Chapter 33:  Thankful

Thanksgiving break was approaching and like any other impending break, school was a mixture of tests and chaos as students and teachers alike frantically tried to get everything in order and make preparations for celebrating the big feast day before school let out on Tuesday.  After school on Monday, Alex had invited Olivia in so they could do some last minute cramming before their psychology test the next day.  By the time they had finished studying together, it was already 11:30, so Alex had asked Olivia if she wanted to spend the night.  Of course, Olivia had happily obliged.


Olivia woke up and rubbed her eyes.  She glanced over at the clock on Alex’s nightstand and saw that it was 4:30.  She turned over and was just about to go back to sleep when she noticed that Alex was slumped against her headboard and her glasses had slid down some on her nose.  Olivia smiled and thought, She must’ve fallen asleep studying.  Aww, she looks so precious.  Reaching over to get her phone, she silently snapped a picture then carefully took off Alex’s glasses and tucked them into their case.  After closing her textbook and putting her notes back into her notebook, she removed them as well from Alex’s lap.  Then she gently gathered Alex’s sleeping form into her arms and slid her back down so that her head lay on the pillows.  Alex stirred in her sleep and mumbled something unintelligible, absently cuddling up in Olivia’s arms.  Olivia placed a kiss on her hair and in a few minutes, she was back to sleep herself.




As Olivia and Alex came out of Mrs. Olivet’s room the next morning, Alex asked her, “So how do you think you did?”


Olivia shrugged.  “Fine, I guess.  So are you going out of town for Thanksgiving?”


“Nah.  Not this year.  Everyone’s coming over to our place.  Speaking of which, there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you.”


“What’s that?”


“Well…my mom was wondering if you and your mom wanted to join us for dinner on Thursday,” Alex replied, smiling hopefully.


Olivia’s eyes lit up.  “Really?  Wow…Thanksgiving with the Cabots.  I’ll see how many embarrassing stories I can get them to tell about you.”


Alex rolled her eyes.  “I’ll take that as a yes.”


Olivia smiled and slipped her arm around Alex’s shoulders.  “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”


“There’s only one catch,” Alex told her.


“What’s that?”


“You really do have to behave, Liv,” Alex said, tapping her on the arm and heading to the cafeteria.




“Are you still coming over for Thanksgiving this year?” Elliot asked, cutting into his turkey.


Olivia grinned.  “I’ll have to pass this year, El.  Alex invited me and my mom over.”


His eyes grew wide.  “Really?  Wow.  I heard their holiday parties are pretty exclusive.  You guys are lucky you’re gettin’ in.”


“Yeah,” Olivia said, taking a bite of her roll.  “I’m pretty stoked.  Our first holiday together.”


Elliot gave her a confused look.  “I thought you two were just friends.”


Olivia sighed.  “We technically still are.  But being invited over for Thanksgiving makes me feel like I’m closer to her than just a friend, you know?”


“Yeah.  But don’t push her for anything more.  It could just be a friendly gesture to let you know how much she still cares about you.  Besides, your mom is gonna be there too.”


“I’m aware of that, El.  This is just really special for me.”


Elliot smiled.  “I know, Liv.  I’m happy for you.  Be excited but not too excited, if you get my drift.”


Olivia smiled back at him.  “I get to dress up and spend Thanksgiving alongside the most beautiful girl in the world.  That reminds me, I need to tell Alex to make sure I’m seated right beside her.”


Elliot laughed.  “You know, if I looked up ‘whipped’ in the dictionary I’m sure your picture would be right beside it.”


Olivia grinned and cut into her sweet potatoes.  “Yep.”




Olivia and Serena Benson showed up at the Cabot residence at 5:30 on Thursday.  The place was already bustling with numerous Cabot family members and town socialites.  Alex walked over to them in a spectacular black sequined dress to welcome them and introduce them to her relatives.


Dinner was an absolute feast.  Every sort of food imaginable graced the long table, including many dishes that Olivia had never had before.  Olivia was seated by Alex, and she and her mother seemed to be blending in well with the Cabots.  As a college professor, her mother was a great conversationalist, and Alex’s mother had immediately taken to her.  Both Olivia and Alex were shocked at how fast the two became friends and at how much they had in common.


“Olivia is such a sweet girl, Serena.  I’m thrilled that Alex is such good friends with her,” Alex’s mother said, smiling warmly at Olivia.


“Thank you, Madeline.  I wish I could say I had the pleasure of meeting Alex before tonight but Olivia hasn’t brought her around.”  Then turning to Olivia, Serena asked, “Why is that sweetie?”


Olivia looked at Alex and swallowed some cranberry stuffing before answering.  “Um…you’re always at the college when she comes over.”


Her mother patted her hand and responded, “Well then you’re just going to have to invite her over when I’m home.”  Olivia just smiled.


Madeline took a sip of her Merlot and stated, “You know Serena, Alex is a very good rider.  Perhaps she and Olivia can go riding together one day?”


“Oh yes!  That would be wonderful!” Serena agreed.  “I’ve always been proud of my daughter’s skills in basketball but she should open up to other venues.”


Olivia looked at Alex.  “Hey, you never told me you can ride.”


Alex shrugged.  “You never asked.  I have a Trakehner named Puttin’ on the Ritz.  We all call her Ritz for short.  She boards at the stables but I don’t get to ride her as often as I used to.”


Olivia smiled.  “You can teach me then.”


“I’d love to,” Alex replied, returning her smile.


An hour and a half later, everyone had had enough food, wine, and dessert to make them pop.  Serena, Madeline, Olivia, and Alex all went into the family room to talk more.  Madeline pulled down a photo album off the shelf.  “Serena, Olivia, you have to see these photos of Alex when she was younger.  She could be quite the little troublemaker sometimes.”


Alex looked at her mom in panic.  “Mom, that’s really not necessary.  I’m sure they’d rather see pictures of the family.”


“Nonsense.  You have nothing to be ashamed of, darling.”  Her mother brought over the photo album and started showing them all her baby pictures.  “See, this is Alex when she began crawling.  And this is Alex when she took her first steps.  Oh, and here is my favorite!  This is from her first birthday!”


Olivia’s entire face lit up.  “Aww, you were so cute!  Look mom!  Isn’t she adorable?”


“Why, yes she is, Olivia,” Serena responded, smiling.


Alex smiled.  Maybe she took the naked pictures out, she thought hopefully.  However, she would have no such luck.  Madeline turned a few pages and there they were.  “Oh, and how can I forget?  For her second birthday, she smeared cake and ice cream all over herself so I went to change her.  I turned my back and she went running through the house.  Luckily her father caught her—but not before he got a good picture.  Oh, and here’s another!  Alex was three in this one.  We told her Santa was here to visit her and before I could get her dressed, she was so excited that she decided to go see Santa in her birthday suit.”


Alex was completely horrified that not only had Olivia seen her naked baby pictures, but so had Olivia’s mother.  She buried her face in her hands.  “Mom!”


Olivia was highly amused.  “Don’t be embarrassed, Alex!  Those are the cutest things I’ve ever seen!” she cooed, wrapping her arm around Alex and hugging her close.  She then whispered in her ear, “I want copies of all these.”


Alex looked at her as if she were crazy.  “Not on your life.”


Serena flipped another page in the photo album.  “Madeline, if I’d known you had baby pictures of Alex I would have brought pictures of Olivia when she was younger.  There is this photo of her when she was three in the backyard, completely naked and covered in mud, holding her rubber ducky.  I’d tried to tell her that the bathtub was the opposite direction, but she wouldn’t listen.”  They all laughed except Olivia, who turned crimson.


Alex leaned forward and exclaimed excitedly, “Oh Ms. Benson, you have to show me this photo.”  She leaned back and turned to Olivia.  “Not laughing now, are you?”


Olivia looked at her mom.  “Mom, I thought you told me you lost that photo!”


Her mother grinned at her.  “I lied.  I didn’t want you looking for it and disposing of it.”


“Mom!” Olivia exclaimed. 


Alex just giggled.  “So Ms. Benson, do you have any embarrassing stories about Liv you can tell me?” she asked.


Olivia shot her mother a warning look.  “Mom, don’t even…”


Of course, her mother ignored her.  “Well, once when Olivia was a little girl we were at the beach.  I’d told her not to drift too far away but of course being 4, she didn’t listen.  All of a sudden, I heard her screaming her head off.  I ran over to see what was wrong and she had these huge tears rolling down her little cheeks.”


Alex turned to look at Olivia.  “Aww,” she cooed, pouting and pinching her cheek.  Olivia blushed.


Serena continued, “So I asked her what was wrong and she just turned around.  A crab had attached itself to the back of her swimsuit and not just anywhere—right to her little bum.  So after several minutes of maneuvering, I was finally able to remove his claw and assess the damage.  His pinchers had left these two deep punctures right on her left hip.  For the next week, she was afraid to sit down because it hurt so much, so I had to buy her a little seat ring.  And she also refused to eat crab until she was 11.”


Alex pointed at Olivia and laughed.  “Seat ring?  You had to have a seat ring?” she asked, bending over and holding her stomach.  Olivia blushed harder and just buried her face in her hands. 


Alex sat back up and rubbed Olivia’s back.  “Aw, Liv!  That’s unbelievably cute.  But I bet you don’t get too close to crabs on the beach now, do you?”


Olivia rolled her eyes.  “Haha, Alex.  Very funny,” she stated dryly.  “When one pinches your butt, you’ll be begging for a seat ring.”  They all laughed.


After the four of them had looked through several more photo albums, Alex excused herself and Olivia, and the two went up to her room to get away from the crowd.


As soon as they settled down on her bed, Alex asked Olivia, “Do you still have the scars?”


“From what?” Olivia asked, knowing very well what Alex was referring to.


Alex rolled her eyes.  “Come on, Liv.  You know what I’m talking about.”


Olivia blushed brightly.  “I refuse to answer that.”


Alex jumped up off the bed excitedly.  “You do, don’t you?  Come on, get up and drop trou.”  She pulled Olivia off the bed.


“Oh no!  No way!” Olivia protested.


Alex pouted.  “Please?  For me?”


Olivia felt her heart melting.  “Alex, don’t give me the eyes.  You know the effect they have on me.”


Alex pouted harder.  “Pleasssseeeeeeee.”


Olivia sighed.  “All right, all right.  But what do I get in return?”


Alex smiled.  “My undying love and affection.”


Smirking, Olivia pulled down her black dress pants and underwear right below her ass.  Alex knelt down and examined it carefully until she was finally able to make out the traces of two barely noticeable scars.  “How could I have missed this?” she wondered out loud, lightly running her fingers over the faint marks. 


Olivia blushed again and shivered at the contact.  Alex burst out laughing.  “Your ass just blushed!”  She leaned forward and placed a quick, chaste kiss where her fingers had previously been.


Olivia felt a warm rush go through her.  She pulled up her pants then dove under the covers and lay down on her stomach, burying her head under a pillow.  Alex got in beside her and cooed, “Aww, you’re so cute.”  Gently, she lifted the edge of the pillow and peeked under.  Olivia tried to pull it back down, but Alex was able to sneak a kiss on her cheek before she could.  Olivia whimpered in response.  Alex reached down to her sides and tickled her, forcing her to turn over and face her.


“Alex, quit it!” she demanded, giggling and trying to fight off Alex’s hands.


Alex finally stopped tickling her and grinned slyly.  “Do you still happen to have that seat ring?”


Olivia’s mouth dropped open in shock.  “Even if I did I’d never tell you!”


Alex got off the bed and started for the door.  “Well then I’ll just go downstairs and ask your mom.”


Olivia jumped out behind her and grabbed her from behind.  “Oh no you won’t!”


Alex giggled and tried to pull herself out of Olivia’s grasp.  “And just how are you gonna stop me?”


Olivia picked her up and threw her over her shoulder.  “Like this.”  Then she began spinning them around.


Alex kicked and laughed harder.  “Stop, Liv!  Put me down!  I’m getting dizzy!”


“Not until you promise not to ask my mom about the seat ring!” she shouted, continuing to spin them.


“Ok, ok!”


Olivia stopped spinning and put her down, then they both collapsed onto her bed.  “Oh god!  I think I made myself dizzy,” Olivia stated, putting a hand on her forehead.


Alex turned to look at her.  “Serves you right!”  Then she closed her eyes.  “I think I can see stars now.  Liv, if you’ve given me permanent brain damage I’ll sue you.”


Olivia chuckled.  “No you won’t.”


“Oh yeah?  Just watch!”


Olivia reached over and grabbed her hand.  After holding it for a few minutes, she turned over on her side and asked, “So do I get a reward for good behavior?”


Alex looked at her incredulously.  “Good behavior?  You call what you just did good behavior?”


Olivia smirked.  “Hey, you started it.  But I’m talking about for behaving in front of the relatives.”


Alex reached over and ruffled her hair.  “I guess you do deserve one.”  She leaned over and innocently kissed her on the cheek.  “How’s that?”


Olivia raised her eyes skyward and pretended to ponder.  “Nah, I think my stellar behavior warrants a little more.”


Alex cuddled up to her.  “I suppose we can snuggle for a few.”


Olivia smiled brightly and wrapped her arms around her.  For a few minutes, they just stared silently into each other’s eyes.


“So what are you thankful for?” Alex asked, finally breaking the silence.


“You,” Olivia responded simply.


“Besides me,” Alex said, stroking her cheek with a finger.


“Ok.  That my mom has that picture of me in the backyard tucked away somewhere safe where you will never see it,” Olivia replied, grinning smugly.


Alex laughed.  “In your dreams!  You know I’ll see it one day.  Seat ring too.”


Olivia laughed and rolled her eyes.  “So what are you thankful for?” she asked in return.


“You,” Alex echoed her.


“Hey!  That was my answer!” Olivia teased, although she was beyond delighted to hear Alex say so.  “You really mean that?”


“I do,” Alex confirmed.


Olivia smiled and played with one of Alex’s curls.  “You know, that really means a lot to me, Al.”  Olivia leaned over and kissed her forehead.


Alex smiled.  Then getting off her bed, she stretched out her hand to Olivia.  “Come on, let’s go back downstairs and mingle with the rest of the gang.” 


Olivia held back and said, “Only if I can have more of your mom’s strawberry chocolate mousse.”


Alex laughed and shook her head.  “And you say I’m the one who’s always eating.  All right, you can have some more.  And if you’re good, I’ll even let you take some home.”


Olivia grinned and replied, “That’s my girl.”  She took Alex’s hand and the two happily made their way back downstairs to the bustling crowd.