. Part of him didn’t want to disturb her... but only part of him.

“Jesus! Rafael!” She startled when he lightly ran his fingers up her calf.

“Why aren’t you listening to that on your stereo?” He chuckled, sitting on the bed next to her.

Jolie shrugged. “I was listening to it while I walked home from class and didn’t feel like switching.”

“What is that?” He asked looking at the amount of math she had worked through.

“I’m determining the angle at which a ball should be thrown from ground level so the distance traveled through the air is at maximum.”

“And how do you do that?” Rafael smiled leaning forward to look at the math she had worked through.

Rafael knew from the look on her face that he had made a mistake by asking, but let her start anyway. “Well if we let theta be the angle the ball is thrown at, then the coordinates x is v, the speed, cosine theta times t, the time. And y is v sine theta times t minus g, or gravity, t times two divided by two. The ball reached maximum height at t equals v sine theta divided by g, so the length of trajectory would be two times the integral from zero to v sine theta divided by g...”

“And I’m lost.” Rafael interrupted. “Why would you need to know that anyway?”

“I more than likely won’t ever use this, I prefer data and statistics, but it’s fun to work through and figure out.” Jolie smiled.

“If you say so.” He chuckled. “Sarah wanted to know if you wanted to go out for dinner or order a pizza. Apparently we’re out of food.”

“Oh. Uh... what do you want to do?”

“I really don’t want pizza.”

“Let’s go out then.” She smiled, hopping off the bed.

 

The three of them went to a small burger place not too far from campus.

“How’s your old roommate doing with his new living arrangements?” Sarah asked as she shoved fries in her mouth.

“Jeez have you not eaten today?” Jolie chuckled.

“I forgot we needed to go grocery shopping and didn’t pick something up on campus.” Sarah shrugged.

“Maybe we should stop by the store on the way home.” Jolie suggested. “I’d hate for Sarah to starve.”

“Funny.” Sarah huffed. “So your old roommate?”

“David seems to be doing well and Rita’s tormenting the first years.” Rafael chuckled.

“Tormenting them how?” Jolie asked.

“She’s just good and making them all have to work harder which they hate and she seems to enjoy.”

“Aren’t you doing that to the L2’s?” Jolie questioned.

“Yes, but... and don’t think I think this... it’s just how others react, but I’m a guy and she’s not.”

“What is that support to mean?” Sarah and Jolie both snapped.

“Again, not me. Society tends to except men moving to the top better than women. Rita’s rather enjoying the fact that half the guys in her class mutter under their breath when she walks by.” Rafael smirked.

“Good for her.” Jolie smiled.

“How is David taking Rita doing so well?” Jolie asked.

“He’s hoping she’ll make partner in some firm one day and he can become an environmental lawyer like he really wants to.” Rafael chuckled.

“Well, at least they found each other.” Sarah laughed.

“How’s Andrew? I haven’t seen him hanging around recently.” Rafael questioned.

“They have to work on this project outside of their normal classes, it can be anything they want, but has to be related to their field. He’s been assigned this group to work with and it’s taking up most his free time.” Sarah sighed, taking a large bite of her burger.

“Stressed?” Rafael chuckled.

“I haven’t been laid in weeks.” Sarah muttered.

Rafael glanced at Jolie, his face clearly indicating he didn’t need to know that tidbit of information. 

“Maybe save the girl talk for just you and me.” Jolie chuckled.

“What? He’s a roomie now.” Sarah grinned.

 

Jolie had slipped on a tank top after they got home, and now that it was just her and Rafael in her bedroom she was down to that and her underwear. Rafael helped her clear her school things off the bed, he in his underwear and t-shirt, but seeing as he was wearing boxers, he definitely seemed to have more clothing on than she did.

“You haven’t mentioned any of your bands playing shows in a while.” Rafael said as they laid down to sleep.

“I haven’t felt like going to see a show.” Jolie shrugged.

“Why? And don’t tell me because you kissed the lead singer of your favorite band. Seriously, I don’t expect that to happen again. I’d even go with you to see them if they were playing.”

“Really?” She asked, sounding a bit surprised.

“They’re your favorite band and music is important to you.” He replied.

“Good to know. It’s not that though... well not entirely that. It’s more Jason and that group I used to hang out with at shows a lot.” Jolie sighed.

“Why don’t you want to see them?”

“After you broke up with me I cut ties with Jason and by extension the rest of them. He stopped by randomly one afternoon and I confronted him about why he was there. I was miserable and upset and not really in the mood to be there for someone else. That and Sarah told me you were right about him having feelings for me. I told him that I thought it would be best if we didn’t hangout anymore.”

“Still, if you want to go to a show you should.” Rafael said.

“Will you go with me?” Jolie smiled.

“If school doesn’t prevent me.”

“I’ve got a lot going on this month but maybe I’ll look for something next month.”

“Just not on my birthday.” Rafael chuckled.

Chapter Text

 

“When was the last time Andrew was over here?” Rafael asked as he and Jolie were lazily lying in bed one Saturday morning early October.

Jolie bit her bottom lip while she thought. “It’s been a while... I mean project or no project, he should have been by before now. I don’t even think Sarah’s mentioned visiting him...”

“Has she been acting weird?”

“No, she’s the same Sarah as always.”

“Everything’s probably fine then.” Rafael smiled. “People get busy.”

“You want to help me make waffles?”

“I’ll help you eat them.” He chuckled

They both ventured out of the bedroom to the kitchen. Jolie gathered the pancakes mix and other required ingredients while Rafael pulled down the waffle iron.

“Sarah! I’m making waffles, you want any?” Jolie yelled without leaving the kitchen.

They heard stirring in her room. “Sure.” It was soft or maybe just muffled through the walls and closed doors. Still, Rafael and Jolie exchanged glances.

“Hey.” Sarah smiled, joining them at the dining room table.

“Everything ok?” Jolie asked, passing her the syrup after she was through with it.

“Aside from the fact that Andrew’s a fucking asshole, yeah... everything’s fine.” Sarah huffed before taking a rather large bite of waffle. Jolie opened her mouth to ask what happened but Sarah beat her to it. “You know, if your want to fuck someone else, breakup with the person you’re currently seeing first... I mean that’s not asking a lot right? Don’t string them along for two months using a school project as an excuse to be busy.” She placed air quotes around the word busy and took another big bite of waffle.

“Sarah...” Jolie exhaled.

“It’s fine.”

“No it’s not.” Jolie stated.

“I just wish he had stayed at Stanford. Why’d he have to come to Cambridge if it was just going to end like this? Fucking asshole.” Sarah shoveled more food in her mouth and avoided eye contact.

“How’d you find out?” Rafael asked.

“Raf...” Jolie whispered.

“It’s fine," Sarah sighed, "I stopped by his place, because I hadn’t heard from him in a week. His roommate let me in... I knocked on his bedroom door and entered, like I always do, and there he was... balls deep in some chick I’d never seen before.”

“Where does he live?” Rafael grumbled as he stood.

“Why?” Both Sarah and Jolie asked.

“I’m going to kick his ass.”

“No you’re not.” Sarah chuckled.

“Wanna bet?”

“You’re not, because he’s not worth it and I’m asking you not to. It sucks now but I’ll get over it. I don’t want to be with someone who’d do that to me... I’d rather know and end the relationship. Move on you know...” 

“But...”

“Sit and eat your waffle Raf.” Jolie smiled, tugging him back down by his arm.

 

Sarah hadn’t been so much moping as stewing around the house. Jolie had tried to talk to her about Andrew a few times when Rafael was stuck at school, but she kept insisting she was fine.

“Put this on.” Jolie said, tossing ripped jeans, a black tank top, and a lightweight olive green jacket at Sarah.

“Why so I can look like you?” She chuckled.

“We’re going out and you’ll fit in better in that than your normal more preppy attire.” Jolie smirked.

“I don’t dress preppy...”

“You want me to count your collared shirts and sweater vest?” 

“Fine...” Sarah grumbled quickly changing into the clothes Jolie had forced on her. “Where are we going?”

“To see The Bouncing Souls.”

“I don’t know if I’m up for one of your punk shows...”

“I think it’s just what you need.” Jolie smiled, dragging her out the front door.

“You think I need to make out with the lead singer?” Sarah muttered, then thought better of what she had said and was about to apologize when Jolie chuckled.

“I mean you can if you want... he’s really cute, but that’s not why I’m taking you.”

“Why then?”

“You’ll see.” Jolie smiled, opening the car door for her.

 

“Are you going to get me drunk or something?” Sarah yelled over the music.

“No.” Jolie chuckled and dragged her to the back of the floor area in front of the stage. “We’re going to let loose.”

“What do you mean?” Sarah furrowed her brow. 

Jolie smirked and gestured to the mosh pit mere feet from them.

“You’re insane.”

“I promise it’s safe. This is a pick you up if you fall kind of crowd, they’re not going to hurt us... maybe a few bruises that you’ll notice in the morning, but nothing intentional.” Jolie assured her.

“But their slamming into each other?” Sarah countered.

“I know. You need to get some aggression out in a relatively safe way... This is perfect.”

Jolie didn’t give her time to argue again, simply dragged her into the pit behind her. Bodies bumped into them, pushing Sarah into Jolie. Jolie gave her a small push back to show her how to keep from falling. Soon they were both laughing and bouncing and pushing, shoving at times... They never ventured far from each other. The other people, mostly guys, were probably gentler with them than they were with each other, but no one groped or tried anything. Occasionally they’d have to lift their arms to help push a crowd surfer by, but other than that they just let loose like Jolie said.

“Thirsty?” Jolie yelled, pushing her finger against Sarah’s ear so she could hear over the music.

Sarah nodded and they worked their way out of the pit.

“Two waters.” Jolie said leaning over the bar so the bartender could hear her.

Their timing was perfect, not long after they received their waters did the opening band stop, a brief break before The Bouncing Souls went on.

“I am covered in other peoples sweat.” Sarah chuckled.

“A small price to pay.” Jolie smiled.

“You’ve done that before?”

“I use to all the time when I’d go to show’s with my brother... only a few times since I move here. Patrick and Josh would get in the pit with me.”

“You miss that group?” Sarah asked.

“Sometimes... they were nice, you know.”

“Are they here?”

Jolie glanced around the club, noticing five familiar faces sitting at a table in the back. “Over there.” She pointed.

“Is Jason with them?” Sarah asked, squinting for a better look.

“No.”

“Let’s go say hi.”

Jolie didn’t budge when Sarah tried to pull her along. “They probably hate me.”

“Only one way to find out.” This time Sarah didn’t give her an option, forcing her back to the table.

“Jolie!” Samatha smiled and hopped up from her chair when they got closer.

“Hi Samantha. This is my roommate Sarah.”

“You still single?” Patrick calls from his seat.

“Actually, Rafael and I got back together.”

“Grab a seat.” Samantha said, pulling one up for Sarah as Jolie grabbed one fore herself.

“We haven’t seen you in a while.” Ryan said.

“Just been busy with school.” Jolie shrugged, she didn’t really want to mention she had been avoiding Jason... she wasn’t entirely sure how much they knew.

“So Sarah, are you single?” Patrick smiled.

“As of last week.” She chuckled.

“Rebounding, my favorite.” 

Patrick was attractive, probably the most attractive of the group, but also a bit of a man whore. Jolie would intervene if she actually thought Sarah would fall for any of his lines. So far though he seemed to be making his personality fairly evident.

“I’m so far from rebounding.” Sarah muttered.

“You want to go home?” Jolie whispered.

“No. I just... When the band comes back on can we go back out there?”

“We can.” Jolie nodded.

“Do you go to Harvard too?” Tom asked.

“I do, I’m a lit major.”

“Not math like Jolie?” Ryan chuckled.

“So I can torture myself? No thank you.”

“It’s not torture.” Jolie smiled.

 

Jolie was chatting with Samantha when she noticed Sarah chatting with Tom. He was nice looking and seemed a little older, but Jolie wasn’t entirely sure how old. He was also the quietest of the guys in this group, reserved, only adding his input when he had something worth saying. Jolie didn’t know much about him other than he had missed a lot of shows because he studied all the time and he was from Seattle.

“What are you studying at Boston College?” Jolie asked, mostly because she was being nosy as to what they were talking about.

“I’m a med student at Tuffs.” Tom replied.

“The schools in the area are impressive huh?” Sarah smiled and Jolie had to fight back a chuckle at her attempt at flirting. Though she would give her some credit since Tom smiled and pulled her back into a conversation involving just the two of them.

 

“Jesus, you wreak.” Rafael muttered when Jolie started stripping out of her clothes in their room. 

“I’m about to shower.” 

“Why do you smell like smoke and sweat?”

“Sarah needed a little distraction.” Jolie smiled.

“That still doesn’t explain the smell.” He chuckled.

“I dragged her to a show.”

“That explains the nasty clove cigarette smell not so much the sweat.”

“And into the pit.” Jolie grinned.

“You did what?”

“It’s safe I promise. I used to get in them all the time with my brother and occasionally still do. I just never have when you’re with me.”

“So that sweat I’m smelling isn’t all yours?” Rafael made a face. 

“I’ll take my clothes with me to the bathroom and then go drop them in the washer.” Jolie chuckled, grabbed the material she had removed and headed to the bathroom to finish undressing for her shower.

 

The next morning Rafael and Jolie were each eating a bowl of cereal when Sarah joined them.

“I’m about to start the washer if you want to throw your clothes from last night in with mine.” Jolie smiled.

“Definitely.” Sarah chuckled, quickly grabbing the clothes from her room and dropping them in the washer before making her own bowl of cereal.

“So you and Tom did a lot of talking last night.” Jolie grinned.

“Don’t look so excited, we didn’t even exchange numbers. He was just interesting to talk to.” Sarah shrugged.

“He’s always so quiet... I just thought maybe there was something between you two.” 

“It’s way too soon for there to be something between me and anyone. I told him about Andrew up front, seriously we just talked... mostly about him.”

“He’s a med student?” Jolie asked, this time because she was actually curious about Tom. 

“Just started his third year at Tuffs and is hoping to do his residency in Boston, New York, or back home in Seattle.”

“He’s going to be a doctor?” Rafael asked. He could picture Tom and while he dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, nothing that screamed punk, he was still having a hard time wrapping his head around the idea of him being in medical school.

“You do realize that it’s music and a good majority of those ‘punks’ will probably grow up to be doctors and lawyer one day... maybe even politicians.” Jolie smirked.

Rafael rolled his eyes at Jolie and turned back to Sarah. “What’s he specializing in?”

“Pediatric surgery.” Sarah smiled.

 

The following weekend, Jolie dragged Rafael to a men’s store in downtown Boston. His suit that he had for years was getting a bit worn as it was the only one he owned and was wearing it more frequently with his different law school events and mock trails. She knew he wouldn’t just let her buy him one so this was going to be his birthday present.

“Jolie...” he grumbled when they entered the store.

“The suit you have is literally going to fall apart one day. Let me get you one for your birthday... Please?”

“Nothing too expensive...” He muttered.

“Sure.” She smiled dragging him to meet the personal shopper she had scheduled an appointment with.

“Seriously, Jolie...”

“What, I know nothing about suits.” Jolie grinned.

Jessica, the personal shopper, pulled a few different suits styles and Rafael tried them on, feeling slightly ridiculous when Jolie made him show each one to her.

“Which style do you like?” Jessica asked.

“This one I guess.” Rafael said, pointing to the more fitted of them.

“I’ll grab a few color choices, shirts, ties...” she eyed him up and down, “maybe even some suspenders.”

“Suspenders? Really?” Rafael muttered, though was polite enough to wait for Jessica to leave.

“You could make suspenders sexy.” Jolie grinned.

Rafael rolled his eyes. “There aren’t any prices...”

“Just pick what you like.”

“I’d like to know the cost.”

This time Jolie rolled her eyes. “Look you need suits. You’ll be interviewing for jobs soon, law clerking somewhere, networking. Pick two matching pant and jacket sets, five shirts, and two to three ties. If I like the suspenders I may throw those in too.”

“Jolie... it’s too much.” 

“They’re necessities. We can call it Christmas too if you want.”

“You promise you wont get me anything for Christmas?” He half scolded, knowing there was no way she wouldn’t have something for him to open under the tree.

“I’ll get you a pair of cufflinks and nothing else. You have to have something to open.” Jolie smiled.

“Promise.” He huffed.

“Promise.”

“Fine.” He muttered as Jessica returned, rolling a clothing rack with her selections behind her.

 

“I can’t believe you bought the suspenders.” Rafael grumbled, slightly tugging at them when they returned from his birthday dinner. 

“They looked so much better than I thought they were going to... I couldn’t not get them.” She chuckled before pushing the jacket off his shoulders. “Especially if we roll up your sleeves.”

Rafael rolled his eyes but let her roll each sleeve up to just below his elbows.

“See.” She grinned, running her hand up and down his chest along one side of the suspenders.

Her hands slowly moved to the waist of his slacks, tugging tighter as she unfastened them. Rafael watched her as she kicked her heels off and lowered to her knees in front of him, her hands freeing him in the process.

“Jolie...” he groaned as she licked up his shaft.

“Happy Birthday.” She smiled up at him his tip almost touching her lips.

He started to murmur a response, but her lips made contact and she slowly swallowed his head toward the back of her throat. The only sounds he emitted at that point were deep moans as his hand tangled into her hair, letting her control the depths of her bobs.

“Jolie...” He groaned again, tugging back on her head so she’s look up at him. “I want you to ride me with your dress on.”

“It’s your birthday... if that’s what you want, that’s what you’ll get.” She grinned, standing and sliding her underwear off.

Rafael inched his way back on the bed, leaning against both their pillows as Jolie straddled his thighs, lowering herself on him. His arms wrapped around her as she moved pulling her lips to his. They stayed like that, her riding him with both of them still mostly dressed.

“I love you.” Jolie panted, breaking their kiss so she could look at him.

“I’ll always love you.” Rafael breathed, his hands finding the zipper of her dress and lowering it enough to unclasp her bra.

Jolie sat up to ride him harder and he slip the top of her dress down her arms, tossing the bra in the floor moments later. His mouth engulfed a nipple, while his fingers pinched the other.

“Fuck.” Jolie moaned, her head tilting back, her hands gripping into his hair.

Rafael’s free hand rested on the small of her back, then slipped down to squeeze her ass, helping to push her back down on him.

“Fuck, Raf...” Jolie panted when his hand slipped between them, his fingers focusing on her clit. She had already been close and this sent her over the edge, her inner walls tightening as he flipped her beneath him and continued to thrust, giving in to his own release moments later.

“So the suit wasn’t just a present for me.” He chuckled, pressing a kiss to the top of her head and pulling her to lay next to him.

“You look really hot in it.” 

“You love me?” He smirked.

“Always.” She smiled.

Chapter Text

Aside from a few bad days where Sarah hid in her room, trying not to let anyone hear her cry, she seemed to be handling the break up pretty well. Her grades weren’t slipping, she wasn’t wallowing in self pity, and for the most part seemed like her normal happy self.

“Hey Raf, Jolie.” Sarah smiled returning home from school and dropping her bag by the door.

“Good day?” Jolie smiled.

“You know how I mentioned there’s a guy that looks like River Phoenix in my history class?”

“I think I remember a conversation or two. I also though you said he was a dick?” Jolie chuckled.

“Oh he is, he’s still attractive though.”

“Isn’t he the guy who died from a drug overdose a few years ago?” Rafael asked, still trying to figure out who River Phoenix was.

“It’s was so sad.” Jolie said pushing up her bottom lip.

Rafael shook his head and turned back to Sarah. “So there’s a guy in your class that resembles him...”

“Yeah, he asked me out.” Sarah grinned.

“But you said he was an ass.” Jolie said.

“I’m just toying with the idea of using him to, you know... move on. I haven’t said yes yet.”

“You mean just sleeping with him?” Rafael asked.

“Maybe...”

“What? Guys do that all the time... why can’t Sarah?” Jolie interjected.

“She can if she wants, but I don’t think that’s what she really wants.”

“How do you know what she wants?”

“I just don’t think jumping into bed with someone else is the answer.” Rafael stated.

“And if this was David or Alex or one of your other guy friends?” Jolie countered.

“Alex I wouldn’t really worry about because it’s who he’s been for so long. It would make sense. David I would say the same thing as I’m saying to Sarah, the behavior doesn’t match the person... it has nothing to do with gender. Your friend Blake, for example... based on her past behavior, I wouldn’t really question it.”

“You two remember I’m still here right?” Sarah chuckled.

“Sorry.” Jolie exhaled.

“It’s fine, and Rafael’s right. I’d probably regret it... doesn’t mean I can’t think about it.” She smiled and Rafael made a ‘ha’ face at Jolie.

“Don’t feed his ego.” Jolie muttered.

“But he made sense.”

“I’m not saying don’t listen to him... I’m just saying agree with me and then do the right thing anyway.” Jolie smiled.

“Next time.” Sarah laughed.

“That’s all I ask.”

“Can you go shopping tomorrow? I need to get a new outfit for Thanksgiving and I’d like a second opinion.” 

“I have to meet up with the group I’m presenting with next week at four, so as long as we’re back by then.” Jolie replied.

 

Sarah had dragged Jolie to multiple stores in the mall but still hadn’t found something she wanted.

“This is pointless.” Sarah muttered.

“You’ve looked fantastic in everything you’ve tried on.” 

“I just don’t know what I want...”

“What is your family doing for Thanksgiving?” Jolie asked.

“The whole family goes to my grandmothers lake house. It’s cold, so it’s not about being at the lake, it’s just the only place large enough to hold all of us.”

“How does everyone else dress?”

“They don’t dress up or anything, but we dress nice.” Sarah sighed.

Jolie flipped through a few racks they were standing near, pulling out an olive green sleeveless turtle neck and mostly black with the same green pulled into a thin plaid design pencil skirt. 

“Here, try this on.” She said handing it to her.

Sarah disappeared into the changing room.

“What do you think?”

“It looks nice and fits you well, not too dressy but still like you put effort in what you’re wearing.” Jolie smiled.

“And if it’s cold?”

“You can borrow my black jacket and I’m sure you have black tights.”

“Ok.” Sarah smiled, disappearing back into the dressing room.

They were heading out of the mall when Samantha passed them.

“Jolie and her roommate that I am apologizing now for not remembering the name of.” Samantha said.

“No worries, it’s Sarah.” Sarah smiled.

“Holiday shopping?” Jolie asked.

“No. I work at one of the stores here. I’m about to grab lunch. You two want to join me so I don’t have to eat alone.” Samantha asked.

Jolie glanced at her watch. “I’ve got time if Sarah does.”

“This was literally the only thing I had planned to do today.” Sarah chuckled.

“Fantastic.” Samantha grinned, linking each of their arms with hers.

 

“Which store do you work at?” Jolie asked.

“KB Toy’s.”

“How is it working in a toys store?” Sarah asked.

“Most of the year it’s enjoyable, this time of year I have to take deep breaths multiple times a day.” Samantha sighed.

“Christmas shoppers drive you nuts?” Jolie chuckled.

“Not all of them, just the ones that expect me to make the toy their looking for magically appear and then act like it’s my fault we’re sold out. I swear if one more person asks if we have a Tickle Me Elmo...” She trailed off while groaning and both Jolie and Sarah chuckled.

“When is the next show your going to?” Sarah asked.

“You want to see Tom again?” Samantha grinned, knowing it wasn’t her music preference.

“No,” Sarah blushed, “Jolie hasn’t been to many lately and I didn’t want her to miss out.”

“School’s been eating up my time.” Jolie said.

“And you’ve been avoiding Jason.” Samantha noted.

“A little...” Both Sarah and Samantha rolled there eyes. “Fine. I’m avoiding him, but he is the reason Rafael and I broke up. The reason that April chick kissed Raf and I ended up in Joey Capes hotel room.”

“You slept with Joey Cape?” Samantha almost choked on her soda.

“No. I made out with Joey Cape and stopped us from going farther when I couldn’t stop thinking about Rafael. Joey was actually pretty amazing about the whole thing.”

“Jason doesn’t hang out with us anymore.” Samantha said, taking another sip of her soda.

“He doesn’t?”

“No. He bragged about breaking you and Rafael up to Patrick and Josh and Patrick went off on him.”

“Really?” Out of everyone in that group Patrick was the last of them she’s expect to have a problem with Jason’s actions.

“Patrick likes to sleep around, but he’s adamant about the girls he sleeps with being single. I think his parents cheated on each other or something... I could only hear parts of the argument over the music. I do know that he was pissed at Jason for meddling, we all were. If you truly care for someone you want them to be happy even if it’s not with you, you don’t sabotage their relationship in hopes of them turning to you for comfort.” Samantha stated.

“Sabotage?” Sarah inquired.

“Apparently every time he got a moment alone with Rafael he’d bring up how little he thought the two of them had in common and other things, just to see if he could piss him off.”

“Rafael’s hatred of him makes more sense now.” Jolie sighed.

 

“When do you want to head to New York for Thanksgiving with you family?” Jolie asked, cuddling next to Rafael on the couch as they watched Too Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar. The movie had been Jolie’s choice.

“Would you mind if we did something just the two of us this year?”

“If that’s what you want, but we can always come back before Sunday if you want to spend our anniversary alone.”

“I’d prefer to spend the whole break with just you. We’re going to see everyone at Alex and Yelina’s wedding next month anyway. My dad’s just more than I want to deal with right now.” He sighed.

“My tradition then.” Jolie grinned.

“Can I help pick the movies?” He said making a face at the one they were currently watching.

“You have a problem with Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguizamo in drag?” She chuckled.

“No, I just want to ensure there’s a balance of genres... maybe not all chick flicks.”

“This isn’t a chick flick.”

“Sure...”

“Fine you can go to Blockbuster with me.”

“And the grocery store so I can make sure we have something other than junk in the house.” He chuckled.

“Who’s cooking this non junk food you want to get?”

“If it needs to be cooked, I’ll cook it.” He smirked.

“Hey Raf...”

“Yeah.” He said pulling her into his side.

“Why didn’t you tell me Jason was questioning our relationship when he was alone with you?”

“What brought up Jason?”

“Sarah and I ran into Samantha at the mall yesterday. The reason I hadn’t been at a lot of shows recently came up and she said Patrick had gone off on Jason over trying break us up. I guess he was bragging...”

“Patrick confronted him?”

“Believe me, I was as shocked as you are,” Jolie smiled, “why didn’t you tell me?”

“I didn’t think it would bother me so much and then he was around all the time and I got jealous.” Rafael sighed.

“You should have told me. I would have understood why you felt the way you did. I would have taken your side.”

“I know. Complete honesty. From now on, we’ll talk through any concerns either of us have, no matter how crazy and irrational the jealousy is.” He chuckled.

“In that case...” Jolie exhaled and looked up at Rafael, “Alex’s bachelor party...”

“You’re not ok with the strip club?”

“No, the strip clubs fine, I trust you... it’s Alex that concerns me.” She sighed.

“What do you think Alex has planned?” Rafael chuckled.

“I don’t know...”

“We’re going to a bar, then a strip club. That’s it. I don’t even plan on drinking that much because I know both Eddie and Alex will be trashed.”

“You’ll call me once you’re safe wherever you’ll be sleeping that night?”

“Promise.” He smiled and pulled her tighter kissing the top of her head.

 

It was Thanksgiving and Jolie was still wrapped up in their bed. Sarah had left for Raleigh on Tuesday and it had been two days of just the two of them. Jolie didn’t want to change their living arrangements, both of them enjoyed having Sarah as a roommate, but with her breakup they had been minimizing the PDA in common areas out of courtesy. It was nice to have the house to themselves for a bit.

It was the smell that drew her out of bed. “Did you actually cook?”

Rafael was still in his pajamas standing by the stove, tending to eggs when she entered the kitchen. “It’s just breakfast... nothing difficult. The biscuits are Pillsbury.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s the smell that dragged me in here.” Jolie smiled.

Rafael plated the eggs along side the finished bacon and pulled the biscuits from the oven while Jolie pulled butter and jelly from the fridge.

“I know technically our anniversary is the twenty fourth, but somehow it always feels like it should be Thanksgiving.” He smiled, handing her a small box, not jewelry small, but still fairly small.

“I thought we agreed not to get each other anything?”

“This may be more for me than you...” He smirked.

“We’re celebrating an anniversary weekend then?” She chuckled as she opened the box.

There wasn’t much fabric in the box, but what there was of it was a soft red color. At fist she thought it was a scarf, but upon further inspection she realized what it was and why it was definitely a present for him as well. She held up the garment that she assumed would barely cover her, and rotated it a few times in her hands. It looked kind of like a romper with the back missing, just straps crisscrossing from the shoulders to the bottom portion, and it had a deep V shaped opening down the front with lace along the inner edge, the fabric cutting straight down the sides.

“I just thought that since we had the house to ourselves...”

“That I could lounge around in this.” Jolie chuckled.

“Only if you want to.” He shrugged.

Jolie smiled and kissed him before hopping out of her chair to go change.

“I didn’t mean right now...”

She ignored him, quickly stripping in their bathroom and slipping the thin material on. The open space down the front of her torso barely covered her chest and the shorts angled up so that the lower portion of her ass was exposed. It was comfortable though... barely felt like she was wearing anything... because she was barely wearing anything.

Rafael audibly exhaled when she reentered the dining room. Jolie sat back down and started on her breakfast, smiling when she pushed his hand off her thigh.

“You don’t want your food to get cold.” She continued to eat while Rafael rolled his eyes and resumed eating his own breakfast.

Jolie picked up their plates and took them to the sink, Rafael not far behind her, his eyes glued to her backside as she rinsed the dishes in the sink before purposefully bending over to place them in the dish washer. She then patted his chest as she passed him on her way to the living room, smiling when he again followed.

“Which movie do you want to watch?” Jolie asked, holding up two different videos.

“Uhm... What?” Rafael hadn’t expected her to ask him a question and hadn’t been paying enough attention for what she said to resonate.

“Buffy The Vampire Slayer or Primal Fear?” She rephrased, holding each up higher for him to see.

Rafael sat on the couch next to her, looking a little perplexed. “You really want to watch a movie right now?”

“I thought this was for me to lounge in.” Jolie smiled, feigning innocence as she gestured at the outfit with her hand.

“I will be the last to argue with you if you decide to lounge in that all weekend, but...”

“You thought we’d do the thing this outfit was intended to lead to?” Jolie breathed, climbing into his lap.

“You don’t play fair.” He smirked, his hands running up her thighs, cascading lightly over the material before cupping her cheek and pulling her towards his lips.

“I don’t see how this isn’t fair.” She purred just before their lips met.

Chapter Text

Rafael had taken the train back to New York early Saturday morning. His plans were to meet up with Alex and Eddie, spend the remainder of the weekend with them, and then join Jolie at her parents home once she got in town Monday afternoon.

“Don’t you need to study?” Sarah asked as Jolie paced the living room while she attempted to read for one of her classes.

“My last final is in my economics class and between listening to my father my whole life and listening to the professor I can ace it in my sleep.” Jolie replied, continuing to pace.

“Can you sit down so I can focus?” 

“Oh... sorry.” Jolie sat on the couch and began to fidget with the throw pillow next to her.

Sarah rolled her eyes and put her book down. “You could have asked your professor to let you take your final in the testing center early and gone to New York with him.”

“I didn’t want to be that girlfriend. Besides, either way he’d be spending the night drinking with Alex.”

“And looking at naked women.” Sarah chuckled.

“The strippers don’t bother me... their ogled enough, their not going to be interested in some guy in the club hitting on them... not that Rafael would hit on them.”

“Until Alex mentions Rafael attends Harvard Law...”

The blood drained from Jolie’s face as her stomach dropped. Of course Alex would say something like that, anything to get more attention... she took a deep breath. “I trust Rafael.”

Sarah almost spoke again, but held her tongue when she realized her comment was more about Andrew’s behavior than anything Rafael would do.

“I’m going to go study in my room.” Jolie said, sounding a bit dejected. 

“Rafael’s a better man than most.” Sarah added as Jolie reached her bedroom door.

 

Jolie was laying in bed staring at the ceiling, then the clock, flipping though a book, then the clock again... It was three thirty and Rafael still hadn’t called. He had promised he would call when he got to where they were staying safely. 

“Just go to sleep. He probably drank too much and will call when he remembers in the morning.” Jolie muttered to her self as she tugged the covers tighter and flipped off the light.

As soon as she closed her eyes the phone rang.

“Raf?”

Instead of his voice she heard the collect call operator ask if she’d except the charges, which she readily did.

“Hey sorry to call collect but we’re staying at Eddie’s moms and I didn’t want her stuck with the charge for a long distance call.” Rafael said.

“That’s fine. How was the bachelor party?” Jolie asked, smiling for the first time since he left.

“It was actually a lot of fun. Alex spent the last half hour puking, but he’s crashed now, and Eddie passed out the moment we got to his moms place. I think I had four beers spread out over the whole evening, but I enjoyed spending time with my two oldest friends. In full disclosure, Alex pressured me into receiving a lap dance, but I did try to protest.”

“I’m sure you did,” she chuckled, “was she at least attractive?”

“If you’re into a meth head look... it wasn’t exactly a classy joint.”

“I’m really glad you called.” Jolie exhaled.

“I wish I was curling up next to you tonight.” Rafael hummed.

“Me too. I’ll see you Monday.”

“Not soon enough.”

“Buenas noches y dulces sueños. (Good night and sweet dreams.)” Jolie purred.

“Ok, the fact that you’re taking Spanish classes is growing on me.” He chuckled.

“Te amo. (I love you.)”

“Yo también te quiero. (I love you too.) Good night.” He said.

They both hung up and Jolie finally fell asleep, though it still wasn’t as restful as she would have like, but that mainly had to do with the fact that he wasn’t next to her now that she knew he was safe.

 

Rafael’s suit for the wedding was a dark navy and would match both Alex and Eddie’s. Yelina had picked a burgundy tie for each of them to wear as well. Jolie knew that the bridesmaid dresses would be in a navy as well so she opted to get a burgundy dress to wear.

“You look pretty.” Rafael smiled when she finished getting ready.

“Thanks. What time to do you need to be there?”

“Alex said to get there by three so we can get ready.”

“I’ll call for the car then.” Jolie smiled, giving him a quick kiss before grabbing the phone off her nightstand. 

The wedding was scheduled to start at five thirty, but the photographer needed time to get some pictures done before the ceremony and everyone in the wedding was planning to getting ready onsite. 

“Oh, uh...” Rafael paused when he realized Jolie would have to wait alone in an almost empty church while he got dressed with Alex and Eddie.

“It’s fine Raf... I brought a book and your mom and abuelita will be here shortly.” Jolie smiled.

“Jolie!” Yelina called from down the hall. “You can hang with us until Lucia gets here.”

“Problem solved.” Jolie grinned, giving Rafael a quick kiss before joining Yelina.

“I love your dress.” Yelina smiled.

“My dress? I can’t wait to see yours.” Jolie said, returning her smile as she followed her to a room with two other girls waiting.

“Paola, Nicole. This is Jolie, Rafael’s girlfriend, she’s going to hang with us while they get ready.” Yelina said.

“Hi.”Jolie waved.

“So you’re the Harvard chick that dashed all our hopes of landing Rafi after Yelina here stupidly let him go.” Paola chuckled.

“Hey!’ Yelina smiled as she feigned offense, “I’m pretty sure both Jolie and I are happy with the way things have worked out.”

“I’ve got no complaints.” Jolie chuckled.

The four girls chatted as the three in the wedding party they did their hair. Paola seemed to like to tease, while Nicole, who was quieter than the other two, was extremely kind.

“I love that the flowers match the men’s burgundy ties.” Jolie smiled when she noticed the bouquets.

“I’m really pleased with how everything turned out.” Yelina grinned.

Jolie watched as the three girls moved on to their makeup, chatting with them some, but mostly listening.

“Is Eddie still single?” Paola asked as she slipped into the navy blue bridesmaid dress.

“He is. I thought you weren’t interested.” Yelina replied.

“I’m not really, but weddings make me want to hook up with someone and Eddie’s attractive.” Paola smiled.

Jolie chuckled to herself when she realized Paola reminded her of Blake and helped Yelina get into her wedding dress while the other two were still busy getting dressed themselves.

“Thanks.” Yelina smiled, using Jolie’s shoulder for balance while stepping into her shoes.

“I am so glad you went with a sleek dress.” Jolie exhaled.

“Those puffy shoulders should have died in the eighties.” Yelina chuckled.

Her dress was a more elegant version of the slip dress that was so popular then and the white silk cascaded down her curves beautifully. 

 

Once the girls gathered their bouquets for photos, Jolie made her way to the church to find Lucia and Catalina. She spotted the two women along with Rafael’s father a few rows back from the family section on the grooms side, Rafael’s father seeming quieter and smaller than she remembered.

“Jolie, cariño, ¿cómo estás? (Jolie, sweetheart. How are you?)” Catalina smiled as she took the seat next to her.

“Estoy muy bien. ¿Cómo estás? (I’m very well. How are you?)” Jolie smiled.

“Tu español viene muy bien. (Your Spanish is coming along nicely.” Lucia grinned.

“Gracias. I’m working on it.” 

“You’ll get plenty of practice today.” Catalina chuckled.

The ceremony actually started on time and was a traditional Catholic wedding, so lasted longer than Jolie had expected. Still it was beautiful and she had her own personal eye candy to stare at to help pass the time.

 

“Rafael... I was hoping to have a moment to talk to you.” His dad said taking the seat next to him at a table during the reception.

“What could you possibly have to talk to me about? Hmmm... How worthless I am? That I’ll never succeed in the things I’m working for... that I’m wasting my time. Oh, or my personal favorite, how you wished you had had more of a man for a son?” Rafael huffed, standing and tugging Jolie up with him.

“Rafi,” his dad said, grabbing Rafael’s arm, “I just wanted you to be stronger than you were as a boy. You’ll thank me one day.”

Rafael scoffed and tugged his arm away. “I doubt it.”

“Rafael...” Jolie said as he pulled her away from his father.

“He doesn’t get to apologize. To somehow try to justify the way he’d treated me over the years, just because he’s afraid of his judgment day...” 

“Raf...”

“No. Look, I know he’s sick. I know the doctors haven’t given him much time, but it’s too late.” Rafael huffed.

“I’m not saying talk to him for him. I’m just throwing out the idea that you may wish you had later and it may be too late then.” Rafael opened his mouth to speak but she cut him off. “You don’t have to like or even believe what he says, but a future you may wish you had at least heard him out.”

“I really don’t want to be sensible about this...” Rafael grumbled.

“I’m just asking you to think about it. I’ll support whatever decision you come to.” Jolie smiled, pushing up to kiss him.

“It’s not going to change anything.” He muttered.

“I didn’t say it would.”

“Fine.” He huffed, pulling away from her.

“You’re doing it now?”

“To get it over with.” He grumbled while making his way back to his dad.

Jolie watched from a distance as Rafael and his father talked, actually talked. Something she had never seen them do before. His father did most of the talking while Rafael seemed to be content to look disinterested and nod a lot. She hadn’t expected him to be receptive, she just hadn’t wanted him to regret not hearing what he had to say one day.

“What’d he say?” Jolie asked when Rafael returned to her with a drink from the bar.

“That he was sorry for pushing me to be a better man in a way I wasn’t receptive to. He didn’t once actually apologize for the verbal abuse, didn’t even bring up the physical abuse... like if we just didn’t talk about it we could pretend it never happen. Everything was a backhanded way of saying I wasn’t strong enough to handle the way he fathered.” He downed his drink.

“At least you know.” Jolie sighed.

“I would have always wondered if I hadn’t...” He said taking her hand. “You want to get out of here?”

“You don’t have best man obligations?”

“They’ve already cut the cake and had their first dance, I’ve given my speech. This could last until dawn,” he smirked, “I think we can head out.”

 

“Are you sure you don’t want to spend this Christmas with your family?” Jolie asked as she finalized the last of the bag she was packing.

“I see my family all the time.”

“No you don’t.”

“Feels like it.” He smirked.

“I’m serious.” Jolie frowned.

“I just saw my family... literally two days ago. When was the last time you saw your grandparents on your moms side?”

“Last year...” Jolie muttered.

“So we’re going to Gstaad.”

“I really do like that my parents have decided to start a new Christmas tradition.” Jolie grinned.

“You don’t miss being by yourself in the Hamptons?” He smiled.

“Only the making cookies with Tess part. Though that one year with just you was pretty nice.”

“One of my favorite Christmases.” He said, pulling her into his arms. “Where are your parents?”

“They left for Gstaad three days ago.”

“How are we getting there?”

“By plane.” She chuckled, pulling away to zip her bag.

 

Jolie fixed them both a drink and sat next to Rafael on one of couches on her parents plane.

“It’s weird being the only ones on here.” Rafael said, taking the drink from her.

“We’re not alone. There are two pilots and a small flight crew.”

“Yeah... the crew maybe what is making it weird...” Rafael sighed.

“We can go to my dad’s office. They’ll quit hovering and asking if we need something if they can’t see us.” Jolie chuckled.

“He won’t mind?”

“It’s doesn’t have sensitive information in it, it’s just a place to work when he travels for business.” Jolie smiled, tugging him behind her.

Rafael sat in the desk chair and Jolie sat in front of him on the desk, propping her feet on the armrest of his chair.

“Better?” She smirked.

“Will they knock on the door?”

“They can take a hint.”

Rafael’s eyes glanced at the glimpse of light blue he got every time her legs shifted as he swayed the chair side to side.

“You’re such a horny teenager.” Jolie giggled when she noticed.

“I’m twenty three.” He huffed.

“I’m pretty sure that isn’t much better.” She smiled slipping the underwear off.

Rafael glanced between her legs and then quickly brought his eyes to hers as though trying to prove her wrong.

“You know I’ve been legally old enough to drink most of the time you’ve known me... in fact the only one of us whose been a teenager during our relationship is you.”

“I guess I’m just a horny teenager too.” Jolie chuckled slipping into his lap and kissing him.

He pulled her closer, wrapping his arms around her as they made out in the desk chair. “I kind of liked you better on the desk.” He panted, pulling back to look at her.

“You did?” Jolie smirked, moving herself to her previous position.

“I did.” Rafael said, pulling her to the edge of the desk and running his tongue up her slit.

She leaned back on her elbow, leaving one hand gripped in his hair, and watched as he licked and sucked her clit. His tongue dropping to probe, and massage her inner walls, then move it attention back to her tiny bundle of nerves.

“Fuck Raf...” She moaned when most of his effort was focused on her clit.

He pulled her closer when her body jerked, taking his time to draw the most from her orgasm before bringing her back down.

“I want to look out the window.” Jolie panted, not even waiting to catch her breath before dragging him to the couch that sat just under a small window.

“I was looking forward to bending you over the desk.” Rafael chuckled.

“It’s a long flight, we can do it there later. If we’re going to have sex at 41,000 feet I want the visual, even if we’re just looking down at clouds and ocean.”

“When you put it that way.” He grinned.

Jolie pulled her top off and climbed on her knees on the couch, Rafael positioning himself behind her. He lifted her slightly to push in and then his hands found her breast as he set a steady rhythm. Both of them spent all of two minutes glancing out the window before they became more wrapped up in the physical act of being together.

 

“Are you excited to see your family?” Rafael asked. 

She was lying in his arms on the couch, still topless, as they caught their breath.

“I am. I’m really excited to see my grandparents, but what I’m most excited about is seeing my little nephew. I can’t wait until we have our own, and they get to have Christmas with their cousins and run around all excitedly.” Jolie grinned.

“You can’t wait...”

“I just mean the idea excites me. I want to finish school, get settled in New York again... you know, be married first. But one day I want that and part of me can’t wait for it to get here, another part is just as excited to enjoy my twenties.”

“I’d like to get a good footing as a lawyer before we have to deal with sleepless nights.” He smiled.

“I’d like to be established too. I’m ok with hiring help during the day, but I don’t want my children raised with a full time nanny like my brother and I had. Don’t get me wrong, I love Tess... I just want to be my kids Tess, you know?”

“And that I can just add to the things I love about you.” Rafael smiled, pulling her back to kiss him.

 

Chapter Text

Jolie was in the kitchen when the other two joined her, both of them yawning as they made their way to the dining room table.

“How long have you been up?” Sarah asked when Jolie sat a plate of eggs and bacon in front of her before turning to grab a plate for Rafael as well.

“A few hours. I can’t help it... I love the first day of class.” Jolie smiled, handing them each a plate of pancakes as well and joining them at the table, pouring syrup on her own pancakes.

“There’s something wrong with you.” Rafael muttered.

“Agreed.” Sarah grumbled.

“Oh come now... you have to admit the first day is exciting. You get a fresh start, with new teachers and new classmates... New schedules to coordinate and plan out your study and free times...” Jolie ran her hand across the cover of the weekly planner she had purchased after dragging Rafael to four different office supply stores until she had found the perfect one. “I’ve bought new pens to color coordinate my classes.”

“You forget, I’m in class with the same L2’s from last semester and most of my professors repeat as well.” Rafael smirked, not even touching the topic of her planner.

“Yes and your OCD scheduling thing is a sickness.” Sarah chuckled.

“Don’t listen to her,” Jolie whispered to the planner, “she appreciates my scheduling more than she’ll admit.”

“A sickness.” Sarah reiterated, smiling as she shoved a bite of pancake in her mouth.

 

Rafael was busy from the moment classes started. It seemed this semester would be giving that first semester of law school a run for its money. He was thankful that he and Jolie lived together because with as busy as he was it seemed she was even busier.

“How many classes are you taking this semester?”

Jolie had crawled in bed late, close to one in the morning, when she finally finished the assignment she was working on.

“Six. You should be asleep.”

“I sleep better when you’re next to me.” He murmured, pulling her closer... the answer to his question almost going unregistered... almost... “Did you say six?”

“Yeah, I was talking with my advisor last semester... about what I eventually would like to do and he suggested adding a few business classes.” Jolie shrugged.

“You couldn’t take them over the summer?”

“I only needed seven classes to major in business as well so I decided to.”

“How do you only need six classes to add a major?”

“All the math I’ve taken covers all the business math and then some,” Jolie smiled, “that and I took a few as electives.”

“You’re very strange.” He chuckled.

“It’s only one extra class each semester and two each summer session. This is the only semester with six though, the remaining will only have five classes. It’s doable and will make my dad super happy.”

“What did you tell your advisor you wanted to do that prompted the business classes?”

“I think I want to start my own nonprofit one day. I’m not sure what yet, just something meaningful.” Jolie smiled.

“I love you.”

“I love you too, but we really should get some sleep.” Jolie yawned, cuddling closer to him.

 

“I’m done.” Jolie huffed, grumbling under her breath as she saved the paper she had just finished typing.

“You don’t sound done.” Sarah chuckled.

“Well I’m done for today at least. My brain has officially stopped working.”

“When was the last time you took a break?”

“Before the semester started. I feel like I’m in a perpetual end of the semester state and it’s only January.” Jolie sighed, contemplating opening her paper back up when she thought about the three more due the following week plus the presentation and the quiz in her quantitative finance class.

“Sometimes you need to step away from what you writing and come back with fresh eyes. Let’s go watch a movie.” Sarah suggested.

“Fine.” Jolie nodded, grabbing her backpack and planner.

“You’re only allowed to watch the movie. No school work.” Sarah said pointing at the things Jolie had grabbed.

“I have to move a few things in my calendar around.” Jolie figured she could sneak outlining her next paper in as well if Sarah wasn’t paying attention.

“Do it now and leave your things in here.”

“But...”

Sarah stood her ground and pointed to the desk.

“Fine.” Jolie sighed. She leaned over the desk and moved the quiz to the day her professor had switched it to, adjusted the next weeks study schedule to prioritize assignments by due date, and then followed Sarah out to the living room, leaving her school work behind her.

“What movie do you want to watch?” Sarah asked, holding up three videos they had rented.

“Nothing that requires thought.” Jolie grumbled.

“Well that excludes Fargo then.” Sarah chuckled.

“I want to see that... can we watch it Saturday morning before I start in on my work for the weekend.”

“Your scheduling time to watch a movie?” Sarah looked at her like she was slightly crazy, but Jolie ignored her and nodded.

“Saturday morning then.”

“What’s left?” Jolie asked.

“Mrs. Winterbourne or Bio Dome.”

“I’m too tired for Pauly Shore.” 

“Mrs. Winterbourne it is then.” Sarah slipped the tape in the VCR and grabbed the remote on her way to one of the chairs.

Rafael entered the living room and dropped his bag on the floor, and made his way to sit so that Jolie leaned against him on the couch. “Are we watching Fargo?”

“Your girlfriend doesn’t want to think so that’s scheduled for Saturday.” Sarah chuckled.

“Scheduled?” He questioned, giving Jolie a curious look.

“For before I fry my brain with school work.” Jolie shrugged.

“What’s this then?”

“Mrs. Winterbourne.” Jolie replied.

“I’m going to get some work done.” Rafael started to get up, but Jolie placed her hand on his thigh and looked back at him.

“Stay, please. I feel like I only get to sleep next to you right now.”

“Fine, but I’m reading for class during the movie.” He smirked, getting up briefly to grab the practice case he had been assigned and legal pad from his bag and then climbing behind Jolie again.

Sarah watched them for a moment before pressing play. She missed that. She didn’t want Andrew back, but she wanted what they had had back.

“Hey Jolie...”

“Yeah.” Jolie replied.

“Are you going to any shows with your schedule being so busy?” Sarah asked, trying not to sound too interested.

“There’s one I’m hoping to make in February... we’ll see how my workload is.”

“Can I come with you?” Both Rafael and Jolie glanced at Sarah. She would go along with Jolie if she was asked and had nothing else going on, but she never initiated. “I just thought it be nice to keep you company.” Sarah shrugged.

“That and you want to see Tom.” Jolie smiled. “I’ll make sure we can go.”

“That’s not...” Sarah started, but both Rafael and Jolie lifted an eyebrow at her, “fine... I want to see Tom.” She muttered, crossing her arms and turning her attention to the movie.

Chapter Text

Jolie was still busy with school. At times she felt like she had put too much on herself this semester, the planner she had purchased was so packed that she had taken to writing as small as she possibly could. It was beginning to look like the workings of a crazed person.

“Should I be worried?” Rafael teased, holding up the planner that was open on their bed to the current week.

“No.” Jolie smirked, grabbing it from him. “I’m just trying get ahead on a few things so I can take Sarah to the No Use show next weekend.”

“No Use?” 

“No Use For A Name.” 

“That’s a long name indicating they have no need for a name.” Rafael chuckled.

“Hence why I shortened it to No Use.” Jolie grinned, pulling out the problems she had been assigned for her finance class.

“It’s ten o’clock?” Rafael frowned when she started working.

“I only have two problems left.” She left out the bit about each problem generally taking up an entire page.

“Should you be working yourself to death just to make sure Sarah can meet up with a guy she barely knows?”

“Yes.”

“Jolie...” He scolded while tilting his head forward.

“Sarah hasn’t mentioned being interested in anyone since her and Andrew broke up. Tom is nice and smart and I’m doing this for her... even if she talks to him and completely changes her mind.” Jolie smiled.

“But...”

“No buts. She’s been there for me and I will do the same for her.”

“Ok.” He nodded.

Jolie started to read through the next problem on her assignment, taking note of the information that would be relevant when she started to actually work through it. Rafael slipped under the covers and watched her.

“I can go to the study to work if you want to sleep.” Jolie offered.

“I like watching you work. You’re cute when you’re really thinking and your tongue sticks out ever so slightly.” He smirked.

“Like I haven’t seen you do the same thing.” She chuckled.

“I do not.”

Jolie smiled and shook her head as she made herself more comfortable on the bed to finish the assignment. Whether he knew it or not, he definitely made the face. If she hadn’t wanted to get her assignment done before midnight she would have continued to argued with him.

 

Rafael watched in amusement as Jolie held up outfit after outfit she pulled out of their closet, discarding them on the bed when she decided against one only to pull out something new or pair a new top with a discarded bottom.

“You know we don’t have a maid right?” He smirked.

“I’ll put them all back.”

“Should I be jealous? I mean this is a lot of effort for a show I’m not even going to be at.” 

“Funny.” Jolie smirked. “I’m wearing what I intend to wear, I’m trying to find something for Sarah.”

“Shouldn’t Sarah dress as herself...” He had returned most of his attention to his school work and it took him a minute to notice Jolie had paused as she thought about what he said. 

“You’re right.” She grinned as she started to hang her clothes back in the closet.

“Of course I’m right... what am I right about?”

“If she likes Tom, he should get to know her... not her dressed as me.” Jolie grabbed as many hangers as she could fit in her hand, shoving them and the clothes on them in the closet and hurried off to Sarah’s room.

“Did you find me something?” Sarah asked.

“Not yet.” Jolie smiled as she started digging through Sarah’s closet.

“My clothes aren’t exactly fitting for a punk show...” Sarah moved closer to Jolie, watching her sift through the hangers.

“No one cares what you wear, but Tom should get to know you... that includes how you dress.”

“I thought my clothes were too preppy...” Sarah muttered.

“Not all of them.” Jolie chuckled, tossing Sarah a pair of jeans as she searched for a top Sarah wore fairly regularly. “Where’s that brown fitted sweater you’re always wearing?”

Sarah stared at her, giving it a moment to register that she was wearing the top Jolie was looking for, but Jolie didn’t turn around. “I’m wearing it.”

“Oh.” Jolie giggled. “Wear that and your jeans.”

 

Sarah and Jolie found Samantha and the others fairly quickly and Jolie was pleased to see that Tom was there. He didn’t always go to shows due to his school schedule, so Jolie had feared she may have given up sleep to get a head on school work for nothing.

“Hey.” Jolie smiled as she and Sarah pulled up two chairs. “You remember Sarah?”

“We do,” Patrick smiled back, “you still single?”

“I am.” Sarah chuckled, her eyes briefly settling on Tom.

“She’s not sleeping with you.” Jolie smirked.

“I was just asking.” 

“Sure you were.” 

“No, Rafael?” Samantha chuckled

“He’s got a lot of prep work to do for next week and I think he’d rather spend time with me away from a smoke filled club.”

“He’s not a big fan of punk?” 

“He tolerates it for me.”

“What does he listen to?” Samantha asked.

“I’ve never actually seen him pick music to put on, only heard him sing when he doesn’t know I’m close enough to hear him.” 

“He sings?” Samantha cocked a brow.

“He does,” Jolie grinned, “and he has a surprisingly nice voice.”

“What does he sing?”

“Older sounding Spanish songs.” Jolie shrugged, she couldn’t even begin to try to tell Samantha anything more about them, especially since every time Rafael noticed she was there he’d stop singing and act self conscious.

“He’s Spanish?”

“Cuban.” Jolie nodded, glancing over to see that Tom had moved so that he could chat with Sarah.

“I guess I never paid attention, but now that you’ve said it I could see him being Cuban.” 

 

Jolie listened to the band as Tom all but ignored the music, his full attention on Sarah as the two of them continued to talk. 

“What are you smiling about?” Ryan chuckled when he noticed Jolie grinning after another quick glance at Tom and Sarah.

“Just thinking that the lack of sleep was completely worth it.” Jolie gestured towards their friends.

“She likes Tom?” Samantha grinned.

Jolie nodded, figuring it was quite obvious he was interested as well.

“Good,” Ryan chuckled, “now maybe he’ll shut up about her.”

“He’s talked about her?” 

“Nonstop since they met in October,” Samantha chuckled, “that’s why Patrick asked if she was single... it was for Toms benefit.”

“Remind me to apologize later.” Jolie said, feeling a little bad for her earlier comment.

“I wouldn’t,” Ryan laughed, “most of the time he’d deserve it.”

 

Sarah smiled the whole way home, clutching Toms number in her hand like she was afraid she’d lose it if she put it anywhere else.

“When are you going to call him?” Jolie asked as they pulled into the driveway.

Sarah froze. “He has my number too... can’t he just call me?”

Jolie suppressed the urge to laugh. “Let’s hope for your sake he does.”

“Hey Jolie?”

“Yeah?” Jolie turned to face her as they walked to the house.

“I wanted to thank you. I know you’ve got a lot going on this semester, but I really appreciate tonight.” 

“It’s nothing you haven’t done for me.” Jolie smiled.

“Still... thank you.”

 

“How’d it go?” Rafael asked, setting the case file he had been assigned down on their bed with the notes he had made on it.

“They exchanged numbers and he’s been talking about her.” Jolie smiled as she stripped out of the clothes that wreaked of smoke, but thankfully not sweat this time.

“Worth it then?” He smirked, following her to the bathroom.

“Totally worth it.” She grinned.

Jolie started the shower and slipped inside. She hated sleeping with her hair wet, but the idea of waking up smelling like cigarette smoke appealed to her even less.

“What are you doing?” Jolie chuckled when Rafael slipped in the shower with her.

Rafael pushed his bottom lip up, trying to look innocent as he shrugged. “Helping you wash you hair?”

“Let me wash the bar off before you get too handsy.” Jolie smiled and grabbed the shampoo.

Rafael found the body wash, poured some on a washcloth and proceeded to wash her body very thoroughly. “Is this helpful or no?” He questioned when her eyes closed and a soft moan escaped her.

“It’s helpful.” Jolie exhaled. She leaned her head back and rinsed the shampoo from her hair and then applied conditioner, all while Rafael’s hands roamed her body, teasing her in between switching to wash a different body part. 

“Here or the bed?” He asked, his body pressed against hers, his arms pulling her tighter while his fingers continued to gently graze her.

“The bed.” 

Rafael shut off the water and handed her a towel. They dried quickly before dropping the towels and crawling in bed. Jolie pulled him on top of her, kissing him as he pushed into her, both of them beginning to move together.

Chapter Text

 

“Do you know what my favorite thing about March is?” Jolie grinned as she cuddled closer to Rafael on their bed.

“What?” He chuckled at how excited she was about whatever she was going to say, learning long ago that it was rarely what he expected.

“Spring break. It’s a whole week without classes, test, or new assignments... AND I’m caught up so I can actually enjoy it.”

“You love school.” 

“Not this semester...” Jolie grumbled.

“You know if you get a B it wouldn’t be the end of the world.” He knew she put more pressure on herself than was truly necessary, but he also knew that like him, she was a perfectionist. 

“I’ve never made a B in my life and I don’t intend to start now.” 

“I meant on an assignment... you don’t have to work yourself to death to ensure every single thing you turn in receives an A, they do average everything at the end. You’d still have your A for the semester.” 

Jolie looked at him as though he was speaking another language, and one other than Spanish since it was getting where she could understand more of it when he spoke… something completely foreign to her. “I’ve never made a B.”

“Never mind.” Rafael chuckled as the phone rang.

Jolie hopped up to grab it, but it stopped ringing before she got there.

“Raf! It’s for you!” Sarah yelled from the living room.

Jolie smiled and finished her path to the phone, pulling the cordless receiver off the charger and tossing it to Rafael.

“Thanks.” He smiled while pulling it to his ear to answer. “Hello?”

Jolie returned to the bed and cuddle against him again, but when she heard the stress in his mothers voice, muffled as it was, she pulled back to look at him.

“Calm down mami… What happened?”

“Raf?” Jolie whispered, but he held his finger up to silence her while his mother spoke.

“Ok, ok… I’m not sure.”

Jolie furrowed her brow, but patiently waited for him to explain.

“I do care mami,” he sighed, “I have an exam at nine tomorrow but I can talk to my professors about missing the rest of the day. I’ll come as soon as I can rearrange things.”

Rafael ended the call and looked at Jolie whose eyes were wide as she now impatiently waited for him to tell her what was going on.

“My father’s in the hospital in a diabetic coma.” He stated rather flatly considering and Jolie looked concerned as she cupped her hand to his cheek. “I’m fine. He’s done this to himself.”

“But Raf…”

“No.” Rafael huffed. “He knew the consequences and he refused to take care of himself, to eat correctly. Instead he makes my mother wait on him hand and foot, taking advantage of her after years of emotionally and physically tormenting her. I’ll go home to New York for Spring Break. I’ll sit with them at the hospital and help make arrangements… for her… not him. He can rot in that hospital bed as far as I’m concerned.”

Jolie nodded and ran her hand through his hair. She didn’t agree with what he said, but she honestly didn’t think he did either. That he was still processing the news. His life had been very different than hers, and not just the money aspect, her parents rarely fought and if they did it usually sent them to opposite ends of the house only to come back an hour or so later to calmly talk things out. Her parents were very different from each other, but very much in love, and she had always feared their example had set the bar a bit too high for her… that that was why she hadn’t seriously been interested in anyone before Rafael. His parents… well she didn’t understand his parents dynamic. Lucia seemed to be perfectly fine tolerating her husband, but it didn’t seem to be much more that that… tolerating. How distress she sounded over the phone made Jolie believe she must have loved him, or still loved him… it just wasn’t something she could understand, something she couldn’t wrap her head around.

“I’ll go with you. I’ll call in the morning and have the plane brought here waiting on standby.”

“Jolie…”

“I’m going.”

“You’ve got so much going on this semester.” Rafael sighed.

“And tomorrows Friday. Its one last day of classes and then Spring Break starts. I’ll talk to my professors to make sure I’m not missing anything while you take your exam. Then I’ll come home and pack for us while you talk to yours. We’ll be in New York by mid afternoon.”

Rafael exhaled as he looked at her, his eyes softening as he pulled her close enough to kiss her forehead. “Thank you.”

“Always Raf.” Jolie smiled, cuddling into his arms.

 

They dropped their bags off at Rafael’s parents place, dumping them in his old room quickly before heading off to the meet his mother and grandmother at the hospital. Jolie had suggested staying with his mom so she wasn’t alone, and since his father wouldn’t be there Rafael couldn’t come up with a reason not to and had conceded.

“Rafi,” Lucia whimpered as they entered the hospital room, “you got here faster than I expected.”

“Jolie helped with that.” Rafael replied, glancing passed his mother to the frail looking man that barely resembled the one he knew as his father. Jolie noticed the change too. The last time either of them had seen him was at Alex and Yelina’s wedding and while he didn’t look well, he looked nothing like he did now. 

“What are the doctors saying?” He asked, while moving to give his grandmother a hug.

“They don’t expect him to wake up.” Catalina stated when Lucia was silent. “They want her to decide whether to kept him on life support or let him go.”

“What’s their suggestion.” Rafael questioned, turning back to his mother who had taken his fathers hand in her own.

“Rafi, they don’t make suggestions on that.” Catalina smiled while squeezing his hand, “they just say things like they don’t expect him to wake up.”

“Mami… what do you want to do?”

“I don’t know.” She snapped as though she had been asked it more times than she could handle already.

“Ok… we don’t have to decide anything right now. Maybe we give it a day or two to see if he improves.” Rafael suggested, resting his hands on her shoulder.

Lucia turned and nodded against his chest, so he wrapped her in a hug and let her cry there, completely hidden from the others in the room.

 

“Las clases van bien. (Classes are going well.)” Jolie smiled, glancing up at Rafael when he entered the kitchen yawning.

They were both sleeping basically on top of one another in his tiny twin sized bed, but it wasn’t something either of them minded too much. They basically slept that close every night anyway.

“Puedo ver. (I can see.)” Catalina grinned.

The two of them had been chatting in Spanish since Jolie had entered the kitchen looking for coffee. Well… mostly in Spanish. Every third or fourth exchange, Jolie would furrow her brow and Catalina would repeat what she had said in English while lightly chuckling.

“No todos los días encuentras a alguien lo suficientemente dedicado para aprender un nuevo idioma para ti. (It’s not everyday you find someone dedicated enough to learn a second language for you.)” Catalina smiled up at Rafael as he poured himself a cup of coffee.

“Sí, pero ahora tengo que tener cuidado con lo que murmuro por lo bajo. (Yes, but now I have to be careful what I mutter under my breath.)” Rafael chuckled while kissing Jolie on the top of her head.

“I got yes, careful, murmur, under, and breath out of that.” Jolie grumbled.

“See.” Rafael chuckled.

Catalina laughed along with him and patted Jolie on the thigh. “Then it’ll be no different than any other marriage one day.”

“Emphasis on one day.” Rafael chuckled again.

“How many Spanish classes do you plan to take? Just enough to satisfy your foreign language requirements?” Catalina asked.

“I’m minoring in it.” Jolie smiled.

“You’re what?” Rafael almost spit out his coffee since in the discussion of her work load and double major she never once mentioned minoring in Spanish as well.

“I had every intention of taking a Spanish class each semester, turns out that will suffice the requirement for a minor.” Jolie shrugged.

“You’re absolutely nuts.”

“And you love me anyway.” She grinned.

 

It was Wednesday and his father’s condition had only deteriorated. Jolie waited in the hall with Catalina while Rafael and Lucia spoke with the doctor privately in his fathers room.

“Mami, I think it’s time you let him go.” Rafael sighed once the doctor left the room.

“I don’t know if I can…”

“You heard Dr. Feldman, he won’t survive without the machines and he’s not going to get to a point where he can.” Rafael said, forcing her to look up at him. “It’s time.”

Lucia nodded through tears and turned to her husband, taking his hand in hers while she leaned over in an attempt to hold him. “I need to say goodbye, Rafi.”

“Ok, I’ll be just outside.”

Rafael exited the room and sat next to Jolie and his grandmother, watching his mother through the window.

“What did she decide?” Catalina asked.

“She’s saying goodbye.” Rafael nodded, knowing Catalina had felt he should have been taken off life support days ago. Not so much because she didn’t like his father, but because she didn’t feel he should be kept artificially alive when it was clear to her it was his time.

“I’ll call and make the arrangements with the church.” Catalina walked down the hall a ways to call leaving Rafael and Jolie alone.

“Are you ok?”

“I never really liked the man.” Rafael shrugged.

“Still…” Jolie said, leaning forward so she could look at him when he didn’t look up from the floor.

“It’s weird to think he’ll be gone,” he sighed, “but what I really worry about is her.” He gestured with his eyes to his mother whose back was shaking as she cried over her husbands frail body. “I don’t even think she knows all the things he’s held her back from.”

“Like what?” Jolie asked, taking his hand in hers.

“He belittled her so much when she got her teaching degree that she never went back for her masters. One of her goals was to become a principal one day, but after he made her feel so bad... just because she had finished college and he had never bothered to attend, she never went back. She just added it to the list of things she’d never be able to do.”

“Maybe she will now… I mean after she’s mourned obviously.”

“Maybe…” Rafael sighed.

 

The funeral service had been somber, a viewing the night before followed by a rather large gathering in his parents small apartment. Alex, Yelina, and Eddie stopped by to pay their respects but didn’t stay long since they would be back by the next day. The service itself consisted of a funeral mass and more people than Jolie had expected, including Alex, stood to speak. 

After the Right of Committal at the cemetery another large group, containing most of the same faces from the night before, returned to Lucia’s apartment. This night was livelier than the last. While that had been a night resigned for mourning, this seemed more an effort to celebrate his life. Anecdote after anecdote were told about Rafael’s father, bringing a smile to Lucia and even Rafael’s face at times.

“They make your father out to be a stubborn but somewhat funny man.” Jolie stated after Rafael chuckled at a story one his fathers coworkers had told.

“He had his moments, they were just few and far between.” Rafael smiled.

“I guess no ones completely one dimensional.” She grinned.

“No… I guess not.” He smirked, before jumping into his own story of the time his father had argued with a cab driver for twenty minutes about the price of the fair, just to discover he had heard the amount wrong and they had both been too stubborn to actually listen to the other and realize they were arguing the same point. It had ended in a good chuckle and the cab driver, who was sitting in the room with them as he told it, ended up laughing the loudest.

 

Jolie was curled up next to him, her breathing heavy indicating she had fallen asleep, but he couldn’t. No matter how hard he tried to empty his mind and let sleep take over it wouldn’t and he found himself staring at the ceiling. Quietly, he snuck out of bed and to the kitchen to get a glass of water.

“You couldn’t sleep either?” He asked his mother who was sitting at the dinning room table spinning her own glass of water.

“I keep thinking about how empty this place is going to feel.” Lucia sighed.

“Abuelita is over far more than what I assume is considered healthy.” Rafael smirked while taking the seat next to her.

Lucia chuckled at that. “Yes, but not at night.”

“It’ll get easier and I’m sure if you asked she’d stay over occasionally while you adjust.”

“And maybe you and Jolie will stay here when you visit?” She looked hopeful and he smiled and nodded.

“I’m sure we can stay here sometimes. We will be moving back to the city in a little over a year though… hopefully we’ll have our own place at that point.”

“It’ll be nice to have you back.”

“It’ll be nice to be back.” He smiled.

Lucia was silent for a moment, her eyes blankly staring at the table as her fingers fiddled with the funeral program. “I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself Rafi…”

“You can do anything you want mami. All those things you wanted to do, but never did.”

“Like what?” She scoffed.

“Go back to school, become a principal… travel, go to the theater…”

“I’m passed the age to go back to school. I’d feel ridiculous.”

Rafael rolled his eyes. “You had me at twenty two which makes you a whopping forty five right now… I can guarantee you someone the same age as you will be going back for their masters as well.”

“You think?”

“I do.”

“I’ll think about it then.” Lucia smiled, leaning her head against his shoulder.

Chapter Text

In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the slayer.

“What the hell are you two watching now?” Rafael questioned as he lifted his nose from the book he was reading on the couch next to Jolie to look at the television.

“Just my new favorite show.” Jolie smiled, though she was only half listening to it as she worked through some problems for her finance class.

“That really didn’t answer my question.”

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Sarah stated in hopes it would shut him up so she could actually hear again.

“You do realize you’re almost twenty one…” 

“I am twenty one.” Sarah said turning to look at him as though he needed to be careful with his next statement, not that it would actually impact what came out of his mouth.

“And yet you still watch shows about high schoolers…”

“No one’s forcing you to watch with us.” Sarah grumbled.

“Yes some of the visuals are a bit of a stretch, but it’s well written and funny. I’m sure it’ll get better as it progresses, I mean it did just premier in March.” Jolie smiled.

“I kind of like the librarian…” Rafael muttered, starting to turn his attention back to his book.

“Of course you would…” Sarah muttered back.

“Didn’t you say Giles was hot.” Jolie chuckled.

“I said he was kind of hot… you know for a boring old fuddy-duddy.”

Jolie and Rafael both laughed.

“What?” Sarah huffed.

“Have you and Tom… you know…” Jolie chuckled again.

“No, why?”

“I think she’s hinting that you need to get laid.” Rafael smiled.

“I thought you were against me just hopping in bed with someone.” Sarah frowned.

“I was when you were talking about a random hook up with some guy you barely knew in your class. Tom’s different. You’ve spent basically all your free time with him since you two exchanged numbers in February and you clearly like him.” Rafael replied.

“I… it just…” Sarah sighed. “I’ve never been with anyone except Andrew.”

“And on that note I think I’ll let you two have girl talk and go read in the bedroom.” Rafael sighed, leaning forward to kiss Jolie’s cheek as he stood to leave the room.

“You act as though the walls are sound proof.” Sarah smiled, laughing when he paused and exhaled a puff of air before continuing.

“Has Tom hinted at wanting to?” Jolie asked.

“He has.”

“And?”

“I tensed up because I panicked about being with someone new. It was like being a virgin all over again, except not… I was nervous though. The only person who seen me, touched me is Andrew and I knew what to expect. I didn’t know what to expect with Tom.” Sarah sighed.

“There’s only one way to find out.” Jolie grinned.

“What if I’m bad and I don’t know it… maybe that’s why Andrew cheated…”

“I doubt that.”

“But you wouldn’t know now would you?” Sarah grumbled and folded her arms as she leaned back on the couch.

“That whole walls not being sound proof thing works both ways.” Jolie chuckled.

Sarah turned slightly pink. “Do I want to know?”

“I just think you both sounded like you were having fun. Give Tom a chance if the only reason you’re not sleeping with him is because you're nervous. It may be awkward while you figure each other out or it may be fantastic from the beginning… You’ll never know until you try.”

“And if it’s bad?”

“Then you’ll have to figure out how much you like him and how important sex is to you.”

“That’s helpful.” Sarah chuckled.

“You’re overthinking it.”

“I know…”

 

School had still been keeping Jolie busy, but considering everything that happened the month before with Rafael’s dad, she had made an extra effort to keep an eye on him. She didn’t bring up his fathers death, just noted Rafael’s mood shifts. For the most part he seemed his normal self, but occasionally he’d be distant throughout the day. She let him have his space though. Letting him know she was there without smothering him. 

Rafael had noticed her presence when he felt down and the fact that she hadn’t questioned his mood, just let him wallow a bit. He didn’t even understand why he was feeling the way he was… he hadn’t liked his father. Part of him assumed that perhaps he had still been holding out for some sort of approval from him that he knew he’d never get now. Whatever the reason was he had appreciated Jolie being there, but not asking him to explain himself.

“I can’t remember the last time we actually went on a get dressed up a bit kind of date.” Jolie grinned from across the table at him.

“You had a small lull in your school assignments so I thought we should take advantage of it.” Rafael smiled.

“Three more weeks and this semester from hell is over. Then we have all summer to take advantage of each other.” Jolie ran her foot up his thigh from under the table and Rafael smirked while pushing it back to the floor. “I have a few summer classes, but nothing more than last summer.” 

“I’ll be clerking this summer.”

“So? That’s during the day.”

“I’m clerking for Walter Schreiber.” Rafael sighed.

“In New York… of course.” Jolie sighed as well. She knew that Judge Schreiber and Judge Wright had both offered him a spot to clerk with them, it just hadn’t been mentioned since.

“I’m sorry, you’ve been so busy and it happened so fast… Schreiber called a few weeks ago and I couldn’t turn it down.”

“Of course you couldn’t, he and Wright are both highly respected, and you’ll make so many connections for after you graduate. I didn’t think that’s all.” Jolie smiled. “ We can survive two months and I can visit New York if you have free time on the weekends. When do you start?”

“June second, but I’ll have to head back the weekend before to get settled in.”

“You’ll still be here for my birthday so I’m good.” Jolie grinned.

Rafael rolled his eyes, but it was mostly at how excited she got for her birthday. 

“Hey… this is a big one.” Jolie grumbled.

“That’s right, you’ll officially be old enough to drink.” Rafael chuckled.

“Just because you’re an old man doesn’t mean you get to make fun.”

Jolie pouted and Rafael laughed even harder. “Yes, two and a half years makes me so much older than you.”

 

When they returned home, they could hear moaning coming from the direction of Sarah’s room. Rafael and Jolie both paused and glanced at each other, neither had noticed Tom’s car but they hadn’t been looking either and the only person they could hear was Sarah. Jolie pressed her finger to her lips and quietly closed the front door.

“Is she alone?” Rafael asked.

“How would I know?”

They both covered their mouths to stifled a laugh when Tom grunted loud enough to be heard over Sarah. 

“I guess she got over the hump.” Jolie quietly chuckled.

“Pun intended?” 

“Shut up.” She laughed, smacking his chest as she dragged him to their bedroom.

“You want to compete to see who can be louder?” Rafael smirked, pulling her against him as his fingers tugged at her zipper.

“Why not.” Jolie grinned while reaching to unfasten the buttons on his shirt.

They soon forgot about the other couple in the room across the house, their minds only focused on each other.

 

Jolie got up early the next morning to get a head start on her work for the following week. Seven in the morning on a Sunday was one time she could guarantee the house would be quiet. Both Sarah and Tom, if he was still there, were quietly asleep in her room and Rafael was spread out on their bed.

Jolie made coffee and ate a bowl of cereal before jumping into work. She had brewed a second pot, mostly because she knew the others would be waking soon, when Sarah yawned and stretch as she joined her at the table.

“Is that pot fresh?”

“It is.” Jolie smiled.

Sarah poured herself a cup and sat to take a sip, her eyes glancing up at Jolie to see that she was grinning.

“What?”

“How was it?”

“Jesus, I’m I that loud?” Sarah grumbled.

“Come on, how was it?”

“It was good…” Sarah grinned into her coffee mug, “really good.”

“Is he still here?”

“He is.” Sarah was still grinning.

“You want to help me make breakfast for everyone?”

“You already had cereal.” Sarah chuckled.

“That was hours ago… I could eat again.” Jolie shrugged, while clearing off the table and joining Sarah in the kitchen.

Jolie had just finished the bacon, while Sarah was working on the last of the pancakes, when Tom entered the kitchen.

“Tom.” Jolie greeted.

“Hey Jolie. Is there coffee?” He yawned.

Jolie nodded and pointed at the coffee maker. “I’m going to wake up Raf.”

Sarah grinned as Tom moved closer to her and Jolie chuckled to herself when she realized neither of them had heard her, or would miss her.

 

“Morning Raf.” Jolie’s voice wasn’t soft as she all but jumped on the bed next to him.

“I really hate that you’re a morning person.” He grumbled.

“I’m not really so much a morning person… I’ve just already finished off almost a whole pot of coffee by myself.”

“I assume you’ve made more if you’ve decided to wake me.” He peeked at her from over his shoulder but didn’t bother to move until she answered the question.

“I did, but you better hurry… Tom and Sarah have both already poured themselves a cup,” Jolie tugged on his arm, “and we’ve made pancakes and bacon.”

Rafael groaned, but crawled out of bed. Jolie smiled as he slipped jeans and a t-shirt on. Both girls were in pajama pants and tank tops while the boys were dressed as though they hadn’t just crawled out of bed. Tom really didn’t have anything else to wear, his clothes were the ones he had worn the day before… Rafael just hadn’t wanted to be in pajamas around someone he barely knew.

 

“You’re from Seattle?” Rafael asked Tom as they all sat around the table eating breakfast.

“I am, but I’m not sure it’s where I want to end up after graduation.”

“I thought it was on your short list?” Sarah questioned.

“It is, but only because it’s familiar and my fathers on staff at University of Washington Medical Center. It’s a backup, I’d preferably like to carve my own path.” Tom sighed.

“You two should come to the Hamptons with us for the fourth.” Jolie grinned.

“I could probably swing it this year.” Sarah smiled.

“The Hamptons?” Tom had furrowed his brow.

“I know it sounds dull, but it’s not too bad and Casey knows Sarah so I’m sure his dad won’t mind if you two come to their party. I’ll check to make sure…”

“What is it with you and your family forcing people to network?” Rafael chuckled as he interrupted Jolie.

“Network?” Tom questioned.

“New York is on your list of places you’d like to work right?” Jolie asked.

“High on my list.” Tom sighed.

“Some of the top surgeons in New York will be there. You should come.” Jolie smiled, completely forgetting that Tom knew very little about who her family was.

Tom gave Jolie a curious look, but didn’t say anything, just furrowed his brow again.

“Jolie’s dad is Malcom Rutherford.” Rafael said taking pity on Tom.

“Oh… oh…” Tom’s second oh was slower and more drawn out that the first, “that’s intimidating.”

“Tell me about it.” Rafael chuckled.

“Oh whatever… daddy’s a big ole softy.” Jolie grinned.

“To you cariño, only to you.” Rafael smirked.

“You want to specialize in pediatric surgery right?” Jolie asked while ignoring Rafael.

“I do.”

“Dr. Vernon is there every year, she heads…”

“The Pediatric Surgery Department at New York Presbyterian, I know…” Tom finished for her.

“I’ll introduce you, she and my mom are good friends.”

“See… her family forces you to network.” Rafael chuckled.

“Whatever…” Jolie muttered, “you’re getting to clerk for Judge Schreiber because of it.”

“I didn’t say it was a bad thing.” Rafael smirked.

Chapter Text

Jolie wasn’t acting like herself. The month of May had started, classes were almost finished, and she hadn’t mentioned her birthday once. Rafael dismissed this initially because she had six finals to study for and four of her harder ones were scheduled over two consecutive days. Two finals each day, the second days timing only giving her ten minutes to get from one test to the next if she ended up using the whole time… something she was custom to doing when double checking her work. He knew she was slightly panicked that she wouldn’t have time to review her notes before what was probably the class she struggled with the most. 

“Jolie?”

“Yeah…” 

She half responded without looking up from the notes she was rereading while repeatedly whispering the important details to herself in an attempt not to disturb him. Normally she’d just state them out loud, not concerned for her voice level, but it was well after midnight and he had been in bed for a while.

“What good will studying do you if you’re too tired to think during your final?”

“Five more minutes.”

“Ok, but then I’m turning out the light.” Rafael’s brow tightened as his lips thinned into a straight line.

Jolie smiled, knowing he couldn’t stop her from moving to the office if she really wanted to study, but she had to agree that she needed sleep.

 

Rafael was on the couch when she got home after her last final on what she had started referring to as the last day of hell. She had one final left but it was still two days out and she wasn’t worried about that one, she barely had to think to work through finance problems. This last final was merely an act of showing up and completing the test.

“One left?” He smiled when she cuddled under his arm.

“One left.” Jolie grinned, a first all month, but it quickly faded as she fiddled with the hem of her shirt.

“What’s wrong? I thought you’d be in birthday mode now that the finals you were concerned about were over.”

Jolie closed her eyes and took a breath, exhaling it audibly. “There’s a band playing on my birthday.”

“You know I’m up for anything on your birthday. Besides I don’t mind going to shows with you and your friends are starting to grow on me.”

“I know, it’s not that I want to go to a show… it’s who’s playing.”

“Who’s playing?”

“Lagwagon.”

Rafael chuckled. “You know, I’d think you’d be excited that your favorite band was playing on your birthday.”

“Raf… Their lead singer is…”

“I know,” he interrupted, “and I highly doubt you’ll be kissing him this time.”

“Well no…”

“And I doubt you would have last time if you hadn’t seen April kiss me.”

“I felt so dejected…” Her eyes cast toward the floor and he regretted having let his jealousy consume him all over again.

“I trust you Jolie. I’ve always trusted you… If you want to go see your favorite band on your birthday we should go.”

“You’re sure?” Jolie looked up to see his face as he answered her.

“I’m not jealous of some guy you kissed in an effort to avoid feeling a little of the pain I put you through, I’m just glad you didn’t go further.”

“I only wanted you.”

“Wanted? Past tense?” He smirked.

“You know what I mean.” Jolie chuckled.

“Yes I do.” Rafael smiled, leaning down kiss her.

“Oh!” She startled him when she excitedly spoke once their lips parted, “I’m thinking about buying some Amazon shares.”

“You’re talking to me about stocks?” He furrowed his brow, but mostly because she never had before.

“I’ve been going back and forth on it for weeks… I think I just needed to say it out loud or something.”

“You’ve been thinking about stocks in addition to your studies this semester?”

“I’m never not thinking about stocks, that’s how you lose your ass.” Jolie smiled and stood dragging him behind her to the kitchen while she search for something to eat.

Rafael shook his head at the Oreo she extended to him and grabbed a water from the fridge as she shrugged and ate it herself.

“What’s Amazon?”

“An online bookstore. It goes public tomorrow.”

“Don’t most people just go to Barnes and Noble or Waldens to buy books?” He asked before taking a sip of his water.

“Yes, but brick and mortar only have so much inventory. Amazon is roughly two years old and has streamlined a process for ordering and shipping books from their warehouse.”

“Can’t brick and mortar stores order you a book if they don’t have it?”

“They can, but not as efficiently… that and people like convenience.” Jolie shrugged.

“Still, it’s a bookstore.”

“For now.” Jolie grabbed the phone off the kitchen counter and dialed a number she knew by heart, smiling at Rafael as it rang. “Steve, it’s Jolie. What’s Amazon’s IPO looking like for tomorrow?”

Rafael didn’t know who Steve was, but he assumed he was who she called when she wanted to purchase a stock, her broker if he had his terms correct.

“They’re looking at fourteen to sixteen, maybe a bit higher?” Jolie paced a bit as she thought. “Ok, limit the order to twenty five at twenty and a quarter. Yep. Thanks Steve.” She set the phone back on the charger and turned to Rafael. “Now we see if it goes through.”

“IPO?” 

“Initial public offering, what the stock opens at when it first goes public.”

“You’re hoping to get twenty five shares at twenty and a quarter dollars?” He asked mostly to determined if he had followed her conversation as well as he thought he had.

“Twenty five thousand shares. Twenty and a quarter is the limit, I’m hoping to get it for less.” Jolie shrugged and shoved a cookie in her mouth.

Rafael almost choked on the swallow of water he had taken. “Twenty five thousand at twenty is half a million dollars.”

“I’m aware.” Jolie sealed the Oreos and sat them back in the cabinet.

“That’s… I mean…” It was the first time they had actually talked about money and he wasn’t quite sure how to respond. “It’s a lot of money.”

“Yes, it is.” Rafael was relieved that she agreed, because part of him feared he was even more out of his league when it came to her families wealth than he initially thought, but then she spoke again, and he felt his heart quicken. “Nothing I won’t make back in a few weeks.”

“Make back?” His word were choppy as he tried to wrap his brain around making that kind of money in a few weeks. It wasn’t a normal statement for someone to make… at least not someone he grew up with.

“I’ve been taught my whole life that money is meant to be nurtured,” Jolie chuckle, “like a child.” It was how her grandfather had phrased it. “You tuck it in at night, bring it out to play during the day, and watch it grow.”

“Should we brace for a visit from your dad?”

“No, why?” Jolie furrowed her brow.

“When you donated to that women’s shelter… when we lived in the dorms…” Her dad had seemed so angry then.

“This is different.” Jolie chuckled.

“How?”

“My dad doesn’t have access to my brokerage accounts, this is my money. I donated to the women’s shelter from my trust fund, something I’ve had access to since I was sixteen with my dad on as a trustee to monitor my spending.” 

Rafael moved to sit at the kitchen table. “Jesus…”

“What’s the matter?” Jolie followed and sat next to him.

“I’m just thinking about how my account has never had more than two grand in it… ever… and how yours must have…” he paused and looked at her, “do I even want to know?”

“Perhaps not…” She had only wanted to be honest with him, but it seemed to be freaking him out a bit. “I tell you what, if and when we get to the point of talking marriage I’ll lay everything out for you.”

“Can you give me the information in small doses?” He more exhaled than chuckled, but he had at least tried to laugh.

“I can.”

“Thanks,” Rafael smile, resting his hand on hers.

“What’d you expect exactly?” Jolie tilted her head as she looked at him, a small smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean… my family flies on a private jet, have a house in the Hamptons, a penthouse in Manhattan, spend Christmas in Gstaad… my fathers Malcom Rutherford… you knew at least a little of what my finances would be like.”

“I could assumed, but I tried not to.” He sighed, leaning back in the chair.

“And that is all the more reason to love you.” Jolie smiled while climbing onto his lap to kiss him.

 

Tom had become a familiar sight in the mornings, the four of them eating breakfast around the kitchen table was almost expected now that the semester was finished. Today had been no different expect Rafael and Jolie had been greeted at the table with mimosas along with breakfast and coffee.

“Happy birthday!” Sarah smiled while forcing Jolie to sit before she tried to help with something.

Tom handed her a mimosa. “Happy birthday Jolie.” 

“Thanks,” she smiled, taking it from him as she turned her attention to Sarah, “just because I’m twenty one now, doesn’t mean I have to literally drink all day.” This statement didn’t actually stop her from taking a sip of the drink.

Sarah rolled her eyes as she returned to the stove to finish breakfast.

“What are your plans for today?” Tom smiled, but the smile was mostly because he was watching Sarah moving to whatever tune she was humming as she flipped a pancake.

“We’re going on a cake hunt and then do an early dinner before the Lagwagon show.” Jolie smiled.

“A cake hunt?” Tom questioned.

Rafael rolled his eyes. “Jolie wants to buy a small cake from every bakery we can find and then come back here and eat until her stomach hurts.”

“I won’t eat that much, just a little from each cake.” Jolie smirked.

“Sure.” Rafael muttered, staring disapprovingly at the plate Sarah sat in from of Jolie. “What did you make her to eat?”

“Chocolate chip pancakes with powdered sugar on top.” Sarah shrugged.

“See, she knows the way to my heart.” Jolie grinned.

“Do they all have chocolate chips in them?” Rafael asked, more or less ignoring his girlfriends comment.

“Don’t worry yours are boring old buttermilk.” Sarah smiled, handing both Rafael and Tom a plate of normal looking pancakes.

 

“It’s weird to see you with a beer.” Patrick chuckled from across the table.

“It’s not like it’s my first one ever.” Jolie grumbled back.

“I didn’t say it was, just said it was was weird.”

Jolie was the youngest of the group. Samantha and Ryan were both a full year older than her despite the fact that they would be starting their senior year in the fall as well. Josh and Patrick were two years older, working on a six year graduation plan, though Jolie assumed that had more to do with the fact that they partied more than studied. Tom was a year older than Rafael and Sarah a few months older than Jolie. 

“I hate always being the youngest…” Jolie muttered under her breath when it was clear picking on her for drinking around them would be Patrick and Josh’s form amusement when they got bored.

They listened to the local band that opened, the volume giving Jolie a brief reprieve from Patricks teasing. Lagwagon was set to play next and then NoFX, another band Jolie was excited to see.

“Who just played?” Rafael whispered after the first bands set ended.

“Not a clue.” Jolie shrugged.

Normally she’d pay attention to who was listed as the opener and if it was a local band that she could find a CD for she’d by it to see what they sounded like and to help them out a bit. She had been so busy that she hadn’t even thought about it, instead she decided she’d pick up a CD at the merch table if they had one.

“Is that Jason?” Ryan asked while pointing across the bar to a group standing not far from the stage.

His comment drew both Rafael and Jolie’s attention to where he had pointed and Jolie tensed slightly in her chair. 

Rafael laced his fingers with hers and squeezed while whispering in her ear. “You can’t stop him from going to a show.”

“I know,” Jolie smiled up at him, “he just reminds me of a time between us that I’d rather forget.”

Jolie closed her eyes and smiled as he kissed her forehead.

“He better stay over there,” Patrick grumbled, “things may have worked out, but I don’t want to be around someone like him."

Rafael chuckled and pulled back to look at Jolie again. “Have I mentioned this group is growing on me?”

 

Jolie dragged Rafael with her to the bar for another beer after Lagwagon’s set and then to check out the merch table so could figure out want she wanted to get. She didn’t always buy anything, but a lot of her band shirts came from shows she had been to. Sometimes they would have a woman’s shirt that was more fitted, other times a youth sized shirt, and if neither of those were an option, or she just liked a different design, she alter a regular t-shirt so that it fit her better.

“Do you know what you want?” The girl behind the table asked.

“Actually yes.” Jolie smiled, handing her beer to Rafael. She had only intended to look, but it only took a quick glance to decide which shirts she wanted. “Are you selling both Lagwagon and NoFX’s merch?”

“I am.”

“Great.” Jolie smiled and pointed to the two shirts she wanted. Neither band had put out an album recently and since the opening band didn’t have a set up to sale anything, that was all she planned to purchase.

“Jolie?” His voice was almost as distinctive as Rafael’s and she quickly turned the direction it came from.

“Joey, hi.” She glanced back at Rafael and motioned him closer. There was no way she was going to have a conversation with Joey Cape while Rafael stood just out of ear shot. “This is my boyfriend Rafael, Rafael this is Joey.”

“Is he the idiot or someone new?” Joey smirked.

“The idiot.” Jolie smiled.

“You called me an idiot?”

“No, Joey did.” Jolie took Rafael’s hand in hers and tugged him closer.

“I can’t exactly argue.” Rafael smiled as he snaked his arm around her waist.

“He treats you well?” Joey cocked an eyebrow almost accusingly and Rafael puffed up a bit defensively.

“Who exactly are you to question our relationship?” This was more huffed than spoken as Rafael’s jealousy reared a bit.

“The guy she cried to about you having moved on.” Joey stated flatly.

Rafael’s exterior softened as the words hit him, as a new understanding of how much he had hurt her hit him. 

“A misunderstanding.” Jolie smiled, her hand reaching up to lightly scratch Rafael’s back. “He was being stubborn and I thought he had moved on but he hadn’t, neither of us had. Rafael’s kind of amazing.”

“Are you at Harvard too?” Joey asked as the merch girl handed Jolie her items.

“Harvard Law.” Rafael replied.

“We both graduate in a year and then we head back to New York.” Jolie smiled.

“Lifers then.” Joey chuckled.

“Ideally.” Jolie grinned.

“I’m glad to see you’re happy.”

“I’m glad things worked out the way they did.” Jolie exhaled.

Joey gave her a quick hug and kissed her temple almost protectively, then backed away. “We play New York pretty much once a year too.” He smiled.

“I’m sure I’ll be at another show.” Jolie smiled back and then took Rafael’s hand as they started for the table.

“I take it it was a little more involved than just making out…” Rafael sighed, pausing them.

“Not physically, but I couldn’t stop thinking about you and then I cried and…” Jolie exhaled as she blinked back tears, “we talked. Joey’s a decent guy.”

“I noticed.” Rafael smirked. “Come on,” he started them toward the table again, “tears aren’t allowed on birthdays.”

“Even if they’re happy ones?” Jolie chuckled.

“Maybe happy ones… but that’s not what those are.”

“Rafael,” she paused them again, “I love you.”

“I know,” he smiled, “I love you too.”

“Always?”

“Always.” He smirked when she smiled and started them moving again.

Chapter Text

Rafael had been back in New York, settled in his old room at his moms place for a week and Jolie already missed him. Jolie had missed him the day he left. She was both annoyed and thankful for the summer classes she had to squeeze in if she wanted to graduate on time. If she hadn’t needed them she would have most likely gone to New York with him, and as much as she hated to be apart, she felt he needed that time to focus on work and making a good impression. His clerkship was about him learning and creating contacts for future employment, not her ability to see him daily. She was also excited that he would be able to spend some quality time with his mom and abuelita, something he hadn’t done much of while avoiding his father.

“Morning Tom.” She yawned as she entered the kitchen in search of coffee.

“Morning Jolie.”

“What time is your first class?” Sarah asked, popping out of the pantry and startling her enough to make her jump.

“Jesus… I’m not awake enough for you to do that.”

“Sorry,” Sarah chuckled.

“My class is at eight and I plan to hang out on campus until my other class at two.”

“My class ends at eleven, do you want to grab lunch?”

“Sure, meet me in the library… you know where I prefer to study.”

“You think you’ll need to do a lot of studying after one class?” Tom questioned from the table.

“Not really, but I am bringing a book with me.” Jolie grinned. 

She may not have done much studying that first day, but summer classes move quickly and the next day, her down time had been filled.

 

The problem with finishing most of her studying between classes was that it left her with little to do once she got home... or at least that’s how Jolie felt. She couldn’t study enough for school that summer session and was finding herself getting antsy... almost wishing she had taken one of her classes from the last semester and added it to her summer schedule... just to occupy her mind.

She may have missed Rafael less if she hadn’t been a third wheel to Sarah and Tom, Jolie knew she was being petty when she thought that. She was happy to see Sarah with someone again. Not that Sarah needed to be with someone, she had seemed rather happy being on her own, but it was nice to see her happy with Tom. The problem was Jolie had never been separated from someone she had been in love with before… she had never been in love with anyone before.

Jolie sat in one of their living room chairs, while Sarah and Tom snuggled on the couch. The credits to the movie they had just finished scrolled across the screen, prompting Jolie to move to the floor to rewind the tape.

“Are you hungry?” Sarah asked Tom.

“I could eat.” 

It was the same way the conversation started every night between the two of them and right on cue, Sarah turned to Jolie. “Where would you like to eat?”

“You guys can eat without me,” Jolie chuckled, “I’m a big girl. I can handle Rafael being stuck in New York for the summer.”

“Are you sure?” Sarah smiled, clearly wanting some alone time with her new boyfriend, but also wanting to feel like a good friend.

“I’ve spent a lot of my life with the people I love having to be somewhere that I’m not. I can handle two months with Raf in New York.” Jolie stood and headed to the kitchen to find something light to eat for dinner. 

“Do you want me to bring you something back?” Sarah called from the living room as she and Tom gathered their things to leave.

“I’m good. Go. Have fun.” Jolie called back as cheerfully as she could.

 

Jolie had just curled up in her bed to watch another movie when the telephone rang. Sarah and Tom were still out to dinner and she almost let it go to the machine due to how comfortable she was, but instead climb out of bed and pulled the cordless off the charger.

“Hello?”

“Hey.” 

Jolie smiled and stopped the movie before climbing back in bed. “How’s it going in New York?”

“It’s exhausting, but exciting. I’ve met so many people, hopefully one of them is willing to hirer me next year.” Rafael’s voice rarely betrayed self doubt, but it did in that statement.

“Raf, you’re amazing. Do the work, be yourself, and I have no doubt you’ll have job offers before you even graduate.”

“Yeah, because of your father…”

“Raf?” She could hear him exhale through the phone. “What’s bothering you?”

“I’m happy to be home and spending some time with my mom, but it’s like I can still hear my fathers voice when I walk around this place.”

“You know that all my father did was introduce you to people, the fact that you’re currently clerking for one of them is because of you.”

“I didn’t think being here would be this hard.” He sighed.

“I didn’t think being away from you would be this hard.” Jolie chuckled.

“God, I missed you.”

“Call me anytime, collect if you need to.”

“I purchased a few calling cards, so you may be hearing from me more in the evenings.”

Jolie smiled and cuddled under the covers. “Then I’ll make sure I’m home.”

“How’s Sarah?”

“Good. I think Tom’s is practically living here this summer, but it’s also in that new, inseparable part of the relationship. They are overcompensating a bit in their effort to include me.”

“It’s a nice gesture.”

“It is, but it only makes me miss you more.”

“You’ll see me in less than a month.” His voice gave away his smirk and Jolie couldn’t help but smile.

“The fourth falls at the end of the week between summer sessions and I was thinking about spending that whole time off in New York... we could at least sleep in the same bed at night.” Jolie had gone back and forth on the idea. She knew he was only getting the third and fourth off and didn’t want to be a distraction, but she hated not being able to sleep next to him.

“I can stay with you at your parents that week and we can all ride to the Hamptons together.”

“Oh, Sarah and Tom will definitely be joining us, I think their plan is to take the train up Wednesday and I may ride it back with them Sunday.”

“I can’t picture that.” He chuckled.

“Picture what?”

“You on the train, wouldn’t it be faster and easier to have your car drive you all back?”

“I thought it might be fun to take the train...” Jolie grumbled.

“Believe me it’s not. Besides, your car would have to drive back anyway and then one of the security guys your dad hirers would have to be on the train with you... I just think the car would be easier.”

“Buzz kill...”

Rafael chuckled. “Oh, ok mami.” Jolie heard Lucia in the background telling him that dinner was ready. “And now I feel like I’m in high school again…” He sighed, speaking to Jolie again.

“Because your mom is interrupting your phone call with a girl?” Jolie was grinning despite the sadness she felt that the call would end soon.

“Yes, though this is different.”

“How so?”

“Because I live with you and only visiting my mom.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Jolie sighed and climbed out of bed, setting the phone back on its base. The movie was started back up and the lights flipped out on her way back to bed, the remote joining her this time so she didn’t have to get up again if she didn’t want to.

 

Fortunately for Jolie both her classes had early finals and she was done with the first summer session by ten that last Friday in June. She had been packed for a week... well maybe not the whole week, but it felt like it, and as soon as she got home from school, she was out the door again with her suitcase.

The drive had taken a little over four hours and her parent’s place was empty when she arrived. It was what she expected though, they were in Paris until the end of the month... pleasure instead of business this time. Rafael had given her the address to the courthouse so she could pick him up after work and then they were going to his moms to visit for a bit and grab his things. The problem was it was only four and she still had to occupy herself for two hours.

Jolie contemplated calling Blake, who was most likely in town, but then thought better of it. Blake wouldn’t be happy with only two hours and Jolie desperately wanted to see Rafael. Instead she decided to go for a walk. She grabbed a coffee from the shop on the ground floor of her parents building and set off down the street, merely taking in the sights and sounds of people rushing passed her.

“Miss Rutherford?” The driver of her car pulled up beside her as she paused to look in the window of a shop.

“Yes?”

“It’s five thirty.”

Jolie smiled at him. “You know I find it slightly ridiculous that my father makes you tail me, but in this moment I’m thankful.”

“It’ll take us about twenty minutes to get there so if you wanted to stop in that shop you still have time.”

“No, I want to see Raf.” She grinned, hopping in the back of the car.

The driver smiled and shut the door.

 

They sat outside the courthouse for what felt like an eternity to Jolie, in reality it was roughly five minutes. She exited the car and leaned against it when she saw him walk out of the building. He was chatting with a couple people so she waited for him to look her way before waving.

Rafael quickly made his way to her, pulling her tightly against him as he leaned down to kiss her. 

“Let’s go get your things.” Jolie panted as she tugged him into the car. Once inside she climbed on his lap, her thighs straddling his as she kissed him again.

“Jolie...” Rafael tugged her so that she sat next to him instead of on him.

“I’ve missed you.” Jolie pouted.

“I’ve missed you too, but we are going to my moms and she will be there. I really don’t want to be that worked up while we’re stuck there.”

“We’re just grabbing your things.” Rafael bit back a smirk at the fact that she was still pouting.

“She’s making dinner.”

“Oh,” Jolie frowned, “that’s really sweet.”

“I promise we can resume what you wanted to start once we get to your parents place.” He chuckle while slipping her hand in his.

 

“Three hours Rafael...” Jolie grumbled not even bothering to enlist his assistance as she stripped once inside her bedroom, “dinner lasted three hours.”

Rafael loosened his tie while trying not to laugh at the fact that she was already down to her underwear. “She likes you.”

“I like her too, but I’ve missed you.” Jolie slipped her fingers under his suspenders and tugged him to her while he fumbled with the buttons on the dress shirt. “I’m really liking you in suits.” She smirked, pressing her lips to his.

“I’m sure a year from now, you’ll get to actually see me wear them daily.”

“Don’t tease.” She purred, reaching her hands between them to unfasten his slacks.

Rafael slipped his shoulders out of the dress shirt, letting the suspenders fall with it, his lips finding hers as she pushed his pants over his hips. He stepped out of them and walked her to her bed, slipping her bra off before easing her back onto it. They both wiggled out of their remaining clothes, Rafael’s body pressing against hers once there was nothing between them.

“I love you.” He hummed against her skin as he eased into her, both of them groaning at the contact they had both desperately missed over the last month.

Chapter Text

Rafael was nervously pacing outside of Malcolm Rutherford’s home office. He knew Jolie’s father was inside, it was early, but Malcom Rutherford was always in his office by seven if he was home. Jolie was still asleep and Rafael had had to force himself out of bed, not wanting to leave her for even a moment during the one week they had together that summer, but this was something he needed to do.

“You ok son?”

Rafael’s eyes darted to Malcom who looked rather amused by his daughter’s boyfriend’s whitening face. “I, uh, I...”

“Why don’t you stop wearing a path in the hallway and come in so you can ask whatever it is you want to ask me.” Malcom chuckled, opening the door wider for Rafael to enter. “So?” They were both seated across the desk from one another and Rafael’s color still hadn’t returned. 

“I...” Rafael made the mistake of looking at Malcolm and his voice vanished.

“You must want something very important to me if that’s all you can manage.” Malcom said while trying and failing to hide his amusement.

“Is it that obvious?” Rafael sighed.

“I’ve seen you hold your own in a room full of judges and DAs, yes it’s that obvious.”

“I want to ask her to marry me, and I know she’d frown at the idea, but I want your permission.”

“You haven’t bought a ring yet have you?”

“I’m still saving,” a look of panic fell on Rafael’s face, “wait, why?”

“I’m sorry,” Malcolm chuckled, “I tend to switch gears quickly, I wasn’t purposely messing with you. You’re more than welcome to ask Jolie to marry you and I’d be extremely surprised if she turned you down. I was asking about the ring because Jolie hates rings. She might make the effort to adjust to wearing an engagement ring, but I’d hate for you to spend too much on something she will very likely try to talk you out of wearing when her grandmother’s ring is available.”

“Her grandmother’s ring?” Rafael watched as Malcolm moved to the built in safe in the back corner of the office.

“My mothers. She passed away when Jolie was fourteen, the ring is sentimental to her.” Malcolm handed Rafael a small ring box. “I have a tendency to over step, but I want to assure you I won’t be offended if you want to pick something out for her yourself.”

“Were they close?” Jolie had never mentioned her grandmother on her dad’s side, of course she had also never mentioned her Gran until he was about to meet her. In fact, she didn’t talk much about her family at all unless something brought them up in conversation.

“That whole down to earth quality Jolie has definitely didn’t come from Annalise.” Malcolm chuckled at how different Jolie was from her mother. “Don’t get me wrong, Annie is the love of my life, but she has a tendency to worry too much about status. My mom and dad met in high school, and she followed my dad when he got into Harvard. They built the life we now enjoy, but my mom never forgot where she came from and she instilled that humbleness in Jolie. She tried with Ian, but he has a bit more of Annie’s qualities.” Malcolm chuckled again.

“He didn’t want the ring when he proposed to Beth?” Rafael asked.

“It’s not that kind of ring, and it’s always been willed to Jolie.”

Rafael opened the tiny box, expecting to see an ostentatious diamond or sapphire sitting on top a vintage setting. The only thing he assumed correctly was the setting. It was definitely vintage... Art Deco maybe... definitely a style he could see Jolie wearing. The diamond itself appeared to be no larger than the engagement rings he had been pricing, so he knew the value in the ring was more in its history than precious gems. It had a single square cut solitaire set on top, but even the prongs, that hugged each corner of the diamond, were ornate. Two small emerald cut diamonds sat along the band on each side of the larger diamond, and the platinum band’s intricate detailing slightly softened the ring, making it appear both feminine and unique.

“The wedding band is in there too, it’s a simple solid band.” Malcolm stated.

“Can I think about it?” Rafael said, closing the box and handing it back. “I’m not planning on asking her quite yet, I just wasn’t sure when I’d get an opportunity to talk to you alone again.”

“I’ll keep it in the safe.” Malcolm smiled.

 

“Where have you been?” Jolie wrapped her arms around Rafael’s waist when he and Malcolm entered the kitchen.

“Judge Schreiber called here when Rafael wasn’t at his moms.” Malcolm answered saving Rafael from having to come up with a lie.

“Oh,” Jolie frowned, “do you have to go in today?”

“No,” Malcolm clapped Rafael on the shoulder, “he was just looking for a file or something right son?”

“Yeah, a file.” Rafael smiled nervously.

“Great, so what time are we leaving?” Jolie grinned, offering Rafael a mug for coffee.

“As soon as the four of you are ready.” Malcolm chuckled while glancing around the kitchen at Jolie, Rafael, Sarah, and Tom. The only one of them not still in their pajamas was Rafael and Malcolm assumed that was only because Rafael hadn’t wanted to ask his permission to marry Jolie without getting dressed first.

“You’re never dressed this early in the morning.” Jolie furrowed her brow at the fact that Rafael had already showered and styled his hair.

Her father had left them to enjoy breakfast without him and Rafael was now on his own to come up with an excuse. “I guess I’m still on my work schedule.” He shrugged. “I had already showered before talking with your dad.” Technically it wasn’t a lie.

“That makes me feel a little better about being in Malcolm Rutherford’s kitchen in what I slept in…” Tom muttered.

“I promise we will all be in pajamas tomorrow morning.” Rafael smiled.

“How are you so at ease around him?” Tom asked.

Rafael laughed at how nerve racking what he just went through with Jolie’s father had been. “Believe me I’m not.”

“Oh come on, daddy loves you.” Jolie grinned.

“Do you ever consider that he just respects your choice in me?” 

“No.” She smiled, while pulling out the things they’d need for breakfast.

 

Ian was the first of his small family to walk through the door, Beth following behind with their son in her arms. Jolie jumped off the couch, making a beeline for her nephew.

“I’ll watch Toby while you guys get settled in.”

“New boyfriend?” Ian asked arching a brow in the direction of Tom.

“No. Raf’s in the bathroom. That’s Tom, my roommate Sarah’s boyfriend.” 

Jolie made quick introductions and tugged Rafael, who had returned, so that he sat next her and Tobias on the couch.

“Hey sweetie.” Annalise gave her son a hug and then turned to see that Jolie had already laid claim to Tobias. “You will share my grandchild with me this weekend won’t you?” 

“I’m sure at some point.” Jolie smiled.

“You know what my favorite part about visiting family is?” Beth chuckled.

“Free babysitters?” Tom smirked.

“Exactly.” 

“Come on, let’s go grab our things before he screams and they want to give him back.” Ian smiled, though he quickly dragged Beth out of the house as if he were truly afraid that might happen.

“His name is Toby?” Sarah asked.

“Yeah, short for Tobias. It’s our grandfather’s name.” Jolie bounced the little guy on her leg while tickle him in an attempt to make him laugh.

“That’s your dad’s dad I assume.” Rafael smiled when she finally got a deep laugh out of Tobias.

“Yes. I’m named after my grandmother. She’s the one who started calling me Jolie.”

“Why’s that?”

“Just to differentiate between us when she was around.” Jolie shrugged. “It obviously stuck, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

 

Jolie quickly found Blake and Casey at the Maxwell’s Fourth of July party, the six of them finding a place to sit in the middle of the living room. When she was younger the group would sneak off so Blake, Casey, and Carter could steal booze and get drunk. Jolie would drink a little, but with the way the others drank she always ended up being the responsible one, making sure that Casey and Carter got back to his room and then dragged a reluctant Blake back to hers. In more recent years they found themselves interjecting themselves in conversations and actually becoming a part of the party.

“Where’s Carter?” Jolie asked when she realized she hadn’t seen him yet.

“He’s off somewhere with Lem.” Casey shrugged.

Jolie’s eyes widen as an uncontrollable smile spread across her face. “He’s dating Lemon?”

“Since last summer,” Blake replied, “I thought you knew.”

“No. Almost a year? That’s big for both of them.”

“What’s really scaring is they both actually seem happy.” Blake quipped.

Casey rolled his eyes as Blake and Jolie giggled. “You two can be catty at times.”

“Oh, whatever,” Jolie waved him off, “it’s in good fun and it’s nowhere near as catty as Lemon’s been to me.”

  “Is Lemon a nickname?” Tom questioned, causing both Blake and Jolie to giggle again. 

“I’m sorry,” Jolie chuckled when Casey and Rafael frowned at them, “I’ll stop. No, it’s not a nickname.”

Tom glanced around the group and decided to change the subject. “How did I not know your father was Malcolm Rutherford. I know I’m typically quiet, but that’s because I’m usually listening and I know Sam never mentioned it.”

“I tend to keep where I come from to myself. I mean the whole punk scene basically hates people like my family, not necessarily my family, but the elite.” Jolie placed air quotes around elite. It wasn’t something she really associated herself with despite very clearly falling into the definition of privileged. “It’s not that black and white. Money is associated with corruption and greed, but it can also do a lot of good.”

Tom nodded. “I wouldn’t tell them who your dad is. Sam and Ryan wouldn’t care, but Patrick and Josh have a lot of hostility towards people like your dad.”

“You’ll keep my secret then?” Jolie chuckled.

“I won’t say anything and I don’t see why it would come up.” Tom smiled.

“Dr. Vernon is with my mom, do you want me to introduce you?” 

“Now?”

“No time like the present.” Jolie stood and waited for Tom to join her.

“See, forced networking.” Rafael smirked.

“Whatever.” She guided Tom across the room and waited for an opportunity to interrupt the conversation between her mother and Deirdre without being rude.

“Deirdre, hi.” Jolie leaned forward to hug the woman she’d known most her life.

“Hey Jolie. I can’t believe you’re almost finished with Harvard.”

“I know, it sometimes feels like I just got settled in the dorms.”

“Who’s your friend?”

“This is Tom McPherson, he’s interested in the Pediatric Surgery Department at Presby. Tom, this is Dr. Deirdre Vernon.” 

Deirdre smiled at Tom and shook his hand, eyeing him slightly. “Are you an undergrad with Jolie?

“No. I’m in my last year of med school at Tuffs.”

“I thought you looked a bit older, but I didn’t want to assume,” she smiled. “You’re interested in doing your residency in New York then?”

“I am.” Tom nodded.

“Are you up for a chat now or do you need time to prepare?” Deirdre asked.

“I’m ready now.” 

“Good.” She nodded, guiding Tom away from Jolie and her mother.

“You know I was having a nice conversation with Deirdre.” Annalise smirked.

“And he’s getting an opportunity to shape his future.” Jolie grinned.

“You did at least warn him that she enjoys putting people on the spot.”

“It would have been cruel not to, he’s been studying nonstop since I mentioned it.” 

When Jolie returned to the group it was down two more members. “I take it Casey and Raf went to join their little boys club.”

“Your father came and pulled them away a moment ago.” Blake said, handing Jolie the margarita she had gotten for her when she and Sarah got themselves one.

“You’ve introduced Tom to the head of Pediatric Surgery at his preferred hospital of residency, introduced Raf to DA’s and judges…”

“Technically Casey’s father did that.” Jolie interrupted.

“My point is,” Sarah chuckled, “do you actually network yourself?”

“I’ve known these people my whole life.” Jolie shrugged.

“I guess that makes sense.” Sarah nodded.

“If I knew someone involved with obscure literature, I’d introduce you to them.”

“I have no plans to leave academia anyway.” Sarah shrugged.

“What do you want to do after graduation?” Blake questioned.

“Grad school and then my PhD... eventually teach at a University.”

“Will you be staying in Cambridge next year?”

“Depends on where I get in. I wouldn’t necessarily move to New York to be with Tom that early in our relationship, but I would like to ultimately live in New York. If Columbia is an option it might win out over Harvard solely because of the location.”

Jolie bounced a bit in her chair. “I would love for you to be in New York after we graduate.”

“That’s great,” Blake pouted, “you guys are all making plans to move back to New York and I’m trying to get to Cambridge to be with Casey.”

“For what, three years?” Jolie chuckled, “both of you will be back in New York before you know it.”

 

Casey and Rafael were still back in Jack Maxwell’s office when Blake suggested they move to the beach. Blake sweet talked one of the bartenders into making them a pitcher of margaritas and putting together a cooler for beers and a few bottles of liquor. The sun was setting, but it wasn’t dark yet and Tom gathered a bit of driftwood and started a fire for them to sit around. Blake had liked the idea so much that she ran back to the house for a few blankets to lay out so they didn’t have to sit on the sand.

“I thought we’d find you here.” Casey smiled as he and Rafael joined them, taking a seat on the blanket behind Blake.

Rafael did the same behind Jolie, taking a sip of the beer she was drinking when she leaned against him. “How’d it go with Dr. Vernon?” 

“Really good. She’s a bit intense, but I expected that going in.”

“Do you mind if we join?” Carter held Lemon’s hand as they approached the group.

“Have a seat.” Blake shifted herself and Casey over to make room for them on the blanket.

Jolie felt Rafael tense behind her. “It’ll be fine.” She whispered while leaning back to kiss him.

“Are these friends from Harvard?” Lemon asked as they settled in.

“Sarah lives with Jolie and Rafael and Tom is Sarah’s boyfriend, he’s a med student at Tuffs.” Blake said making introductions. “Lemon’s Casey’s cousin and we’ve known Carter since he was an annoying little shit in kindergarten.”

“Thanks.” Carter smirked. “You two live together now?”

“We do.” Jolie nodded.

“I like your bracelet.” Sarah said while pointing to the ruby and diamond tennis bracelet Lemon had on.

“Thanks, Carter got it for me for my birthday. Rubies are my birthstone.”

“It’s new then?” Sarah smiled.

“As of July first.” Lemon cuddled closer to Carter.

“It is pretty.” Jolie smiled.

“I can give Rafael the address of my jeweler.” Carter’s comment was played off as sincere, but Jolie didn’t buy it.

“I’m not a big jewelry person.”

“You’re kidding right?” Tom chuckled, “you’re wrist are covered in bracelets at shows.”

“Yes,” Jolie smiled, “mismatched bracelets varying in size and texture that I wear when I go to a show, other than that I only wear one necklace.” The one Rafael gave her.

“If I recall you only hate rings and earrings.” Blake laughed.

“I don’t hate earrings, I just rarely wear them... and rings, ugh... I hate the feeling of things between my fingers. I know its weird and slightly crazy, but they drive me nuts.” 

“You know you’re never supposed to tell the man you’re dating you don’t like jewelry,” Lemon chuckled, “if you do, he’ll never buy you any.”

“She says that because he can’t afford to buy her jewelry.” Carter laughed.

Jolie wasn’t mad at Lemon for opening the door for Carter’s comment, she found Lemon’s comment to be a playful poke at herself more than Jolie. Carter though... if looks could kill he’d have stopped breathing the moment the words left his lips. 

“Why, because he doesn’t have daddy’s money to spend? You can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember hearing that you picked up a job.” Carter open his mouth to snap back at Jolie, but she didn’t give him the chance. “And I can guarantee Rafael will be more successful in life than you could ever dream of being with the mediocre GPA you maintain from Hudson.”

“Anyone can be successful when their girlfriend’s father hands everything to them.” Carter scoffed.

“Really? That’s your comeback? You do realize he hasn’t met anyone you haven’t had the opportunity to meet. Maybe if you didn’t act like an arrogant ass all the time you’d make a few connections yourself. You see Carter, how you represent yourself, along with your actual accomplishments, are just as important as who you know.” 

The animosity between the two was palpable. Casey and Blake’s eyes bounces between their two friends, while Sarah and Tom awkwardly glanced at each other. Rafael snaked his arm around Jolie’s waist and pulled her into his lap. He had stopped caring about Carter’s jabs once he realize he only did it out of jealousy. And yes, tugging Jolie closer to him was a rather pointed blow, he couldn’t help but to take a moment to subtly rub in the fact that she wanted to be with him.

“Come on we can go watch the fireworks with my uncle.” Lemon huffed as she stood, dragging Carter to his feet with her.

“You mean my dad?” Casey said, glaring up at them.

“That’s real fucking nice.” Carter muttered.

“What is?” Casey huffed.

“You’re taking his side?”

“You started this shit, so yes.”

“I thought we were friends.”

“We are, Rafael’s my friend too. There’s no way I would have pulled a 176 on the LSAT without his help.”

“A 176?” Rafael interjected.

“My scores came in Tuesday.” Casey smiled.

“You two hang out together?” Carter’s voice cracked in irritation.

“Am I not allowed to or something?”

“No, it’s just... I thought we both didn’t like him.” Carter grumbled.

“I’ve never not liked Rafael, that was you. I went from not knowing him to becoming his friend.” When Casey first met Rafael at the Halloween part in the dorms, he had been indifferent to him. His only concern at the time was keeping Carter from doing something stupid. Carter hadn’t made much effort to mature after high school and as Casey did, he found himself enjoying Rafael’s company more and more.

“Whatever.” Carter huffed as he dragged Lemon back to the house.

“You really hate rings?” Rafael spoke low enough that only Jolie could hear him.

“That’s what stuck with you from all that?” Jolie chuckled, her voice not quite as low. “Yes, I really really hate rings.”

“Except your grandmother's ring.” Blake plopped back down on the blanket after grabbing a beer from he cooler. If Rafael could have hugged Blake without drawing attention to his motives for bringing up Jolie’s hatred of rings he would have.

“That’s true. I really love that ring.” Jolie sighed.

“What’s the sigh for?” Sarah furrowed her brow.

“Nothing really... I was just thinking that even though I absolutely love that ring I’m still not sure I’d wear it. I really can’t stand the feeling of something between my fingers.” Jolie shrugged dismissively.

 

The next day had a late start for almost everyone sleeping in the Rutherford’s summer home, everyone except Ian and Beth. They had been woken up by Tobias at seven thirty, Ian less prepared for the early start than his wife since he had indulged a bit more than she had the night before.

  “Morning.” Beth smiled when Rafael and Jolie shuffled passed her on their way to the kitchen to find coffee.

“Not so chipper.” Jolie grumbled.

Beth chuckled and turned her attention back to the movie she and Ian were watching while Tobias played on the floor.

“I thought we’d spend the day on the beach.” Malcolm said while pouring the first cup from a freshly brewed pot of coffee.

“As long as I can have a couple cups of these before we head out there, I’m good with that.” Jolie held her mug up for him to fill.

“We can even brew another pot if needed.” Malcolm smirked while filling a mug for Rafael as well.

 

Rafael, Tom, and Ian were chatting with Malcolm, while Beth played with Tobias close enough that Ian could join in both the conversation while entertaining his son. Annalise, Jolie, and Sarah were sunning on loungers closer to the water. 

“I heard you had a conversation with Deirdre yesterday.” Malcolm said as he handed Tom a refill on his whisky and coke.

“Deirdre?”

“Dr. Vernon.” Malcolm chuckled.

“I did. Did Jolie mention it?”

“No, Deirdre did. Whatever you two talked about she seemed impressed.”

Tom didn’t respond for a moment as he tried to determine if Malcolm was messing with him.

“He doesn’t screw with you when it comes to your future.” Ian laughed.

“Impressed?” Tom’s brow went up.

“I’m pretty sure she called her admin assistant and asked her to pull your application first thing on Monday.” 

“Forced networking.” Rafael chuckled at Tom who was frozen with his drink to his lips, his eyes almost giving off a sense of panic and excitement all at once.

“Do you mind if I kiss your girlfriend?” Tom laughed as much as he could with the lump still in his throat.

“Not if it’s on the cheek.” Rafael smirked.

“You need a refill son?” Malcolm gestured to Rafael’s empty drink.

“Yeah, but I’ll come with you.” Rafael and Malcolm moved away from the group to the make shift bar they had set up under a tent. “I’ve thought all I need to about the ring.”

“And?” Malcolm poured them both a touch more scotch.

“I’ll take it.”

Malcolm smiled. “I’ll sneak it to you before you leave to head back to your moms tomorrow.”

“Thanks… and Malcolm…” Malcolm had a small smile tugging at the corners of his mouth as he patiently nodded. “The date I have in mind… to ask her… it’s a ways off.”

“I won’t say a word until Jolie calls me.” Malcolm smiled.

“Thanks.” Rafael exhaled.

“Hey Raf!” Jolie yelled from the water’s edge, forcing both of their eyes to her.

“Yeah!”

“You want to swim now?” She was very clearly done with lying still and almost bouncing to get in the water.

“I guess I’m swimming now.” Rafael chuckled, handing the glass back to Malcolm. 

“You know she has heard the word no before.” Malcolm laughed.

“Yeah, but look at her.” Rafael grinned while watching her happily splash her feet in the water that barely hit her ankles. “How can I not join?” 

 

Chapter Text

Jolie impatiently paced the living room, checking out the window for her car service to appear every two seconds. She had convinced him it’d be faster than the train, and after a week of arguing with her he finally conceded when she pouted about wanting to see him sooner. Now she was basically staring out the window for his arrival, hoping they hadn’t hit much traffic and would be close to the estimated arrival time.

“You know, if you go sit in the yard you’ll be able to see the car when it turns on our street.” Sarah teased while leaning against the entry to the kitchen.

“I’m not that desperate.” The thought had crossed her mind... more than once, but she wasn’t about to admit that to Sarah.

“Come on.” Sarah chuckled, while guiding Jolie away from he window.

“I want to watch for him.”

“It won’t make him get here any faster, but watching a little television might help the time pass quicker.” Sarah smiled, forcing her to sit on the couch.

“Fine.” Jolie huffed, taking the remote from coffee table, just as they heard a car door shut. Sarah shook her head as Jolie jumped back up and ran to the window again. “Finally.” She grinned, running to the door.

Sarah watched through the window as she almost knocked Rafael off his feet when she all but jumped in his arms.

“I take it he’s back?” Tom asked, exiting the kitchen with the popcorn Sarah had placed in the microwave before walking out to join Jolie.

 

“So... how was New York, working with Schreiber, everything?” He hadn’t even stepped two feet in their bedroom.

“I’ve talked to you almost everyday. I don’t have that much to tell you that you haven’t already heard.” Rafael chuckled.

“You can tell me again, I don’t mind.” Jolie took his hand and dragged him to the bed, pushing him to sit as she climbed on his lap.

Her lips found his as her hands slipped under his shirt, pulling it over his head. His hands tugged her top off and shifted her beneath him, unclasping her bra as he inched her backwards on the bed. He kissed down her neck and chest, tonguing her nipple while unfastening her jeans.

“New York, Raf.” Jolie panted as he pulled her pants down her legs.

“I thought you wanted to have sex?”

She sat up when he started for the bed again and stopped him, inching herself to the edge to remove his jeans. “Can we not do both?”

Rafael took it upon himself to remove his underwear and then hers before pushing her back on the bed again. “I was offered a job.”

“What? Where?” This caused her to stop him from kissing her so she could look at him.

“See,” he smirked, “you can’t do both.”

“Who offered you a job?”

“The Brooklyn DAs office. They have a higher turnover rate so a spot has been guaranteed if I want it. I told them I’d think about.”

“How long do you have to decide?”

“Two weeks”

“That’s big Raf…” She pulled him above her, but didn’t instigate anything, merely adjusted them so she could see him better. “What do you want?”

“I want Manhattan, but there’s no guarantee there will be an opening... there isn’t presently one.”

“So take Brooklyn, you can always transfer later.”

“You think I should?”

“I think it says a lot that they’ve offered a spot this early.”

“I just don’t want to miss an opportunity to work in Manhattan.”

“Why?”

“Why what?” He wasn’t expecting her to question his reasoning and he was buying time because he wasn’t exactly sure why he was so adamant about working in Manhattan.

“Why Manhattan?”

“I assume we’ll live there.” 

Jolie chuckled. “You act as though the commute to Brooklyn would be torture.”

“I just…” he closed his eyes and exhaled, “I want Manhattan.”

Jolie pressed her hand to his cheek. “Because Manhattan means you’ve made it?”

“Yeah…”

“Would it mean as much if it were that easy?”

“Maybe not…” Rafael sighed and rested his head in the crook of her neck, enjoying the feel of her fingers running through his hair.” You think Brooklyn is a good move?”

“I think you should use your two weeks to think about it, but I also know you and I think you’ll feel better about your career if you have to suffer a bit while working your way to what you ultimately want.”

“You think I like torturing myself.” He chuckled, pulling up to look at her again.

“I do.” She smiled. “Now can you stop torturing me?”

“You’re the one who couldn’t wait until after to know about New York.” Rafael smirked, covering her mouth with his before she could counter his statement.

By the time his tongue made it to her breast again, she had forgotten they were talking all together. Her fingers gripped his hair as his thumb found her clit, two fingers probing as it circle the sensitive spot.

“It’s so much better when you do this.” She whimpered, her hips lifting toward him.

“You’ve been taking care of yourself in my absence.”

“While wishing you were here... this is so much better.” Her voice was strained and her eyes were closed.

Rafael watched her chest raise and fall erratically as her breaths shortened. When her body began to quiver and pull away, he replaces his thumb with his tongue, softly swirling and sucking while curling his fingers within her.

“Raf...” Jolie groaned.

He sucked harder, lapping his tongue over her, ignoring the hand pushing against his head.

“Holy. Fuck. Raf...” The disjointed words echoed through the room, the house really, but neither of them were paying attention to the volume as Rafael curled his fingers again and her thighs clamped against his ears. “Please...” Her pleas went unheard, Rafael continuing, her body stilling beneath him, then arching, her neck following her back as she silently moaned. 

The forceful tug to his hair was what finally got his attention. He looked up to see fully dilated eyes staring back at him. Rafael playfully licked her one last time and the shiver it elicited seemed to run the entire length of her body.

“Too much?” He really tried not to, but the smirk slipped out anyway.

“I need a minute.” Jolie panted.

Rafael crawled behind her and held her while her breathing leveled out, testing the sensitivity of her nipples and chuckling when her whole body reacted to his finger barely brushing against it.

She turned to face him, partially hoping to temporarily force him to keep his hands to himself and partially because she wanted to look at him. When his hands slipped between them and started for her breast again she took it and pushed him to his back so she straddled him. Both of his hands were pinned beneath hers as she eased herself onto him, leaning forward to kiss him as she began to move.

“Can I have my hands?”

“Depends on what you’re going to do with them.”

He’d bent his knees to help thrust into her easier, but desperately wanted to touch her. “I’ll behave.”

Jolie continued to ride him, but detached her fingers from between his while pressing her chest against him as they kissed again. Rafael moved his hands to her hips and then ass, pushing her back onto him with each thrust.

Rafael rolled them so he was on top, his thumb finding her clit again, ignoring the tiny protest she had initiated and pressed his lips against hers again. The kiss was returned and her body began to respond as he’d hoped, her inner walls compressing around him as he pushed in and out. He knew her well enough by now to know when she was close and despite her initial reluctance to his thumb pressing against her, she was on the edge of orgasming again. 

“Rafael... jesus...” Jolie arched into his chest as her fingers tightened in his hair and he felt her insides tensed around him.

He held out as long as he could, emptying himself moments later while both hands caressed her face as they kissed. “I love you.” He breathed, his face hovering just above hers.

“I love you too.” Jolie smiled, pushing a small section of hair from his forehead.

“I missed you.” Rafael shifted them to a spooning position.

“You have no idea how much I’ve missed you.” She smiled while looking at him over her shoulder.

“You should have called, we could have talked to each other while... you know...” He ran his finger lightly over her sensitive bud, smiling when her body jerked away at his touch.

“I thought about that, and then thought better of it.” Jolie closed her legs when he began to reach for her again. 

“Phone sex would have been more fun than going it alone.” He smirked, pulling her under the covers with him and closing his arms around her again.

“Yes, but what if Sarah had picked up the phone to make a call... or worse, your mom...”

Rafael chuckled. “Maybe it’s a good thing you thought better of it.”

 

Jolie and Rafael took a shower and joined Sarah and Tom in the living room. Tom had his car key in one hand, shoving his wallet in his pocket with the other as he stood by the door to leave.

“I’m picking up burgers, do you two want?”

“I could do a cheeseburger and fries.” Rafael nodded.

“Same for me.” Jolie smiled.

“I’ll be back then.” Tom slipped out the door and Jolie turned her attention to Sarah.

“What?”

Sarah averted her eyes, but a little smile still tugged at her lips. “Nothing.”

“That’s not a nothing look you gave me.” Jolie pushed.

Sarah glanced between Jolie and Rafael. “It’s nothing, I promise.”

“I’m going to finish unpacking.” Rafael said, giving Jolie a quick kiss before disappearing into their room again. Jolie was clearly going to pester Sarah until she caved, something he figured would happen faster if he left them alone and he wanted to find a hiding spot for her grandmothers ring, not that he had any clue where that would be yet.

“Spill.” Jolie huffed once she and Sarah were alone.

“I just… you’ve never been quite that loud before.” Sarah laughed.

“Oh,” Jolie felt her face flush, “and Tom was…”

“Sitting next to me on the couch.” Jolie groaned and buried her face in her palms. “Don’t worry about Tom. I’m pretty sure if he were closer with Rafael he’d be giving him a high five or something.”

“That’s not helping.” Jolie grumbled into her hands.

“What was he doing exactly?”

“What?” This inquiry lifted Jolies eyes back to Sarahs.

“I obviously know what you were doing, I just mean when you shouted holy fuck… what was he doing?”

“I don’t even remember saying that…”

“You were definitely enjoying whatever it was.” Sarah smirked.

“We are not having this conversation…” Jolie groaned, covering her face with her hands again.

Sarah laughed while lifting her hands in defeat, taking pity on Jolie and changing the subject. “We start our last year of undergrad next week.”

“It’s surreal isn’t it?” Jolie smiled, “no more summer classes ever, unless you decide to teach one some day.”

“You like summer classes.” Sarah chuckled.

“I really do…” Jolie sighed, thinking about how quickly she could have graduated if all courses were set up to move that quickly.

“I’m going to miss living with you.”

“We still have a whole school year left.”

“I know,” Sarah frowned, “but if it goes as quickly as the the last three have gone…”

“You’ll just have to get into Columbia for grad school so we can at least be in the same city.”

“Yeah, you in your penthouse and me in my rat infested broom closet.” Sarah chuckled.

“Hopefully it’s not rat infested.” Jolie almost offered to let her live with her again, but stopped herself. She still thought she might, but she’d need to talk to Rafael first. They would be moving to New York together, hopefully starting to build their life there. Her mind went to marriage, though she wasn’t quite sure when that would happen with both of them working on their careers… Still it might be best to start their life in New York living with just him. She had time though… Sarah hadn’t even began her graduate school application process yet.

Chapter Text

Classes were in full swing, Rafael spending too many hours stuck in the law library and Jolie swamped with her own work load. Despite the busyness of school, Jolie was excited to be back on campus. It would be her last fall at Harvard and she found herself walking a little slower between classes, just to enjoy the weather while taking in the campus.

Today’s path home included a detour to the law school. Her last class of the day had been cancelled and she was hoping to meet up with Rafael before he started home so they could walk together. Not that it was much of a detour since the law school was technically on the route she’d take home.

She nearly ran into April as she entered the building. “Sorry.” Jolie said before realizing who she had stepped back for. April huffed something under her breath, glaring at her before pushing passed her and out the door. “Bitch...” Jolie muttered to herself before continuing to find Rafael.

“Jolie, right?” The voice pulled her attention to a small group of girls standing not far from the door she had just entered.

“Yeah, hey Rita, it’s been too long. How are you? How’s David?” Jolie smiled, moving closer to the group. She hadn’t really seen either of them since Rafael moved in with her. She’d heard about them, but with as busy as school had kept everyone, Rafael’s law school friends had been hung out with mostly by him, and even that seemed to be restricted to classes.

“He’s good, we’re good. You seem to be less good about running into April.” Rita smirked.

“It’s a long story and I really don’t know her…”

“You know enough to know she likes Rafael.” Jolie swallowed the lump in her throat, wishing Rita had used the past tense form of like instead of present. “Not that he talks to her. He goes out of his way to avoid her.”

“That’s harder to do some days.” One of the other girls chuckled.

“How so?” Jolie asked.

“Oh,” the girl curbed her amusement at Jolie’s tone, “just the way our classes our set up. Once you’re stuck in a cohort you tend to have to deal with those people a lot. I only laughed because Rafael seems annoyed when he’s forced to be around her.”

Jolie relaxed slightly, shelving the jealousy that had appeared. She trusted him. “Do you know where his class is?” She asked, turning her attention back to Rita.

“David’s meeting me here and Rafael usually stops by with him to say hi before heading out.” That hadn’t really answered her question, but it also hadn’t mattered.

“Jolie?” Rafael’s voice sounded from behind her as he and David joined Rita and her friends.

“Hey Raf.” She smiled, letting him pull her into his side.

“Don’t you have class?”

“It was cancelled. There really needs to be a more efficient way than just taping a note to the door.” She grumbled, mostly because she had rushed to the law school to catch Rafael before he left.

“Lucky me.” He smirked.

“We were about to grab a late lunch, do you two want to join?” Rita smiled, the other two girls with her encouraging them to join as well.

“Please don’t make me eat with these three alone again.” David was mostly teasing Rita, but there was some truth to his statement. The other two girls were nothing like her and he had yet to figure out why they were all friends.

“I’m game unless Jolie had other plans.” 

“I’m starving.” Jolie smiled, taking his hand in hers as they followed the group to a small burger place not far from campus.

 

By the time they were seated with their orders placed, Jolie had been introduced to both girls, Tricia and Mary. Tricia had been the one to talk about April earlier and was also an L2 with Rita. Mary was a grad student, studying human behavior or something, Jolie had only heard half of Mary’s explanation over a noisy group toward the back. 

“What are you majoring in?” Tricia asked.

“Statistics.” Jolie smiled at the frown that briefly appeared on Tricia’s face.

“How did you two meet?” Mary grinned, leaning in so she could hear.

“Raf was my RA in the dorms and we became friends, then more.”

“That’s so not fair,” Tricia chuckled, “my RA was this Nazi bitch who would check that our lights were out by ten.”

“I never took the job that seriously.” Rafael laughed.

“Were you supposed to? I mean were you suppose to start dating me?” Jolie seemed to be worried about something that wouldn’t matter now anyway which caused him to laugh again.

“No one told me I couldn’t.” He smirked.

“It wasn’t in some rule book somewhere?”

“No.” He chuckled. “The job was only ever meant to answer questions new students may have. I wasn’t a teacher or a counselor. They put nineteen and twenty year olds in to help guide eighteen year olds. I’m pretty sure they assumed some of them would date at some point.” 

“So Your RA was just power hungry.” Jolie smiled, turning back to Tricia.

“Hence why we called her Nazi bitch.” Tricia grinned.

“Are you both moving back to New York after graduation?” David’s question was simple and an easy one to answer, but it reminded Jolie that they only had months left in Cambridge. Eight months, but time had always been spoken about in years before. It made the fact that her four years at Harvard would be ending soon seem real.

“We will.” Rafael smiled, setting his hand over Jolie’s on top of the table.

“I hate that you already have a job.” David grumbled.

“I’d put you in contact with the Brooklyn DA, but you’re looking here.” Rafael didn’t know anyone other than their professors in the Boston area, and other than the fact that Dr. Jacobs had become a mentor to Rafael, David had more of network built.

“I’m sure I’ll find something before I graduate.”

“What’s the plan for you two after Rita graduates?” Jolie asked.

“I’d love to eventually end up in New York, but I have no problem building a reputation in Boston first.” Rita smirked. “We’ll have to see how David feels about where he’s working when I finally get around to graduating.”

“Is your focus criminal law as well?”

“Yes. Ultimately, I’d like to be a defense attorney. That’s where the real money is. I think working as a prosecutor would help make me a better defense attorney... there’s an advantage to knowing both sides.” Rita lips turned up to form a small smile. “I can deal with the shit pay if it pans out in the long run.”

“I’m pretty sure the city of New York pays their prosecutors a competitive rate.” Jolie chuckled.

“Yeah, but nothing compared to a good defense attorney.” Rita smirked.

 

Rafael held Jolie’s hand as they walked back to their house, something they hadn’t been able to do much this semester. They got to see each other, but their schedules were so different it didn’t allow much time on campus together.

“You said Rita was good right?” Jolie questioned as they turned on their street.

“Really good. There’s a reason she’s top of her class.”

“Can I run a scenario by you?” The smile on Jolie’s face sparked his curiosity.

“Sure.”

“Let’s say Rita works for a DA’s office for a while, learns all about that side of being a lawyer. Then she does what she wants and switches, becomes a defense attorney... would you want to go up against her?”

“Let’s just hope they stay in Boston.” Rafael smirked.

“So that’s a no?” Jolie chuckled.

“I could take Rita.” He said, puffing up slightly.

“Have you ever gone against her?”

“You mean in mock trails and such?”

“Yeah.”

“She’s an L2.”

“That’s a no then.” Jolie smiled.

“Rita would be a challenge in court… If I’m being honest I doubt I’d always win, but that doesn’t mean I’d never win.” He smirked, dragging her passed Tom and Sarah who were watching a movie on the couch and into their room.

“I had planned to study this evening.” Jolie chuckled as he tugged her sweater over her head.

“You should have thought of that before agreeing to lunch with David and Rita.” He smiled while walking her to the bed.

“And Tricia and Mary.” 

“Who?”

“The other two girls at lunch with us.” Jolie chuckled, pushing the hoodie he was wearing off his shoulders.

“Oh yeah, Rita’s loud friends.”

“They weren’t that loud.”

“They are when they’re standing around waiting for our class to end so their’s can begin... or at least that Tricia chick is, the other one isn’t around that often.”

“You’re ready to be done with school aren’t you?” Jolie grinned, shifting so that he hovered above her.

“More than ready.” Rafael smirked, lowering his lips to hers.

Chapter Text

“What’s all this?” Tom questioned while entering the kitchen to find Jolie and the kitchen completely covered in flour.

“I was trying to make a cake for Raf’s birthday.” She grumbled while setting the hand held electric mixer on the counter.

“I take it that’s the cause of most of this mess?” Tom chuckled.

“I think it’s faulty.”

“Or it’s user error.” He smirked while examining the mixer. “Have you ever actually baked before?” 

“I bake cookies almost every Christmas, but...” Jolie purse her lip and glanced around the kitchen again.

“But what?” Tom asked while helping her wipe down the kitchen counters.

“I’ve never actually done it alone, and now that I’m thinking about it Tess or my Gran always made the actual cookies. Still it shouldn’t be that hard,” she lifted the recipe she had printed out off the counter to look at it, “you follow the steps and end up with a cake.”

“Did you start the mixer on low?” Jolie stared at him blankly, knowing she hadn’t, but not wanting to admit to that. “I’ll take that as a no.” He chuckled. “When’s his birthday?”

“Today, I wanted to surprise him with it when he got home from his mock trials later this evening.”

Tom smiled as he shook his head. “Do you have more ingredients?”

“I do... I somehow knew I’d mess this up at least once.” 

“Ok,” Tom examined the recipe, “I need two mixing bowls, your measuring cups and spoons, and for you to set out all you wet and dry ingredients.”

Jolie did as he asked. “Can you actually bake?”

“I can.” He smiled, then started measuring the dry ingredients into one bowl and the wet into the other.

Jolie watched, hoping to retain a few things for if she ever tried this on her own again. After sifting the dry ingredients together he began slowly mixing the wet in, not even bothering with the electric mixer. 

“I guess I should have just bought a cake.” Jolie chuckled when Tom placed the pans filled with cake batter in the pre-heated oven. “I didn’t really do anything.”

“You pre-heated the oven.” He grinned, while she wiped down the counter. “Besides, I’m making you learn how to use that mixer when you start on the icing.”

Jolie chuckled and got the ingredients for that set out on the counter and another mixing bowl.

“Why do you have a recipe for Dulce de Leche?”

“I had thought about drizzling a little over the top of the cake, figuring caramel and chocolate couldn’t possibly be wrong together... I’m not sure I’m actually equipped to make it though.”

“Did you buy the ingredients?” Tom slid the recipe for the chocolate icing in front of her and had her start measuring out the components into separate small dishes.

“I did.” Jolie smiled, stepping back to look at the portioned elements of her icing all ready to be mixed together.

“Mix the butter and the cocoa powder together. Use the slow setting to begin with, easing it faster as it begins to blend.” Jolie nodded, doing as he asked.

He had her set the mixer back to its slowest setting as he slowly added the powder sugar to the bowl and then the vanilla extract. “A little milk, some fluffing, and we’re done.” He smiled, slowly added those ingredients as well, leaving her in full control of the mixer.

“Where’s Sarah?” Jolie asked as she watched him take the cakes from he oven after checking that they were done.

“She had to run to the library for a book, she should be back soon.” Tom eased the two round cakes out of their pans and place them in the freezer.

“I don’t want the cake to be frozen.” 

“They won’t be,” Tom chuckled, “but if you want to actually be able to frost it before Rafael gets home they need to cool faster.”

“Oh...”

“So this Dulce de Leche...” he looked at the recipe closer.

“You think we can make it?”

“When will Rafael be home?”

Jolie glanced at her watch. “Not for two hours or so.”

“It takes an hour of pretty much constant stirring and monitoring...”

“You’ll help me?” Jolie smiled.

“As long as I can have a piece.” Tom smiled while dumping the milk, sugar, and baking soda in a sauce pan.

“What about the vanilla?” Jolie held the little bottle up for him to see.

“We’ll use that closer to the end.”

 

Jolie and Tom were talking about music as they worked on the caramel sauce when Sarah got back from the library. The cakes had been pulled from the freezer, and Jolie had iced the now layered cake, though it wasn’t as pretty as she’d hoped for.

“You’re helping her bake?” Sarah had followed the sounds of their voices to the kitchen.

“You should have seen her trying to do it by herself.” Tom laughed.

“Whatever… is it ready?” Jolie peaked at the Dulce de Leche sauce for the twentieth time in the last two minutes.

“Almost.”

“I thought you baked cookies every year?” Sarah asked, confused at to why a simple chocolate cake would be so difficult.

“Apparently I helped decorate cookies every year.” Jolie muttered, causing Sarah to laugh.

“So it’s a good thing I left poor Tom here long enough to help you?”

“Did you know he could bake?” 

“I did.” Sarah chuckled.

Tom placed the Dulce de Leche in a piping bag for her once it had cooled and Jolie created a crosshatch pattern across the top of the cake, letting the ends of each line fall down the sides.

“It looks a bit better now... right?” She asked, rotating the cake so she could see all the sides.

“Uh... well... it looks better…” Sarah said biting back a smile.

“It’ll taste good and that’s what matters.” Tom assured her.

“I should have made you decorate it.” Jolie grumbled, while taking the cake to the table and covering it with the glass topper that went with the cake stand.

 

The three of them were sitting on the couch watching TV when Rafael got home, all eyes landing on him once the door shut.

“What?”

“Happy Birthday.” Jolie grinned from her chair.

“What did you do?”

“Nothing... big anyway.” She took his hand, guiding him to the dining room table while ignoring the amused looks on Tom and Sarah’s faces.

Rafael bit his cheek to keep from laughing. “You made a cake.” The words making the laugh harder to disguise.

“I know it’s ugly, but it should taste ok and if it doesn’t that’s on Tom. He assured me he could bake.” Jolie huffed.

Rafael smiled and tugged her closer. “Thank you for my birthday cake.”

“Yeah, yeah... let’s cut into it before anyone else sees it.”

Jolie passed four plates to Sarah who in turn began cutting everyone a piece, handing the first slice to Rafael. 

“It definitely taste better than it looks.” Rafael smiled.

“I told you I could bake.” Tom smirked at Jolie, who had already devoured half of her slice.

“You should really bake here more often.” Jolie said as she added another thin slice to her plate.

“Do not agree to that.” Sarah chuckled. “God only knows what damage she’s doing to herself with the amount of sugar she eats.”

“Maybe over the holidays then.” Tom laughed.

“Did you win?” Jolie smiled at Rafael.

“A couple, but my witnesses in two of the mock trials were terrible.” Rafael huffed.

“Mock trials?” Tom questioned, furrowing his brow.

“Yeah, the Criminal Law Association sets up these mock trials to give you practice in the court room. It’s all fake, even the judge and witness are members of the association. The only people who aren’t are the volunteers they get to sit on the jury. We try cases we’ve been given files on, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same cases recycled every year… still it’s practice.”

“Can I volunteer?” Jolie grinned.

“To be on the jury?”

“Yeah.”

“You can, but it wouldn’t be on one of my trials.” Rafael smirked.

“Why not?”

“Because you’d side with me.”

“That is true, especially if you were pitted against April.” Jolie grumbled, not letting her disdain for his classmate go unnoticed.

“She lost all of her trials today, only one to me though.”

“Is it wrong that that makes me happy?”

Rafael smiled at her and took her hand in his opening his mouth to speak when Tom did instead. “Who’s April?”

“Some bitch that likes Raf.” Jolie huffed.

“So, Halloween…” Sarah said, deciding to change the subject, “Megan invited us to her party again. Do we want to go?”
“It is on a Friday…” Rafael trailed off a bit as he contemplated how much work he still had to get done.

“What would we go as?” Jolie questioned.

“The Fifth Element?” Sarah suggested.

“Yeah, you could do one of her outfits and I could do the other.” 

“No.” Both Rafael and Tom huffed at once.

“Why not?” Sarah frowned.

“Because one of those outfits is basically bands covering your bits and…” Tom trailed off as Sarah frown and tilted her head, “just no.” 

“See, I’m not the only one.” Rafael chuckled.

“Fine… what about the cast of I Know What You Did Last Summer?” Sarah offered.

“The fact that there are two girls and two guys is helpful, but there is nothing distinctive about how they dress.” Jolie countered.

“True.” 

“Do they do this every year?” Tom looked a bit concerned as he glanced at Rafael.

“Yep.”

“And we have no choice, but be dragged along in the whole dressing up thing with them?”

“Unfortunately.” Rafael chuckled.

“Boogie Nights?” Jolie suggested, garnering an eh from Sarah. “How about Trainspotting?”

“That one doesn’t really work for us…”

“That’s true.” Jolie sighed.

“Scream?”

“Too cliché.” 

“Clueless?” Sarah chuckled, “I mean, we wouldn’t even have to get clothes for us, just go through what your mom has sent you that you never wear.”

“If we can’t come up with anything else.” Jolie smirked.

“What about Fried Green Tomatoes… I know it was a few years ago, but at least they’d be period piece costumes.” 

“Tom could be Buddy.” Jolie grinned.

“I could see that,” Sarah was grinning now as well, “and Raf could be Grady.”

“Except so much hotter.” Jolie ruffled Rafael’s hair when he rolled his eyes.

“Do you two just go off the hair for who you’ll dress as?” Tom asked.

“Yep,” Sarah smiled, “I’ll be Ruth and Jolie will be Idgie.”

“You do realize the two characters we are dressing as die.” Tom said this as though it might actually change her mind.

“We’re picking Halloween costumes, not forecasting our future.” Sarah chuckled.

“So it’s settled.” Jolie asked.

“Yes.” Sarah nodded.

“At least they won’t be wearing midriffs this year.” Rafael chuckled.

“You say that like I don’t wear midriffs all the time.” Jolie had never quite understood why he was so against her dressing in clothes that were truthfully not that much more revealing than her normal attire.

“Yes, when it’s warm… not when it’s in the forties with no sun.”

“So this concern is over the weather?”

“Usually,” Rafael smirked, “I’d have vetoed that Fifth Element outfit even if it was ninety out.”

Chapter Text

 

Rafael got up early the Sunday before Thanksgiving break. School didn’t let out until Wednesday, so he, Sarah, and Jolie were stuck in Cambridge until then. They would all be flying home for the break, though Jolie would be joining his family for the actual holiday. Jolie was still asleep, but he knew Sarah would be up. She had started getting up every Sunday morning to write a bit for her creative writing class while the house was still completely silent. Part of him felt a bit guilty for intruding on her quiet time, but he figured once she found out his plans she’d be more than happy that he had.

“You’re up early.” Sarah stated when Rafael entered the kitchen, immediately  moving to fill a mug with coffee. She was sitting at the dining room table with her journal opened, her pen frozen in the middle of the sentence she was writing, a less than pleased look gracing her face.

“I promise I won’t disturb you long, I just need a favor.” Rafael smiled, sitting across from her at the table.

“I’d be more inclined to help you if you had asked me two hours from now when the house was no longer quiet anyway.”

Rafael fought back his smirk at her annoyance. “I promise I will go in the other room and read once I’ve asked what I’ve woken up early to ask you.”

“You won’t make a sound?” Sarah was now fight back her own smirk, more curious as to what he wanted than caring about writing anymore.

“Promise.”

“Ok. What do you need?” She laid her pen down and crossed her arms in front of her, leaning in as she made eye contact.

Rafael chucked and held his finger up as he stood to check that the door to his and Jolie’s room was still shut. “Can you keep Jolie busy tomorrow after class and then make yourself scarce?”

Sarah furrowed her brow. “Why?”

“I’m going to ask her to marry me and I want to set up a small surprise here at the house.” Sarah’s eyes were wide, the corners slightly glistening as she smiled. “Don’t you dare cry. I’m not sure how we’d explain a crying Sarah to Jolie this early in the morning.”

“Whatever,” Sarah chuckled while wiping her eyes, “I’ll just tell her the book I’m reading is sad.”

“So, can you keep her busy and then maybe stay the night at Toms?”

“Of course, whatever you need.” Sarah nodded, the smile on her face not shrinking.

“Great. I was thinking you could take her to that bookstore the two of you lose track of time in. She has a presentation in her last class that she’ll be dressed up for.” He chuckled to himself, only elaborating when Sarah’s brows furrowed again. “She’s been joking about not having to change after school for our anniversary dinner since she was assigned her presentation date.”

Sarah let out a little laugh. “Is that all?”

“Just don’t let her leave the bookstore before I get there. I don’t need long at the house, just enough time to set up a few things. I’ll meet you there at six and take over.”

“Can I peek at the house?” She bit her lip as she excitedly grinned at him.

“I guess, just don’t mess with anything.”

“I promise I wont.” Sarah smiled, bouncing excitedly.

“And please... act normal.” He smirked.

Sarah took a breath to calm herself and nodded, the hint smile still tugging at her lips.

 

Jolie had a small stack of books in her arms when she rounded the corner to find Sarah sitting on the floor flipping through Anna Karenina. 

“Have you read it?” Jolie assumed, being a lit major that Sarah had.

“I have, have you?”

Jolie shook her head. “I’ve started it a couple times, but I get mixed up with all the similar sounding names and then there’s the fact that it’s sooooo boring.”

“It’s not boring.” Jolie made a face a Sarah assessment, but didn’t argue. The truth was she hadn’t read more than ten pages of the book, because it hadn’t held her interest, for all she knew it got more interesting. “What stellar novels did you pick up?” Sarah chuckled flipping through the ones Sarah had sat between them when she’d joined her on the floor. “Really?” She quirked her brow at Jolie as she held up the copy of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain. 

“I’ve heard good things.” Jolie shrugged.

“You’ll like Galapagos.” Sarah smiled, setting it on top of the other book she had merely shook her head at. “What’s this?” The book was smaller than the others, and thin.

Holiday’s On Ice by Davis Sedaris, I’m not even sure how I found it but the title caught my attention. I’ve spent the last ten minutes reading and have laughed until I cried at least twice. I’m buying it.” Jolie grinned.

“What’s it about?”

“It’s six short stories, the first of which recounts his time spent as an elf at Macy’s.”

Sarah side eyed her. “Like a Christmas elf?”

“Yeah, it’s titled SantaLand Diaries. This may be my new favorite Christmas book.”

“There you two are.” Rafael smiled, rounding the bookshelf to enter the aisle they were sitting between.

“I’ve got to pay for these and then I’m ready.” Jolie grinned as she got up from the floor.

“What did you find?”

“Things only Jolie could find.” Sarah chuckled, quickly passing them. “I’ll see you two tomorrow.”

“Where are you going?” Jolie called after her.

“To Toms.” Sarah grinned over her shoulder. The grin could have been construed as her excitement for what she knew Rafael was up to, but she always seemed that excited to see Tom so Jolie thought nothing of it.

 

“You know,” Jolie smiled while setting her fork down on her plate, “I have a tendency to think of Thanksgiving as our anniversary, despite the fact that I know the date changes every year.”

“So do I, but it’s technically today and we’ll be at my moms on Thanksgiving.” He smirked.

“Do you want to split desert?” Jolie had already requested the desert menu and despite the cake sitting on their coffee table at home Rafael nodded that he would. It wasn’t like Jolie would turn down a second desert.

“I was so happy when you told me you were staying in Cambridge that Thanksgiving. It’s not like I planned the exact moment I would kiss you or anything, but I knew we’d spend a lot of time together, just the two of us, and I’d hoped an opportunity would present itself.” Rafael’s smile went unnoticed as she perused the menu.

“Bananas Foster?”

“Sure.” He nodded as she handed the menu back to the waiter who had seemed to appear out of nowhere.

“I was ecstatic at the idea of being isolated in the dorms with you. My stomach was a fluttery mess while my brain tried to scold me for thinking something would actually happen between us.” Jolie chuckled after the waiter left.

“You didn’t know I liked you?” He had thought it had been fairly obvious.

“Not a clue, Sarah was certain though.”

Rafael laughed when she did, taking her hand his from across the table. “I love you.”

“And I love you.” Jolie squeezed his hand gently.

 

The living room had red, white, and pink rose petals lining a path from the front door to the coffee table where more petals had been sprinkled around a pink cake box. Red, white, and pink balloons were floating so that they were seen in almost every direction one looked, fixed in place by a ribbon to various furniture. Tiny tea lights were placed in clear glass holders, lighting the path to the coffee table, a few set there as well as on the side tables. This he had coordinated with one of her drivers so that they could be lit when they arrived without the risk of burning the whole house down.

“Rafael...” Jolie turned to face him.

“I thought three years called for a bit more.” He smirked as his hand found hers. “Come on.” He guided her to the coffee table, chuckling at the face she made at the box.

“Why’d you let me order desert if you had desert here?”

“Because I knew you’d eat both.” He grinned.

“This is true.” Jolie leaned forward and opened the box to see what kind of cake he had picked out, becoming motionless once the cake came into view. The fact that Rafael had dropped to one knee next to her registering, but just barely.

The cake was simple and round, but beautiful. Something he had clearly ordered and put effort in selecting. It was covered in smooth white icing with delicate pastel pink flowers almost whimsically placed about it. “Will you marry me?” was scripted across the top and her grandmothers ring was sitting upright on a tiny stand.

“Did you ask my father for this ring?” Her tone sounded curious, not upset or concerned... more intrigued. Still, Rafael had expected an immediate yes, not a question. 

“Uhh… no… He offered it to me when I asked his permission to marry you.”

“You asked his permission?” She had to bite her cheek to stifle a chuckle at the thought of Rafael approaching her father.

“I know you probably feel it’s misogynistic or something, but I felt it was an important step with how close you two are.”

“I have no problem with you asking, in fact I actually really like the custom.”

“Oh…” Rafael furrowed his brow seemingly forgetting he had just ask her to marry him and she still hadn’t answered.

“He offered it to you?”

“Yes. He mentioned that you didn’t like rings and that I should use your grandmother’s. That’s why I pried about you and rings on the Fourth of July, I was trying to decide if I wanted to use this one or not.”

“You asked my father in July?” Jolie grinned.

“Jolie…” It came out a bit exasperated, but she still hadn’t given him an answer.

“Oh! Sorry, yes,” Jolie chuckled, “I’ll marry you.” 

Rafael took the ring from the cake and slid it on her finger, standing when she held her hand out to look at it. She had seen it so many times in her life, but she had never actually worn it. 

“You like the ring?”

“You know… my father told me that he’d only give this to a man he thought deserved to marry me.” Jolie chuckled as she moved closer to him. “He also told me that he doubted that man actually existed.”

“So you like the ring.” Rafael smirked.

“Very much.” Jolie grinned, pushing up to kiss him. “Did Sarah say she was staying at Toms tonight?”

“Not technically, but she is.”

Jolie tugged his slacks tighter as she unfastened them, letting them drop to the floor. “Did you lock the door?”

“I did.” He exhaled when her hand running along his length as he unzipped her dress.

“That’s good.” She smiled, pushing up to kiss him again while working the buttons on his shirt. 

Her dress found the floor about the same time his shirt did and Jolie pushed him back on the couch, straddling him as they kissed. The bra tossed, her underwear... the only clothing left on either of them when he flipped her beneath him were his boxers, but her hands ensured they didn’t remain much longer.

“I like how I cake always gets me laid.” 

“This has absolutely nothing to do with the cake.” Jolie chuckled.

“It didn’t hurt though.” He smirked.

Their lips were connected when he pushed into her, pumping slowly. For some reason it felt different. Not really different. His mind kept running through the idea of her no longer being a girlfriend... that she was something more. Obviously not his wife yet, but she would be. She’d agreed to spend the rest of her life with him. The connection that was always there seemed stronger somehow and he wondered if she felt it too. He opened his mouth to tell her he loved her, but she said it first, almost as though the same urge to speak had surged through her and he couldn’t help but smile.

“I love you too.” He panted against her neck.

Jolie warped her leg around him and pulled his lips back to hers, their tongues colliding as he filled her again and again. She hadn’t expected him to propose. Of course she thought he would one day, she couldn’t imagine her life with anyone else, nor would she want to. Tonight had been everything she could have asked for in a proposal and yet, just as their first kiss, she’d been clueless that’d it would happen. She rather like it that way. The excitement that went along with being surprised by him.

“Fuck Raf...” Her voice betrayed how close she was. It was the desperation it had to it, the breathiness in itself bring his own climax closer.

He lifted himself on his forearms, thrusting with more purpose as he watched her come undone beneath him. Her body arching from the base of spine to her neck, lifting her face away from him. A few more pumps and his body crumbled onto hers, both of them panting as Jolie’s fingers played in his hair.

“When do you want to get married?” Jolie asked when her breathing normalized.

“I’m completely open.” He pulled her to sit next to him on the couch, tugging the throw blanket that lived on the armrest over them.

“I know it’s wedding season and cliché, but I really like the idea of a June wedding.”

“June’s fine with me.”

“What do you think of an outdoor wedding on the terrace or rooftop, where we could have New York as our backdrop?” 

“Is this what you were thinking about during sex?” Rafael chuckled.

“I’m a girl... I’ve thought about my future wedding before.” Jolie smirked.

“I’ll marry you wherever you want to get married.”

“Do you want cake?”

“At our wedding? I would assume so.” 

“Obviously,” Jolie grinned, “but I meant now.” She leaned forward, cutting herself a slice, setting it on one of the plates he’d placed on the coffee table.

“I’ll take a small slice.” Rafael smiled, slightly shaking his head, grinning when she turned to hand it to him.

Chapter Text

 

“Are you sure your mom and abuelita won’t join us?” 

They were laying in bed, both completely packed to spend the entirety of the winter break away from Cambridge. The first few days would be spent in New York, visiting with his family and hers. Then they were off to Gstaad for the actual holiday and would return just after the new year, remaining in New York to spend time with Rafael’s family again.

“You’d be hard pressed to get mami to agree to traveling on someone else dime.”

Jolie lifted herself to look at him when he sighed. “It’s not like two extra people on the plane actually adds a measurable cost and the house has plenty of rooms…”

“I know that,” he smiled, “she just feels uncomfortable excepting people taking care of things for her sometimes.” Jolie frowned slightly, but didn’t say anything prompting him to. “What’s wrong?”

“What happens when we have kids? I want them to spend Christmas with everyone. The whole big Christmas thing you see in movies.” She was still frowning slightly which only made him chuckle.

“I’ll work on my abuelita, she’ll be easier to persuade, let her do the heavy lifting convincing mami… maybe we can get them on board for next year so that by the time we have kids, Christmas in Gstaad can be the cheesy lifetime movie you’re hoping for.”

“That’s all I ask.” Jolie grinned, ruffling his already messy morning hair. She climbed out of bed, gathering the clothes she had set out for their day of travel and started for the the bathroom to shower, pausing as she reached the door, her eyes meeting his when she glance over her shoulder. “We can spend Christmas in New York this year if you want.”

“Why would we do that?”

She turned to face him. “It’s your family’s first Christmas without your father… we should be there.”

Rafael shook his head. “I’ve thought about this and I talked to my mom. We spent Thanksgiving with them and we will be there both before and after Christmas. You only see your mom’s parents during Christmas and from what you’ve told me, it had been a while since you had seen them before your family started going to Gstaad. I’m not taking that from you.”

“I just wish your family would join us too… I hate taking you from them.” Jolie sighed, leaning against the doorframe.

“They have a whole community acting as a support system and we will get to see them.”

Jolie nodded, reluctantly conceding in hopes that she could get them onboard for next year. Now that they were engaged, she really did want their families to spend more time together. Maybe that would help ease the reservations Lucia had.

 

“You’re too stubborn Lucia, ella solo quiere que todos pasen tiempo juntos. (she only wants everyone to spend time together)” Catalina was defending Jolie after Lucia had turned her invitation to join them in Gstaad down yet again. Rafael had told her to let it go, but she wanted to try one last time. The result was him quietly smirking his ‘I told you so’ from across the room.

“Desarraigado y al otro lado del mundo ... (Uprooted and halfway around the world.)” Lucia grumbled.

“¿Crees que te abandonaron allí? (You think they’ll just abandon you there?)” Catalina chuckled.

Jolie’s Spanish was coming along, not enough to understand every word, but enough to get the general gist. “It’s fine Catalina... maybe grandkids will change her mind.” She had meant to include the word future and the size of both Lucia and Catalina’s eyes clued her in on the fact that she hadn’t. “Future grandkids... way, way, way in the future.” Jolie sounded a bit panicked, Rafael’s laugher not exactly helping. “I just want everyone to be together for Christmas when we get to that point.” Jolie muttered, fixating her glare on Rafael who was still chuckling.

Catalina looked as though she were fighting back in joining Rafael’s amusement, but Lucia seemed to be thinking. 

“I’d like that too.”

“So you’ll go?” Jolie looked hopeful. 

Rafael equated the look to a doe eyed Disney princess in both eagerness and optimism, and though it wasn’t a quality he would actually look for in a partner, it was something he’d grown quite fond of in Jolie. She was a strange mix of worlds… her dad’s business sense, the extremely competitive education environments she seemed to thrive in, and then the privilege that came with money... the privilege that somehow allowed a sense of innocence to be maintained. Maybe innocence wasn’t the right word... maybe her world allowed her some freedom to be more carefree than his did, to preserve an optimistic view. Whatever it was he hoped she never lost it.

Lucia looked at her son and frowned, causing him to almost laugh again. It was a hard face to say no to and he knew his mother was about to cave. “I’ll think about it for next year.”

“That’s all I ask.” Jolie grinned as she hugged her, chuckling when Lucia muttered something about how she better get grand babies out of this.

 

The plane seemed a bit more crowded on their flight to Gstaad than it had the year before, mostly because they had been the only two on the plane that year. This trip included both her parents and her brothers small family... the curious eighteen month old being chased around the small cabin being the main reason things were feeling cramped. Jolie loved it though, spending most of the flight pointing at things while repeating their names, hoping Tobias would parrot her. He did a few times, but she was quickly informed that they were words he already knew by her brother.

Her extended family arrived from London the day after they had, allowing Malcolm time to get settled. It was an odd quirk of her fathers, but one he was fairly insistent on when they travelled for leisure. Jolie assumed it had something to do with all the last minute travel he did with work.

They had all arrived together and her grandmother had barely sat her purse down before both she and her Aunt Tillie had Jolie’s hand raised to look at her ring.

“You act as though you haven’t seen it before.” Jolie chuckled, pulling her hand from their grasp.

“We didn’t really pay much attention to it then,” Tillie smiled, “it’s a pretty ring.”

“It really is,” Jolie sighed, fidgeting a bit with the metal she still hadn’t adjusted to, “does it ever get more comfortable to wear?”

“Mine was never uncomfortable to wear.” Her grandmother shrugged.

“That’s really not helpful…”

Tillie chuckled at Jolie’s muttering. “Mom’s is a simple band, you’re adjusting to a stone plus detailing that falls between your fingers… give it some time.”

Jolie nodded, wiggling her fingers against the ring. She wanted to wear it. The ring reminded her of her Grandma Rutherford, who she referred to as granny, and Rafael. It was contradictory to everything she thought she stood for, but she liked feeling like she belonged to him... the little symbol around her finger announcing it to the rest of the world... even if they didn’t know who the he was. Still, she had never really expected the ring to be used to purpose to her with. When she mentioned to Rafael that her father had doubted the man he’d give the ring to existed, she’d made it out as though he had been joking. He hadn’t. The fact that he’d given it to Rafael meant so much to her. She knew that he approved of Rafael, that he liked him, but the ring made her realize that Rafael had her fathers trust and that wasn’t something easily obtained. 

Rafael’s fingers slid between hers, distracting her from messing with the ring as he stepped closer, filling the empty space beside her left when Tillie ventured to help her kids gets settled. “Your brother wants to take Toby sledding.”

“He’s a year and a half.” Jolie chuckled.

“Then I doubt we’ll be out there long.” Rafael smirked, tugging her behind him toward their room so she could change into something warmer. “Gloves might be easier without the ring.” He’d been doing that when he noticed it was bothering her, finding little ways she could take a break from wearing it for a bit. 

She now showered without it so it didn’t get hung in her hair when she washed it and slept without it… though she couldn’t remember his reasoning for that anymore. Basically she put the ring on while getting dressed in the mornings, slipping it off at the end of the day... sometimes as soon as she got home from school.

“Don’t let me forget my camera.” Jolie grinned as they started up the stairs, hoping to get some cute pictures of her nephew sitting on the sled and maybe a few of him riding it with Ian.

 

Christmas with Jolie’s family felt more comfortable to Rafael every year, there was something inviting about them and he hoped his mother would in fact join them the next year. He missed spending Christmas with her.

“Penny for you thoughts?” Jolie smiled while crawling in bed next to him. 

Gifts had been exchanged earlier that day and the younger children had sacked out early due to the sugar crash from the copious amounts of desserts they had consumed after Christmas lunch.

“I was just thinking about how much mami would love that church you found for midnight mass. She’d complain about all of her friends not being there, but she’d love it.” Rafael chuckled as his grandmother’s reaction entered his mind, “then abuelita would remind her that she’s sees all of them all the time anyway.”

“Do you think she will?” Jolie cuddled closer to him, running her fingers through his hair.

“I can’t believe you lorded grandchildren over her,” he chuckled.

“I wasn’t lording them over her... I just...” she paused, going back over the conversation in her mind, “I didn’t lord them over her did I?”

“No.” Rafael’s continued chuckle did little to ease her mind.

“I just want everyone to be together.”

“I know, for your perfect cheesy little Christmas. You’ll get it.” His arms gently squeezed her tighter, a smile taking over when she glanced up at him.

“Are you sure?”

“Positive.” He smirked as his lips found hers.

Chapter Text

Jolie was scribbling in her planner when Sarah passed her on her way to the kitchen for coffee. Sarah side eyed her when she flipped the pencil over and erased half the day she had just mapped out only to begin frantically writing again.

“What could you possibly have to schedule? Classes haven’t even started yet.”

“They start today.” Jolie grinned as though that explained the absurdity of her behavior. Sarah however, merely quirked an eyebrow. “It’s our last semester and I already know most of my professors and what to expect from them…” Jolie frowned slightly when Sarah’s expression didn’t change, even as she poured a bowl of cereal, “never mind...”

“No I get it,” Sarah chuckled as Rafael passed her on the way to the coffee maker, “you’ve got some weird OCD issue when it comes to scheduling and school.”

“She’s just excited.” Rafael smirked, glancing over his shoulder at them as he filled his coffee mug.

“I’m a little sad too.” Jolie sighed, flipping back through the first half of the planner. It still had post-its and bits of paper shoved between the pages to draw her attention to important things... or because she had just run out of room in the planner itself for whatever note she needed to add.

“Sad?” Rafael and Sarah questioned simultaneously.

“It’s our last semester.”

“I’m more that ready to be done.” Rafael chuckled, slipping two pop tarts into the toaster.

“I’m with him,” Sarah’s thumb jutted over her shoulder toward Rafael, “only I’m not done... far from it in fact.”

“How are your graduate school applications coming?” Jolie quickly refilled her own coffee mug and returned to the table. She could finish reworking her day while she waited for her first class to start. 

Rafael handed Jolie one of his two pop tarts, joining them at the table shortly after Sarah sat down. 

“They’re done. I finished them up over the break and sent them in as soon as I returned to Cambridge.” She had a strange mix of relief and anxiety wash over her.

“Now you wait... that’s almost harder than filling out the applications itself.” Rafael commiserated, remember the stress of waiting to hear back about law school. “Where all did you end up applying?”

“Yale, Columbia, Cornell, and Harvard.”

“I thought you were going to apply to Princeton as well?” Jolie had to wait to swallow the bite of pop tart before asking.

“I had planned to, but I’m almost positive I’ll get into one of the others and I really didn’t want to spend money on another application fee.”

“I get that. If you end up staying in Cambridge you can continue to live here and find a new roommate to rent out my room.”

“What’ll you charge in rent?”

“You’re grandfathered into your rate,” Jolie smiled, “whoever you find as I roommate will pay something competitive for the market.”

“That’s tempting in itself to stay in Cambridge...” Sarah sighed.

“You don’t want to stay at Harvard for grad school?” Rafael furrowed his brow, not quite understanding why she would want to change schools. Harvard had always been his first choice.

“I want to eventually end up living in New York, a professorship at Columbia would be ideal... I think it would be easier to get hired on if I TA’d as a grad student or doctoral candidate… probably both.”

“So Columbia’s your first choice.” Rafael asked.

“It is.”

“And if you end up hating living in New York?” He smirked.

“Who could hate living in New York?” Jolie chuckled while gathering her things into her backpack, “besides we’ll be there and Tom will be there.”

“Tom might be there,” Sarah stated, “he won’t hear back from any of the residency programs until late April, early May.”

“Fine... be a pessimist, I’m still going with he’ll be there.” Jolie grinned. Rafael shrugged when Sarah looked at him, silently pleading for him to somehow make Jolie less enthusiastic about things. “Come on, or we’ll be late.” Jolie slung her bag over her shoulder, waiting for the other two to join her.

 

Jolie’s work load was the lightest it had ever been. She had crammed so much into her previous semesters that she had only been left with four classes to take that last semester. Rafael was just as busy as before, but had grown accustom the intensity of his classes, making things seem easier than they actually were. It was a great technique in preparing them for the real world, but still didn’t allow him much opportunity to spend time with Jolie during her newfound free time. She found herself spending more time volunteering at the ACLU, so much time in fact that they offered her a part time job sorting through information on local issues.

It didn’t pay much, but she didn’t actually need the money either. It was more about making a connection that might extend to the New York office once she graduated. She would spend the hours between four and six helping the various on staff lawyers take the loose date, transforming it into useful information... something they could easily explain in court or other various meetings.

Even with the part time job, she found herself with free time between classes on campus. Free time that happily coincided with breaks in Rafael’s schedule. They would meet up for lunch or to study... sometimes both depending on what was required of them. It was by far her favorite semester and only making her more nostalgic considering how quickly she feared it would pass.

 

“You’ll be done at six?” They were waiting for the class before Rafael’s to let out and trying to determine what showing of Good Will Hunting they should shoot for.

“Yes, do you want to grab dinner first or eat snacks at the theater?”

“Which would you prefer?” He asked, shaking his head when Jolie grinned. “I guess we can eat junk tonight.”

“It is a Friday.”

“Like you need an excuse.” Rafael chuckled.

“So,” she scanned the movie times listed in the school paper, the paper they had randomly picked up at lunch prompting the decision to see the movie, “seven forty?”

“Sure.” He smirked, leaning in to kiss her when the classroom door opened and students began to file out. “I’ll see you later.” He smiled over his shoulder at her, his hand still holding hers until distance force him to let go.

“Are you done for the day?” The voice behind her made her jump having not expected anyone in the law school to stop and talk to her.

“Jesus, Rita.”

“You are very jumpy.” Rita chuckled, smiling at Jolie when she turned to face her. “So are you done?”

“My last class is in thirty minutes.”

“Just walking Barba to class then.” The whole last names thing was situational to law school. None of her classmates called her Rutherford, but at Harvard Law... Rafael was Barba, David was Farthing, and Rita was Calhoun.

“I was.” Jolie smiled, tucking her hair behind her ear.

“And you’re engaged…” Rita’s eyes were wide, but she didn’t drag Jolie’s hand closer to inspect the ring like most people did.

“We are.” Jolie smiled again, her eyes drifting to the ring she had been annoyingly fiddling with not long before. Rita made a face, but didn’t say anything. “What?”

“Nothing... it’s… it’s none of my business.”

Jolie panicked on the inside, worrying that Rita somehow knew something about Rafael that she didn’t. “What was the face for?”

“It’s just... aren’t you a little young to be worrying about marriage?”

Jolie chuckled, she couldn’t help it. The relief that that was Rita’s concerned… “I’ve never really been in a rush to get married, I just know I want to marry him.”

“I guess.”

“Are you telling me that you haven’t even thought about marrying David?”

“Not really, no.” Rita stated bluntly. “I’m focused on my career and have no intentions of entertaining the idea of something that might limit my future options. If I get offered a job in New York upon graduation, I’m taking it regardless of whether David can join me or not.”

“Oh…”

“David knows how I feel. He’s twenty three, I’m twenty two… we love each other, but both understand where we are when it comes to our future. Things are just uncertain right now.” Rita shrugged. “If if works out, it works out.” 

Jolie found herself trying to determine what that even meant. If you love someone, why wouldn’t you factor that person into your future... It wasn’t like graduating from Harvard Law wouldn’t open up opportunities in whatever city they both ultimately wanted to be in. 

“Raf and I don’t exactly have the uncertainty of what city will live in to contend with. We’ll both be back in New York.” Jolie’s fingers twisted the ring on her finger. It looked as though she’d absentmindedly done it while thinking of Rafael when in reality she was fully aware of the act… desperate to stop the ornate detailing along the sides from digging into the neighboring digits.

“You hope.” Rita flattened her brow, almost scolding Jolie’s optimism.

“No, we will be.” She smiled. It was apparent that Rafael hadn’t shared his job opportunity with his classmates. If he had told anyone it would have been David and she assumed if David knew, Rita would know.

“I hope for your sake you’re right.” Rita chuckled. 

“Things that should be have a tendency to work themselves out.”

“How far away is your next class?”

Jolie glanced at her watch, her eyes widening slightly at how long she had spent talking to Rita. “I should go.”

Rita chuckled as Jolie hurried toward the buildings exit. She wound her way through the main corridor only to run into April a few feet from the exit.

“Why are you always here?” April muttered, bending to pick up the books and papers that had fallen from her arms. Jolie ignored her comment, but still bent to help pick up the things she’d knocked to the ground, her left hand being the one she used to pass the items back to April. “You’re engaged?” 

It hadn’t been intentional. Jolie was just using the hand closest to April, not even thinking about the ring sitting prominently on her finger. Her fingers had been under the papers, hiding the ring until she pulled it away from April again. “We are.”

April huffily rolled her eyes, starting off in the directions she’d been initially heading.

Jolie exited the building. “Totally worth the discomfort,” she whispered, smiling down at the ring before shoving her hands in her coat pockets to stave off the frigid air, quickly making her way to her last class.

Chapter Text

“Are you going to whatever show Tom is dragging me to this weekend?” Sarah grumbled as she walked into the kitchen where Jolie was siting at the table.

Jolie held up her finger, pointing the the phone attached to her ear. “No... either the thirteenth or the twenty seventh.” 

“Why those dates?” Jolie had switched the phone over to speaker when Sarah furrowed her brow.

“Because I like odd numbers.”

“That’s not a reason.” Annalise grumbled.

“It’s my reason.”

“What does Rafael want?”

“He told me to pick.” Jolie smiled at the exasperated face she knew her mother was making.

“You still want 620 Loft and Garden?”

“Preferably.” 

“Ok... June isn’t that far off. We need to get invitations out soon, so can you get me a guest list of friends you’d like to invite and for Rafael’s friends and family, preferably before the end of next week. I can handle our family and your father’s work associates.”

“I’ll sit down with Rafael this weekend.”

They could hear Annalise’s pen scratching along paper as she jotted down a few notes. “Do you want me to fly down there with invitation samples for you to pick from?”

“Honestly mom, I trust your taste.” And she did when it came to this. Clothes they would never see eye to eye on, but her mother always planned elegant, yet understated parties. “I will fly up over spring break to pick out my own dress though.”

Annalise laughed. “I can only imagine what you’d say if I selected a dress for you.”

“I’d like to look at suits for Raf and his groomsmen and bridesmaids dresses as well.”

“I’ll have Marisol get a selection of dresses pulled for you, do you have anything in mind so she’s not working blind?” Marisol was the stylist her mother used before any high society event she attended. Jolie had also used her when her mother dragged her along with her, so she knew the woman was capable of understanding her style was different than her mothers.

“I’m still trying to decide… I don’t want to look back at pictures and feel like the dress looks like a specific decade. I’d like something timeless… a classic or maybe a vintage style… Is that enough to go on?” She had been looking at bridal magazines, but hadn’t really had luck finding what she had in mind.

“Marisol knows your taste better than I ever will, I’m sure she’ll find something. Anything else you specifically want?”

“Oh... I do have colors in mind?”

“We are a little picky then,” Annalise chuckled.

Jolie rolled her eyes seeing as her mother couldn’t actually see her. “Lilac and light grey.”

“That’s not very summery...”

“Would it make you happier to throw in a little yellow too.” She’d been toying with the idea of adding yellow and the more she thought about it, the more she liked it.

“It would. Can I use white as a base color and accent with the other three?”

“Yes, just make sure the lilac and light grey are more prominent than the yellow.”

“We might have to use white flowers over grey...”

“That’s fine.” Jolie really hadn’t thought about the flowers when picking the colors, but she didn’t figure her mother would have much luck finding grey flowers.

“That’s going to make a really pretty bouquet.”

“I hope so.” 

“We can look at flowers in March as well and do a cake tasting… I know you’ll have input on that.” Annalise had chuckled again despite not being able to see her daughters eyes widen.

“I completely forgot about the cake.”

“Cakes,” Annalise corrected, “and Rafael should get an opinion of the flavor of the his.”

“He will.”

“Ok, that’s all I have for now. Call if you think of something else you want to make sure I include.”

“I will, and mom… thanks for planning everything.”

“Of course, you know I enjoy doing this kind of thing.”

Jolie ended the call and turned her attention to Sarah.

“It’s seeming so real now.” Sarah grinned.

“You’ll be one of my bridesmaids right? The maid of honor has been slotted to Blake since second grade, but I’m probably closer to you right now.”

“Of course,” Sarah smiled, “and I get Blake being your maid of honor. You’ve known her for what seventeen years?”

“Something like that. Can you go to New York over spring break to help me pick out a dress? I let you have a say in your dress.” 

“You had me at New York. Truthfully, I’m fine with wearing whatever you want me to.”

“Yes, but all I really care about is how the colors work together, the style should be something you’re happy wearing.”

“Will this Marisol have options for me as well?” Sarah was only teasing. She really didn’t know who Marisol was or her job description, but given Jolie’s family wealth, she assumed she was some form of personal shopper.

“You know, that’s not a bad idea.”

“I was only kidding…” It was too late though. Jolie was back on the phone with her mother, giving her both Sarah and Blake’s dresses to pass off to Marisol.

 

“So this show?” Sarah asked once Jolie was off the phone again.

“What show?”

“Tom said some band was playing this weekend… Mad something or another…”

“Mad Caddies?” It was the only band she could think of that started with mad.

“I think so… are you going?”

“I didn’t know they were playing, but I am if that’s for sure the band. My brother sent me their album, Quality Soft Core, for my birthday last year.”

Sarah face indicated disgust. “There is so much wrong with everything you just said.”

“It’s just the name of the album, not actual soft core porn or anything.” Jolie chuckled. “He just knew I’d like the music.” 

“What do they sound like?”

“They are a mixture of reggae, punk, and ska.”

“Like No Doubt?”

“Uhhh…” It’s not the comparison she would have made, but Sarah seemed excited by the prospect so she let it go. “You want to hear them?”

“Yes.” Sarah nodded.

“Come on then.” Jolie started towards her and Rafael’s room, Sarah tentatively following behind her. “Why are you trailing so far behind?” 

“I…”

“Jolie paused, lifting a brow at Sarah’s hesitation. “You’re acting as though you’ve never been in my room before.”

“I haven’t since Rafael moved in. I mean, it’s not just your room anymore…”

“He’s at a meeting with Dr. Jacobs and you’re being silly,” Jolie chuckled, “The room barely looks any different.”

Rafael’s clothes were in the closet, the bathroom housed his toiletries, his other belongings seamlessly blended in with hers around the room... most of those belongings had been books anyway, and those lived on the book shelves in the study and the living room. The picture she had given him their first valentines together sat on his nightstand. He hadn’t brought furniture with him seeing as he’d rented his old place furnished, and the bit of bedding he had purchased was stored in the linen closet along with the extra sheets and blankets she had for guest.

“He’s not in there?”

“No, and even if he was, what would it matter?” Jolie really didn’t understand why Sarah was making a big deal out of going into their bedroom. She barged into Sarah’s room all the time to bring her clothes or ask her a question. It was only now sinking in that Sarah no longer did that to her.

“It just seems more personal of a space now that it’s both of yours.” Sarah sighed, plopping on the edge of the bed while watching Jolie scan the spines of her massive CD collection.

“I guess.” Jolie shrugged, finding what she was looking for and slipping the CD in the player. She enjoyed the whole album so she didn’t bother skipping to a favorite song, just let it play through.

“It’s different than a lot of the stuff you’ve dragged me to. I would actually listen to this... you know, like on my own.” Sarah and Jolie both chuckled as they reminisced on all the times Jolie had forced her to listen to something, only for Sarah to make a face at it.

“Maybe you’re a ska fan... it doesn’t make up that much of my collection, but I have a few that fall into the category.”

“Ska?”

“Not really my genre to describe... I pretty much lump anything with horns into it...” Jolie trailed off in thought, most speaking to herself, “though... NoFX has horns, but I don’t exactly consider them ska... some songs definitely, but mostly...”

“Earth to Jolie.” Sarah figured she stop her before she fell down some rabbit hole of listing bands Sarah had never heard of.

“This...” Jolie gestured to the music playing, “it’s ska. There tends to be a reggae sound pulled in... The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Real Big Fish... their more popular bands. There’s also Less Than Jake and The Suicide Machines, I own a couple of their albums. You also have The Voodoo Glow Skulls, Goldfinger...”

“Can I borrow this and maybe another one?” Jolie could list bands indefinitely, Sarah was actually interested in the music, but her question served to shut Jolie up as well.

“Sure, which one?”

“Whichever you recommend.”

Jolie tapped her finger on her lips as she thought harder than Sarah figured was truly necessary. “Here.” She finally said, handing Sarah three CDs. 

“I said one other band.” Sarah chuckled.

“I couldn’t decide between Less Than Jake and Goldfinger.”

“What happened to The Suicide Machines?” Sarah was mostly teasing.

“They’re not quite as poppy.” Jolie smirked.

Sarah rolled her eyes assuming Jolie was teasing her right back. Still she took the CDs, escaping to the solitude of her own room to listen to them.

 

The club was fairly crowded when Jolie got there. Sarah had arrived at the venue however Tom had when the doors opened, but due to work running a bit late, Jolie had barely managed to make it before the opening band went on.

“No Rafael tonight?” Samantha questioned as Jolie joined their table.

“He should be here soon.”

“There he is now.” Samantha smiled over Jolie’s shoulder as she spotted Rafael paying at the door to get in. “School must be keeping him busy... it’s both of your last semesters right?”

“Sarah’s too... feels a bit surreal.”

“I can’t believe you’re leaving me to contend with tweedle dee and tweedle dum by myself.” Samantha chuckled, gesturing with her eyes to Josh and Patrick.

“You’ll still have Ryan.” Jolie laughed, smiling at Rafael as he sat in the chair next to her. His fingers lacing with hers on the hand that was currently vacant of her grandmothers ring.

There were two reasons for her decision not to wear it that night, both of which they had discussed before hand. The first was that she didn’t want to risk loosing it. The ring was extremely sentimental and the idea of searching the floor of a club didn’t sit well with her. The second was that she wanted to invite Sam and the others to their wedding, but needed contact information. She didn’t want them to see the ring before she could ask their address, fearing they’d think she only invited them because they had seen it... especially since they would most likely find out who her family was at the wedding.

“He is pretty nice to have around.” Samantha grinned, ruffling the hair of the guy sitting next to her. Ryan merely smiled at her, not even bothering to determine why she’d playfully mused his hair as he continued to talk with Patrick.

 

Jolie didn’t get to mention their upcoming nuptials before the opening band started to play, halting the conversation unless she wanted to shout. When they finished Jolie took a breath and pulled out the pen and paper from the small purse she had brought mainly so she’d have a place to put the pen and paper.

“I have a bit of news.” She wasn’t really sure how to bring up the fact that they were engaged... at least not with this group. 

“You’re pregnant with my love child.” Patrick teased.

Jolie rolled her eyes. “Obviously not, but Raf and I...”

“Wait, you not really pregnant?” Samantha looked legitimately concerned.

“I’m not pregnant. Raf and I are getting married. He asked last November, but I haven’t exactly seen any of you, well except for Tom... sometimes I wonder if he lives at our house,” Jolie chuckled nervously, “I wanted to invite you to the wedding... if you wanted to go. It’ll be in June, in New York, but we’re blocking a few floors of a hotel for out of town guest. You’ll have a place to stay. All you’ll have to do is get a train or plane ticket, whichever you prefer.”

“Weddings are the perfect place for one night stands, especially when the wedding is out of town.” Patrick smirked.

“You really are an idiot,” Samantha chuckled, shaking her head at Patrick. “Of course we’ll go.”

“Great! Ok. I just need everyone’s mailing address so my mom can send out the invitations.” Jolie passed the paper to Samantha first, letting her hand it off to Patrick and Josh, assuming Ryan would be her plus one and Tom would be Sarah’s.

“Where’s your ring?” Patrick questioned when Jolie reached for the paper from him.

“It’s at home. I never know when I might want to get in the pit and decided it would be safer there.” She’d had no intentions of getting in the pit that night, but the answer was enough to satisfy Patrick’s curiosity.

Chapter Text

 

“Did you see who they got to be the commencement speaker at our graduation?” Jolie huffed at Sarah while plopping down in the seat next Rafael at their kitchen table.

“Why would I pay attention to that?” Sarah finished pouring a bowl of cereal and joined them. “No one will remember who our commencement speaker is in ten years anyway.”

“I will.”

“Who did they get?” Rafael’s curiosity had gotten the better of him, though he felt Jolie’s response would be a bit exaggerated.

“Some misogynistic movie director that won’t be relevant in five years anyway.”

“That didn’t exactly tell me who…”

“The who doesn’t matter, it’s the principle. I’m creating a petition tonight to see if I can get enough signatures to make them change their minds.” Jolie flipped open a page in her notebook and started listing points she wanted to include.

“You do know that a petition won’t actually get them to change their minds.” Sarah stated while watching Jolie frantically write, a concerned look shared between her and Rafael.

“I know,” Jolie didn’t actually look up from what she was doing, “but it’s the first step. If I just protest it looks like a child throwing a fit to get her way. If I start with a petition, educating other students on why we need a change of speaker, get more people involved… then when I do get around to protesting, which I assume this will lead to, I’ll have more students to back me up. Harvard’s been very progressive with their speakers, I doubt they’d really want to take a step backwards.”

“You pay attention to Harvards commencement speakers?” This didn’t actually surprise him… not a lot surprised him when it came to her any more.

“The ones in May,” Jolie shrugged, “yours would have been Vaclav Havel, last President of Czechoslovakia and the first President of the Czech Republic." 

Rafael wanted to mention that she had actually gone to his ceremony… not the one in May but instead chose to let it go.

“Why do you know that?” This came from Sarah, but truthfully they had both been thinking it.

“It’s just something I’ve paid attention to,” Jolie shrugged, conscious of the fact that they found this particular quirk bizarre, but she didn’t really care, “my dad’s was Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, my brothers was Al Gore, and my grandfathers was George Marshall.”

“You seriously have strange interest.” Sarah shook her head as she took a bite of her cereal.

“It’s not an interest, it’s random trivia.”

“Not the point.” Sarah smirked.

Jolie rolled her eyes. “Whatever. Will you sign my petition?”

“Sure.”

“What about you Raf?”

“I’m not an undergrad.”

“So?” Jolie really didn’t care what school her signatures came from as long as they were Harvard students.

“I guess.”

“Great! I should have it typed up tonight and ready for my first two signatures tomorrow morning.” She gathered the notes she had started and headed to the office.

“What are the chances she’ll forget about this?” Sarah chuckled when Rafael exhaled audibly next to her.

“Laugh all you want, but it won’t be me she actually drags along to the protest.” He smirked.

Sarah’s face fell, “I really hate that you’re right…”

 

By the Wednesday before spring break, Jolie had over a thousand signatures and had scheduled a meeting with Harvard’s President, something Rafael hadn’t figured out how she’d managed. Her original plan had been to discuss with him her concerns and personally giving him the petition she had created. Get the ball rolling to gauge his resistance. There had been so much interest that she had at least fifty people offer to go with her to hand over the petition. Jolie still felt it would be better to initially approach him alone, she did however invite all of them to gather outside his office window so she could threaten a protest if he failed to take her seriously.

 

Jolie was muttering under her breath when she arrived home after work. Her backpack dumped on the floor by the recently slammed door, both Rafael and Sarah cutting their eyes up at her from where they sat in the living room.

“I take it it didn’t go so well.” Sarah said while watching Jolie pace the space in front of the coffee table.

“He nodded a whole bunch, but was barely paying attention… more focus on whatever work he brought to our meeting. Who does that?”

“Does what?”

“I realize I’m only a student, but who brings something else to work on when you’ve agreed to meet with someone?”

“He’s a busy person.” Rafael wasn’t trying to make an excuse for him, but he also felt that Harvard’s President’s plate was pretty full.

“Yes, but his father and my grandfather grew up together… the least he could have done was humor me.” Jolie scoffed, plopping down next to Rafael on the couch.

“You know the President of Harvard?” It did explain how she managed to schedule a meeting with him.

“Kind of… my grandfather was his god father, but he and my dad were never close. They don’t dislike each or anything, they just never became friends like their parents had hoped.” Jolie sank into the couch, leaning into Rafael side.

“I’m sorry.” Rafael’s arm wrapped around her, tugging her closer.

“It’s fine, it just won’t be as easy as I’d hoped,” a smiled tugged at Jolie’s lips, “you should have seen his face when I pointed to what had to have been a hundred students with signs, standing within view of his office window.” The smile on Jolie’s grew larger. “I told him he had spring break to reconsider, reminding him that I had over a thousand signatures. I’ll be waiting outside his office Monday morning.”

“What are you going to do if he still doesn’t give in?” Sarah worried Jolie had a bigger role planed for her.

“Jennifer and I are inviting people to meet up to discuss our plan for moving forward on Friday at two. You should come.” Jolie stood and moved to grab her backpack from where she had dropped it, slipping it back over her shoulders.

“Who’s Jennifer?”

“A girl I met on campus that’s as invested in this as I am.”

Rafael was almost afraid to ask… “Where are you going now?”

“To finish my homework, I do still have classes.” Jolie smirked. 

She needed to finish a few assignments and plan out her course of action for when they returned from spring break… the last part she kept to herself given the concerned look on Rafael’s face.

By the time they headed to New York, Jolie had everything set up with the other students for Monday morning allowing her to focus on wedding planning.

 

“What’s the plan for today?” Sarah asked as the four of them congregated around the coffee maker, waiting for it to finish brewing.

“Blake will join us when she and Casey get here and we will look at dresses. Casey is dragging Raf and Tom somewhere,” Jolie shrugged at Sarah’s furrowed brow, “I didn’t ask where.” There was a doorbell indicating someone had arrived causing Jolie to grin, “that’s Marisol,” then she excitedly left the kitchen.

“Who’s Marisol?” Tom asked.

“My best guess is a personal shopper.” Sarah shrugged, the three of them peeking around the corner to see a woman somewhere between Jolie and her mothers age guiding a parade of clothing racks to the formal living room.

“Have fun.” Tom chuckled.

“I’m actually excited for this,” Sarah smirked, “you’re the one who has no idea what they’re in for.”

 

Jolie had tried on a dozen dresses, not of them feeling like the look she couldn’t manage to articulate. At one point she had offered to let Blake and Sarah look through the bridesmaid dresses, but Marisol had insisted she needed to pick her dress first, that it would set the style for the remainder of the wedding party.

“You said simple and classic.” Marisol stated when Jolie made a face at the latest dress she pulled.

It was pretty and sleek and timeless… something Audrey Hepburn inspired, but it wasn’t what she wanted. It was tea length and a bit poofier around her hips than she’d expected... and while the sleek white fabric had been something she had wanted to consider, now that it was on her, she wanted something softer.

“I know...” Jolie ran her hands through her hair in frustration, “I just wish I knew how to describe what I’m picturing.”

“Why don’t you tell me what you wish were different about this dress?”

“Ok...” Jolie looked at herself in the mirror, “I don’t like the fabric... it’s too smooth, does that make sense?”

“Not really, but keep going and maybe I’ll be able to figure out what you mean.” Marisol smiled.

“I don’t want it to be poofy... anywhere. I want it loose, but fitted... not clingy, you know... with a flowing skirt that reaches the floor. I do kind of like this deeper V neck.” Jolie had walked back to a previous dress she had tried on that was now draped over the back of a couch.

“I think I know which dress.” Marisol disappeared behind a rack of dresses so that all Jolie could see was the white fabric moving as she shifted through them. 

“Should I show them this?” 

“I wouldn’t. Your mother will love that dress and if you don’t I say it’s best she doesn’t see it.” Jolie chuckled, but Marisol had been dead serious. “Here, try this.”

It was by far the least amount a fabric Marisol had handed her that afternoon. Jolie examined the material as Marisol unfastened the back of the dress she was currently wearing. It was soft in both the look and feel, but holding it in her hands like she was didn’t give her an idea of its shape. The only thing she knew for sure was that it wasn’t poofy.

“Oh my...” Jolie exhaled when she looked in the mirror, “this is it.”

“You’re sure?”

“Definitely.” Jolie smiled while twirling a bit.

“Go show your mom and friends then.” Marisol chuckled.

The dress had a white chiffon overly, leaving the dress almost sheer at her shoulders and softening the matte white fabric underneath all they way to the floor. Due to her height, or lack of height, the dress would have to be hemmed so she’d actually be able to walk without tripping, but that was a minor alteration. Aside from that, it fit her perfectly. The material underneath fitted while the chiffon gathered naturally under the sash used to create a waist, the remaining fabric falling softly down her frame, still managing accent her shape. It had the vintage feel she wanted, but didn’t belong to a particular decade.

“What do you think?” Sarah and Blake chuckled at Jolie’s attempt to hide how excited she was. 

“It’s perfect.” Blake smiled.

“It really is.” Sarah added.

“It’s pretty.” Annalise stated, standing to examine the dress closer.

“You don’t like it?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“You didn’t have to...” Jolie grumbled.

Annalise rolled her eyes while continuing her inspection of the dress. “The dress is beautiful and fitting for you.” Annalise tugged on the sash that covered a good three inches of her daughters waist. “It’s pink.”

“Barely...” Jolie muttered.

“It’s still pink.” The sash was the only part of the dress that had a hint of color and it was definitely pink. “Can it be switched for something with a light hint of lilac...” Annalise stepped back and looked at her daughter, “and be made smaller...” she squished the sash so that it covered about two inches of Jolie’s torso, “she’s too tiny for it to be that thick.”

Marisol nodded while looking over the change Annalise had made. “I agree, and the color shouldn’t be a problem... I send over a few swatches next week.”

Jolie had to admit the thinner sash around her waist looked better on her and she hadn’t known changing the color was an option.

“This will be perfect then.” Annalise smiled.

“Now it’s your turn.” Jolie grinned, her eyes bouncing between Blake and Sarah.

 

Once Jolie picked out the suits she wanted, Annalise arranged for a shop in New York and in Boston to handle the fitting of Rafael and his groomsman later that month. Alex would be given details for the one locally, while Rafael and David would get fitted in Boston. Blake had begged off from flower shopping, so Tom and Rafael went to a museum while Sarah and Jolie joined Annalise at the florist. Everything was coming together nicely. Rafael had chosen a chocolate and coffee flavor for the grooms cake and Jolie, being Jolie, couldn’t decide. Instead the bakery suggested choosing a different flavor for each layer. The base would be red velvet, the middle layer a salted caramel, leaving the top tier to be traditional wedding cake flavor. There was just something about it Jolie liked. There would be more guest than that the cake would technically feed, but Jolie only wanted the three tiers. They opted for cupcakes in the three flavors to finish out the servings they would need. The only thing left was to show Rafael, Lucia, and Catalina the venue.

 

Annalise had guided them to meet with Mary, the wedding planner she had hired, who had arranged for them to view the space that morning. Lucia and Catalina trailed quietly behind Rafael and Jolie, who in turn were following her mother and Mary.

“It’s a beautiful venue.” Jolie grinned over her shoulder.

“I’m sure it is cariño.” Catalina smiled.

They ascended the steps to the building, taking an elevator to the top upon entry. The small group stepped out of the interior space and onto the rooftop garden.

“Is that...”

“St. Patrick’s Cathedral.” Jolie exhaled as she took in the view. She hadn’t meant to interrupt Lucia, she just loved the building. “It’s why I chose this location. I’ve always wanted to get married outdoors, but part of me is drawn to the church... This allows me to have both in a way.” The Cathedral would be the most prominent building in the background of the ceremony, the gothic architecture making the building itself unmistakable.

“Feeling better?” Catalina chuckled at Lucia’s expense.

She had kept her mouth shut seeing as she felt Jolie should have the wedding she wanted and her parents were paying for everything. But deep down, Lucia had wanted Rafael married in a Catholic Church… even if it wasn’t a concern of his. “I am.”

“It won’t be a traditional Catholic wedding, but...”

“It’ll be beautiful.” Lucia smiled, interrupting Jolie this time. She could settle for the fact that Catholicism was important to Jolie as well.

 

“It’s been a productive week.” Rafael mused as they laid in their bed.

They had returned to Cambridge midday and both spent the majority of the afternoon catching up on any work they needed to finish before class on Monday.

“Very productive.” Jolie grinned.

“You’re excited.”

“Very excited.”

“You’re cute when you’re excited.”

“Whatever,” she smiled while cuddling closer to him. “How’d it go with Alex?”

“He’s excited to be my best man, but disappointed I won’t let him plan my bachelor party.” Rafael chuckled.

“You’re not letting him plan it?”

“Alex and I have different interest when it comes to celebrating our last nights of bachelorhood… that and in addition to him and Eddie I’d like to invite a few people from law school, a couple people I met last summer while clerking, Tom, Casey… your brother… I’d like to avoid a strip club.”

“Do you care if I go to a strip club for mine?” Jolie mostly asked to see what his reaction would be, she had no interest in seeing other men naked.

“You want to?”

Jolie chuckled at how high his voice had risen. “No, but it’s nice to know you’d be ok with it if I did.”

“I would be if you really wanted to.”

“Eh… I have no interest in seeing another mans penis. It’s really not the most attractive appendage.” Rafael pushed his bottom lip up slightly as he frowned. “What?”

“I’m just trying to determine if I should be offended or not.”

Jolie chuckled. “Why, because I don’t find penises as appealing as men seem to find breast?”

“Because I’m not sure how many you’ve seen aside from mine.”

“I’ve seen more than just yours...” Jolie grumbled, “I wasn’t that naive.”

“In person?” His amused tone didn’t go unnoticed.

“Mostly pictures.”

“Mostly?” Jolie shook her head at his little smirk.

“A group of seniors decided to streak through the halls the last day of high school... I saw more than I really wanted to that day.”

Rafael closed his eyes and let out a little breath. “Please tell me Casey wasn’t among them.”

“He wasn’t,” Jolie chuckled, “he barely managed to not be expelled along with Blake after their little locker room incident. Harvard was more important than going along with his buddies.”

“Anyone I’ve met?” He wasn’t exactly sure what it mattered, but he was really hoping a particular buddy of Casey’s wasn’t among the streakers.

“Carter... but they wore mask and ran pretty quickly to avoid getting caught. I had no idea who was who.”

“But you looked.” His smirk was back.

“I was a little curious.” Jolie shrugged.

“You really think they’re ugly?”

“I never said ugly... believe me, I enjoy your penis.” Rafael couldn’t stop the laugh that escaped him, biting it back a bit while trying to look serious when she narrowed her brows at him. “I just find other appendages more appealing to look at.”

“Like what?”

“Your arms.”

“Mine in particular?” He smirked, lifting himself so he was hovering above her.

“Yes,” Jolie smiled, running her hands up his forearms, “yours in particular.”

“What else?” 

“Your legs.”

“You like my arms and legs?” He chuckled this while using his knees to shift himself between he thighs.

“The muscles are defined... it’s esthetically pleasing to look at.”

“Esthetically pleasing?”

His hand slipped into her underwear, gently grazing her slit causing her to softly moan an, “uh huh,” in reply.

“Anything else?”

“Your hands.” Her voice was breathy and strained.

“Because they do this?” He smirked despite the fact that her eyes were closed and slid two fingers into her, letting his thumb find her clit.

“No... I mean yes,” her voice hitched, “but I also think they’re nicely proportioned... and you have nice nails.”

Rafael chuckled while leaning down to kiss her, figuring he could figure out what constituted nice nails after they’d finished.

 

Jolie had a smile on her face when she arrived home Monday evening. Rafael was reading on the couch, Sarah off in the study working on a paper.

“I take it this morning went well?” Rafael smiled, marking his place in the book and setting it on the coffee table as Jolie joined him on the couch.

“The new speaker is Mary Robinson.”

“That was easier than I thought it’d be.”

Jolie grinned. “It helped that his path into the building was surrounded by hundreds of students quietly letting him know they disapproved of the current selection.”

“Quietly?” Rafael lifted a brow.

“That was what we thought would be the most impactful. Hundreds of students, not blocking, not yelling... just quietly standing with signs to explain why they were there. By the time he got to where I was waiting outside his office, he’d already caved.”

“I guess he was afraid of what would happened when you weren’t so quiet.” Rafael chuckled.

“I missed my first class but it was worth it to be involved in the selection process.”

“Who’s Mary Robinson?”

“The former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and seventh President of Ireland.”

“Someone you can actually respect then?” Rafael chuckled.

Chapter Text

They were supposed to be studying. That had been the plan when Jolie grabbed a few snacks that would equate to their lunch and met him in the law library between classes. The main area where they had originally settle in, ended up being inundated with L1’s chatting much too loudly for either of them to focus.

Jolie had initially chuckled when Rafael rolled his eyes, but when the group took up at a table not far from them, their volume only increasing with the proximity, she suggested finding another location to study. The problem had been that the main area of the library seemed to be filled with students… students that seemed to have a lot less work to do than the two of them.

“Are they going easier on the first years now.” Jolie grumbled as they passed another lively group on an upper level.

Rafael chuckled and dragged her toward the elevator. “Every year you get a small reprieve from all the work that’s normally piling up around you… it tends to create camaraderie.”

“Whatever it is, it’s annoying.”

She didn’t pay attention to what floor he pressed, it wasn’t like she knew the law library well enough to make a suggestion anyway. Instead she followed along, hoping he knew of a quiet place the L1’s didn’t. 

“Are we in the stacks?”

“We are.” He smirked. Jolie narrowed her eyes at him, not quite trusting his intentions. “There are study carrels in the back, I’m hoping we can find an empty one.”

They walked passed rows and rows of stacks, finally reaching the back wall.

“Are we the only people on campus who need to study?” She chuckled while glancing in the windows as they moved closer to one end of the back wall. They had all been empty.

Rafael tugged her into the furthest one, setting both their bags on one of the desk and tugging her against him once the door to the confined space was closed.

“What are you doing?” Jolie scolded when he leaned in to kiss her.

“Taking a quick break.”

His smirk coupled with playful look in his eyes, melted any resolve she may have had and her lips found his, her mind registering the hand reaching passed her to lock the door. 

“What if someone comes back here to study?” She panted between kisses as he lifted her onto the desk opposite the one he’d set their backpacks on. It was the desk further from the door, lessening their chance of being seen through the window.

“Hopefully that doesn’t happen.” His fingers tugged her underwear from under her skirt, sliding them down her legs and setting them next to her on the desk.

“And if it does?” It wasn’t summer like the last time he’d instigated sex in the law library… this was the middle of a busy semester.

“I would suggest you try to be quiet.” His lips pressed against hers before she could speak again, tugging her to the edge of the desk while slipping his fingers between her legs.

Jolie unfastened his jeans as his fingers swirled and probed, trying to hurry things along to lessen their chances of being caught. “Quickly Raf,” she panted while gripping his ass and pulling him toward her. 

The small chuckle he let out didn’t go unnoticed, but she did ignore it, adjusting herself on the edge so he could easily slide into her. A brief concern for the sturdiness of the desk and wall separating them from the next study carrel was elevated when it didn’t budge with his thrust. Jolie crossed her ankles behind him, her arms gripped around his shoulders as his thumb made contact with her clit. She pressed up to kiss him, muffling their moans in what she hoped was enough to not be heard, thankful that the walls surrounding them went all the way to the ceiling.

“Raf… please…” Her voice was strained and soft as she pressed her face into his shoulder. The plea wasn’t for her, she was falling over the precipice with or without him, but despite the pleasure coursing through her she was still aware of where they were and wanted him to hurry.

He grunted, holding her tightly without regard for her face smooshing into his chest, waiting for the telltale tightening before allowing his own release. His fingers tangled in her hair when he felt it, his thrust more determined until he stilled, burying his face into her hair in an attempt to silence his moan.

Jolie pulled back just enough to look at him while they caught their breath, smiling when he did. “Are you always going to instigate sex in public places?”

“Depends on how public the place is.” He smirked before kissing her again.

Jolie chuckled and pulled back from the kiss after he intensified it. “Ok, ok… I really do need to study.” 

Rafael smiled and pulled back from her allowing for them both to redress. Jolie took his backpack from the desk he’d placed it on and handed it to him. “You can use that desk.” She gestured to the one she’d previously been sitting on.

“Small price to pay.” He grinned, sitting the bag down while pulling one of the chairs closer so he could work.

Jolie shifted the other chair to her desk, spreading her work out the way she had it before when they were studying downstairs. The space was tight, but worked well. They sat facing away from the other, helping to minimize distractions and allowing for Jolie to get a lot of work done.

“Hey Raf?”

“Yes.”

“If I wanted to study here more often would you instigate something every time?” She didn’t mind the occasional risk, but didn’t want it to be expected if she suggested using the carrel more often. She was easily distracted by people moving about the open space of the library and the privacy allowed her to concentrate better.

“Not if you didn’t want me to.” His voice was playful, but he hadn’t turned to look at her.

“I’m serious… I’ve got a lot done here and while I enjoyed our little tryst earlier, I don’t want it to be expected every time.”

Rafael turned to face her looking more than amused. “It wouldn’t be nearly as fun if it were expected.”

“Raf…”

“I promise we can just study from now on.”

“I’m not opposed to occasionally…”

Rafael chuckled and took her hands in his. “How about I let you instigate next time?”

“Ok…” Jolie cut her eyes up at him, “can we study here more often?”

“As long as ones available.”

 

Jolie got home from class to find Sarah staring at three envelopes on the coffee table. She furrowed her brow slightly when Sarah didn’t bother to glance up from the table to say hi.

“Whatcha got there?”

“Letters from Columbia, Yale, and Harvard.” Sarah stated rather vacantly as she continued to stare.

“Nothing from Cornell?”

“I didn’t get into Cornell and now I’m terrified to open these.” Sarah exhaled, finally looking at Jolie.

“You want me to?”

Sarah nodded and handed her the letter opener she had been clutching for the last thirty minutes. Jolie started to pick up the one from Columbia. “Harvard first!”

“Ok…” Jolie sat Columbias down and picked up Harvards.

“I’ve just been here for four years… I feel my chances are better since the teachers who wrote my recommendations are on the faculty.”

“That logical.” Jolie smiled, sliding the opener through the fold in the envelope. Sarah seemed so stressed about this that she read ahead before sharing the results, giving herself time to find a way to deliver bad news if needed. “You’re in.”

“I’m in?” Sarah snatched the paper from Jolie, reading through it for herself. “Ok…” she took a breath, feeling as though she could relax now that she had one of her paths for the future still available, “Columbia now.” Sarah handed her the envelope and began pacing.

Jolie opened it a little faster, scanning the words before speaking. “Please tell me this means you’re moving to New York?”

“I’m in?”

“You’re in.” Jolie grinned, joining Sarah as she jumped up and down. “Does that mean you’ll be in New York?”

“Yes. It’s where I ultimately want to be… so yes.”

“I’ll help you find an apartment this summer. Will Tom be moving too?”

Sarah sighed as she plopped back down on the couch. “He hasn’t heard anything yet… it’s still early. I’m still going though, regardless of where he gets in. I can’t pass up the opportunity.”

Suddenly Rita’s reasoning behind not becoming too attached to her future with David made a bit more sense. Even when Rafael was applying for law school Jolie hadn’t seriously considered they’d be separated. It was in her nature to be optimistic. Residencies were more particular… taking on less students than schools did each year. “Hopefully he hears soon then. Would you live together?”

“We’ve talked about that. It would be beneficial when it came to rent and we sleep at one or the others houses most nights anyway, but if something happened…”

“Then you’d crash with Raf and me until you found a new place.” Jolie interrupted.

“I really hope we both end up in New York, I’m not ready to end things and I’m not up for long distance.”

“Things that should be, will be.” Jolie smiled.

“I hate that you’re an optimist.”

“Whatever,” Jolie chuckled while dragging Sarah off the couch, “help me pick out something to wear to the Lagwagon show next weekend.”

 

“You wore it.” Samantha smiled as she pulled Jolie’s hand closer to inspect the ring.

“I’m trying to adjust to it.” Jolie didn’t mean to sigh but she did.

There was still a love hate relationship with the ring… she had hoped that by now she’d be used to it, but she wasn’t. It was a noticeable presence on her finger, one that she continually tried to adjust to make more comfortable. She could have used the show as an excuse not to where it, but she knew Samantha wanted to see it and if she didn’t get in the pit there really wasn’t more risk wearing it there than anywhere else.

“Adjust to it? Haven't you been wearing for months now?” Patrick chuckled.

“I hate the feeling of things between my fingers.” 

“You could always just get a tattoo.” Josh’s suggestion was met with mixed reactions. Rafael, Sarah, and Tom more or less scoffed at the idea, while Patrick encouraged it. Samantha and Ryan didn’t express an opinion one way or the other and Jolie sat quietly, staring at her finger.

“Like around my finger?” She finally said, causing Rafael’s eyes to widen at the fact that she seemed to be considering it.

“It’s more permanent than that ring you are dying to take off.” Josh chuckled.

Jolie glanced at the empty ring finger on her right hand, trying to imagine what a tattoo would look like wrapped around it. “I’m not sure I want a two dimensional ring...”

“It could just be a simple line.” Samantha offered.

“Still...” Jolie sighed, dismissing the tattoo idea, “I’m not a huge fan of tattoos on fingers... or hands in general for that matter.”

“Why’s that?” Patrick, who had almost a full sleeve, questioned.

“I like hands... the shape of them, the lines… certain hands anyway. Some aren’t nicely shaped at all.” Jolie shrugged.

Patrick gave her a curious look but let it go. “So your dad’s Malcolm Rutherford?”

At first Jolie was startled by his question, but then she remembered that invitations had gone out... the RSVP’s addressed to her mother who insisted on listing herself as Mrs. Malcolm Rutherford on everything. “Is that a problem?”

“No, you’ve just never mentioned it. Why would it be a problem?”

Jolie exhaled the breath she’d been holding. “It has been in the past...” 

It was really only one bad experience from a show she’d gone to with her brother while still in high school. He’d almost gotten his ass kicked for simply being born into a rich family. The only reason he didn’t was because his security detail intervened while hers quietly slipped her out of the venue as well. She made it a point to keep who her family was to herself after that.

“If I’m being honest, if you had introduced yourself as his daughter I probably wouldn’t have bothered to get to know you.”

“Thanks.” Jolie chuckled.

“Eh, you didn’t and I’m glad it worked out this way.”

“Still coming to the wedding then?”

“Are you kidding? Of course I am. You need to introduce me to some trust fund brat so I can quit school and spend the rest of my days freeloading.”

Jolie rolled her eyes. “I will do no such thing. Besides, you’d tolerate the ones I know for about two seconds before deciding it wasn’t worth it.”

“No sisters then?” 

“Nope.”

“A cousin?”

“On my mom’s side, but she's little and not a trust fund brat,” she sassed the last bit, but she was one of those so called trust fund brats, “and dad...” she cleared her throat, noticing Rafael smirk at the fact that she’d almost said daddy, “my dad was an only child.”

“Too bad.” Patrick smirked.

 

The conversation finally moved off of her and onto other topics, mostly music related. Jolie smiled at Rafael who did his best not to look too bored, then glanced around the venue, noticing Joey Cape not far from the merch table.

“I’m going to go say hi, do you want to come?” She gestured to him so that Rafael would know who she was talking about. 

“No, you go.” He smiled, giving her a quick kiss.

Jolie made her way to the merch table easily, standing off to the side a bit while Joey chatted with a few people who reached him first.

“You’re being watched.” He smirked, his eyes glancing in the direction Rafael was sitting as she stepped closer.

“I asked him to come with me.” She didn’t need to look over her shoulder to know Rafael was still watching. She’d be doing the same thing if the roles were reversed. “I just wanted to say hi.”

“Hi.” Joey chuckled.

“Oh... and to let you know that the next show I’ll be at will be in New York.”

“I take it you’re graduating this year.”

“We both are, and getting married in June.” Jolie smiled, not lifting the hand to show him her ring, but still fiddling the band with her thumb.

“You truly are lifers then.”

Jolie grinned as she nodded, fully aware of how love struck she probably looked. She didn’t care though. “I also wanted to thank you.”

“Thank me?” His brow furrowed, “for what?”

“That night two years ago... for not being upset and for listening to me.”

“I’m glad it all worked out.”

“This means more to me than you, huh?” Jolie smirked, realizing that while he remembered her, the night didn’t have nearly the impact on his life as it had on hers.

“Probably, but I wasn’t going through a rough patch with the person I would eventually agree to marry that night.” Joey chuckled.

“That and you’re not a twenty one year old girl who overanalyzes everything.”  

“I write lyrics almost daily… believe me, I get overanalyzing.”

Jolie smiled at his statement. “I’ll catch a show in New York sometime.”

“Say hi when you do.” Jolie shook her head at the small smirk on his face and turned to head back to the table almost running into Jason when she did.

“Jolie… hey.”

She paused, mostly in shock of seeing him. She always did a scan at shows to see if he was there to avoid running into him like this. This time had been no different, but she hadn’t spotted him.

“Jason.” Her tone was flat as she glanced passed him to her table, not really knowing if she hoped Rafael would notice or not. His back was to her as he talked with Tom, having stopped watching her talk with Joey a while ago.

“You look good… are you…” Jolie pushed her hair behind her ear, a light reflecting from the ring causing him to pause. “You’re engaged.”

“Yep.”

“I know things got weird, but I though maybe we could be friends again.”

“Yeah… no.” Jolie started for the table again, but Jason stopped her.

“Why not?”

“I don’t want to be your friend… you were never really my friend anyway.” Her feet started to move, but didn’t get very far before he stopped her again.

“I was your friend.” 

“No you weren’t,” Jolie snapped loud enough to garner the attention of those close to them.

“You ok?” Joey asked, stepping forward so that he was closer to Jolie than Jason was.

“Yeah, thank you though.” Jolie smiled at Joey and took the opportunity to step away from Jason, finally making her way back to the table.

It’d been over two years since they’d spoken and they’d never been that close to begin with… what would make him think she’d want to be friends? After what he’d tried to do, she didn’t feel he deserved an explanation. If he was too daft to understand, that wasn’t her problem. He would most likely see her sit next to Rafael and make an assumption, but the truth was it wouldn’t matter. In two months she’d be living in New York and would more than likely never see him again.

“Did you have a good chat?” Rafael smirked when she sat next to him, his hand sliding under hers.

“I did.” She smiled knowing he meant Joey… if he had seen Jason approach her he wouldn’t have been nearly as playful. She found it slightly humorous that he was more jealous of a guy she’d never even thought about kissing than the one she’d actually kissed. She squeezed his hand slightly, tugging it into her lap. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Chapter Text

Jolie slipped the ring off, sighing as she placed it in her jewelry box. She hated the fact that she still hadn't adjusted to it and was beginning to wonder if she ever would. It wasn’t terribly uncomfortable, just an ever present nuisance wedge between her fingers.

“You don’t have to wear it.” Rafael smirked from their bed.

“But I want to.”

“Yes, but if it’s still driving you crazy after five months, I’m pretty sure it always will.”

Jolie crawled in bed, burrowing herself into the crook of his arm as he pulled the covers over them. “I like the idea of wearing it.”

“I know you do.” He chuckled.

“What do you think of a tattoo?”

Rafael’s eyes widened having thought this particular idea had been put to rest. “I didn’t think you liked tattoos on fingers?”

“I don’t.” Jolie laced her fingers with his, her eyes almost nervous she she glanced up at him. “I was thinking something small and hidden... just for the two of us.”

“You mean I’d get one too?” His voice cracked, but it only made her grin.

“A small one.”

“Where?”

“Somewhere only we’d see it.” Rafael furrowed his brow as he tried to determine where that might be. “I was thinking somewhere along my hip bone for me.”

“That wouldn’t be hidden in the swimsuits I’ve seen you wear.”

Jolie rolled her eyes at his little smirk. “Then I’ll buy a bigger swimsuit.” Truthfully what she was imaging would be super small anyway... and if part of it showed at some point she wasn’t that concerned.

“You want mine in the same spot?” He was still smirking at her.

“You can get yours wherever you want.”

“What did you have in mind?”

“Your name.” Rafael’s eyes widened again. He was pretty sure he’d made fun of people who tattooed other peoples names on themselves and here was his fiancé, a woman he considered extremely intelligent, suggesting it. “I’m not talking big... maybe half an inch to an inch from r to s.”

“S?”

“I want Rafael’s not Rafael.” She had gone back and forth on whether to include to apostrophe s or not. Yes it was possessive, but she felt like she did belong to him... at least her heart did... And maybe she was showing her age, but if you didn’t make questionable choices in your twenties then when could you make them? 

“I don’t know Jolie...”

“Just think about it.” Jolie rested her head on his chest, her fingers tracing shapes over the thin material of his t-shirt.

Rafael pulled her so that she straddle his hips. “Show me.”

“Show you what?” She giggled when he tugged her shirt over her head.

“Where you want it on you,” he wiggled out of his own shirt, “where you’re thinking on me.”

She playfully tugged at the waist band of his boxers. “I may have to remove these,” she bit her lip to keep from smiling when he did, “you know... to show you.”

“I’m guessing these will have to come off as well then.” He smirked, hooking his fingers into her underwear and slowly tugging them off her hips.

Jolie sat back on his thighs, taking him in her hand, stroking him to life as her eyes scanned his pelvis. “Well?” He half groaned when her hand stroked back down to his base.

“I’m still trying to decide.”

“Here,” he more or less picked her up and lowered her onto him, “can you still see well enough?”

“Yeah…” Jolie adjusted so she could lift herself, riding him while grazing her thumb along the hip bone that was protruding due to his upward thrust, sliding it to just inside the curve of his ilium. “Maybe here?” 

Rafael lifted his head so he could see where he felt her thumb. It would definitely be covered by any clothing he would wear, the placement being low enough that if someone besides Jolie saw it he’d probably have some explaining to do. 

“And on you?” This came out with a groan, but only because she’d lowered herself so he was completely sheathed within her, pushing back against his upward momentum.

“Same place.” She lifted his hand, placing his thumb over the same spot on her. 

Rafael thought for a moment, his movements into her never ceasing, almost oblivious to her moans growing louder. The only person, aside from doctors and such, who would ever actually see it would be her… he was positive of that. And the idea of her having his name on her kind of turned him on… hence their current activities. It wasn’t just her having his name though, he rather like the idea of her name being on him as well… their own little matching marks identifying that they belonged to one another. He hadn’t thought he’d been in his head that long when he finally came back to the moment to find Jolie laying against his chest, her lower half curving as it push back down on him, her hands gripped tightly onto his shoulder.

“Ok.”

“Ok what?” She panted, not even bothering to lift her head to look at him. Her mind was more focused on feeling him move in and out of her than the conversation from moments ago.

He rolled her beneath him, taking over now that he’d made his decision. His legs pushing her thighs wider, allowing for deeper penetration. “We can get tattoos.”

Jolie smiled, her hand running through his hair. “This weekend?”

“I guess.” Rafael pressed his lips to hers, focusing his energy on where their bodies were joined, relentlessly pumping into her.

“Fuck Raf.” Jolie moaned as her body arched beneath him briefly before flopping back down on the bed, her hips bucking against each thrust as her core tightened around him.

Rafael gave into his release moments later. Part of him had wanted to keep going, to bring her over the edge once more, but they both had early classes the next morning and it was already late. Instead, his body collapsed onto hers, his chest rising and falling rapidly as he caught his breath. 

“I can’t believe I’m letting you brand me.” He chuckled once his breathing leveled out.

“Whatever,” Jolie smirked, pushing him onto his back so she could cuddle in his arms again, “it’s not my name running across you entire stomach or something. It’ll be small and inconspicuous.”

“Does this mean you’re going to stop wearing the ring?”

“Not anytime soon. The last thing I need is for April to see me not wearing it and think something happened between us.” That last bit was muttered more than spoken, especially since she’d meant it to be a thought. Rafael’s biting back of his smirk only served to make her roll her eyes, not really caring if he knew she was jealous... even if she knew there was nothing to be jealous of. “I think after our wedding I may switch to wearing it for special occasions, date nights… when we accompany each other to work events… You can do the same.”

“I’ve never actually worn a ring so I’ll see how I feel once I start wearing mine.” He smiled when she looked up at him, taking the opportunity to kiss her again.

 

Jolie was pretty sure the tattoo artist had found their request ridiculous, this was mainly because of the face he’d made when she kept scaling the text smaller. The point wasn’t for it to be noticeable, just for it to be there. At one point he’d muttered a comment about it still needing to be legible… something she actually agreed with seeing as she didn’t want a black smudge on her hip, and let him guide them on how small it could be while still being able to read it. A couple hours later, they were both home, their bandages tucked safely away under their clothing. A secret kept just for them.

“You look happy.” Jolie grinned when Sarah entered the living room from wherever she’d been all day.

“I am, really happy…” Sarah tilted her head slightly as she took in Jolie, “and yet still not as happy as you look.”

Rafael chuckled at the fact that Jolie did look a bit giddy, but went along with it when she dismissed Sarah’s comment. “Whatever… why are you so happy?”

“Tom got in at New York Presbyterian.”

“I told you.”

“Yes, but we can’t all be optimist.” Sarah smirked.

“So, will you be living together?”

“It makes the most sense financially…”

“But you’re worried.” Jolie nodded. Sarah and Tom had been together for over a year now, but it was still a big jump to move in together. Especially if they felt they were only moving in together for fiscal reasons.

“I am. I want to live with him, hell we practically live together now… it’s just…” she sighed while chewing on her lip, “I hate that it’s doesn’t feel like we’d be moving in together because we want to live with each other. We do, we’ve talked about it, but I also don’t want to live in New York alone or in a place I can’t afford… it just seems like the other reasons weigh heavier than the fact that we want to be together.”

Jolie nodded again. “Don’t overthink it. Find a place that works for both of you and that one or the other of you can afford on your own… just in case. The whole point of saving money is to save money anyway right?” Sarah chuckled at the point Jolie had made. “Don’t worry about the reasons that don’t feel like the right reasons and focus on the fact that you want to spend that extra time with him. Residency is going to keep him from you enough, I actually think you’ll appreciate the fact that you come home to one another.”

“I hadn’t thought about that.” Sarah smiled.

“And if it doesn’t work out you know you can crash with Raf and me while I help you find a new place.”

“I doubt it’ll come to that, but our couch will always be available to you.” Rafael smiled.

“Couch? What’s wrong with the guest room?” Jolie more stated than asked, glancing over her shoulder at him.

Rafael started to say something about it probably being a while before they could afford a place with a guest room, but then it hit him that Jolie could already afford a place with a guest room… probably more than one if she wanted and he closed his mouth. 

Jolie noticed that his expression had changed, more in thought than with them in the present. “We should talk.” Rafael nodded as Sarah furrowed her brow, glancing between them. “Not like that.” Jolie chuckled, taking Rafael’s hand and tugging him off the couch behind her.

Sarah’s brow was still furrowed, but Jolie didn’t elaborate. Her and her family's finances weren’t something she shared with people, but in a month they would be his as well.

 

“Ok…” he nodded while sitting on their bed, his eyes intently focused on the floor, “that’s a lot.”

“That’s just my trust fund.” 

Rafael’s eyes shot up at her. “There’s more?”

“What I’ll eventually inherit… though it’s more a set percentage than a set amount since the family estate is continually growing. My brother and I inherit forty percent each, twenty is left to be split between future grandchildren in addition to their trust funds.”

“So Tobias would prefer us not to procreate?” This came out as a chuckle, he couldn’t help it. There was a lot to take in and he needed to lighten the conversation.

“We’re responsible for passing down an inheritance to our own children.”

“Is that all?” His eyes met hers and she shook her head.

“The family business.”

“Right…”

“While my brother will actually run the company, I have enough ownership to fight him on decisions I find questionable. It was intentional on my fathers part to ensure I still have a say in the direction the company goes.”

“Anything else?” He was half afraid to ask.

“My personal finances.” Rafael nodded, remembering their conversation from the year before when she’d purchased stock in Amazon. “Most of it’s tied up in investments, but I keep ten to fifteen percent in available cash.”

“Ok.”

“My father let me pull a few hundred thousand out of my trust when I was eleven because I was interested in the stock market. Initially he oversaw my investments, but when the stocks he tried to steer me away from ended up doing better than the ones he’d suggested he gave me free rein. I’ve done very well.”

“How much is in available cash?”

“Two point two.”

He assumed she meant million… which he suddenly realized was only ten, possibly fifteen, percent of her total net worth… not her families, but hers. “Jesus…”

“You ok?”

“Yeah… I think… When you say tied up in investments…”

“I still have Amazon, it’s down though… a lot… like half of what it opened at…” she trailed off slightly as her brow furrowed in thought.

“You’ve lost two hundred and fifty thousand dollars?” His voice rose in pitch, but Jolie merely shrugged.

“It’s an unrealized lost. I may actually buy more at the lower price point.”

“Why? If it’s not doing well…”

Jolie shook her head. “This was never a short play. I plan on holding it for a while, give the company some time get off the ground. I expected to drop... maybe not this much, but it’s definitely at a new buying opportunity.”

“Is that a good idea?

“Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” She smiled as she more or less quoted Warren Buffett. A quote Rafael hadn’t recognize, but that’s meaning wasn’t lost on him.

“Isn’t that risky?” Rafael knitted his brow. 

“No risk, no reward… it’s kind of how the market works.”

“What else are you in?”

“Apple, Microsoft, Oracle... Dillards, Macy’s... a few other retail stores, AOL... there’s talk of eBay going public in September. I’m following that, especially if Amazon starts doing better.” Jolie thought for a moment, there were more but she was in and out of some so quickly she didn’t feel the need to mention them. “I’ll be out of the retail ones soon. They’re up right now because they’re all jumping on the online shopping bandwagon, but analysts expect them to drop once the limits of their websites come under scrutiny.”

“What analyst?”

“Pundits on CNBC, I read The WallStreet Journal... do my own research and I listen to Steve.”

“Steve?”

“My broker.”

“Right...” Rafael shook his head and chuckled, the whole conversation on stocks being something he had little interest in despite it being something she seemed to be as invested in as she was her music. “When did you have time to study?” 

“My maturity is questionable at times, my intelligence is not.” Jolie smirked.

He wouldn’t argue with her on that. She was playful, at times reverting to an age much younger than she was… often oblivious to the intentions of those around her, but she had always been focused when it came to school and her future. It was in part why he loved her.

“What do you want for your birthday?”

“To graduate.” 

“What do you want that isn’t already happening?”

“Cake.” Jolie smiled.

“I kind of know by now to include cake for your birthday, so again I’ll ask, what do you want that’s not already happening.” Rafael chuckled.

“I think I’ve already gotten it.” Jolie gently tapped his hip where her name was etched.

Rafael rolled his eyes. “I’ll come up with something.”

“There’s some vinyls I’ve been looking at, I can get you a list.” The record player he’d gotten her for Christmas a few years back sat prominently in the living room, her growing record collection living on the long shelve just beneath it.

“See,” he smirked, “you do want something.”

“Whatever.” Jolie smiled, leaving him on the bed when she stood and stretched a bit. “You’re ok with the money stuff?”

“I’ve known you were wealthy for a while now.” He had smirked again, but the amusement that was normally behind it didn’t reach his eyes. “I’m still waiting for the prenup.”

“There’s no prenup.” Jolie’s expression matched his.

There had been a prenup, one that had caused her and her father to not speak for a few weeks. She hadn’t mentioned it to Rafael and she had no intention to. He’d be logical about it, offering to sign after reading through it… he had little interest in her family’s money. The problem was she found it insulting. Her father had called her naive… that had been the precipice to the silent treatment she had given him. She knew he meant well, that it really had nothing to due with Rafael, but more to protect her on the off chance something happened years down the line. It was just business to him and she knew it was the smarter approach given her wealth, but not how she wanted to start her marriage. Her father had finally caved, but mentioned something about restructuring her inheritance to be placed in a trust for their children… once they had them. That she agreed to. If god forbid something ever happened to her and Rafael couldn’t survive on the rather large sum he would still inherit, then he had serious money management issues.

 

The house was filled with brown boxes varying size and fullness. Some were completely packed, labeled with either R&J or Sarah and whatever room they contents within came from, others were still open awaiting more contents. The bookshelves were empty, the kitchen and bedrooms down to their essentials…. The only room untouched was the office.

“Here,” Sarah grinned while handing Jolie a red solo cup, “to the last final you’ll ever take.” 

Jolie chuckled when Sarah lifted her own cup tapping it against hers. “You’re celebrating mine since you know you still have to get through grad school?”

“I’m celebrating the survival of undergrad.” Sarah smirked.

“We more than survived.” Jolie chuckled.

“Yeah well you weren’t the one questioning whether someone had made a mistake during the acceptance process when you first got here.”

“That’s right,” Jolie smiled and took a sip of the sickeningly sweet concoction Sarah had put together. “Are you nervous to switch to Columbia?”

“Not really. You go to class, study, ask questions if you need help… same as any other school.” Sarah chuckled when Jolie did.

“It’s nice to know I’m quotable.”

“Quotable? I reminded myself of that anytime I got overwhelmed that first semester… it was sound advice.”

“Glad you got stuck with me as a roommate then?” Jolie grinned while bringing the cup to her lips again.

“Jesus I’m going to miss living with you.” Sarah smiled, but the corners of her eyes glistened slightly.

“Don’t you dare cry.” Jolie chuckled, fighting back her own tears. “I’ll schedule a weekly girls night and you know you can always stop by whenever.”

Neither of them noticed Rafael watching them from the doorway having just returned from his last final. “How many have you two had already?”

Jolie laughed while wiping her eyes, “I’ve taken two sips of mine.”

“I’ve barely had any.” Sarah laughed as well, grabbing the one she had poured for Rafael and handing it to him.

Rafael shook his head and took a sip, immediately handing his cup to Jolie while making a face. “What is that?”

“Southern Comfort and Mountain Dew.” Sarah said, lifting her glass to take another drink.

“I’ll pour myself a whiskey and Coke.”

“I like it,” Jolie shrugged while drinking a bit more of hers.

“Of course you do.” Rafael chuckled from behind the bar.

“When is your graduation ceremony?” Sarah had been so wrapped up in finals she hadn’t thought to ask if he and Jolie would be able to attend each others.

“Friday at two,” Jolie answered for him, “my parents and brother’s family are coming in for both.”

“So are mami and abuelita.” Rafael smirked, joining them in the living room again.

“No Alex and Yelina this time?”

“They both have to work, so does Eddie… real life’s kicked in for them.” Rafael shrugged dismissively, it wasn’t like he wouldn’t be seeing them at his bachelor party in a few weeks.

“I think my whole family is coming.” Sarah groaned, causing both Rafael and Jolie to chuckle.

“Your family is nice.” Jolie smiled.

“Yes, but they’ve invited everyone… I’m not even sure they can all attend the ceremony itself.”

“When is Tom’s?”

“Saturday, same time as ours,” Sarah shrugged, “it’s better this way… his parents will get a break from my hillbilly family.”

“Your parents are not hillbillies.” Jolie laughed.

“No, but a few of my cousins are teetering over that cliff… and considering Tom comes from a family of doctors it won’t take much to push them over.”

“Your cousins are coming?” 

“They invited everyone.” Sarah sounded a bit exasperated.

“Surely they won’t all come though.” Rafael said, trailing off a bit when saw how panicked Sarah looked.

“Tom’s family will love you.” Jolie stated, assuming that was Sarah’s actual concern.

“Hopefully… he’s already told them we are going to live together in New York and I’m worried they’ll hate me for agreeing to live with their son before they even got to meet me.”

“It’s kind of hard to have met when they live on the opposite side of the country.” Rafael offered.

“I’m just nervous…” Sarah sighed taking a larger sip of her drink.

“Let’s talk about all the things you want to do once you get to New York then.” Jolie grinned, pulling a half full box toward the office.

“Finding a part time job will be first on my list…” Sarah grumbled, both her and Rafael following with empty boxes in hand.

“I can see if the ACLU has something, they offered me a full time position at the New York office last week. It’s entry level and I’m technically over qualified, but I took it to use as a learning opportunity while I figure out what kind of non profit I want to start one day. It’ll be helpful to see how they run their finances and acquire donations.”

“And if we work in the same office… even part time, we’ll get to see each other more often.” Sarah grinned.

“Give me a week to settle in and I’ll nose around.” Jolie chuckled, drinking a bit more as they continued to talk about all the sights Sarah wanted to see.

The sugar seemed to take effect before the alcohol, making Rafael shake his head when both girls became giddy as they moved on to their second round. The room was mostly packed when they called it a night and Sarah’s first summer in New York seemed to have been mapped out… he was pretty sure Jolie had even written up an itinerary on some paper from the printer at one point.

 

Jolie’s parents took Lucia and Catalina out for dinner after Rafael’s law school ceremony and then everyone, including Sarah entire family and Tom’s parents to lunch after the Saturday ceremonies. Sarah’s family had been rowdy at times, but not nearly as bad as she’d made them out to be… 

Rafael had been invited to a few parties from fellow law students all eager to celebrate the completion of this particular chapter in their lives. They bounced between them, starting at the party farthest from the house and ending at the one they could walk home from. Malcolm and Annalise had offered to watch Tobias, freeing Ian and Beth up to join. 

On Saturday, Jolie and Sarah had a few parties lined up and Tom had one he wanted to stop by as well. Ian and Beth tagged along again, enjoying the brief break from the reality of being parents. They all indulged a bit more than the night before seeing as there were no early morning ceremonies they had to wake up for, but none of them drank quite as much as Ian and Beth. The two ditched the group somewhere before the last party of the night, taking the car back to their hotel… a decision that would result in a little sister for Tobias.

 

Rafael, Jolie, Sarah, and Tom ventured back to the house well after three in the morning. They’d managed to see most everyone they’d hoped to before leaving town, even running into Casey and Blake at Megan’s party. Blake had skipped her own graduation, both of them pleased to announce they’d be in Cambridge the following year. Casey had been accepted to Harvard Law while Blake would be attending grad school at Boston College.

“Are you going to miss being in college?” Jolie asked as she cuddle closer to Rafael, tugging the covers tighter around them.

“No.” He chuckled.

“I am.”

“I know, but I’m sure you’ll be nostalgic about your next big change as well.”

“This is true…”

“Just don’t change that.”

“Don’t change what?”

“The fact that you get all mushy and sentimental.” He smirked, chuckling when she shoved him… well as best as she could shove him from their horizontal position.

Chapter Text

Rafael was pacing the living room of his and Jolies new place in New York, the one her father had redirected the movers to and handed them the keys of the moment they arrived at her parents penthouse. An early wedding gift.

The building over looked Central Park, giving their place views from almost every room. The apartment itself was large enough for them to expand their family comfortably, but sparsely decorated at the moment. Entire rooms were empty as Jolie’s focus was on their upcoming nuptials and not decorating. The place was two stories, with the main living areas on the lower level and bedrooms up a staircase far too grand to be in anything but an apartment on the Upper East Side. 

Jolie had left the house in Cambridge furnished. They had planned to stay with her parents until they found a place of their own so she hadn’t thought there’d be need for the furniture. All their nonessential belongings had been destined for storage before Malcolm had their destination altered. The morning after they arrived had been spent with Annalise’s interior decorator picking out furniture they’d need immediately, which went fairly smoothly considering Jolie already had ideas in mind. She had figured they wouldn’t want to stay at her parents place for too long even before they were gifted the apartment.

“You’re going to wear a path in that very expensive looking flooring.” Sarah chuckled, looking up from the newspaper she and Tom were searching for apartments in.

Rafael paused and glanced at the floor before realizing she was teasing him. “Funny...” he grumbled before resuming his path.

“Where’s Jolie?”

“She’s picking our mail up from her parents.” It had been the most logical place to forward it to, but now he was wishing he’d gone with her.

“What about this one?” Tom pulled Sarah’s attention back to the paper, pointing at a decent sized one bedroom nicely located between Columbia and New York Presbyterian that they could actually afford.

Sarah read the short synopsis and nodded, “put it at the top of the list.”

Tom jotted it down, furrowing his own brow at Rafael’s pacing. “You’re not having second thoughts are you?”

“He better not.” Sarah snapped, her eyes falling harshly on her friends fiancé.

“What!? No.” Rafael stopped pacing and looked at them, his mouth opened to explain as Jolie barged in through the front door.

“It’s here!”

“Jesus... I thought for sure it was lost in the mail.” Rafael muttered, making his way to take the letter from her.

He rather carelessly ripped it open, pulling the sheet of paper from within.

“So...” Jolie pried, pushing up to her tip toes in an effort to look over his shoulder.

“I passed.” his eyes were transfixed almost blankly at the paper.

“You passed what?” Sarah questioned, this time without bothering to look up as she pointed to another possible apartment listing.

“The BAR.” Jolie grinned. Her excitement was lost on the two browsing the newspaper in the floor and Rafael was still staring blankly at the paper. “Hey,” she waved her hand in front of his face, “you passed. All you have to do now is work your way up.” Rafael blinked a few times then smirked when he noticed how amused she looked. “You want to go celebrate?”

“What’d you have in mind?” He was already following her up the stairs to their bedroom.

“Something that’ll make sure you aren’t second guessing your decision to veto the strip club this weekend.” Jolie smirked, doing her best to seductively untuck her shirt while giggling once they were no longer in view from downstairs.

Rafael closed his eyes and shook his head when she disappeared behind the bedroom door only to stick her arm back out and wave the shirt a couple times before dropping it.

 

While Rafael hadn’t let Alex plan his bachelor party, Jolie had let Blake have complete control over hers. She was still in the dark over most of the activities in store for her when members of each party began to arrive at their apartment.

“You’re plan is to drink all day?” Jolie questioned Rafael as her brother plopped down next to Casey on the couch.

“Ian kind of took over.” Rafael chuckled at the face Jolie made. “I promise it’s still fairly low key. The afternoon will be spent on Casey’s family yacht, then there’s a whiskey tasting he’s set up at some snooty bar…”

“Some snooty bar that you are sooo looking forward to going to.” Jolie grinned.

“I am,” he smirked, “then he’s reserved a suite or something he’s assured me is large enough to house us all for the night in Atlantic City.”

“Are you just gambling in Atlantic City?”

Rafael shrugged, figuring the night would evolve however it evolved. “He tried to convince me to let him take us all to Vegas…”

“He gets one night free from that baby and regresses five years.” Jolie chuckled.

“Why isn’t Beth here, I thought she was going with you guys?”

“She was, but then the stick turned pink… I told her she could still come, but she begged off since she wouldn’t be able to drink.”

“She’s pregnant?”

“Shhh...” Jolie chuckled, “they aren’t telling anyone yet.”

Rafael held his hands up while smiling at the woman he’d be marrying in a week. “What does Blake have in store for your group?”

“She’s been fairly secretive.” Jolie shrugged. “All I know is she’s rented out some brownstone for us to end the night at.”

“Please be careful.”

“I will if you will.” 

Rafael tugged her under his arm as they watched the remaining guest arrive, only separating when Alex and Blake pulled them to join their respective parties. 

Rafael’s group consisted of David and a few others from law school, Ian, Casey, and Tom, a couple people he’d met while clerking the summer before, and obviously Alex and Eddie. Jolie hadn’t extended an invite to Rita since they really weren’t that close, but had included Yelina. She figured they’d all be a bit closer now that they lived in the city again, but it was mostly because she remembered worrying about Rafael at Alex’s bachelor party and felt Yelina would appreciate the distraction to occupy her mind. Blake had included a couple girls from high school that they’d both been close with, ones that Jolie was actually excited to see again. Then there was Sarah and Samantha, the latter of which Jolie had sent a car for so she wouldn’t have to figure out two trips to New York.

 

“Ok,” Blake grinned once the girls were settled in the living room of the brownstone, “I’ve got a few surprises in store so I won’t be running through an itinerary, much to Jolie’s dismay.”

“I’m not that bad...” Jolie muttered loud enough for Blake to hear her.

“There will be a scavenger hunt so you are each getting a bag full of items that will help you complete the tasks listed. Each bag contains a disposable camera because if there isn’t proof, it didn’t happen.” Blake passed out the bags, handing the last one to Jolie. “I’m thinking the scavenger hunt will be more fun if we work with a partner, but I’ll let you group people since everyone mixes from various parts of your life.”

Jolie glances around the room. “Partner or teams?”

“Teams?”

“I was thinking maybe we could do Dalton versus Cambridge.” Jolie figured it was the easiest way to divide everyone up. Blake knew the girls fro Dalton and while Yelina and Samantha never actually lived in Cambridge, Jolie associated them with it.

“You’re pitting us against each other?” 

“I am.” Jolie grinned.

“Just remember this was your decision when you get to a few of the racier things on the list and wish I was there to complete them for you.” Blake chuckled.

“How will we know who wins if the film still has to be developed?” Samantha asked, barely looking up from the bag she was digging through.

“I’ve hired someone to get it developed so we can determine a winner tomorrow morning.”

“Where’s the list for the scavenger hunt?” This time Samantha did look up from the bag.

“I’ll pass those out once we’re in the limo.” Blake grinned.

 

Armed with their list of task to complete the girls headed to the first stop of the evening. Jolie scanned through it, not paying attention to the landmarks they passed as she tried to get a feel for items she’d be willing to do herself. Getting someone to buy her a drink didn’t seem too difficult, but she knew Blake would be better at it. Doing a shot would be easy since she figured that would be happening regardless.

“Which one of us is doing that one?” Sarah chuckled as she pointed to ‘take a picture of a penis’ on the list Jolie was looking at.

“We draw straws?” 

“Maybe some guy will just let us aim the camera down the front of his pants and we hope for the best.” Samantha said, causing the four girls in their group to giggle.

“Oh!” Jolie grinned while looking out the window of the limo. The vehicle had pulled up to an ice cream parlor, one that Jolie knew well. “You really did keep me in mind when you planned this.” Jolie smirked as she passed Blake in an attempt to be one of the first ones in line for ice cream.

“Just be glad I scheduled dinner between this and when the actual drinking begins otherwise you’d be puking before we made it out of the first bar.” 

 

Ice cream was followed by a stop at an adult toy shop. It wasn’t a place Jolie had ever ventured into, but she was intrigued enough to enjoy looking around. One of the items on the scavenger hunt was to buy the bride something she could use in the bedroom, and the shop seemed like the perfect place to knock it off. Sarah opted for a ridiculously cheap lingerie set that she picked out as a joke, while Blake decided on a blindfold and a pair of handcuffs.

“You can use them on Rafael if you want.” Blake grinned as she pulled the items off the shelf. Sarah, Samantha, and Yelina chuckled while the girls from Dalton grinned... not really knowing Rafael that well, the humor was lost on them.

“I might just do that.” Jolie said while rolling her eyes.

“Who are you kidding?” Blake smirked, “I mean I don’t know him as well as you and Sarah, but I know you, and there is no way that is happening.”

“Just because he’s the only person I’ve slept with doesn’t mean I’m still inexperienced.”

“I think that’s exactly what it means.” Jolie frowned at Blake, but considering she didn’t really want to get into the details of her sex life in the middle of an adult toy shop she let it go. “Do you want a toy to spice things up a bit?” Blake was grinning despite the scowl on Jolie’s face as she gestured to the vibrator display.

“I’m good.” Jolie huffed.

“Lighten up Jolie,” Blake smiled while resting her hand on Jolie’s shoulder, “I’m only teasing. I’m sure you and Rafael have fantastic sex.”

“We do.” Jolie muttered, her gaze shifting to the display of lifelike dildos. “Does that count as a penis?”

“Umm… if I have to answer that question then I take back what my previous statement.” Blake chuckled.

“I meant for the scavenger hunt.” 

“No,” Blake smirked, “but I would like to know which one most closely resembles Rafael.”

“Yeah, not happening.”

“Why not?” Blake picked one up and handed it to Jolie. “That’s about the size of Casey.”

“Jesus Blake!” Jolie squeaked, dropping the toy to the floor as though she had placed Casey’s actual penis in her hand. “I didn’t care to know that.”

Blake shrugged and turned to Sarah and Yelina who were standing closest to her. “I said about…”

 

Shots were ordered almost immediately when they entered the bar, another item marked off the list, but one they all achieved so it didn’t really put either group ahead. This was only stop one on the tour of bars and clubs Blake had in store for them so they took it easy on the drinks, choosing instead to focus their energy on the scavenger hunt before they lost focus.

The first two bars consisted of each girl giggling while making some sort of ass out of herself for the sake of a picture. Yelina danced with a chair, while Samantha got a guy to lift his shirt and show her his belly button. Jolie’s group laughed when Blake had one of the girls from Dalton snap a picture of her spanking some guy who had willingly bent over a bar stool.

“You’re up.” Yelina chuckled, turning to Jolie when Sarah returned from sneaking in the guys restroom to take a picture next to a urinal.

“Just because I’m the shortest, doesn’t mean this will be easier for me...” Jolie grumbled.

“Yeah,” Sarah smirked, “but it’s next on the list and we’ve all gone.”

Jolie rolled her eyes, but lead her team to a group of guys standing beside the bar. They immediately smiled and spread out a bit to accommodate the approaching girls. 

“I’ve been dared by that crazy blond over there,” she pointed towards Blake who was watching with a grin on her face from the table they had across the room, “to ask one of you for a piggyback ride.” She was tired of explaining the scavenger hunt and felt this was just as believable.

“Bachelorette party?” The taller guy in the middle asked. He was cute, not her type, but definitely someone’s, and she was relieved to see he looked amused.

“Yep.”

“Who’s the bride?”

“That would be me.” Jolie replied, shifting between her feet slightly while she waited for his answer to her question.

He chuckled and turned to squat in front of her. Jolie tentatively climbed on his back and was soon lifted off the ground, laughing as he walked her to Blake and dropped Jolie in her lap.

“To bad sitting in another girls lap isn’t on the list.” Jolie chuckled as she landed.

“I wouldn’t have counted for that anyway.” Blake smirked.

“Are any of you single?” The guy asked.

“Those two.” Blake pointed to two of the girls from Dalton who happily joined the guy with his group of friends for a few rounds. “Great, now I’ve lost half my team…”

“Whatever,” Jolie laughed, “you’re more than willing to do anything on that list, you just need someone to document it.”

“This is true.”

 

The night wound down with everyone returning to the brownstone a little after one. Blake took care of labelling two bags and dumping the cameras inside to be developed and returned to them in the morning. The girls quickly changed to pajamas, but only Jolie, Sarah, Samantha, and Blake returned to the living room. The rest had drank enough to let beds lure them to sleep.

“Why do you still seem sober?” Blake frowned when Jolie took the seat next to her on the couch.

“I paced myself.”

“That will not do.”

“I had fun, I don’t need to be so drunk I’m hungover tomorrow.” Jolie shrugged.

“Yes you do.” Blake left the couch and returned moments later with a bottle of vodka, club soda, an ice bucket, and four glasses. She made them all a drink, passing them out, and then leaned back on the couch. “We’re playing Never Have I Ever and you will be drunk... I’ll make sure of it.”

“I’ll start.” Samantha offered. “Never have I ever had sex outside.”

Blake and Jolie were the only two to drink, causing all eyes to land on Jolie. “What? It wasn’t like anyone could see us.” Jolie grumbled.

“Where?” Blake grinned.

“Where did you?” Jolie countered.

“The field behind the boarding school my parents sent me to, the beach in the Hamptons, my parents yacht... Casey and I take that thing out all the time,” Blake smirked, “you’re turn.”

Jolie’s face flushed. “The hot tub on the back porch of the cabin my parents rented in Aspen.”

“It’s going to be easier to get you drunk than I thought.” Blake stated, causing Sarah and Samantha to chuckle. “Never have I ever had sex on campus... and a dorm room doesn’t count.”

Jolie debated not drinking, because honestly who would know, but in the end decided to take a sip, relieve to see that this time they all four drank.

“My professors office... with his TA.” Samantha chuckled, quickly adding, “this was before Ryan and I started dating,” as her face turned a light shade of pink.

“You know mine.” Blake shrugged.

“Mines similar to Blakes.” Sarah stated. “It was in a locker room while still in high school, only Andrew and I didn’t get caught.”

“So,” Blake urged, “where have you and Rafael been getting squelchy?”

“Squelchy?” Jolie chuckled.

Blake wiggled her brows a few times.

“The law library.” Jolie knew her face was beet red, but it was basically because of how many times they’d done it there, not so much that they’d done it there.

“In the stacks?” Jolie furrowed her brow at Blakes question, but mostly at how curious she suddenly seemed. “What? Casey will be there next year, maybe I’ll surprise him.” Blakes wiggly brows were back causing Jolie to roll her eyes.

“Yes the stacks. There are study carrels along the back wall creating a bit of privacy.”

“I’m so proud of you.”

“Whatever...” Jolie grumbled while rolling her eyes.

“Never have I ever had sex on a plane.” Sarah grinned when Jolie groaned. “I knew one of you had to have with how often you fly on private jets.

“Yeah, yeah...” Jolie grumbled while taking her drink, surprised to see Blake’s glass remain on the coffee table. “I’ve actually done something you haven’t?”

“There’s always people on the plane with Casey and I when we travel and my family’s plane isn’t as large as yours.”

“That’s true. If we hadn’t been able to disappear from view of the flight crew there’s no way I would have instigated anything.” The only place on Blakes family plane to be alone was the lavatory, something that would make their actions knowledgeable to the entire cabin.

“I think Rafael’s been a bad influence on you.” Blake smirked while topping everyone’s drinks off.

“He said the same thing before the hot tub incident.” Jolie grinned.

 

“Jesus…” Jolie groaned, her hand coming to her head as she tried to press the headache away.

“Come to the kitchen and have a little hair of the dog.” Blakes voice sounded close, but still somewhat distant and Jolie peeked through her eyelids to see that she had woken up on the couch.

“You couldn’t have moved me to a bed?”

“You act like I didn’t pass out next to you.” Blake chuckled causing Jolie to squint her eyes shut again.

“We all did, you were just the last to wake up.” Sarah laughed.

“Why do you all seem so chipper?” Everyone was awake and maneuvering about the kitchen.

“Because they’ve all had more to drink.” Yelina smiled handing her a Bloody Mary. “Breakfast will be ready soon.”

Jolie took a seat at the table, taking a sip of the drink as she watched one of the girls from Dalton, Sarah, and Yelina make breakfast. 

“Casey called and the boys are in a similar state to us, but they’re all safe at the hotel nursing hangovers.” Blake said, nudging Jolie with her shoulder. 

“I can’t wait to see Raf.” Jolie smiled, glancing at Blake from the corner of her eye.

“God you’re pathetic.” Blake chuckled.

“Whatever… you’ve already talked to Casey.”

“Oh, speaking of… Have you already rented your house in Cambridge?”

“I’ve been a little busy with other things.” She hadn’t even thought about renting her place out with the wedding preparations.

“Can Casey and I rent it for the next three years?”

“Sure. I’ll have my dad’s lawyers draw up a lease.”

“Great! It’s a three bedroom right?” 

Jolie nodded. “You plan on finding a roommate?”

“No, but having an office and a guest room would be nice.”

“It’s basically set up like that now… I left it furnished.”

“How far is it from Boston College?”

Jolie shrugged and turned to Samantha. “Hey, how far is my house in Cambridge from Boston College.”

“Fifteen minutes, maybe.”

“That’s not bad.” Blake smiled.

“Will you be at Boston College next year?” Samantha asked.

“For grad school while Casey’s at Harvard Law.”

“I’ve got one year left on my undergrad so if you’re bored I’ll be around.”

The door bell rang and one of the girls from Dalton headed down the half flight of stairs to the front door. She returned moments later with two bags, one labeled Jolie’s group the other Blake’s group.

Blake smiled and took them from her. “Now we find out who won.”

The group as a whole voted on each picture determining if it counted or not and then placed it in a pile pertaining to how many points it was worth or a discard stack. They had taken photos not involving the scavenger hunt to help remember the night and those were placed in a separate pile.

“That doesn’t even closely resemble Rafael.” Jolie scoffed at the photo of some random guy Blakes group had taken to satisfy the ‘find a groom lookalike’ item on the list.

“Sure it does,” Blake argued, “look at the hair.”

“It’s dark brown... that doesn’t make him look like Raf.”

“His eyes?” Blake was squinting at the picture, knowing that the guy looked nothing like Rafael.

“Are brown... Rafael’s are green and much more expressive, not to mention larger. The nose is wrong… and the entire structure of his face. Rafael has adorable little cheeks that are accented slightly when he smirks. This guy doesn’t.” Jolie held the picture so close to Blake the she had to back up to actually see it, then noticed that everyone at the table looked amused. “What?!” She huffed not really directing it at anyone in particular.

“I think it’s your odd cheek comment.” Blake chuckled.

“It’s not odd. I like his face.”

“I would hope so.” Blake was still chuckling, but she conceded on the photo of the random guy, dropping it in the discard pile. “Oh my...” Blake pulled a photo from Jolie’s teams stack. “Who took this one?”

“Jolie.” Samantha laughed.

“Jocelyn Rutherford!” Blake feigned disapproval. “I didn’t think you had it in you.”

“You act as though she actually saw it.” Yelina chuckled from the kitchen. “The guy basically held the waist of his pants away from his hips and she blindly aimed the camera down the front. I’m pretty sure she closed her eyes and turned her head while taking the picture.”

“Still counts.” Jolie motioned for Blake to put it in the twenty point pile.

“I suppose so,” Blake smirked, “do you want to see it?”

“Not really.” 

“Oh come on... he was excited.”

“What?” Jolie snatched the picture from Blake, ignoring the laugh that escaped her oldest friend. “He is not.” Jolie grumbled, setting the picture in the correct pile.

“No, but I knew it’d make you look.”

“Only because it would be creepy if he had been.”

“Yes, because agreeing to let you take a picture of his penis wasn’t creepy.” Blake countered.

“I’m pretty sure asking is just as creepy as him agreeing.” 

“It was all in good fun.” Sarah smiled while helping Yelina bring the breakfast to the table. They sorted through the remaining pictures while they ate and then added up the scores, Jolie’s group coming out ahead but only by ten points. 

 

The night before the wedding Jolie had slept at her parents house. She wanted to stick to the tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony, but was finding herself hating spending the day of their wedding without the man she would spend the rest of her life with. It wasn’t that she couldn’t be apart from him for twenty four hours, it was that the day was about the two of them and she was building memories without him.

“What time is it?” She asked for what had to have been the hundredth time.

“Three.” Sarah replied.

Jolie exhaled audibly and plopped into the chair in front of the mirror. Her hair was done, half of it pulled back with soft waves reaching just passed her shoulder and a few tendrils framing her face. The makeup artist had left her with more makeup than she’d normally wear, but it was still fairly natural so she resisted the urge to remove some of it. All she had left to do was get dressed, but it was still a bit too early for that considering the ceremony wasn’t until Five.

“Here.” Blake held out a glass of champagne.

Jolie hesitated, but eventually took it. “You know alcohol isn’t the answer to everything.”

“Never said it was.” Blake smirked.

Annalise barged into the room, her demeanor more on edge than normal. “The photographer wants to take pictures.”

“Ok…” Jolie furrowed her brow, “I thought he was already taking pictures.”

“He is. Candids. He want’s to start on the wedding party at three thirty. The bride first, then the groom. He’ll get ones with you and Rafael together after the ceremony.” Annalise stared blankly at the girls who hadn’t sensed the urgency she felt. “Get dressed.” She huffed, disappearing from the room as quickly as she entered.

 

The pictures provided a much needed distraction for Jolie. She stood with Sarah and Blake in various locations around the rooftop the ceremony was taking place on. Then Jolie posed with her family for a few, then with Lucia and Catalina. He took a few of her by herself with the buildings of New York as the backdrop, pulling her forward enough to take a horizontal photo of her standing so that St. Patrick’s Cathedral was beautifully framed in the back ground. By the time they were finished it was a little after four, the reason for photographing the bride first becoming clear as she assumed wedding guest would be arriving while Rafael, David, and Alex were having their pictures taken.

Time seemed to speed up after pictures and it wasn’t long before Jolie was smiling at Rafael as she walked down the aisle toward him, feeling complete again once her hands were in his. The ceremony itself was fairly short. There were a couple readings Jolie had requested, then a brief bit about the couple that they’d both worked on together. The vows themselves were straight forward since they hadn’t bothered to write their own, and the kiss was modest but still enough to get a small reaction out of the guest.

“I can see why you picked this place,” Alex said while Rafael was taking pictures with the bridesmaids, “it’s pretty.”

“I mainly chose it for the view.” Jolie gestured toward the cathedral.

“Now that you two are in the city again we should get together more often.” He moved noticeably closer to her and Jolie was relieved when Rafael called her name.

“Yeah, sure… set something up with Raf.” She yelled over her shoulder quickly making her way to her husband. Alex’s proximity had made her uncomfortable, but Alex had always made her somewhat uncomfortable so she shrugged it off, just happy to have had a reason to leave without being rude. “Good timing.” She smiled when she reached Rafael.

“What?”

“Nothing,” she lightly chuckled, “what did you need?”

“I think we’re finally through with posed photo’s so I wanted to spend a little time with my wife before the tables were set back up and the guest allowed back out here for dinner.” He smirked pulling her into his arms.

“It’s going to be so pretty.” Jolie turned and started pointing at areas staff from the venue were busy shifting around. “There will be long tables spanning the entire rooftop by the time they are through, and I meticulously work on the seating chart with my mom so that everyone would be placed next to someone they knew. Oh, and we have the place all night… well until three am, but I figure we won’t still be here that late. They’ve set up an open bar, which I assume most of our guest have already taken advantage of, and it’ll be running until two. The lights,” she gestured to the string lights hanging above them, “will switch on when it starts to get dark, and…”

“Jolie…” Rafael gave her a little smirk as he turned her to face him again, “I know all this.”

“I know, I’m just excited.”

He smiled, resting his hands on her hips as she inched closer to him. “You wouldn’t be you if you weren’t.”

Jolie grinned, pushing up to kiss him. Her hands slid under his suit jacket, causing her to pull back from the kiss when they skimmed along suspenders she hadn’t expected to find. 

“Those were supposed to be a surprise for later.” He chuckled, knowing how much she liked it when he came home from work with the suit jacket draped over his arm and the suspenders showing.

“I can’t believe you found a purple that matched your tie and pocket square.”

“And socks, but shhh… don’t tell anyone.” He pressed his finger to his lips as though to shush her.

“I’m really glad I went with a grey suit over black… it looks really nice with the purple.” Jolie was scanning him with her eyes, barely noticing his playful gesture as her hands tugged at the fabric to view specific areas she wanted a bit better.

“Would you quit ogling me?”

“No.” Jolie pulled him back to her lips by the suspenders, smiling when she felt his arm wrap around her waist and tug her closer.