Hello everyone, so while I was working on my Couples Therapy rewrite (new chapters will follow after I've done that) and just the next chapters of 180 days I randomly tweeted a scenario and well one thing led to another and I wrote this fic. I estimate it to be 6 chapters long, it's set in S8, so you know which characters you can expect ;) rating for this would be T - M and not for language alone. Anyway, I hope you'll enjoy this and let me know what you think. X -
You're too proud to say that you've made a mistake
You're a coward 'til the end
Don't wanna know, don't wanna know
I can't let you go, can't let you go
I just want it to be perfect
To believe it's all been worth the fight
- Marina and the diamonds
Chapter One | The Morning After
She stirs a little in her sleep, eyes still pressed shut as a soft yawn escapes her. Her lips return to settle into a light grin as she snuggles further into her warm sheets, memories of the festivities the night before rushing back into her memory.
She lays tired and slightly ached in her bed, trying to prolong the moment. The warm breath she senses scraping over the back of her neck doing the exact opposite though and she squirms a little when she feels a feather-light kiss being pressed against her shoulder.
First one, then another before she feels the arm around her waist hold onto her a little tighter. She bites down on her lip to stop herself from smiling, but the littlest of touches is setting her skin aflame. Much like the night before and she knows he knows it.
Her comment pronounced in a sleepy voice but the pace it got delivered with enough to convey her tease. She can't let him have this moment but she keeps her eyes firmly closed, not willing to give into the day yet, knowing what's to come. The goodbyes they'll share today.
"So, you are awake."
She feels more than hears his hoarse voice, lips close to her ear and she feels his left hand moving a few of her messy auburn strands aside as she remains locked in his embrace. She bites down on her lip again at the next kiss he plants just behind her ear, feeling him shift even closer to her.
"I could say the same about -"
She lets the rest of her words unspoken, using her feet to map out his leg. She knows he knows what she was hinting at anyway. They've known each other too long not to.
She hears his throaty laugh next and she smiles to herself, a happiness she didn't know was humanly possible to experience settling in her stomach and she reckons this is her new favourite sound. His laugh, that and his heartbeat.
Her name rolling off of his tongue in that special tone he only uses for her another thing she adds to that list. She hums once, feels his hand shift over her stomach as he turns her to lie on her back.
She parrots his name in two stretched out syllables and she feels the butterflies return to her stomach. The way his fingers walk over her hip and urge her to turn onto her side now only sending more shivers down her spine.
Once on her side she fully opens her eyes and her hazel ones meet his dark brown eyes in an instant, they sparkle in the early morning light pouring through her windows but up close she can also see how wide his pupils grow at the mere sight of her.
She swallows once, her tongue darting out over her bottom lip as she watches the man right beside her, can't help but let her gaze travel over his face. Recalling every inch she touched last night, her eyes trained on his lips at last. The smirk spread across them in particular.
Her gaze flickers back up to meet his and she mouths the three letter greeting in return, a sudden somewhat nervous chuckle escaping her as she reminds herself of the situation. Who's next to her in bed, looking at her like she's the only woman in his world. Her best friend and ultimately boss, a man she's known for more than a decade.
She watches the smile form on his lips after he said the words and her eyes close when his right-hand moves to her face. Bringing another strand of hair behind her ear before she feels his fingers trail down her jaw until they rest under her chin and she can only follow his lead as he brings her face closer.
Her signature phrase being left unspoken as his lips meet hers in a soft, but toe-curling in its own way, kiss. The peck that follows after slow too, but it's the third one with his hand slipping back through her hair, the way her lips willingly part against his every move and how he rolls her onto her back, that makes her lose her breath and a moan rolls off her tongue.
She doesn't get much time to catch her breath, his lips back on hers a few seconds later as her left knee makes way for his right. She feels his hands move over her frame like the night before while his lips descend down her neck, kissing and lightly nibbling on her pulse point.
His name rolls off her tongue all too willingly when he reaches the valley between her breasts. She wants to kiss away the smirk that smiles back up at her but her head falls back onto the pillow, her back arching and her mouth parting to moan instead when his tongue flicks over her nipple and his right-hand slips between her legs.
She hears him groan at how wet he finds her but all she can do is bite down on her bottom lip as she feels his move lower. She pulls her leg up to the side, anticipating his every move and it is at that exact moment that her sight of him fully disappears under the white sheets.
Leaving her without sight to the exact move she knows he'll make and even though she expected it coming when his lips find her centre all she can do is curse.
Her eyes flicker open in a beat, meeting darkness around her and her gaze scans the room in the same erratic speed as the beating of her heart. Trying to catch her breath now, she pushes herself into a sitting position.
Her back against the cold headboard of the bed that was suddenly too big for one. She exhales again, finds her gaze returning to the spot next to her but there's not a single trace of the man that had been on her mind and she pulls her legs up to her chest. Wraps her arms around them and lets her head meet her knees.
"A dream." She sighs to herself. "It was a dream."
She wills the words out, a new mental mantra as she throws the sheets aside and makes her way over to her bathroom for a cold shower.
By the time she exits the room again, face freshly painted with makeup and her dark damp manes bound together in a messy bun she's already made up her mind. Found herself a rational explanation to the dream she'd woken up from.
* It was her longest dry spell yet.
* They'd been through a lot since she kissed him, before that too.
* They'd been at a wedding. A romantic event celebrating love.
Obviously, the three reasons had manifested themselves in her subconscious and found their way to combine themselves into an erotic dream. One about her best friend, but there was a reason for that too. He was a common factor in more than one of her previously determined justifications.
And thus the star of the dream she woke up with this morning. She near scoffs at the words now. A dream. An erotic dream.
"That's not the same as feeling something."
She remembers the words she spoke to him so quickly to dismiss his admission, couldn't hear anything after what he'd made her say. These words carefully chosen, because even though it was her who said them, they were for a large part triggered by his initial reaction.
The first night had her own panic kicking in about what she'd done, under which circumstances and how she could lose him for good. So when his words the following morning and in specific later that day in the lobby had in that moment only proved her biggest fear, she willed the words out. In a way to protect herself, from having to hear him say what she couldn't bear to hear. Protect them, from falling even further apart.
So the redhead does now, what she did then and has always done. The only thing she truly knows how to, to keep them as them. In each other's life in any way possible. She repeats the words again now, aloud, to herself.
"You didn't feel -"
She can't fully pronounce the lie though, because that's what it was. Told so often it almost felt like a truth but a lie all the same.
It's not the only one she told that night.
"I didn't feel anything when I kissed you, Harvey."
Twelve years in the making, the entire event happening because of the overwhelming feelings that had been tormenting her for days. Weeks even. It was her way to temporarily numb a pain, find a reason behind the existence of it, so how could she not have felt anything.
It may not have been a kiss that made the world literally crumble around her, the moment too brief and the circumstances of the situation too much on the forefront of her mind for it to be that. But her world of carefully crafted half-truths had fallen apart all the same. The lies she'd so willingly told and believed herself all came crashing down at the touch of his lips on hers.
"Whatever I thought might be there, wasn't."
She had pulled back slowly, as he had lingered and it had only been seconds but she had gazed into his eyes as her hands finished their path down his jaw and chest, feeling him come alive under her fingertips. Exactly what she spotted in his eyes too.
It was there.
Deep down, every single moment between shared between them, every single unspoken reason she had ever needed. All the things she had never allowed herself to acknowledge but had felt, it was there.
It had been there all along.
"But that doesn't mean I want more."
That was the sentence he had so bitterly thrown in her direction, cutting off any of her reasoning. Explaining exactly how blurred their lines were. He used the exact words she had uttered just over two months before to shut her up, to regain control of their argument. Her lecture.
And so she had lied.
"Well, neither do I."
Her words spoken too quickly to call him out on what she'd known to be the truth the night before, and just like the lies that would follow this one, all reason went out the window and words became a survival method. A way to protect herself, numb that pain again.
It would be easier that way, convincing herself it was nothing. To put an end to all of it, the struggle. The constant what if. So whatever he'd tell her, she'd tell him the same. Wouldn't allow him to have the upper hand, even if it came down to using a lie.
And a lie it had been.
Lies, lies, lies.
All too harsh to ensure either of them forgetting about them any time soon, yet in the midst of them. The mess that caused them and the mess they had caused, the managing partner and chief operating officer miraculously found themselves closer than a long time before that.
Both back to making sure the other would always be in the other's lives. Her by living by her words, returning to support him in whatever would make him happy. Him by giving it all up to have her back at the one place they called home.
So how could she ever shake that up again?
How could she tell the man she always told to trust her judgement, even reassured him after the event that he could, always smiled knowingly as he cowered up the courage to come to her and told her she'd known better all along, that she had lied?
She couldn't. She wouldn't risk that being the thing that would eventually tear them apart.
Not after everything.
But the pain she had tried to numb and push away with that kiss had stayed, or transformed into another kind of pain. The one where you know what you want but simultaneously being aware of the fact that timing and circumstances will never allow you to have it.
The dream she had that night only confirming it.
She doesn't have much time to think about all of it though or how the night before had really ended, the buzzing sound of her mobile phone waking her from her thoughts. She lets out a sigh and lifts the light blue sweated from her bed.
Pulling it over her head, she tucks a side of it into her dark jeans and slips into her heels on her way out of her bedroom to makes her way over to the object. Pressing the home button she waits for the screen to light up, the name of the man she'd been trying to get out of her mind all morning shown in her notifications.
You ready? Ray's outside. – H