Felicity couldn't focus.
She was lying on the bed with Oliver, both on their sides as he hugged her from behind. He was leaving open-mouthed kisses on her neck and shoulder as his hands trailed over her naked body, and she could feel him ready against her lower back.
But she couldn't focus on him or his loving touches.
Ever since Jerry -Oliver's assistant- kindly reminded her the appointments of the day, something showed up in the back of her mind, keeping her constantly on the edge but she didn't know what it was.
"You okay, baby?" He whispered from behind her.
Come on, babe. It'll be fun!
And just like that, it hit her.
The whole day she had been nervous and tense because exactly two years ago Ellie was conceived. Two years ago, Cooper convinced her to sleep with him. Two years ago, he hurt her for the first time.
Suddenly everything was too much.
Hands touching her, warm breaths against her, lips grazing her skin. Even if everything was made with love, she couldn't handle it.
"No, wait. Please stop." Felicity murmured, trying to disentangle herself from him.
She knew it was Oliver behind her, just like she knew he wasn't going to hurt her, but she was unable to continue and not think back to that night.
Oliver let go of her, and she sat on her side of the bed, her knees pulled up against her chest as she held her head in her trembling hands.
"Felicity?" He softly called her name in worry.
"I'm okay, I promise, but I need a few minutes. Can you give me that?" She whispered.
After a couple of seconds of hesitancy, she heard his quiet reply. "All the time you need."
Felicity relaxed a little and concentrated on her breathing.
It's not Cooper. It's Oliver. He loves you and will never hurt you.
She repeated the words in her head over and over again, like a mantra. She lost track of the time she just sat there calming down until Oliver spoke from somewhere near her.
"Hey... I'll give you more time if you need that, but please put this on."
Felicity opened her eyes and looked in his direction. He was wearing pants and a shirt, his grey hoodie in his hands.
"It's been twenty minutes and you're shaking." He explained pointing at her still naked body.
Twenty minutes. To her, it seemed like twenty seconds.
But Felicity realized he was right, she was shaking from the cold, and with one look at his face she knew he was beyond worried. Felicity sat up straighter and let him help her with the hoodie, she zipped it up as Oliver put a blanket over her legs. Before he could move away, Felicity wrapped her arms around his neck, making him sit next to her. He immediately hugged her back, and she buried her face in the crook of his neck.
"I'm okay." She repeated. "And you did nothing wrong, I promise. I just realized that..." She hesitated.
Oliver's hands soothingly ran over her back, making her relax. "That two years ago Ellie was conceived?"
She was taken aback. "How do you...?"
"After you told me Ellie was born at eight months, I did some math and guessed it happened around this time." He kissed the top of her head. "I just didn't know the exact day."
Felicity relaxed even more in his embrace. "Today Jerry reminded me the date, but I didn't realize it at first. I just did, minutes ago. And you were behind me so I couldn't see you... I mean, I knew it was you and that you weren't going to hurt me, but I couldn't go on, and I... I freaked out a little. Sorry."
"Don't apologize, it's okay." Oliver kissed her temple again making her sigh. "Tell me how I can help you."
She hesitated for a second before pulling away enough so she could look at him in the eyes. "I think I want to talk about it."
He studied her face. "Are you sure? I don't want you to make it worse by telling me."
Felicity shook her head. "We avoided that topic for way too long. And when I talked to you about it, after we met, I skipped a few important parts." She admitted. "Back then I didn't know if I could really trust you, or if you were going to judge me. Now I know what kind of person you are, and I think you deserve to know."
Oliver breathed deeply and nodded. "If you think it'll help you, I'll listen."
"I want to tell you, but only if you won't mind me talking about that. I mean, I know it's a weird talk because it involves another guy and-"
His hands framed her face. "Felicity, you lived with that memory for two years. The least I can do is listen to it so I can support you and do everything in my power to not remind you of that experience again."
Felicity nodded before scooting in the middle of the bed so Oliver could lay next to her. She went to rest her head against his shoulder, her body pressed against his side with her left arm over his middle, his arms wrapped around her.
He kissed the top of her head. "Take all the time you need."
She sighed and decided to just start talking.
"We were in his room, back at MIT, around five or six months after we got together. It started like every other night we spent together before, watching tv and just lying on the bed. He started to kiss me, roughly, but that's how he always did that. Back then I thought it was passion, but... that was not it." Felicity sighed. "He kissed me, and his hand went under my shirt to grab my breast."
"He didn't ask your consent?" Oliver wondered.
"He already touched me like that before, and I did give him my consent. Before that night we touched, just… not intimately." She said. It felt weird talking about it, just like she told him, but Oliver's presence kept her calm. "When he touched me, I didn't feel anything. Not excitement, not pleasure, nothing. I read somewhere that some women don't have sensitive breast, so I thought I was one of them. Later I realized that his touch wasn't to give me pleasure but just selfish want to grope."
Felicity felt Oliver's breathing change as if he was controlling his reaction. She looked up at him and his eyes found hers. They were full of rage and disbelief. She silently asked him what it was, and he sighed.
"No one should be treated like that. I mean, even if I was an idiot years ago, I never groped a girl just for the excitement to touch her. At least I tried to give her pleasure from that touch."
"Yeah, well... You've met him. You saw what kind of a jerk he was." He nodded and she rested her head on his shoulder once again.
"Sorry for interrupting you." He said.
"No, that's okay. I actually want to know what goes through your head." She reassured him.
Felicity sighed. "He touched me, and I decided to take off my shirt, no need to keep that on anyway. He... His eyes lit up as if he just received the best news of his life. He took off his shirt too and started to unbuckle his belt. I remember very clearly saying that I didn't think I was ready to go any further, that maybe we should have stayed on the touching phase for a little more. But he smiled that charming smile of his, or what I thought was a charming smile." She took a deep breath. "And he said to me 'We're already halfway through it. Why waste such an opportunity?' I still wasn't convinced, so he just dropped his pants and grabbed a condom from his nightstand, said to me 'Come on, babe. It'll be fun!'"
Her voice trembled and Oliver ran soothing circles on her back. "At that moment, I thought 'Why not? Maybe we are ready, maybe it's just my head stopping me.' So, I..." Felicity took a deep breath. "I started to take off my pants too."
She stopped talking for a few minutes to gather her thoughts and the courage to continue. Oliver didn't make her any pressure, just held her and silently supported her.
"I'll never forget the look he gave me when he saw me naked. It was something... so gross, that made me doubt my decision to go on. But once again I thought it was all in my head, so I ignored it. We, uh... we got on the bed, and he got on top of me. I told him to be careful. His reply was 'Yeah, yeah. It'll feel good, you'll see.' I knew it was going to hurt but when he-"
Felicity closed her eyes and tightened her hold on Oliver. In response, he tightened his hold too.
"I didn't think it could hurt like that. Not even when he kicked me in the stomach after finding out about the pregnancy, I was in that much pain. It was like something was ripping me from the inside and... I remember I let out a scream and he raised his hand. Looking back at it now, he probably wanted to slap me or something, instead, he covered my mouth and told me to be quiet or people nearby were going think something bad was happening. 'But this isn't bad, am I right'?" She mimicked his threatening voice, which sounded so clear in her head. "I tried to handle the pain and when he removed his hand, I bit my lip to prevent other screams."
Oliver's hand cradled the back of her head, and he pressed a kiss on the top. "I wish I made him suffer more before killing him." He said in a trembling voice.
Felicity looked up at him and saw tears in his eyes. Her left hand cupped his cheek as she stared into his eyes. "I know he needed to pay, especially for ever threatening Ellie, but I didn't want that at the cost of your soul."
Oliver breathed deeply, but from his look she knew he meant what he said. Deciding to go back to that another time, she continued.
"When he started to move the pain increased, and I put my hands on his waist to slow him down. I told him he was hurting me, and, at first, he did slow down. Then it was like a switch had been flipped and he didn't care about it, he said that it was going to pass soon, it was just for a moment. As if he could know how I was feeling." She said in disbelief. "But I wanted to believe him, so we continued, and the pain got just a little better, but it still hurt like hell." A few tears escaped her eyes, and Felicity hastily wiped them away. "He... He grabbed my breast again and told me something about getting a boob job, so there was going to be more to enjoy in the future." She said, disgusted at the memory.
She felt Oliver shake his head. "You don't have to change your body just because an asshole is so superficial and selfish. You are perfect the way you are."
Felicity smiled against him. "Thank you. And I wasn't going to do that anyway, not even if he insisted. I learned to like my body and didn't want to change."
"Good. I love your body like it is." His words filled her with warmth.
She took a deep breath and continued. "He suggested that maybe we needed to change position. Hoping that it was going to feel good instead of painful I agreed. He made me stand and then... suddenly I was face down on the bed. I somehow managed to talk him out of anal sex, it was... it was already bad, and if we added that-" She shook her head. "Anyway, it hurt the same, so I just... I just waited until he finished, giving up any hope to stop hurting."
"Why you- I mean..." Oliver started hesitantly.
"Ask whatever you're thinking about."
"Please don't take this as judging, because I'm absolutely not... But why didn't you try to stop him again?"
She shrugged. "I didn't want to disappoint him. At the time I still believed that he loved me, that it was going to be just that time that hurt. That the next he was going to be gentle and caring."
Oliver ran his hand through her hair. "If he really loved you, he would have stopped even before pushing his hand under your shirt, respecting your need for time."
"I know that now. I wish I realized it sooner." Felicity shook her head. "But I... I just laid there, face down, until he finished. Neither of us noticed when the condom broke. When he pulled away, I sat on the floor, and he... he laid on the bed, the happiest grin I've ever seen on his face. He looked at me and said 'I know it was your first time, but you could have been more active. You have to step up your game because it was boring doing all the job myself.'"
Oliver let out an irritated sigh. "Son of a bitch."
"Yeah and guess what happened next. He fell asleep. Not a question if I was okay, not a word of comfort, nothing." She felt tears running down her cheeks. "He made me feel used like an object. And I felt ashamed of myself. I was ashamed because I let him use me like that when I should have done something about it, like you said. But I was the one who decided I could go on, I was consensual, I know I was, I assure you that-"
"Just because you gave him your consent it doesn't mean he could treat you like that." Oliver told her, running his hands over her back, trying to calm her down. "No one deserves to be treated like that, no one. And hearing all of this happened to you hurts me, because you deserve the best."
His words brought a wave of comfort, a feeling of love and safety that made her start to cry. Oliver just held her, whispering soothing words in her ear and softly kissing the top of her head.
When Felicity was able to calm down again, she gathered the courage to finish her story so they could leave it behind once and for all.
"After he fell asleep, I finally realized that almost every part of my body was hurting and... and there was blood on my legs."
Oliver's arms tightened around her. "Please tell me that you didn't have internal bleeding or something."
"No, it wasn't much, and it already stopped, but... It made me realize that I gave myself, my body and my heart, to someone that didn't give a damn about me. For years I lived my life alone, afraid of loving because of my abandonment issues, and when I thought I finally found someone who was going to be there for me..." She breathed deeply. "I was wrong. So wrong."
"He manipulated you, from the beginning. You couldn't have known." Oliver tried to reassure her.
"Yeah. Now I know that, but back then I didn't see it." She shook her head. "Anyway, that's it. The whole story."
Oliver kissed her forehead. "And the next day he laid his hands on you."
"Yeah." Felicity's voice trembled, her hands clutched his shirt, as she tried to not break down again. "But, as much as I wish that never happened... I would do everything all over again, because in the end it gave me Ellie."
Oliver kissed the top of her head before his right hand cradled her cheek and made her look up at him. "I hope you know how strong you are. Back then and now, telling me all of this, facing every day without letting that consume you."
She didn't know how to respond to that. As Felicity looked up at Oliver, she felt their strong connection, and on instinct, she placed her lips on his before moving to straddle him.
The moment she moved on top of him, Oliver knew he needed to stop her. He didn't want her to have another panic attack, especially after just talking about what she went through. With gentle hands, he cradled her face and made her look at him.
"Maybe it's best if we stop here." He told her softly.
Felicity smiled at him. "I love you. I love you for your thoughtfulness. I love you for your kindness. I love you for your understanding. I love you for your heart. I just love you."
Oliver smiled back at her. "I love you too. For so many reasons."
Her smile widened before she turned serious again. "And I really appreciate you put my needs before your own. But I need to face this, I need to forget the bad memories. Replace them with good ones."
Her fingers caressed his cheeks, slightly raking her nails through his stubble as her eyes roamed over his face, lingering on his lips before stopping on his eyes again to hold his stare.
"I know you're the only one that will be able to make me feel safe again. Make me feel strong and confident."
Oliver would have done anything she asked. So, he wrapped his arms around her and held her close. "Tell me how I can do that."
Felicity sighed. "Make me feel loved."
His eyes searched for any signs of doubts, but he didn't find them. "Only if you're sure it's what you want and need." He whispered.
She smiled and nodded. "I want that. But maybe... you can let me stay on top this time?" She asked hopefully. "I love when you are on top of me, I really do, it's a comforting weight, but tonight-"
"Hey... You can stay on top any time you want. You just have to say it." He reassured her. "Anything else?"
"Don't... don't call me 'babe'?" She whispered. "'Baby' is okay, I like that, but 'babe' is what he always called me."
"Okay, I won't do that." He kissed her forehead. "I also won't make love to you from behind, so you don't-"
"No, I didn't mind that. It's okay if you stay behind. But I don't think I'd be comfortable with... with that other thing, that's weird, I just-"
"Then we won't do that. You don't have to worry about it." Oliver reassured her. "Other things? Particular touches or words?"
Felicity shook her head. As they talked, Oliver's hands had traveled on her hips, his fingertips rested on her naked skin under the hoodie. When he realized that, he made to remove them, but Felicity took hold of his hands. She leaned back, sitting on his legs, she tugged his hands and silently told him to follow her, so he was sitting too, just a few inches separated their faces. With sure movements Felicity led his hands to the zip, silently telling him to undress her.
Oliver did just that, then she helped him to get rid of his shirt and they made quick work to take off his pants too, but their rush came to a stop when she straddled him again. Oliver's arms wrapped around her body, her left hand rested against his cheek as her right hand ran over his chest.
For a moment they just stared at each other, no words needed. Then her hand traveled down his body and took a hold of him, guiding him at her entrance.
"I love you." He whispered sincerely, hoping she understood just how deep his feelings were for her.
Felicity smiled and placed a soft kiss on his lips. "I love you too."
At that, she slowly moved until he was fully inside of her and immediately started a lazy pace. Soft gasps left her opened lips and Oliver couldn't resist kissing them.
She kissed him back, without hurry, little to no tongue, just lips nibbling on each other, their arms wrapped around their bodies. His hands moved in small circles on her back, ran through her hair, cradled her cheeks, trying to convey how much he loved her.
They went on for a long time, neither of them caring that their bodies were getting tired.
Felicity's mouth left his only when she placed her hands on his chest and gently kept him down on the bed, effectively towering over him, searching for the control she needed so much at that moment. Her eyes never left his as her hands on his pecs kept her steady, her hips moved with less coordination, her breathing labored. Oliver moved his right hand and found her clit, gently circling it with his thumb.
"Oliver..." She gasped.
"I'm right here with you, sweetheart." He whispered back.
Her hands seemed to push him down on the bed even more as she frantically moved on top of him, and he knew she was close.
"It's okay, Felicity. Let go." Oliver encouraged her, his fingers working faster.
"I... Ol- I..." Her eyes fluttered closed.
"I love you, Felicity."
That and his fingers pressing on her clit seemed to do the trick. Felicity stopped her movements, her fingers dug into his chest trying to hold on to something, as she let out a long, soft moan. Her body trembled uncontrollably, her arms gave out and she collapsed on his chest.
Oliver wrapped his arms around her, his hips continued to move in slow thrusts, prolonging her pleasure, as he held her close, whispering soft words in her ear. She hid her face in the crook of his neck, her harsh breaths warming his skin.
When she stopped trembling, Felicity just laid there on top of him, as Oliver kissed her temple, her neck, any spot he could reach, and carefully slipped out of her.
After a couple of minutes, Felicity turned her head to look at him. He smiled at her.
"Are you okay?"
She smiled back and slowly nodded. "Thank you."
"Anytime. But you don't need to thank me for loving you."
Felicity smiled and closed her eyes, tired after everything. Oliver carefully maneuvered her, so she was lying on the bed, he stood and retrieved her clothes. He helped her to put on her panties and his shirt, then slipped on his boxers and returned on the bed, covering them both with the bedsheets. As soon as he was lying next to her, Felicity went to rest her head on his shoulder, her arm around his waist and her leg on top of his. His arms held her close and she sighed. She moved even closer to him and her leg brushed against his still hard member. The hand she had on his waist reached down and rested on top of it.
"You didn't finish?" She asked him, sounding shocked for not realizing it sooner.
Oliver grabbed her hand and placed it back on his chest. "It's alright, don't think about it."
"But... I didn't mind if you finished, you know."
"I assure you it's okay, Felicity. I don't care about my pleasure, not tonight." He kissed the top of her head.
Oliver felt her hesitate. "Is it because you didn't-"
"I liked it, a lot." He reassured her in a firm voice.
"Even if you didn't do much?" She sounded unsure.
"Believe me, I enjoyed it very much, and I think we should do this again. But tonight, I didn't make love to you to get pleasure. I only wanted to take care of you." She sighed. "This is me loving you, Felicity. Always remember that everything I do is because I love you."
She took in a shaky breath. "I love you too."
They were silent for a few seconds, then he felt her grin against his shoulder.
"What?" He questioned.
"I was just thinking that I'll make sure to give you your release very soon and... differently than usual."
He frowned, not understanding. "What do you mean?"
"You'll see very soon." She promised.
He still didn't understand, and Felicity laughed against him.
As much as he was curious about what she was talking about, it didn't matter. She was laughing, completely at ease after how their night began. That was what mattered to him. That she was happy.