Noah heard the knock at their door and beamed up at his mommy. "Uncle Rafa!" He announced.
Olivia smiled and nodded. "Let's see!" She replied teasingly.
When she opened the door Olivia found Barba waiting with a slightly sheepish smile, holding a huge bouquet of red, orange and golden-yellow amaranthus, dahlias and scabious, all tied together with warm fall leaves and berries. They were stunning.
Her jaw dropped.
"I wanted to get you some flowers and they were all so beautiful…" He smiled and shrugged.
"So you bought them all?" Olivia smiled broadly.
"Beautiful flowers for a beautiful lady," Barba answered with a playful lilt in his tone, even though Olivia knew that he meant every word. Then because he realised he was now allowed to give in to temptation he leaned in to press his lips lightly to hers.
Olivia felt her heart rate speed up and brought her hand to the back of his neck, bringing him a little closer and lengthening the kiss. She pulled back after a few moments and rested her forehead against his. "They're stunning, Rafa, but you really didn't have to…"
"I wanted to, I've wanted to for a long time and now that I can I-"
Olivia cut off his words with her lips. "Noah is so excited to see you," she finally said as she broke their kiss, "...we shouldn't keep him waiting."
"I haven't forgotten my favorite little man," Barba said as they walked through into the apartment, never really moving far enough apart to not be able to feel the warmth of each other's bodies.
"Rafa…" Olivia started to protest.
"Don't say that I shouldn't, feeling I was able to stop off and buy you both something made me happy…" He smiled at her reassuringly.
"Just having you here makes us happy," Olivia answered with a smile and then accepted the flowers when he passed them to her. She looked at them with affection and felt her cheeks flush a little.
"Uncle Rafa!" Noah had toddled over and was now gripping onto his trouser leg.
"Hey, Noah!" Barba smiled down at the little boy.
Olivia watched with happiness as the man she loved bent and lifted her son into his arms.
Noah laughed joyfully and leaned in to press a wet sloppy kiss to his cheek. "Uncle Rafa!"
"My son adores you, Rafa," Olivia observed, "…something else my boy and I have in common."
Barba looked at her and smiled. "Liv…" He longed to lean in and kiss her but didn't know how Olivia would feel about him doing that in front of Noah.
She sensed her friend's reticence and smiled at her son. "Do you mind if I give your Uncle Rafa a little kiss, baby?"
Noah scrunched up his nose and smiled. Then he watched with interest as his mommy leaned in and pressed her lips lightly against his Uncle Rafa's. This was new...
"Uncle Rafa has brought you a present!" Olivia told Noah as she moved back.
Barba shook himself out of his blissful stupor and nodded. Then he put Noah down, before moving to sit on the floor in front of him and pull the box out of his bag.
Noah looked at the colourful pictures on the box and smiled. He looked up at his mommy, then at his Uncle Rafa, then shook it a little and laughed at the noise.
"Do you want me to open it for you?" Barba asked.
Noah's eyes widened, "Inside?"
Barba smiled, "Yes, there's more inside." He held out his hand and Noah passed him the box, crawling over to sit alongside his Uncle Rafa and watch with excitement as the box was opened. Out fell a couple of plastic bags and Barba quickly emptied them onto the floor and pushed them inside the box before tossing it to one side.
Noah looked at all the colourful bricks with wide eyes. "Pretty!" He said and grinned at Barba.
"See…" Barba picked up two bricks and Noah tilted his head and watched with fascination as his Uncle Rafa slotted the two colours together.
Noah looked in wonder at the two bricks in Barba's hands, then laughed excitedly and reached to grab two of his own. He concentrated really hard, missing a couple of times and then finally linking the bricks and showing his Uncle Rafa proudly. Then he looked up at his mommy, held up the bricks and grinned.
"We have a future Lego fan," Olivia said happily, genuinely touched by the way the two had been sitting on the floor playing together.
Barba smiled and nodded, then watched as Noah reached out and picked up the monkey.
Noah turned it over in his little hands and then seemed to register the holes in the bottom. He reached over and gently held Barba's hands in place before pushing the monkey on top of his two bricks and grinning broadly. He sat back on the floor and looked at the two bricks and monkey connected together in his Uncle Rafa's hand then laughed and clapped.
Barba looked up at Olivia and smiled - if he thought winning a case was a rush, this was amazing!
"I'll be here?" He offered cautiously. "If you'll both let me? I'll be here to help him build a Millennium Falcon. We could do it together…"
Olivia nodded and felt tears well in her eyes. She knew what he was saying, about his commitment to her, and to her son. "We'd really love that…" She assured and swiped at the tears in her eyes before adding, "You know, I've never actually seen Star Wars?"
Barba's mouth dropped open and to Olivia's amusement, he looked almost speechless with shock. "Y-you…" he paused and then finally concluded, "…you can't be serious?"
Olivia laughed, "It wasn't a choice. I just never got around to it. My home life was complicated and as I got older I always meant to…" she trailed off and laughed.
Barba was still staring at her with complete shock.
Noah was now focused on his Duplo, even Georgie had woken up and sauntered over to inspect his new toy.
"I…" Barba shook his head, "…I'm not sure I've ever met someone who has never seen Star Wars." He stood and walked with her to the kitchen and watched as Olivia filled a large vase and arranged her flowers. He glanced over his shoulder to check that Noah was busy, then brought his hands to her hips and leaned in to kiss up her neck.
"I'm sure you have, Rafa," Olivia smirked and leaned back against him, "…the subject probably never came up."
Barba smiled. "I never imagined myself falling in love with a woman who didn't like Star Wars, teenage Rafael would be horrified."
"So, let's watch the first one later?" Olivia suggested and turned to face him.
"You don't have to, Liv. I guess it is a little silly…" Barba assured.
"I'd really like to share this with you, Rafa, it was obviously an important part of your childhood." She laughed softly and added, "As long as I'm allowed to lay in your arms and kiss you whenever I want, even during your favorite bits?"
He laughed and pushed his hips toward her a little as their lips ghosted against each other teasingly. "You're my favorite bit, mi alma...you can always kiss me whenever you want," he assured softly.