As much as she'd like to think she's helping Heather by staying in L.A., Rebecca can't ignore the fact that she has become third wheel. Neither Heather or Ulises have even so much as hinted she should go, but Rebecca senses their need for privacy, to have their house back to themselves. So Rebecca does what a real friend would do, and found her own place, a small guest cottage in Echo Park that she can take from month to month. Because, waiting to hear from Shannon, she can't make any long term commitments. The first thing she does when she takes the key from Zach is email Shannon, giving him her new address, making sure to explain she hasn't settled in L.A. permanently. He hasn't called her, and she's refrained from calling him, giving him the space and time to think he asked for, but given the way she ran off on him before, she wants to be sure he knows where she is, and that she's here when he's ready to talk to her again.
When she settles into her new place, Rebecca discovers that she's been needing some privacy herself, that living in Heather's house, constantly worrying about her friend while at the same trying to stay out of the way, was impeding her own writing. Alone, she's finally able to give her characters voice, to write the stories that have been telling themselves in her head.
"Have you thought about answering the voice?" the therapist suggests.
"Answering it? Esparza's dead," Heather says.
"He may be dead, but his voice is living in your head. Maybe if you answered it, you wouldn't fear it so much."
'You like fucking that cop, bitch?'
"I have nothing to say to him," Heather sobs.
"Think about it," the therapist insists.
After therapy, Heather goes to her martial class. Having a gun proved useless; when she needed it, she couldn't get to it. She may never feel truly safe again, but being able to defend herself without a weapon at least makes her feel less vulnerable.
When her day of therapy and martial arts class is done, Heather meets up with Ulises and Laurel in the park. Seeing him with her daughter - their daughter, now- still makes Heather stop and sigh. She had been so used to being alone, she had never thought it would be any other way, but she got what she'd never thought was possible, a man she loved who was as good for her daughter as he was for herself.
"How was your day?" Heather asks as she joins them.
"I riding!" Laurel announces gleefully, "Look!"
When the ride is over, Ulises lifts Laurel up and sets her down by the activity table to play with block, while he and Heather sit together on a nearby bench.
"I got news today; they're taking me off Vice," Ulises tells her, "Officially, I'm getting promoted. And a raise. But it's a desk job."
"Well, that's good, isn't it?" Heather asks. His voice clearly indicated he wasn't happy about this news. "It's safer."
"I didn't become a cop for my safety," Ulises says, "I never wanted to be stuck behind a desk, I want to be out there, fighting crime."
"I'm sorry," Heather says, trying to sound sincere. But her relief is too obvious to be hidden.
"I should have taken him out when I had the chance," Ulises says after a long pause. He doesn't have to say it any clearer, she knows he means he should have killed Esparza that night when he found him in her house.
Heather slides close to him, so he can put his arm around her. "Killing in cold blood, that's not you," she says gently.
"But if I had, none of this would have happened."
"It could have turned out worse," she says, "You do what you know is right. Don't start doubting yourself now."
His lips brush against her shoulder. "I wanted to protect you. I'd lay down my life for you. But I wasn't there, when you needed me."
"You were there," Heather says, "You got there just in time."
"Stop," she says, "Don't go there. It's not your fault. We can't keep going over how it could have been different, how we could have prevented or stopped it; it's done, and we survived it. We need to be happy with that, we're here and we have each other."
'You like fucking that cop, bitch?' Heather winces as the internal voice pipes in. Ulises pulls away from her, thinking it's him she's wincing from. 'Shut up!' Heather screams in her head, trying what the therapist suggested. All she gets for her trouble is an echo, Esparza's smug chuckle. Bitch.
"The sun is setting," Ulises says, changing the subject instead of pointing out the lasting repercussions of Esparza's attack, the way it shattered her state of mind, and what it's done to his career. "We should get Laurel home."
"I need a shower," Heather says once they've got Laurel fed and dressed for bed, "Could you scrub my back?"
"Love to," Ulises says, and they get into the shower together.
"All set?" he asks, wrapping his arms around her.
"Mmm," she sighs, "That was wonderful."
He kisses her neck, and she feels him getting hard behind her. He pulls away from her then, not wanting to pressure or disturb her.
"Wait," Heather whispers, turning to face him. He makes a sound between a whimper and a groan when she takes his cock in her hand, "We're not done yet."
Heather leans against the shower wall, pulling him with her.
"This is what you want?" he asks, unsure. Because every time they've gotten this far, she's backed off, closed up, and it's ended in tears.
'You like fucking that cop, bitch?'
"Yes, I do!" she answers aloud with a vehemence that verges on anger. Esparza has nothing further to say.
"Well, all right, then," Ulises says, a little surprised at her passionate insistence.
She gasps as he enters her, and he stops there, still afraid of hurting her.
"Don't stop," she whispers, grabbing his ass. So he makes love to her, slowly, gently, like she might break. "Mi amor," she sighs, stroking his back, feeling his skin under her fingers, his lips on her neck, him inside her, and nothing coming between them. Esparza's dead, she thinks, silenced forever. "Tell me you love me," she murmurs, "I want to hear your voice."
"I love you. I love every inch of you, everything about you. I love being with you. I love you," he says, giving her what she asked for and more, passion building with every word, until he forgets that she's made of glass, stops worrying about shattering her with his touch, taking her like a woman made of flesh, his lover, his wife.
"Yes," she sighs, "Oh, yes."