A/N: Oh some romance. On Valentines Day. Huh. Seems like as good as an excuse as any to me! Also, if this two suckers are going to keep distracting me, they might as well be shared. Once I get a certain long-standing adventure finished, a formal introduction will be on the cards. Until then, well I'm being a horrible tease. Have fun with that!
She picked up her phone from the bedside table, holding it close to her chest to shield its bright light from illuminating the entire room. She peered a glance at the time. 02:43. She pressed the button to lock it and placed it back as quietly as she could manage. She exhaled before rolling onto her back again, staring up to the ceiling.
Her chest ached again. Dull, constricting pain. She forced herself to breathe in and hold, ignoring how it made her head feel funny, before she breathed out deeply. She repeated the practice numerous times like a rhythm until she could finally feel herself relax. The sheets shifted beside her and she stopped.
He was still sound asleep, his bare back now to her. The tightening got hold again. She rolled her eyes in the darkness. All that for nothing. Though she frowned at him for being the cause of this, her expression quickly softened as he began lightly snoring, blissfully unaware.
She rolled, placing her arm underneath her head to face him. She placed a hand gently on his back, a feather-light touch. With each of his breaths, in and out, in and out, her hand sunk and raised with his movement.
She swallowed hard, tracing a line across his skin with her finger. Then another followed by a circle. Before she had really thought what she was doing, she had spelt it out, plain before her.
I love you.
She tentatively did it again. Then again and again. Again. It stopped becoming letters to her and more of a motion. A twitch. It stopped being something to concern, to fear, to something she could understand almost as well as a movement of her own body. She brought her hand away reluctantly.
Yet as she tried to say it aloud, something stopped her like her tongue became solid. It was just three syllables; three short words. Words with such gravity it could both lift and crush her spirits in one breath. Surely it shouldn't have been so difficult though if she meant it?
She looked back at the ceiling.
How many times had she done this? Stare up at this very ceiling for hours, counting the various marks of years gone by when bouts of insomnia had gripped her through her childhood? Far too many to remember. But this time was very different. Namely because she knew exactly why she couldn't sleep, it was as clear as the sea view on a warm summer's day. Yet, stupidly, she was sharing a bed with it. Again.
She threw her hands to her face to stifle her sigh. At least the first time she could have put down as a lack of inhibitions. Now, she had no excuses left - she was stone-cold sober and the one who propositioned him. Why was she doing this to herself? Masochism was not a trait she ever possessed before but after spending this time with him, this glorious time, she was beginning to think she now did.
She knew it was never meant to last.
She was letting herself get seduced by the feeling only to know it would all have to end as soon as their two different lives stopped running side by side. If she had ended it sooner, cut all ties as soon as the job was done, she wouldn't have this inevitability to face now. It was only going to hurt more knowing what might have been if there was any chance it could work.
The sheets moved and as she turned her head, she was greeted by his face next to hers. His arms wrapped around her waist. She held her breath. Like if she moved even an inch right now, everything would just crumble away. Her chest burned in the dark stillness.
He was everything she had put him down to be at the start. Prideful, arrogant, stubborn, vain. But somewhere, where exactly she frustratingly still couldn't pinpoint, those negatives became more positive. He had pride because he was passionate, not just for himself but for others too. His arrogance was annoying but with it came his innate sense of self-confidence and ability that had been proven time and time again. Hell, his stubbornness rivalled even hers but it only showed when he was truly dedicated to a cause, unrelenting until his goal was sought. And yes, he was attractive. She hadn't ever said that to him though. He'd clearly heard it enough times through his life from other girls, that's probably why he was so big-headed about it.
"I love you too," he whispered into her hair sleepily. Her heart raced, something she would curse herself mentally for later. He tugged her closer before settling. His breath tickled the exposed skin of her neck.
Just like before first kiss they shared – though desperately she wanted to forget that one had ever happened. But the next one, what she would always consider the first was… well, different. It was just right.
She could feel her cheeks warming simply at the thought of what briskly came next after that. Again, it had all felt right. So maybe that's why she hadn't used her sense to prevent this situation she was stuck in.
But everything that had caught her attention in the first place, that was nothing compared to the rest. Wearing his shirt, she could appreciate the smell of him after the cologne had gone. Carried in his arms, she realised how he was constantly warm. She noted his definition of his muscles, not all obvious from his frame and the way he could press the curves of his body against her own so effortlessly. The taste of his mouth lingered on hers, even now. Her ears still tingling with that low husky tone that seemed to slip in once everyone had disappeared. And the French too, she didn't know how intentionally that was but it worked all the same. She was hooked. Intoxicated by every part of him, she ached for him to relieve her some more, to make every painful scar, every tender bruise fade away. Just one more time.
She took in a deep breath and focused on loosening her body, letting it relax into his a little more. It was okay. No one else would ever know after if she let him go. She closed her eyes. She wasn't saying goodbye tonight.
No matter what happened, she would look back and remember this moment fondly. Always remembering the fact he held her close in the night and said he loved her too.