Burn Us Down

10: I Need The Space

Tucking her knees up towards her chest, Olivia let out a quiet sigh, trying to shake the dull sting which, not for the first time, had started to build up behind her eyes. She had gotten better at it, with a couple of weeks separating that morning from the one when she had first seen the pictures, she had gotten better at not letting it overwhelm her, but still, from time to time, it got to her and for a few minutes, she let it before she composed herself again. Closing her eyes, she took in a few breaths, trying to calm herself down before she heard a knock at her hotel room door, something which caused her to let out a quiet groan, glaring at it from beneath her eyelashes. She had wanted peace and quiet. The move from her sister’s spare bedroom to a hotel room in town was motivated by her wanting to close out the noise for a little while, and she couldn’t stop herself from being a little irked, even if she didn’t know who was on the other side of the door.

Staring at the door, she wordlessly willed the person on the other side of it away, before the knocking started up again, causing her to stand from her chair with a sigh. Shuffling across the room, she wiped at her eyes, hoping in vain that she could mask the red around her eyes, before she hauled the door open, her complaints dying on her tongue when she saw who stood on the other side of it. “Papa?” she squeaked. She hadn’t been expecting him, when she’d last spoken to him, he’d been away on a business trip that he couldn’t get away from, and it meant that his appearance on the other side of her door had more than caught her off guard.

Alex’s warm smile softened as he took a look at his daughter. “Your sister gave me your room number” he said gently “I bought breakfast” he added, lifting a hand to show off the bag he held.

Olivia wiped her eyes again before she forced smile, swinging the door open a little wider. “When did you get back?” she asked, moving to close the door after her father.

Alex, who’d been looking around the room, turned to look at her. “My flight got in late last night” he replied “I wanted to come as soon as I could, but I didn’t think you’d appreciate me showing up in the middle of the night” he added, flashing her a small playful smile.

Olivia didn’t even try to mirror it, knowing that her father would see thought it instantly. Instead, she wandered towards him, plucking the bag of food out of his hand before she padded back towards the bed, plopping down amongst the sheets.

Alex watched her, allowing a few beats of quiet to pass, before he stepped across the room, dragging the chair which sat in the corner towards the foot of the bed. “Why aren’t you staying with Melissa?” he asked as he sat down.

Olivia shrugged, taking a bite of the sandwich he’d bought for her. “She probably already told you” she mumbled.

“I want to hear it from you” Alex replied, leaning forwards to push her hair out of her eyes.

Olivia glanced at him before she quickly looked away, focussing on the sandwich in her hands. “I got…overwhelmed” she admitted quietly “I mean, I know that Melissa means well, but she didn’t quite get that I didn’t want to talk about…it with her all of the time. She keeps telling me that there are all these things I have to do, but she doesn’t quite understand that I am not ready to…to do them, yet. I don’t know if want to do them at all” she explained carefully.

Alex’s eyes zeroed in on the engagement ring she still wore before he let out a soft sigh. “You don’t know?” he asked gently.

“You know how I feel about him, papa” Olivia replied, hiding her hand self-consciously.

“And I know that I saw those pictures of him with his tongue down some other woman’s throat” Alex replied sharply before he took a breath, trying to calm himself down. He knew that yelling wasn’t about to help anything.

Olivia shook her head. “Why does everyone say that like I didn’t see them?” she replied.


“You and Melissa” Olivia cut him off “Do you think I don’t know what happened? Do you think I am completely oblivious?” she added, her voice rising.


“I know what he did!” Olivia yelled, her eyes growing tearful “I know that I should want to get as far away from him as I can, and that I should have no problem calling our wedding vendors and cancelling all of the plans we made. I should want to get my stuff out of our home, but I don’t know that I do want that, and I am sick of people weighing in and trying to tell me that I should. I know he’s messed up, OK? No one knows it more than me” she added.

Alex just reached out, coaxing her into a hug as she began to cry gently on his shoulder. Holding her tightly, he gently rubbed his hand up and down her back before he pulled back, tilting her head so that her hazel eyes mirrored his. “I’m sorry, kiddo” he mumbled softly “I’m not trying to…to say the wrong thing, but if I am, I’m sorry. I just hate that you’re hurting, Oli” he added, wiping the tears off of her cheek.

Olivia was quiet for a few moments, closing her eyes as she tried to calm herself down, before she blinked them open again, staring at her father. “I don’t want to lose him, papa” she whispered quietly.

“Why?” Alex prodded, grimacing slightly when he heard how insensitive his tone was.

Olivia shrugged her shoulders, looking down at her lap. “I love him” she replied quietly “I know that that’s stupid, but I do and I can’t just shut that off. He’s a pain in the ass, and he’s messed up so massively, but I just…” she trailed off, offering a shrug in place of the end of her sentence.

Alex tucked her damp hair behind her ear before he leant forwards, pressing a kiss against her forehead. “OK” he murmured softly.

“OK?” Olivia asked.

“He’s not my favourite person” Alex mused “I mean, the fact that you’re here like this…he’s going to need to answer for that, Oli, but I am not going to make it hard for you. You want to fix it, then fix it, I’ll be right behind you if you need me to be” he added, his lips curving upwards ever so slightly. He knew that it wasn’t going to be the same, the previously good relationship that he and Gerard had had was unlikely to be fixed any time in the near future, but he had little intention of getting in the way of Olivia if she did want to fix things with him. Alex didn’t like what the defender had done, he didn’t like that his daughter was sat in front of him, her eyes still red from crying over the defender, but he knew that the ultimate decision was Olivia’s to make, and that he had to let her make it.

Olivia wiped her cheek, a little crease in her forehead.

Alex smiled and kissed her head again. “Just promise me that you’ll take your time” he murmured softly “I know how you feel about him, but just because you want things to work out between you, doesn’t mean you just have to forgive him instantly. Take your time, make sure that things feel right first, eh?” he prodded gently.

“It’s why I am here” Olivia replied, gesturing to the hotel room around her.

“You could always come home” Alex offered “Valeria wouldn’t mind having you” he added.

Olivia shook her head. “I need the space” she said “Though, I’m grateful for the offer” she added.

Alex smiled. “At least come to dinner this week” he quipped “Valeria’s got a few recipe she wants to try and impress you with” he added.

Olivia’s smile was half-hearted as she nodded her head softly, something which made Alex draw her in again, hugging her tightly. “I’m sorry I wasn’t here sooner, kiddo” he murmured softly “I should have been” he added.

Olivia squeezed him tight. “I’m OK” she mumbled.

Alex wanted to point out that she had open her hotel room with her eyes red from crying, but he refrained, simply holding her tighter to him, trying to comfort her as best he could.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)