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Fairy Lights

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James shifted closer to Ed as a cooling breeze cuts through the summer evening air. They were curled up together on a lounger in the garden of Eds house after another wonderful evening spent together. Ostensibly it was Eds house, but in practice James had all but officially moved in, his shirts and sensible trousers nestled next to Eds shorts and metal band t shirts in the wardrobe. Ed had cooked them dinner that evening, poking at the steaks on the fancy barbeque grill with such concentration it had made James smile. They had eaten, and tidied up, and now they were enjoying the last of the wine curled up close together. James was in charge of sound tracking the evening, his playlists and eclectic taste far more suited to the atmosphere than Eds album collection. The current playlist was winding to an end, the tracks carefully curated to create a peaceful, relaxing, romantic atmosphere. This list was a recent creation, inspired by the feeling of peace that James often felt now that he and Ed had taken that final step over the invisible line that had separated them for all these years. 

Ed reached over to switch on the fairy lights that decorated the fence, bathing the garden in twinkly starlight. The lights were James's contribution, the whimsy of them catching his attention and he felt like they were his own little stamp on the place that was swiftly becoming home. Ed settled back into the lounger, pulling James close again and pressing a kiss against the top of his head. James took a sip of his half empty glass of wine, settling it down on the ground before cuddling in close, long limbs tangling comfortably with Eds. He felt a sigh of contentment leave him without his permission, but all Ed did was kiss his hair again, hand unconsciously stroking along the bare skin of James's arm, leaving tingles in his wake. 

They lie like that for a while, James hypnotized by the twinkling fairy lights and the slow rhythm of Eds breathing underneath his cheek. Soon the music changed to the final song on the playlist, predictably a 2016 classic but also a song so soft and sweet, so utterly romantic he had no choice but to include it on this playlist. He's struck with a sudden urge, carefully untangling himself from Ed, ignoring the gentle noise of protest he gets in response. He pulled himself up and out of the lounger, careful not to kick over his glass of wine, before looking back at Ed. He's still sprawled in the lounger, blinking almost sleepily up at James, a soft quizzical smile on his face. James doesn't speak and simply extends his hand in an unmistakable gesture. Ed looks between the hand and James's face before his smile grows fond, reaching out to take the hand and letting himself be guided upright. 

James takes half a step back, pulling Ed with him until they are close together, the music still playing in the background, the lights twinkling around them. He lets go of Eds hand and wraps his arms around his waist, guiding them together. Eds hands come up automatically to rest at the back of James's neck, gently stroking the fine hairs and the edge of his golden curls. James sighs softly, guiding them to sway gently to the music. He hears Ed chuckle softly, his smile unbearably tender but he falls in step with James without a word.

James lets his head fall forward, forehead resting against Eds. He closes his eyes, overwhelmed, unable to bear the emotions dancing in Eds eyes. He can feel Eds warmth radiating from him, his breath against his own lips, the stability and safety that James craves. He doesn't open his eyes as he feels Eds hand, gentle on the nape of his neck guiding their lips together, letting himself sink into the soft, loving caress. He pulls back after a long moment, eyes flickering open to see Ed watching him with that same tender look. He feels like he can do anything in the world when Ed looks at him like that, but all he wants to do is stay suspended in this perfect moment. He ducks his head, burying his face in the join between Eds neck and shoulder, categorizing the moment with all his senses to sear it into his memory. He can see the fairy lights still twinkling across the garden, can hear the music playing softly in the background and Eds breath against his ear. He can smell Eds scent, deodorant and shower gel and skin an intoxicating blend, and when he darts his tongue out he can taste Ed on his lips still, wine-rich. Most of all he can feel the solid presence of Ed in his arms, the way they fit together like this, his strength and warmth and one big hand gently cradling James's head, stroking the sensitive skin of his scalp. He closes his eyes, presses a gentle kiss to the solid pulse under his lips and prays to a God he no longer believes in that he can keep this forever.