Status: complete;;

Right Now

I Come Undone

We get lucky: It doesn’t start raining until we’re already heading inside, and a shriek sounds from behind us as the doors close. Bright lights streak across the room in arching swirls, bodies writhe around each other on the floor below, loud electronic music fills the air. I grin and latch onto my best friend’s hand as she makes her way toward the stairs. Between the excitement of being out with her and the rhythm of the song, it isn’t long before I’m moving to the beat, laughing and losing myself in the moment. Bri taps my shoulder, mimes taking a drink; I nod but stay where I am. She makes sure that we have full sight of each other as she heads to the bar. Hands land on my waist, and I jerk around to stare wide-eyed at the person.

“I’m so sorry, please pretend we’re friends, please.” The woman glances over her shoulder, and I follow her gaze to see a man across the room, staring intently at her. “Please.”

Chills run down my spine at the vibes I’m getting from him; I plaster a wide, enthusiastic smile on my face and throw my arms around the woman’s shoulders. “Holy shit! Oh, my god! How are you?”

Bri comes back with two drinks in hand. Her brows raise in confusion, and I lean over to explain what’s going on. Actress though she isn’t, the excited squeal she lets out could fool even me, and she pushes my drink toward me. The woman - Jessica, she tells us over the loud music - doesn’t hesitate to dance with us, laughing it up the entire time. The man has vanished by the time I look to where he was, and I wonder if he’s on the move for a new target.

Hours pass by in a blur of movement, cocktail after cocktail, and new friends. Unfortunately, like all good things, our fun has to come to an end, and Bri finishes off her last drink, fingers curling around my arm as she places the glass on a nearby table, and leads our group up the stairs to the exit. We wait together until a cab comes for Ellen and Lisa, who we’ve learnt live together, and another for Brooke and Jessica. Brianna waves then drags me to stand next to the bouncer by the door, muttering something about safety. Ten minutes go by, and finally, Louis pulls up to the curb halfway down the block. Our steps are unsteady as we head toward the car.

World swaying around me, I toe off my heels, grab my bag, and slide out of the backseat. Bri leans out her window, blows me kisses, as I make my way up to the door. I shake my head at her antics and wave back before slipping inside. The tile of the foyer is freezing against my bare feet, and I squeak and speed-walk to the elevator on my tiptoes. As the lift rises, I dig through the clothes in my small duffel until I find the key ring in the bottom. I sift through the keys until I find the one that’ll get me inside - like Bri, the guys (except Zayn) gave me a copy of the keys to their homes in case of emergency.

The apartment beyond is silent when I unlock the front door and step inside. I drop my shoes to the carpet and make my way through the darkened living room to the bathroom. I push the door closed before turning on the light, strip out of my dress and drape it over the towel rod on the wall. Once I’ve wiped off all my makeup, I pull on a pair of cotton shorts and a tank-top then inch down the short corridor, a hand sliding across the cool plaster of the walls, until I reach the bedroom. Moonlight filters through the gap in the curtains and leaves a strip of silver along the floor; even in the dim glow, I can see the silhouette of a sleeping lump on the bed, and I bite back a smile and crawl between the sheets. The heat from Liam’s body fills the space between us, warming me from the inside out - or maybe that’s because of what I feel as I stare at his sleeping face. I sigh quietly. How the Hell am I supposed to talk to him about this? I could barely talk to Harry about it, and Harry already knew about my past. I shake off the thoughts, the worries and doubts and fears. The alcohol I’ve consumed has reached the ‘let’s sleep forever and ever’ stage, so I scoot closer to Liam, curl up against him, and close my eyes, putting off any further thinking in regards to the conversation I know we need to have.

I push my face under my arm to block out the sunlight coming through the window, but the tickling sensation on my back doesn’t stop. Lips press to my shoulder, trail along my skin until they stop at the flesh beneath my ear. I grin and roll over, and Liam kisses me gently. It feels a lot like sinking beneath the surface of an undisturbed pond, kissing him - the peaceful, floating weightlessness wrapping itself around me until I can’t figure out which way is up and down and all around, until my head spins with both lack of oxygen and the realisation that I’m infinitesimal in the grand scheme of things but still so secure in my existence right here, right now. I drag in an unsteady breath after he pulls away, my eyes slowly peeling open as I try to get myself under control again.

“Well, good morning to you, too.”

He lays his head down on the pillow next to mine, fingers twirling at a flyaway hair that’s come out of my braid through the night. “Morning, love. What are you doing here? Figured you’d be home sleeping off the hangover.”

“Nah. I’d still be here if I was hungover.” I press the tips of my fingers against his jaw and inhale slowly. “I came by last night so we, uh, could talk, but since it was, like, two in the morning, you were already asleep.”

“Mm? Talk about what?”

This is it, I think to myself, and I force a smile. “Are... are you happy? I mean, in our relationship.”

“Absolutely. You’re funny, smart, gorgeous, a great kisser, so sweet... why would I not be happy?”

“Because, well, we haven’t - y’know.”

I frown at his chuckle, but then his lips are against my forehead, the kiss smoothing out the line between my brows. So I let him pull me into a tight hold. My mind is racing as the time comes, when I know I can’t keep everything locked inside, when even his patience - never-ending as it seems to be - will run out.

“Would I like to take you to bed?” he asks softly, shrugging. “Yes, of course. But I told you, you’re worth waiting for.”

I let out a dry, humourless laugh and pull away; it’s harder than it has a right to be to ignore the confusion and hurt in his dark eyes. “There are some things you should know first. Then you can decide, I guess.”

I twist until I’m facing away from him. Looking at him is only going to make this more difficult, and I don’t think I’ll be able to tell him if I can see the disgust on his face. His arms tug me against his chest; his heartbeat is strong behind my back, and I close my eyes, swallow thickly. There wasn’t any hesitation before he held me, even though he knows what I’m about to tell him is going to change things. Hell, I’ll be surprised if he still wants me after this. But Harry’s words echo in my head, and even I can’t deny the logic he used. So I clear my throat and recount on a whisper the events of that night when I was eleven, the way it’s screwed with who I am on a base level ever since. The words come easier though I swore I’d never speak them again, and the fact that Liam stays silent as I speak keeps me from overthinking, from stopping myself from continuing. My voice falters as I start to tell him about the party - and what Jacob had done. He holds me tighter, offers support and strength, and I take as much of it as I can and push through, even while my mind dredges up the fragments of that awful night. Eventually, there’s nothing left to say, and I finish talking and close my mouth hard enough, my teeth clacked together.

Liam’s breathing is ragged in my ear, and his hold on me grows tighter, almost painful, when I start to roll over. I breathe as evenly as I can through the discomfort of being squeezed around my middle the way I am, wait for him to finally say something, anything.

“I am… so incredibly angry right now,” he mutters and buries his face against my hair. “I, I can’t even put into words how - love, you should not have had to experience any of that. I’m so, so, so sorry that you did. Can I just say that I’m utterly in awe of how brave and strong you are?”

My eyes close as they fill with tears, and I don’t even try to hold back. I just let myself cry while he keeps me wrapped up in his arms. He whispers quietly into my skin, words that I can’t make out but the emotion in them is enough.
♠ ♠ ♠
title credit no one knows queens of the stone age