Sequel: Black and White
Status: complete;;


chapter twenty-nine;;

I buried my face in Niall’s neck, cheeks burning hot. Louis’s interruption had done more than ruin the moment - it had annihilated it with the force of three nuclear bombs; my skin was cold, doused in the sudden lack of arousal. Niall’s hand gripped the blanket, but there was no way he could pull it over us, not now. I was just thankful that all Louis from that angle was my bare back and underwear - and maybe too much of Niall. The door slammed, the sound echoing in the uncomfortable silence; Niall’s face was tomato-red when I finally pulled away to look at him. His shoulders shook, and he burst out laughing. My face screwed up in confusion.

“What’s so funny, Mister Horan?”

“I… I don’t even know.”

“Neither do I. That was embarrassing,” I whined, covering my face with my hands.

“Yeah, it was. I never thought it would happen to me. Liam or Haz, maybe, but not me!”

I laughed quietly at the pout on his face and trailed my fingers lightly over his abdomen, the muscles that rippled beneath my touch. His breath hitched, and I focused on shifting the small patterns downward. He tugged me down into a demanding kiss, one that stole the air from my lungs and exploded sparks behind my eyes. It was almost as if Louis had never barged in on us as we quickly resumed where we’d left off. I gasped when one of his fingers slipped inside of me, his thumb sliding in slow circles against my clit. He grinned against my lips; the warm pool of desire flared up in the bottom of my belly, engulfing every molecule of my being, sending me floating and spinning and craving. I yanked my head back, gasped as the edge neared rapidly. Before I could tumble over, though, we were interrupted again - this time, by a knock on the door. I bit back a curse as Gemma’s voice came through the wood.

“Er, dinner’s ready, you two.”

Niall smirked mischievously and pressed his thumb more insistently to my clit, another finger joining the first. I knew Gemma was waiting for acknowledgement from us and that she probably already knew what Louis had walked in on, so I managed to force out a simple “Okay!” in as even a voice as I could manage. Niall leaned up to kiss my collarbone, removing his hand. I pouted but then bit my lip to stifle the squeal when he rolled us again so that I was on my back. His fingers hooked in the waistband of my underwear, tugged them down my legs until they fell to the floor.

I shivered in the cool air as he stepped away to rummage through the nightstand. Thankfully, he found what he was looking for quickly and came back, an unopened condom in hand. I dragged my nails gently over his stomach as he rolled the condom on, and he trembled before wrapping his hands around my ankles, pulling at my legs until they encircled his waist. He leaned down, mouth soft and sweet against my throat.

“You sure?” he murmured into my skin, and I could do nothing more than nod, too overwhelmed by the sensations and emotions that were swelling up inside of me.

Niall nipped at my jaw, and I hissed at the contrast of the sharp scrape of teeth and the smooth, languid slide of him entering me. My back arched, and I lost myself in the motions of his thrust. A hand slipped between us, the roughness of his thumb pushing me closer to the ledge; the closer I got, the harder I fought it, struggling in vain to delay the inevitable - this was more than I had ever asked for, so much better, and I didn’t want it to end. My body didn’t listen to my brain, instead chased the feeling of weightless and completion and everything I never knew I wanted that Niall alone could give me. His thrusts faltered, and he stilled with his hips pressed tightly to my skin, head dropped back as he panted. Slowly, he pulled away, and I let my body melt into the mattress.

“That… was so fucking amazing.”

“Yeah, it was.” I rolled over to curl against his side once he discarded the used condom into the bathroom trash can. “Do we have to go out there? I just wanna stay here with you.”

“Unfortunately, yes. Food is necessary for existence.”

Neither of us moved for a long moment, too busy catching our breath and sharing lazy kisses. Eventually, though, his stomach growled, reminding us of the fact we hadn’t eaten yet, and he sighed and pressed his lips to my forehead; I fought the urge to grimace at how disgusting and sweaty my skin must have felt under his lips. I watched him walk to his closet, my eyes taking in the sight of so much glorious skin bared completely. He handed me a pair of pyjama pants as I stepped into my underwear. I flashed him a grateful smile; my hair was a lost cause, I knew it, so I pulled it back into a messy bun, thankful that I always had a hair—tie on my wrist. After splashing cold water onto my face, I followed Niall out of the room and into the kitchen. Everybody glanced up from the pizzas in front of them, shooting us knowing looks - except Louis, who was determinedly avoiding eye contact. Thankfully and rather surprisingly, no one said anything in regards to what they had to be aware was going on.

I stared around at the familiar faces to see that the only one missing from our group was Liam; even Zayn had shown up. Niall passed over a plate that had two slices of pepperoni pizza, and I let him guide me to the living room so we could get away from the cheeky grins. My face was hot, flushed, by the time we sat on the couch. He nudged me with his shoulder, crossing his eyes at me when I looked up. I retaliated by very maturely scrunching up my face and sticking my tongue out.


Natalie’s face disappeared from the screen of Niall’s laptop, and I yawned again. I was exhausted, but I probably wouldn’t fall asleep any time soon. Though Niall and I had… expended more energy after dinner (he’d made sure to warn the others that disrupting our time together would result in bodily harm), the nap I’d taken after my flight had only allowed me to sleep by his side for a few short hours before I’d woken up, frustrated at the fact that I wasn’t still dreaming. My boyfriend hadn’t even stirred when I’d crawled out of bed to check my messages on his computer, just snored away peacefully. Even during the Skype call with Nat, he stayed completely still and mumbled incoherently in his sleep. I stretched, set the laptop aside, and decided to get something to drink.

Gemma sat at the kitchen table, phone in hand, when I entered the room. I returned her smile and opened the fridge door, staring at the contents inside. Turning around with orange juice in hand, I realised I knew where nothing in this house was kept. She helpfully pointed to a cupboard, and I grabbed a glass with a quiet “Thanks.” I sat beside her once I had my drink.

“Why are you still awake? I figured you and Niall would be dead to the world by now.”

“He is,” I replied with a chuckle. “And I thought so, too, but my body apparently thinks it’s only six at night.”

“Time zones are the worst.”

“Ugh, they are. So, um, what about you?”

“I just… can’t sleep, I suppose. Don’t tell Harry, though. He’ll worry if he thinks I’m not getting enough sleep, and a worried Harry is an overbearing Harry.”

I nodded slowly, knowing she was right. Harry was amazing, but when he was concerned, he certainly could nag and pester. I loved him, regardless; it just wasn’t easy to handle when he got like that. We were quiet for a few minutes, and I sipped at the juice and fidgeted in my seat.

“Are you glad you came to surprise Niall?”

“Oh, absolutely. It’s, it’s been great so far.”

“Of course, you two spent at least half the time in bed,” she teased with a lascivious wink.

“Yeah, sorry ‘bout that.”

“Babe, I’m warning you now. If I ever hear you apologise for something stupid like that, I’ll smack you.” She set her phone down and stared at me through the dim gleam of the nightlight plugged into the wall by the stove. “We all knew it would happened. You two are young and in love and have been separated for a while. It was only a matter of time, which Louis, as we found out, is an awful judge of. Can I tell you something?”


“The first time I’d heard what Niall did to hurt you, as unintentional as it was, then to make it up to you, I… Oh, god, please don’t tell him I’m saying this. I love him to pieces, and I don’t want to fight with him, okay? Anyway. I wondered if it was maybe just his wounded pride. But then, once everything was fixed, he wouldn’t stop talking about you, or so Harry says. I’ve only been here for a few days, so I can’t speak about what happened before, but I’ve had to listen to him prattle on about you, the things you found funny, memories made while touring with your band, and everything that made you so irresistible. Harry would text me incessantly, complaining that Niall wouldn’t shut up. I know, I know, why didn’t he just leave, right?” She let out a soft giggle. “I asked him the same thing. He said it was because his flat was too quiet and he didn’t want to be alone, but I know my brother. I know it was to make sure Niall didn’t hurt you again.

“The lads all love you to death, and while they love Niall and he’s one of their closest mates, they’re not the kind of guys who would keep their mouths shut if one of you is screwing up. But Niall has only gone from here to the studio, Nando’s, then back. He’s so far gone for you, and I can’t tell you how happy I am to see you both so happy. You deserve it.”

I cleared the lump from my throat quietly, smiling down at my glass. “Thanks. I am really happy with him. He’s almost too good to be true, y’know? I never thought we’d even be friends, let alone dating.” I drew in a steadying breath. “My turn for confession: I’m scared.”

Her hands wrapped around mine, squeezed comfortingly, and she sighed. “Oh, babe. Everybody gets scared. I’m sure Niall is just as afraid as you are. But it’s how you react to that fear that matters. You can either stay and fight for what you want or you can run away like a coward the moment things go balls up.”

“I’m gonna fight. I love him too much for anything less.”

“Good. Now, it’s almost three in the morning. Go back to bed.”

I hugged her, the tightness in my chest easing as her words imprinted themselves in my brain, and crossed the room to rinse my glass out in the sink. Gemma was already back to scrolling through Instagram as I made my way out of the kitchen, down the hall, and to Niall’s room. He slept on as I slid into the bed. I scooted closer to him and pulls his arm over my waist. It wasn’t long at all before I fell asleep.


“Why are you staring at me like that?”

“Like what?”

“Like you’ve got bug eyes or something!”

“No idea what you’re talking about, Bear,” I responded cheekily, biting back my laugh at his exasperation.

“Erin, I swear, I’ll beat you up if you don’t stop staring at me.”

I dissolved into giggles, finally blinking for the first time in several minutes- I’d been staring at him since I sat down next to him in the studio. “One: no, you won’t. Two: I’ll only stop for something in return.”

He sighed, rubbed his fingers into his temple. “What?”

“How serious are things between you and Miss Stefanie?”

“They’re… Why do you even want to know?”

“Because some little birdies told me they caught you two trying to merge into one body.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he replied quickly - too quickly - and I shrugged.

Within three heartbeats, he caved and told me the truth: Though they’d kept it casual at first, especially after the paparazzi interrupted their date, it hadn’t taken long for something more to build between them. She came back to the UK to do some promotional shooting for an up-and-coming band, and he’d invited her over to watch a movie; now, she could be found at his place whenever she was in town, and he was… thrilled. He explained that she was more outgoing and gave less of a damn about what people thought of her than what he was used to, but he enjoyed her company and hoped they could make the relationship work in the long-term. Since she could choose which jobs she took, it gave her the ability to clear up her schedule, which meant it wasn’t too difficult to have time together.

I was ecstatic that Liam was happy, that Stefanie was happy; my joy over their relationship drowned out any annoyance that she’d never told me. She was the photographer on my first solo tour, so we had spent hours upon hours together - plenty of time to inform me that she was actually dating one of my best friends. I supposed it was a good enough reason to keep it from me, though. Liam had asked her not to tell me anything about their happiness while I was miserable “pining over Niall”.

I leaned against Liam, rested my head on his shoulder; Niall waved at me from inside the recording booth, and I grinned widely in return. “Bear, I’m glad you’re happy. I really am.”

“Thank you, Strudel. I’m happy you and Niall are finally together and happy, as well.” He paused. I looked up and immediately rolled my eyes at the mischievous smirk on his face. “So what’s this I hear about Louis having absolutely terrible timing?”