Prompt: “Okay buddy you’ve been serenading the wrong window for about five minutes now, time to let you know my neighbor is out of town” AU.
Emma just wants to be warm.
The hours long watch from her yellow Bug had left her stiff, cranky and cold. Yeah, she had caught her skip, but she was also having a hell of a time remembering what being warm feels like. Honestly, at the very least, she’ll take getting the feeling back in her toes.
Speaking of, she bounces on the balls of said feet, urging the circulation back as she watches the three small pieces of clothing tumble and tangle in the dryer. She glances at the remaining time, but as another shiver runs through her, she gives in, pausing the cycle.
The cardigan comes out first, her arms quickly through the sleeves. She can’t help but groan at the instant warmth. The wool socks come next, a welcome balm to her cold feet. Her kettle whistles from the kitchen, signaling the next phase of Operation Warm Up Swan.
She sets up quickly on the couch, plush throw around her shoulders and steaming mug between her hands, the scent of cinnamon and spice drifting from the herbal tea. The hour may be late, creeping on midnight, but Emma is determined to enjoy a small part of her Saturday evening.
It is with that determination in mind that she queues up Gilmore Girls and settles contentedly into the cushions. And if her internet connection were just a little more reliable, that would be it. But it isn’t. Instead of the opening credits breaking the silence, it is a muffled melody drifting into her apartment from somewhere outside.
She pauses, her lips set to blow over her hot tea and listens.
The words are almost inaudible. Almost. She hears something about the days of the week.
But just as sudden as the sound came, it disappears in time with the opening theme on her television. She settles back, prepared to enjoy the adventures of Lorelai and Rory.
She’s just taking her first sip and nearly chokes, dribbling tea as the voice returns, much clearer than before. Closed windows and curtains, no match for the hollering.
“WILL! YOU PRAT! THURSDAY NEVER LOOKING BACK, IT’S FRIDAY I’M IN LOOOOOOVE!”
She drops her head back against the couch on a groan and wipes her chin with the back of her hand.
“Scarlett,” Emma mutters.
Will Scarlett, her new neighbor, is usually is a pretty decent guy. Friendly, polite, often offering a smile.
He had also offered her some onion rings the other night which is a little weird on its own, but Emma hadn’t had much in her fridge, and she did love onion rings. So they had stood in their doorways trading small talk, dipping the fried batter into the little bowl of ketchup Emma had brought out. The treat had given Will one free pass when she was pretty sure she heard bongo drums thumping through her bedroom wall at three in the morning last week.
Emma shakes her head against the tangent her mind had taken and back to the problem at hand; some idiot looking to ruin what is left of her Saturday night. As the singing continues, she’s ready to add scorned lover to the list of things she knows about Will Scarlett, although if she thinks about it, she did see Will, hours earlier, leaving with his newest lady friend and the voice outside is decidedly male.
And here we go again with the chorus.
Looking longingly at her television, she gives up. Leaving her mug on the table and letting the blanket fall from her shoulders, she slowly makes her way over to the window, feeling ridiculous for creeping around her apartment. The breath she is holding puffs out against the glass at the sight through her curtains.
She has to spin away and rest against the wall, hand over her mouth to muffle her laugh.
There in the glow of streetlight stands the usually very proper and well-mannered –
And handsome, her brain supplies –Killian Jones. Will’s friend.
Killian of the hello, love greetings that never fail to bring color to her cheeks. Killian, who always holds her eyes a beat longer than necessary and makes her wish she could just ask the stranger in her building out. She often wonders if he wishes the same when he hesitates at Will’s door, keeping the conversation going for as long as politely possible until inevitably her worries catch up with her and send her inside.
Emma peeks again.
Yup. Still there.
His dark hair is a mess, apparently having lost a hat, somewhere along the way. She doesn’t think it’s cute at all.
She tilts her head and continues to study him.
Ok, so the hair is a little cute as is the color high on his cheeks.
He pauses his singing, and she isn’t sure if he is done or searching for the lyrics, but moments later, something clicks, and he nods, launching back into the song.
It’s as his volume rises, louder than before that Emma is forced into action before one of her less understanding neighbors call the police. It takes considerable effort to get the old wooden window up, and there is some regret as the winter air pours in but one look at the silly man before her steels her resolve.
She thought she was done doing dumb things for cute boys. She supposes that there’s always exceptions to every rule and this British dummy must be one of them.
“Friday, Friday, Friday,” Killian echoes, eyes closed and arms out spread out wide.
She goes for broke.
“Hey moron, it’s Saturday, think you could keep it down?” she calls out, startling her singer into silence.
Blue eyes open, slightly unfocused until they land on hers. Killian staggers in surprise, his sneakered barely finding purchase on the icy ground. It’s a few seconds before she’s sure he’s not going to topple over.
“Easy tiger… have a little bit too much to drink tonight?” she asks, bending to lean on her window sill, careful to avoid the light dusting of snow.
He ignores her question and instead, rights himself, taking a few unsteady steps towards her first-floor window.
“Emma!” he cries out, recovered from the shock of seeing her. He gives her a lopsided grin that Emma is determined to ignore. The flip-flopping of her stomach is likely from the cold.
“Will,” he states and pauses, fingers scratching through his wild hair. “Will, um, Scarlett is not opening his window,” Killian explains with a slight pout and takes the last two steps to the window’s edge. He rests his chin on her folded arms. She can see the frost on the tips of his lashes as he blinks up at her. She can also feel his warm rum spiced breath puff out against her skin and shivers. From the cold.
Only from the cold.
“Well, that’s because Will is out with Belle. Saw them leave hours ago,” Emma explains, her eyes dancing over his wrecked hair and scruffy cheeks. Her fingers itch to tame the mess, and if she allows herself to think about it, she is curious to know if she could still taste the rum on his lips.
With a huge sigh, he drops his forehead to her arm, and she can just make out the mumbled words.
“Of course he is. That ponce stood us up, Rob and I.”
She doesn’t have time to question what he means before he’s pushing away from the window, snowflakes clinging to his beard. He’s clutching at his heart through his open leather jacket, his fingers bunching in the fabric of his thin gray tee.
“I alone to tend to Rob’s broken heart. I alone to drink all the rum!”
His declarations echo off the brick walls of the building, his breath puffing out in white clouds that disappear into the night sky.
Emma rolls her eyes.
“You’re being a little dramatic.”
He narrows his eyes at her.
“All of the rum, Emma, because Robin’s little lady called,” Killian suddenly stops, eyes comically wide. “Do not let Regina know I called her a little lady, she’d have my nuts and I quite like my-” he trails off once again and stumbles to the sill, burying his forehead into Emma’s arm. “Apologies,” he mumbles against the fabric of her cardigan.
She takes pity on him and lets him in on a secret.
“Killian, I’ve never met Regina – or even Robin for that matter – so your secret is safe with me,” she whispers, her lips close to his ear. He slowly turns, one eye studying her features as a loopy smile befalls his lips again.
“I reckon you’re quite perfect. Do you know that, Emma?”
She pops up a disbelieving eyebrow at his declaration, but he obviously has more on his mind because the words keep coming.
“You are, you’re…” he says searching for his words while he disentangles himself from her arm. He takes a few steps back, finger pointing at her.
“You-oooh, soft and only.”
Her panic is immediate; someone is going to call the police on him.
“Killian, no. You don’t have to,” she tries to reason, but he’s just hitting his stride.
“You-oooh. Just like heaven, you-ooo --”
“Oof,” he huffs out as he makes contact with the wall, Emma half hanging out her window, manages to grab hold of the lapels of his jacket and tugs him back to her where she can keep an eye on him.
He looks down to where Emma still has a hand on him, trailing up her arm and landing on her lips.
“Hello, Swan,” he whispers when his eyes finally come back to hers.
She rolls hers, his charm a little off.
“Ugh. Let’s tone it down, Robert Smith,” Emma says and it’s clearly the wrong thing.
Killian pulls back.
“Are you not a fan of The Cure?” he asks, somber.
“No that’s not it,” Emma tries and really does not want to be arguing about the merits of eighties rock music in the freezing cold but Killian is already onto his next line of questioning.
“Shall I sing another band then?”
She is too busy watching his tongue dart out to wet his lips to catch his question. Big mistake.
“Taaaake oooooon meeeee,” he whisper-sings and Emma is pulling back abruptly, ready to cover his mouth with her hand if so required, but then he looks so damn happy that she hesitates.
He holds out his hand out like a microphone, a look of encouragement for her to repeat the words.
“Taaaaake meeeee ooooooon,” his voice grows louder, and she knows exactly where this is heading.
“Killian, I swear. Don’t you dare.”
“I’ll be goooooone, in a day or twoooooooo,” she doesn’t know how he manages, but to her dismay, he hit the falsetto well enough to front the Norwegian band himself. He looks like he knows it too by the grin dimpling his cheeks.
“Are you done?” she asks when he finishes his bows. He opens his mouth to answer, but she beats him to it. “You know what, don’t answer that. How did you get here?”
Her eyes look out to the dark parking lot and the snow covered cars.
Killian pauses and pats down his pockets, turning to look around.
“Ah, I… Oh! Regina put me in a cab,” he finally remembers and at the same time also seems to notice the cold. He stuffs his hands in his leather jacket, dipping his chin into his chest. His shoulders hunch as he walks back to the window.
“And you came here?” Emma prompts.
“Seemed a good idea at the time, irritate Will a little. Crash on his couch,” he explains and looks a little sheepish doing so.
“And now you plan to?” Emma prompts and has to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from smiling at the adorably panicked expression that crosses his features.
“Oh well, I’ll…” he pats his pockets again and comes out with a cell phone, screen black. He taps the screen, nearly drops it in the snow and pauses to scratch behind his ear, unable to make eye contact with Emma any longer.
“If I let you in, will you promise to not sing?”
He nods quickly, eyes pools of blue, looking so sincere that if he’d have asked for just one more song, she knows she would have given in.
“Alright,” she says, turning to walk towards the front. “Let’s get you inside,” she throws over her shoulder and is about to buzz him in when a loud thud halts her movements.
She slowly turns and finds a sprawled Killian Jones on the floor under her window.
“Whoa,” he mumbles, shaking his head and trying to get his bearings. He pushes up into a seated position and rests back against the wall.
He finds her across the room and shrugs.
“What?” he asks and attempts to hide the wince as he tries (and fails) to push himself from the floor. He flops back against the wall and closes his eyes. “Fine, that’s was dumb,” he admits, eyes closed.
Emma can only shake her head and pads back over to her new guest, finally able to shut the window and her curtains.
“What are you doing?”
His hand is on her ankle for a moment before his fingers run up and down over the fabric.
“These are soft. So soft,” he mutters, his fingers catching on the edge. They slid along her skin and under the material. He tugs on the stretchy fabric and then –
“Christ, these are bloody brilliant,” he suddenly exclaims.
“They’re plain black leggings,” Emma deadpans, but Killian shakes his head.
“No. Look at this,” he urges her, curling the fabric over her ankle to show her the extra layer on the inside. “This is like... a sweater for your legs.”
She watches him, playing with the fabric at her ankles, looking a little hopeless and pretty damn endearing. Not that she would tell him that, yet. She is still having a hard time matching this silly, flirty man with lowered inhibitions and black leather jacket to the one in the business suits that pops by Will’s with beers and a soft smile before slipping into his friend’s apartment. The one whom she catches watching her when she turns to get a last look at him as she leaves the building, blush rising to the tips of his ears. The same man who always seems like he has something on the tip of his tongue but remains a little cautious.
“Emma,” he calls and brings her back to the reality of the tipsy Englishman on her floor. His fingers are still clasped around her ankle, thumb absently rubbing back and forth.
“Mmm?” she quietly responds, still unsure of her next move. She could call him a cab and maybe they could smile and nod at each other the next time their paths crossed, forgetting this whole event ever happened. Or she thinks as his thumb continues to move back and forth, he could sleep it off on her couch, and they could talk?
Ugh, Emma silently curses her inability to adult.
“Did you know that I think you are lovely?” he asks, slightly sleepy eyes finding hers without hesitation or concern for the declaration.
Only makes her heart ache.
He is going to regret a lot of things in the morning, and she is dejected to think all of this nonsense with her will be one of them. She shakes her head and crouches down to his level, removing his fingers from her ankle but keeping a hold of his hand.
“Why don’t you sit down on the couch while I get you something to drink?” she suggests but by the way he’s looking at her, she doesn’t think that he’s thinking about a drink. His eyes narrow and he tilts his head.
“What?” she asks and at the same time tries to give him a little tug up. He doesn’t budge.
“Don’t think I didn’t notice what you did there,” he responds, his voice close to a whisper. She watches with more than a little shock as he flips the hold she has on his hand to grasp her fingers. He brings her knuckles to his lips. “You think I don’t know what I’m saying,” he put words to the thoughts in her mind.
She opts for indifference to hide the pounding of her heart and rolls her eyes, but his stay steady. She can feel his lips feather across her knuckles as he speaks.
“It’s been on the tip of my tongue so many times, but I thought it might send you running back into your apartment and leave me with my heart on the floor.”
Emma is beginning to wish she had had a drink, a little liquid courage to replace the real courage that seems to disappear only when this man is around.
“Is that the only possible outcome?” Emma mumbles quietly, not looking for an answer but if the tightening of his hold on her hand is any indication, he’s heard her. Emma hurries to fill the silence before he can.
“When was your last drink?” she questions him and finds his other hand. She tugs and finally gets him to his feet as he answers.
“An hour ago, at least. Please trust me when I say I know what I am doing.” He sways just enough that she brings her hands to his chest. “Mostly,” he tacks on and hurries after her when she frowns and turns towards the kitchen.
“Emma, wait, shit,” he calls after her and stops when he realizes he’s still wearing his sneakers. “So I’m tipsy,” he admits as he toes off his shoes. He drops them by the front door and slowly comes to poke his head into the kitchen. “Emma?”
Emma keeps her back to him, keeps her shaking hands busy with the teapot.
“How about tea? It’ll warm you up and um, help with the alcohol,” she asks softly.
He doesn’t answer, but she knows he’s there, watching her. She can’t bear to turn around yet.
“Why don’t you go sit on the couch, I’ll bring this right out.”
Another beat and –
She finally hears his steps retreat. She lets out a long breath and finishes up his tea. She grabs a bottle of Advil while she’s at it and allows herself a moment of nerves before she’s turning back to the living room.
Her breath catches at the sight of him amongst her things. He looks like James Dean in her plain, small-town world. He still has his leather jacket on, his cheeks red from the cold, and she watches him in profile as his fingers dance across her bookshelf.
She holds this little space she’s created for herself quite close to her heart. The apartment isn’t much; it isn’t her dream home with a view of the water. It lacks the bay window with cushions where she could watch a storm roll in.
Instead, the windows were old and worn. They act more like a suggestion to stop the cold air, which it then promptly ignores. It’s missing a backyard and a porch swing and many other things, but there are framed photographs on the wall that carry her makeshift family; Ingrid, her foster mother, in a wide-brimmed hat, planting flowers and lending a smile she saves only for Emma. Another shot of her and her friends, Mary Margaret and David, after college graduation, beers held high.
There is a shelf that David had assured her he could install, it’s a little crooked, but it holds up her books. It isn’t anything in particular; it’s simply that there are small parts of her everywhere she looks and for a girl who never thought she would be allowed to have this, it feels pretty good. And the fact that he looks pretty good amid her things, well that is just a bonus. One she doesn’t know quite how to handle.
She never allows herself too much flight of fancy when it comes to men. She has spent too much of her life hoping on things, on people that inevitably let her down. It hurts too much, and so she finds it best to stick to reality but -
but there was the time she had just arrived home with a six-pack of her favorite honey brown. She had bumped into Killian in the parking lot, and they had meandered up the walk together. He never seemed to have an issue with being too close, the warm skin of his arm brushing hers as he asked about her day. He had held the door for her and offered to hold the beer while she searched for her keys. He complimented her taste when he had spotted the drinks, and she had known it was the perfect opening.
Her brain had urged her to ask him in, especially considering he was looking at her and the beer like he didn’t know which one he wanted to taste first. And maybe she would have but she hesitated, and it was all the time Will needed to find them out in the hallway, slapping Killian on the back and ordering him inside before he missed any more of the football match but Killian had hesitated too, he’d also –
“Do you need any more help, love?”
He had motioned with the beer he’d still held for her to her apartment door. She didn’t need any more help; she could take it from him but –
“Oi. Kane just scored!” Will had yelled obnoxiously and completely oblivious to what was going on in the hallway. “Come on, Jones.”
Killian had tilted his head to the ceiling, eyes closed, and Emma had known it was not to be. So she had taken the beers and thanked him before slipping inside.
Not without looking back, of course.
And of course, he had still been watching her.
His voice brings her out of the daydream and back to the present, where she has been caught staring.
She drops her eyes to the tea in hand but can’t help but glance back up. And of course, again, always, he is still looking.
“What?” she asks, a little exasperated. He grins and nods.
“Mmm,” is his only response.
“Whatever,” she mutters, waving him off and coming around to the couch. She sets his mug down and settles in once again. “You going to touch all my stuff or sit down?” she asks, eyes on her blanket, grabbing the remote.
Silence. She looks and finds him where he last was, thumbing through her files, stress ball in hand, eyebrow popped up.
“What were you thinking of just then?” he asks tilting his head towards the kitchen. He drops the file but keeps the stress ball, tossing it in the air and catching it with surprising ease.
“Nothing, come sit down,” she answers quickly, patting the place beside her, hoping he will let the matter drop, but he shakes his head.
“You were thinking of me, I’m sure…” he trails off, tapping the small stress ball against his chin.
She lets out a small sound of exasperation, fingers twisting together under the blanket.
“Absolutely not,” she opts for denial and reaches for the remote but freezes when the stress ball makes contact with her arm and bounces precariously near his steaming mug of tea.
She looks at him with wide eyes.
He shoves his hands in the pockets of the leather jacket and sheepishly makes his way over to her. He kicks the foot of the couch a few times.
“Sorry, too much to drink, if you’ll recall,” he points to himself, tapping his chest.
“Mmm,” it’s her turn to sound a vague response. She swallows back any other words at the sad look he bestows her. Blue eyes trying and, she guesses, failing to figure her out.
Good luck, she thinks and finally reaches for the remote. She hits play, but her heart isn’t in it. Instead, she watches out of the corner of her eye as he takes off his jacket and tosses it on a nearby chair. He eases himself onto the couch, careful to leave room between them. She still feels the dip and movement as he tries to get comfortable.
She doesn’t know what to do, turn the TV off and answer his question honestly? But where would that get them? She is still convinced he’s had too much to drink, with her luck she would stutter out some admission of feelings only to have him forget it by morning. She could --
“No one talks this fast.”
She turns to find him squinting at the television, trying to decipher the conversation going on between Lorelai and Rory.
“It’s part of the charm,” she responds, a small part of her wishing he had continued to push, but when he doesn’t say anything else, she begins to believe they may just watch the show together.
They sit in silence for another few minutes until she feels him shudder beside her. She casts a glance. He’s sitting stiffly on the couch, palms down on his jean-covered thighs, eyes intent on the television when another shiver runs through him.
And the award for the worst person of the year goes to…
“Killian, have some tea, it’ll warm you up. I’ll get you a blanket.”
She tries to move, but his cold fingers reach her wrist first, holding her back.
“I’m fine; I’m fine. You’ve done so much already,” he says, a note of sadness in his voice. She doesn’t know how to handle this swing from confidence and teasing to melancholy, and dammit, he looks like she’s kicked his favorite puppy. Like she’s kicked his favorite puppy and then left them both out in the cold.
Another shiver overtakes him. She quickly removes his fingers from her wrist and lifts her blanket.
“Come here,” she orders, but he is resigned not to move. “Stupid man,” she grumbles and moves before he can protest.
She slides right into his space, his side pressing tightly to hers. She ignores his gaze the entire time she spreads the blanket around them. She fusses with the end, trying to get it over his feet, his legs being so much longer than hers. She continues to ignore him as she wiggles in her spot, getting comfortable against his stiff frame and finally returns her attention to the television.
To the show, she no longer has any interest in.
It didn’t help matters that he was still watching her. She sighs and turns the TV off. A small bit of resolve and hope settling in her chest.
Her words are cut off by his own.
“Did you know Will is a magician?”
She turns to face him.
“Excuse me?” she asks.
Killian snorts, and she watches as his body relaxes a little, slouching into the couch.
“I mean, he works construction during the day. That’s where I met him, and once you have a beer with the guy, he’s hard to shake. He’s one of the carpenters on my job site.” Killian begins to explain but pauses, giving Emma a small head tilt.
Before she could overthink it, she reaches out to nudge his head up again and raises her brows in question.
“I mean – shit,” he drops his head forward into his hands, his fingers brushing back and forth through the mess of hair. She can’t stifle the small laugh when he turns back to her, his hair even more wrecked than before. “Shut up,” he mumbles, but there’s no heat, and he attempts to pat his hair down a little. He closes his eyes and leans his head back against the couch.
She takes the opportunity to study the line of his throat, the way his Adam’s apple bobs when he swallows. She watches as he pulls in a deep breath through his nose and lulls his head towards her.
“I’m a project manager, did I mention that?” he asks.
She shakes her head and mirrors his position on the couch, turning her body towards his, pulling her knees up under the blanket. She hesitates when they press into his thigh, but when his hand comes down on top of them, she puts the worry out of her mind.
As he talks, his body relaxes, and the shivering all but stopped, save for a few shudders here and there. When he does, she says nothing but tucks herself a little closer. He too melts into her space, and that in itself is a warm feeling.
He explains his job, being brought in as a consultant for the new bridge being built across the bay in Storybrooke. He downplays it, but it appears he is somewhat of an expert on oceans and tides and the consequences of building in such a complicated environment. And so what began as a consult saw him renting a small house on the outside of town and staying on the project for the foreseeable future.
She asks questions about the different places he’s worked. How it is that he doesn’t mind being away from home. She enjoys the rough, sleepy sound of his voice as he explains how both he and his brother travel for work. How home became less of a place and more the moments they spend together, it doesn’t matter where, as long as they manage it a few times a year. It’s a statement that makes Emma’s chest tighten with a sense of understanding.
She snuggles further into the couch and lets her hand find his under the blanket. The tips of her fingers dance back and forth over his knuckles while he continued to talk.
“I think he would like it here…” Killian trails off, eyes closing. She almost thinks he’s fallen asleep and she can’t blame him. She knows as well as anyone the pull of sleep after over-indulging, but his hand flips under the blankets, his turn to run his thumb over her fingers.
“You are much warmer than-”
She doesn’t let him finish his sentence, already embarrassed.
“I know, I know, I have this prickly exterior I don’t mean to but,” she stops suddenly when his grip tightens. He tugs on her hand, and she tips forward, bracing herself on his thigh. She watches him with anxious eyes.
“No, you silly woman, you’re warm, literally. Warmer than me and there’s nothing prickly about you,” he explains bringing his still chilled hand to rest against the skin of her neck, his fingers tangling in the blonde curls.
Her mouth opens and closes with unspoken words, he is right she did feel silly but also grateful and nervous and…
And his mouth is on hers.
His kiss is a little sloppy and a touch aggressive but in the most endearing way. It’s a kiss that screams “I’ve been thinking about this forever and I want all of it, all at once” but before Emma can catch up, he’s pulling away with a groan and apology on his lips.
“Jesus, Emma. I’m – please forgive me. You invited me into your home, and I took advantage,” he pleads, embarrassment coloring his cheeks and words. He can’t make eye contact as the words continued to pour out. Her shock finally fades when he declares he’ll have Will move out.
“Poor Will,” she responds, but Killian is too busy trying to make an escape to notice. She halts his progress with a yank to the back of his jeans, dragging him back to the couch. She watches as his brows draw together. He gives her a passing glance, and his frown deepens when her words catch up to him.
“Poor Will?” he scoffs, scooting to the far end of the couch, arms crossed tightly against his chest.
“Look, I promise not to bother you, what, what are you doing?”
His words stutter and catch as the couch dips with her weight. He watches in silence as Emma lifts to her knees and inches forward, stopping only when her knees make contact with his thigh.
She moves slowly, so he understands her intention. Finally, she knows exactly what she wants, and she is going to take it. She cups his face with both hands, her short nails scratching into his beard.
“Will you stop apologizing if I…” she trails off her nose leaning in, brushing his, but lips still a breath away.
“If you…” he prompts, not daring to move, his hands balled into fists on his lap.
“I shouldn’t because you’ve been drinking…” she whispers, just the simple movement of her lips bringing her that much closer to his. She can almost taste the rum.
“Hours, days, eternities ago, I’m fine,” he rushes his response, breath held until he spies her raised brow. He puffs out a shallow breath. “Truly, Emma,” he amends.
“So if I just…” her words again slip into silence, except this time, slowly her tongue wets her lips and finally she closes the space between them. His sharp intake of breath is the last sound before she presses her lips to his in a soft, chaste kiss.
Her movements are deliberately measured and gentle, a stark contrast to the staccato rhythm her heart is beating in her chest. She pulls back far enough to see him, eyes closed, his long lashes brush his cheeks for another beat before they open slowly.
“That is,” he starts, his breathing shallow, his nose moving to brush against hers before he tries to find his words again. “Far superior to my shameful attempt. I owe you quite the apology now, if I may?”
His question hangs between them, his breath mingling with hers but he doesn’t kiss her again.
“Since you’re so complimentary,” she whispers, and it’s his smile she feels when she gives a small snort of laughter and brings her lips back to his.
This time, they are of the same mind, his lips follow her lead, their movements slow and languid. As the kiss deepens and with every brush of his tongue she feels the rest of her nerves fall away. She lets herself fall further against him, her hands moving from his face to slip through his hair and finally to wrap her arms around his neck.
It’s the press of her breasts against his side that spurs him to move, large hands spanning her waist, keeping her tight against him. And it’s the feeling of skin on skin, his thumbs finding the edge of her tank top, pressing into the warm skin just below her hipbones that brings the small whimper from the back of her throat.
He pulls back and waits for her eyes to open. When they do, he leans in. He watches her intently and catches her exhale with this lips, breathing her in. He kisses her long and firm and leaves her breathless.
“Can you lie back for me, love?” he finally whispers to her dazed look, using his hands to guide her back. Her body doesn’t hesitate, following his direction but her bottom lip disappears between her teeth as her head finds the arm of the couch. She keeps one hand on the back of his neck, pulling him down, while the other drops to his side, clenching into the material of his t-shirt. “Okay?” he asks against her slight hesitation.
Her knees fall open, and his hips slip into the cradle of her thighs, but he keeps the full weight of him from pressing into her until he gets his answer. Her fingers slip past the material of his shirt to run down his side and to find the edge of his jeans, teasing the skin there.
“Emma,” he warns, his arms threatening to give out, his hips so close to pushing against her.
Her knees tighten on his sides and urge him down. He lowers to his elbows, eyes focused on hers.
“Okay, but it’s just…” her voice trails off, sounding small and he watches her as she turns and presses a soft kiss to the inside of his arm before turning her green eyes back to his.
“I just want to make sure this is you and not the rum because if you regret this tomorrow and I’ve taken advantage...”
He halts her words with a rough kiss, and finally, his forehead pressed to hers.
“I don’t…” she trails off, confused.
“For months I’ve wanted you, to be near you. Do you think the reason I always watch the game at Will’s is because of his cramped setup or average-at-best hospitality?” he presses the question into her skin. He draws his nose up the column of her throat and finds her lips again for another wet tangle of lips and tongue.
She shudders and pulls him down tighter against her.
They both gasp when the hard length of him makes contact with her center. She is hot and sensitive, and her leggings do nothing to hide the long press of him.
“Fuck,” he groans letting his hips rut against her once, twice.
Her wandering fingers move between them, scratching against the coarse hair of his belly to his belt. His stomach muscles tighten, and his movements cease as he pulls back just enough to see her.
“Wait,” he chokes out as her fingers slip past his belt to slide over his jeans, her hand cupping his cock, hard and straining against the zipper. “Please,” his soft demand is whispered, and his eyes are watching her closely. She pauses, and he takes her hand in his, pulling it above her head, stretching her out below him. He takes a moment to look at her beneath him and groans at the sight, her nipples pebbling against her tank top.
Her free hand tangles in his hair as he is momentarily distracted. His head dipping, his teeth teasing the peak through the thin fabric. She gasps, and he drops his head to her chest to take a deep breath, finding it more and more difficult to think.
“Do you understand, Emma?” he asks before lifting his head and waiting for her eyes to open. “This is not the rum; this is not fleeting. This is,” his words catch in his throat and he bows his head again, his lips brushing over her warmed skin where she is sure he can feel her heartbeat.
Emma frees her hand to cup his face with both, urging him up. He complies quickly, hips rocking into hers. When his eyes flutter open and lock on hers, she nods.
“It’s, it’s the same for me,” she whispers, and the relief she sees in his eyes makes it easy for the smile to grace her lips and the teasing words to slip past. “Good, now shut up and let me touch you.”
His eyes widen in surprise, but his grin is quick as he bows his head to her neck.
“But Emma, you are touching me,” he says, his words punctuated with a roll of his hips. His teeth worry the skin of her neck as she tilts her head back giving him more access. His lips follow, sucking gently.
“But, I want, I want,” her voice stutters out when his hand, still a little cool, slips under her tank to cup her breast, fingers finding her nipple, pinching. Her hips rise and circle against the rough material of his jeans, seeking some relief, not getting enough, not when his hand continues to squeeze, and his teeth find her through the material again. “What do you want sweetheart, tell me,” he asks bringing his lips back to hers. He swallows her whimpers and pulls back, brushes his thumb back and forth over her lips. “What do you want?” he asks again as her eyes open. When she doesn’t answer, he pinches rougher, enjoying the way her eyes roll back. She then sucks his thumb into her mouth.
“Fuck, fuck,” he curses watching her. She releases his thumb and bites her lip.
“You,” she hiccups. “I want to feel you...please.”
He pulls his hand from her top and hushes her when she whines at the loss. Emma doesn’t care what she sounds like, now that she knows she can have him, she wants it all, now.
“Here, love? Or, your room?” he asks, still a little hesitant.
“Right, my room,” she says finding his lips between her words.
He reluctantly pulls away, placing one steady foot on the ground and bracing an arm on the back of the couch. He takes a moment to take her in, breathing heavy, hair fanned out around her. He can’t help but palm at his erection. She sits up, her eyes following the movement of his hand, her tongue darting out.
“No. You’ll ruin me,” he warns and lends her his hand pulling her up.
She pauses in front of him, reaching up on tiptoes to kiss, to press against him.
“How do you think I feel?” she asks and takes his hand, slipping it down the front of her leggings. She let’s go, letting him slip his fingers past her underwear where she is soft and smooth and –
“God, Emma,” he groans against her lips when he finds her wet and wanting. “You’re…”
She whimpers when his fingers find her clit.
“Ok, ok, ok, bedroom,” she rushes out, arms tight around his neck but his fingers continue to move, sliding, causing her legs to shake. She looks to where he’s touching her and back up to his face, his lip caught between his teeth, his eyes watching her intently. “Killian, please,” she whimpers and his movements slow. His fingers pull away, leaving her wanting but she knows it’s only for a moment. She takes him by the hand and leads him into out of the living room and down the darkened hall.
Her bedroom is dark, and he waits while she turns on the light beside her bed. In the soft glow, he watches her for a beat before reaching behind his head to pull off his t-shirt. He tosses it to the ground and undoes his belt as he steps towards her. He unbuttons his pants but leaves them on, touching himself through his black briefs.
“Can I?” he asks as he stops in front of her. His fingers brush at the cardigan at her shoulders. She nods, and he pushes it off. It slips to the floor quietly, and his hands come up to cup her through her tank top.
“I know I shouldn’t have been, but I have been thinking about these since you poked your head out your window,” he admits, thumbs rubbing over her nipples. They tighten and strain, causing the ache to build between her legs.
“It was cold,” she mumbles and gasps when his hands quickly move to the bottom and pull the shirt over her head.
“Mmm,” he hums in response, and she gives a small cry of surprise and when his hands find her hips and lift her onto the bed. “Are you cold now?” he asks, and she can only shake her head. He moves to her leggings next, pulling them down her legs and dropping them on the floor. He stretches out beside her, dropping his hand to a thin scrap of lace between her legs. “And now?”
She doesn’t take her eyes away from his as his fingers slip back inside. She is so wet and sensitive and overwhelmed.
“Oh god. I, can’t. I want you, please,” her eyes skim down to where he’s touching her. He slips one and then two fingers inside her, watching her face as he moves inside her, watching to see what she likes. His thumb rubs over her clit and breath stutters out.
She knows she’s close but it’s not what she wants, she looks to where he’s hard, where his pants have slipped over his hips. She reaches out and slips her hand below the elastic of his briefs and grips the length of him. He’s hot and hard in her hand. He curses as her thumb drags over the tip and she gives him one long pump and then another.
She ruins the rhythm of his fingers as she touches him but doesn’t mind. Not when his forehead is pressed to her shoulder, and he’s groaning out her name and telling her how perfect she is, how wet she is, how –
“Emma, Emma, love, you need to stop, let me, for you,” he rushes and groans again as she continues to touch him. His teeth find her shoulder, and he bites down, enough to hear a small squeak from the back of her throat. He soothes it with a kiss and finally pulls away. He steps off the bed, ready to pull the rest of his clothes off but hesitates as he watches her smooth her hand over her belly to slip under the lace.
He hurries to lower and step out of his jeans and briefs. He runs his hand over himself.
“Emma, condoms?” he asks.
She turns her head to watch him touch himself for a moment before slowly leaning to pull open the top drawer of her end table. He doesn’t hesitate, reaching inside and quickly finding the foil. He watches her shimmy out of the lace as he rips into the packet and rolls it down.
He joins her on the bed again, rising over her.
“Are you sure I can’t, just, one taste?” he asks, lips leaving a trail down her chest, over her quivering stomach.
“Killian, please we have all night for, for more,” she whispers and pulls him up.
“Yes, I don’t plan on letting you get much sleep tonight,” he answers as he captures her lips. He rubs himself against her and on her last plea watches as he slides the full length of him inside her in one smooth push.
Her cry is choked, the pleasure so centered, her legs tightening around his waist.
“You feel so bloody good, you’re perfect...oh Emma,” he groans, and he continues to fuck her into the bed. He reaches down to bring one of her hands above her head and locks her fingers through his.
She feels his other hand trail down her body, intent on touching where they are joined, but she halts his movement, pulling his other hand above her head as well. He was already so deep, already rubbing at just the right angle and she was already too worked up.
“Just right there. Don’t stop, just,” she throws her head back as the orgasm catches them both by surprise, the pleasure intense. Her cries are caught by his lips, as he kisses through the waves. He tries to prolong the feeling but it’s too much, the feel of her, her sounds, his name being whispered over and over her lips, he follows with a shout unable to hold back.
“That was,” her voice is light, quiet as she presses her lips to his shoulder, his chin. “That was,” anywhere she can reach the words are whispered as her lips follow.
He turns his head before she can kiss anywhere else and sucks her bottom lips into his mouth before kissing her slowly.
“It really was,” he finally says against her grinning lips. He pulls away, both taking a moment to clean themselves up but they don’t go far. Once again settled on the bed, he pulls her to his side. His fingers trail across her skin until they come across a bruise on her elbow. He gently places a kiss over the darkened skin.
“What’s this?” he asks. She glances down at her elbow and shrugs.
“Must have been when I was chasing down my skip tonight, knocked it on the ground.”
He nods and grins.
“Well I think I know just The Cure,” he waggles his eyebrows, and she pulls back in disbelief. “To make you feel better.”
“You didn’t just make a Cure pun, did you,” she asks, rising up on an elbow.
He leans back, crossing his arms behind his head, satisfied.
She grabs her pillow and bops him over the head, leaving it there.
“I can’t believe I let you in my bed. I’m just going to...”
She can hear his chuckles from under the pillow and trouble hiding her smile but still pretends to leave the bed. His hands reach out and snag her before she can get very far.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I promise I’ll make it up to you,” he assures her and proceeds to make good on his promise to keep her occupied for most of the night.
Emma likes to think she knows what she’s doing, most of the time.
Although at this very moment, with her back against her bedroom door, taking in the clothes scattered across her bedroom floor in the soft light of the morning, she’s at a bit of loss.
Her heart is still pounding from -- well, it’s a toss-up.
It could be because Ruby down at Granny’s diner grinned wickedly at her as she boxed Emma’s purchase. Emma who on the best of days, grumbles a black coffee order and slips back outside. She doesn’t typically buy –
It doesn’t matter what she bought. It wasn’t any of Ruby’s business, and she almost threw it in the trash before she returned to her apartment.
It could also be because she ran into Will in the hallway who was tapping away on his phone. She had struggled to unlock her door, her hands full. He had noticed her at the last minute.
“Oh hey, Emma, did you see…”
She had cut him off before he could continue.
“Sorry Will, I really, um, sorry,” she’d mumbled and slipped inside.
Or just maybe, it was the man fast asleep in her bed. Dark hair a mess against her pillows, arm stretched out against the spot she had vacated.
She rocks her head back against the door, closing her eyes and taking a breath.
The raspy sound of his voice startles her, and she has to clutch the items in her hands a little tighter.
She opens her eyes to see him, pushing up into a seated position, blanket dropping low on his hips. She bites her lip against the sight and continues to regard him as he wipes a hand across his face.
“What are you? Why are you all dressed up?” he asks and she can tell he’s about to move from the bed. It pushes her into action, crossing the room, stopping beside the bed.
She holds up the drink tray and brown box.
“Breakfast?” she offers timidly and feels her heart slow a little at his sleepy smile.
He takes the tray and box from her, depositing them on them on the night stand.
“Thank you, but please come back in here first,” he asks and reaches to slowly pull down her jacket zipper. She lets it fall to the floor with the rest of the mess and catches him looking at her appreciatively. She looks down at his shirt she’s wearing.
“I borrowed this,” she mumbles.
“Of course,” he agrees but halts her when she presses a knee to the bed. His hand taps against her covered legs, eyebrows raising. She huffs but truly doesn’t mind slipping out her leggings and finally slides back into bed.
“Morning,” he finally whispers into the crook of her neck when she settles beside him.
He reaches across her to grab the box but her hand darts out to grab his wrist.
“Emma?” he asks, expression amused.
Instead of answering she brings her lips to his. The kiss is a slow, smooth slide that he’s more than willing to indulge in but before she can lose herself, he’s pulling back, dropping a last soft kiss.
“What’s in the box, Emma?” he asks, eyes on hers, hand tucking a lock of hair behind her ear.
“It’s stupid,” she grumbles, but instead of hesitating again she grabs the box and shoves it against his chest.
He takes it with a chuckle and after a last look up at her, runs his thumb against the edge, lifting the cover.
The silence is a moment too long, and she grabs the box away from him.
“It’s dumb, forget it. Have a croissant,” she says in a tight voice, practically shoving the croissant at him. He nearly bobbles it but saves it from leaving too many crumbs on the bed.
But he doesn’t care about the croissant not by the look of the big smirk on his face.
“Don’t,” she warns.
“Emma, did you get me a Valentine?” he sing-songs, teasing, looking down into the box at the red velvet cupcake, chocolate heart in the cream icing. His hand reaches out, but she pulls the box out of reach.
“Psh, no. That’s mine,” she says, nose scrunched up.
“No, I don’t think so, I think you want me to be your valentine, and this was your way of – HEY!”
His teasing ends abruptly when she grabs the cupcake and takes a huge bite.
“See?” she mumbles around the cupcake, eyes alight at his shocked expression.
He moves before she can react. The croissant in his hand is tossed somewhere over her shoulder, and his hand grabs the wrist that holds the cupcake. She tries to lean away, but he pushes forward, pressing her further into the bed.
“Give it back,” he whispers, leaning over her.
“No, you’re gross,” she cries out, turning her face but his lips follow, tongue catching some of the icing from her lips and smile.
He hovers over her, unable to tame the grin pulling at his lips.
“Now be honest, Emma. Ask me to be your valentine.”
Emma hums and haws, looking everywhere but at him. He leans down, kissing the corner of her mouth and retreats again and this time her eyes follow.
“Will you be my Valentine, Killian?” she whispers and laughs into his smacking kiss.
“Yes, love. It would be an honor, and you must let me show you my gratitude.”
And as his lips trail down the V of the t-shirt, the cupcake is forgotten, slipped from her fingers.
They would have plenty of time to clean up, much later.