There weren’t any words left to say and so he leaned back down to her. His lips touched to hers and she seemed to collapse into his arms, those tired arms that felt too empty to carry his own burdens. He was holding her up though and that alone proved to him that none of this was weakness. Maybe in the end this moment here proved that before he had been stung with being weak but right here in this moment he was full of the strength needed to make this matter. To make this happen. He needed all of her. Needed to know that he hadn’t dreamt all of this up, that he hadn’t created a haven inside of his mind that would steal him away from reality.
From the way she returned the kiss, the way her breath mingled sweetly with his own it was only obvious that she was real, that this was real. The feelings, the truth that he was faced with in the taste of her kiss, in the soft caress of her lips over his own. That darkened truth that told him, that made him admit that he had always been alone, that family had only ever been the one on his side. That was supposed to upset him, wound him even but the realization only came with a relief that it had come to him right here, with her in front of him. Alone the feeling of it would’ve been hard but her kiss, her touches, that’s what made it whole, that’s what made it bearable.
She pulled back a little, whispered breath still touching to his skin as she held his eyes. Those wide and gentle eyes that she seemed to drown in. She never looked away, never once did she want to. Her hand lifted, fingers slowly and gently trailing along his jaw before she tucked some of his hair behind his ear. Her eyes were glistening in the yellow light from the window, the dimmed light beside the bed. Those were tears there that quivered and glistened there. He hated the sight of them, wanted them to disappear and vanish all at once. But what he saw there was years, an entire life of those being scarred there in her gaze. Could one meeting make them disappear?
“I didn’t expect this.” She whispered, eyes searching his, her fingers lingering on the skin of his neck. Her nails were gently trailing along his skin in a caress. Every touch of her felt like it was healing whatever wounds he had recognized inside of himself, even those that he had yet to unearth. There were so many, he wasn’t sure what hurt most, what bled the worst. All he knew was that right now, they all seemed to disappear in front of her. She was saving him without perhaps even realizing him.
“Weren’t expecting what?” He questioned, his hand slowly and gently moving up and down along her back. Lightly he pressed against the small of her back, bringing her carefully against him. What did he want her to expect? That she wouldn’t have fallen in love with him so quickly the way his racing heart was telling him that he’d done with her? When in reality she was probably just completely stunned by how insane he was. He’d been told many times that he was crazy but, God, right now he hoped that wasn’t what was about to escape her lips.
Her brows lightly tensed as she seemed to be searching for the right words to say, the right thing to answer. A breath escaped her lips, a reluctant one that had pushed away every word that she had conjured up. Was speechlessness a good thing? He would hope so as he stared down at her, watching as she tried so hard to grasp for an answer. She looked so uncertain but was in no way pulling away. She looked like she had never felt something like this before, like there was something so foreign pulling her to him in a way that she hadn’t even brought herself to imagine. Not yet, not ever. Perhaps that’s what it was this whole time. She was not used to it and yet he wasn’t either but he wasn’t about to pull away and detach himself. He couldn’t bear to do that.
She didn’t answer, the words failed her. Instead she pressed her body to his and brought him back down to her in an achingly breathless kiss. Her arms went around his neck, fingers lost in the strands of her hair as she held him to her. His hold on her tightened as he deepened the kiss. He wanted to breathe her in, every part of her that both transfixed and confused him. He wasn’t even sure who she was and yet he had seen her so vulnerable, she had seen him so open and he wasn’t sure how affected by that he should be. But those thoughts needed to be banished as he continued the kiss, his lips parting hers as his tongue gently touched to hers. Her hands gripped onto him, a sigh passing from her to him.
His hand slipped between them as he unbuttoned his coat, her hands came up, helping him to slide it off of him. The sound of the coat falling to the ground seemed to echo along with the soft passing of breaths between them in the empty room. Trailing her fingers down his arms she took hold of his hands and set them on her hips before she pulled back from the kiss. Her lips glistened with the remnants of his and her eyes appeared nearly as dazed as his own. Slowly she turned around, her hand coming up to sweep it off the nape of her neck. He stepped closer to her, leaning down to press a kiss to the back of her neck, she sighed, head falling back carefully as he trailed kisses along the skin there. One of her arms came up, caressing her fingers through the strands of his hair as he worked on unzipping the back of her dress. He wasted no time in carefully sliding it down over her shoulders and letting it fall from her, brushing his lips along the skin of her shoulder. She turned around in his arms, leaning up to gently kiss him. Her hands slid down his chest and started to unbutton his shirt as she pulled back, gaze following each button that came open before she slowly slid it off him. The whisper of her touch against his chest caused a sigh to escape his lips before his arms went around her again, bringing her close against him.
The move towards the makeshift bed was hurried but not entirely rushed. With every touch of hers he felt his arousal, his surrender over to her grow stronger, more definite as he laid himself in her hands. She let out something of a gasp as she nearly fell back on the bed, her eyes holding his as he leaned over him, hands going up along his arms as his fingers worked at the belt and zipper of his pants. Her breathing was heavily as she leaned up, kissing along his neck, feeling the gentle pulse point that she could feel racing beneath her kiss. Her hand slowly slid down his chest, meeting his hand at the front of his pants and her eyes held his. She noted the hard swallow that he gave as she slowly lifted her leg up onto him. He bit down on his lip, eyes holding hers as he slowly entered her, feeling her surround him he breathed out her name, kissing at her lips, her neck breathlessly. She reached for his hand and intertwined their fingers together. He wanted this, wanted the sweet sensation of her hips meeting his movements, the feel of her breasts against him, the exploration of every part of her soft and beautiful body. This moment was different than anything he’d ever felt before, this entrancing feeling of being inside her, of her nails gently running down along her back. He breathed out her name against her lips, the sound of each sigh and moan that she gave only sent him further and further out of his own mind, dropping him down into a moment, a feeling that he had never imagined. She was his and there was nothing here, or anywhere, that would tell him other wise. Right here nothing mattered but that he had found her, by some blissful miracle he had found her and she had given herself over to him. His hand tightened on hers, his kisses became more hurried, the sound of his name falling from her lips was breathless and uncontrolled. Every part of her body, the tightening around him sent him into a moment of unbridled euphoria that seemed to somehow release every locked chamber inside of himself.
Jared lowered himself down against her, spent, his breathing uneven. Her arms went around him, cradling her gently against her. He could hear the racing of her heart that matched his own, the light glisten of sweat that caressed over her skin. His eyes closed and they both fell into a silence that was filled with the hypnotic sound of her breathing, the gentle caress of her fingers in his hair as she brushed it back from his face. She kissed the top of his head, keeping him there, not wanting this single moment to pass them by.
“I didn’t expect to fall in love with you.” She whispered to him. And with those words he didn’t know how to answer, every part of him felt alive by hearing them. He wanted to say something, wanted this one whisper of a moment mean something, mean everything. But there were no words. He’d lost them all the moment she had given herself to him. She knew how he felt, she knew the deeply rooted feelings that had suddenly made sense inside of him. It was so early, so fresh, so newly born that he had yet to understand them but they were there and that was what mattered.
He hadn’t known that he had fallen asleep until his eyes opened, the darkness of the room seemingly alive around him. Carefully he lifted himself from her, letting the thin blanket she’d lifted onto her fall against her. He moved beside her, eyes watching her while she slept. She was beautiful, the silhouette in the dark something he could study but he also noticed the lines of goose bumps along her skin, the cold making him shiver slightly as well. Quietly and carefully he slipped off the bed, adjusting his pants before he reached down for his coat. He made to lay it on her but stopped when he remembered the letter. Hesitantly his eyes lifted to hers. She wouldn’t know, would she?
Swallowing down nervously he reached into the pocket and slipped out the envelope. As quietly as he could he opened the flap and pulled out the paper folded up inside. Unfolding it he watched her a moment in case she stirred and noticed him. His eyes lowered, something pulling inside of him as each word he read registered inside of him. His heart had started to race and a dropping feeling filled him. He shook his head slowly, a blur of tears forming in his eyes as he pressed his lips together to stop their quivering.
“Jared?” Essie’s whisper came to him, that gentle whisper that tore further into the boundaries of his ruined heart. She looked so small laying there, clutching the thin blanket around her naked body. The letter fell from his hand and he stared at her, the tears making their descent from his lashes. “I told you not to read it…”