Feels Like Forever


It’s late in the morning. Emilie knows it without even opening her eyes. Her internal alarm may not have woken her today, but it’s certainly telling her now that she pressed the metaphorical snooze button quite a few times. She breathes out deeply, peacefulness seeping into her entire being as she melts further into the mattress beneath her. She doesn’t remembering dreaming anything through the night, not even the nightmares she usually has whenever she doesn’t see Ryder regularly, and she knows that the fact that Niall is less than two inches from her is the biggest reason why her dreams weren’t there.

“Mm, keep doin’ that, and we ain’t gettin’ outta bed,” she murmurs at the warm lips that press to her shoulder, and Niall’s chuckle ghosts across her skin.

“Why would I want to get out of bed when you’re right here?” He kisses the curve of her neck but pulls away, and Emilie pouts to herself. “Your accent is adorable, by the way.”

“I don’t have an accent, you do.”

Niall doesn’t bother arguing with her sleepy protests, just mms in response then leans over to kiss her cheek. She finally rolls over to face him, and he brushes a lock of hair from her face. His eyes are bright as he stares down at her. A soft flush covers his cheeks, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips. She stretches up to kiss that happy grin away; it fails. When they part, he’s smiling even more, teeth on display.

“Good morning.”

“Morning.” She pushes at his shoulders until he backs up a little bit, then sits up, yawning widely and stretching her muscles. She doesn’t miss the way his gaze skims over her body. “What time is it?”

“It’s… nine,” he responds with a quick check of his phone.

“Mm. I haven’t woken up this late in a long time.”

They stay there for a few more minutes, but then Emilie’s body reminds her of its biological needs. She frowns and glares at her growling belly, which makes Niall laugh and say something about food. Assuring him that she’ll be down in just a minute, Emilie heads to the attached bathroom to use the toilet, wash her hands, and brush her teeth. The bed calls for her to come back as she walks into the bedroom again. She nearly gives in then remembers Niall’s promise of breakfast.

The uncovered couch cushions catch her eye as Emilie passes through the living room, and her skin heats up with the memory of last night. She still can’t believe that it happened; as great as it was, it was foolish and risky to have sex on the couch with Mully just upstairs. She can’t summon up the wherewithal to regret the events, though.

She finds Niall sat at the dining table, scrolling through something on his phone. Mully barely catches her eye then instantly ducks his head again, and Emilie knows he knows what happened last night after he went to bed. Her cheeks burn as she makes her way to sit next to her boyfriend. He leans over to kiss her temple, and she feels the mortification bleeding away to be replaced by a giddy sort of happiness. She’s finally done something selfish, something for herself that brings her peace. She’s here.

There’s nothing on the guys’ schedule for the day, so Emilie heads upstairs to change from her pyjamas into a pair of shorts and a sleeveless tunic, then joins them on the back patio to enjoy the easy quiet of the morning. As the two chat about various things, occasionally making sure she’s paying attention to whatever story they’re retelling, she stays curled up against Niall’s side on the poolside chair. His heartbeat is steady under her palm, skin warm from the sun, and something inside of her loosens and breaks free from the worry she’s carried with her since she agreed to come.

The silence is broken by voices coming from inside around noon. Emilie sits up to see who has arrived and immediately gets enveloped in a tight hug from behind. She laughs, pats the top of Harry’s head where it rests on her shoulder. He presses a smacking kiss to her cheek then ducks out of range of Niall’s hand. Louis doesn’t have Freddie with him today, and Emilie frowns at the sinking sensation in her chest.

Her attention is dragged away from her thoughts by Niall capturing her mouth with his as his hand comes up to bury itself in her hair; the kiss isn’t the gentle, tender ones they usually share. Instead, it feels as if he’s staking claim to her, proving that she’s his. The caveman routine is normally a turn-off, but she can’t begrudge him this. He’s had to deal with the jealousy of her hanging out with Derek while he’s so far away. So she lets him make his point, then kisses him more softly once he’s done.

“Sorry,” he breathes against her lips, and Emilie kisses away the apologies.

Melody is watching them closely when Emilie finally pulls away from Niall. She wonders if there’s going to be a problem between the other woman and herself - she’s pretty sure there might be, if Melody’s guarded expression is any indication. She doesn’t get long to dwell on that thought before John and Mully rope her into their conversation.

Emilie loses track of where Niall’s gone an hour later, and though she wishes she could go search for him, she doesn’t want to seem clingy and give Melody more ammunition against her. So she grabs up her phone and makes her way down to the far side of the pool, sitting on the edge with her bare feet in the water, and types out a text to Danielle. When her former stepsister merely sends back a K, Emilie sighs and starts the FaceTime call.

Danielle’s eyes look clearer than Emilie anticipated, and she even smiles. “Hey, how’s vacation?”

“It’s going really well. I’m glad I came. How are you and Ry?”

“We’re good. He just finished dinner, so let me get him cleaned up then you can talk to him.” The sight of the ceiling fills the screen, and Emilie winces as she hears Ryder whining in the background. A few minutes later, Danielle comes back. “Ready?”

“I’m always ready to see my little dude.”

Ryder squeals happily when he sees Emilie, and she blinks back tears. The aching in her chest settles some at the toothy grin he gives her. She drags in a shaky breath and asks how he’s doing. His babbling washes over her; she listens as intently as she can, not wanting to miss a second of hearing his voice or seeing his face. Her skin prickles with the weight of someone staring at her, and she looks up to see Melody standing next to the grill where the guys have all gathered. The other woman’s brow raises before she pointedly turns away.

“You home?”

Emilie twitches then looks at her godson. “Oh, no, buddy, I’m not home. Remember? Auntie Em had to go on vacation.”

“You home?”

“I’ll be home in just a few days, and then I’m kidnapping you from your Mommy so I can have you all to myself.”

“Trust me, I’ll be ready for that,” laughs Danielle.

It takes all of Emilie’s willpower not to make a comment in response, but she manages to swallow down the words and focuses on finishing her conversation with Ryder. Footsteps come closer. She glances up to see Niall standing there, watching her. He gestures toward the deck, and Emilie nods.

“Okay, my dude, Auntie Em’s gotta go eat some food. I’ll call you again tomorrow, all right?”

“You call ‘morrow?”

“I promise. Trust?”


“All right. Love you more than the rainbow.”

His face scrunches up as he screeches, “Love you rainbow!”

Danielle ends the call then, and Emilie coughs quietly to dislodge the lump in her throat. After a moment, she pushes herself to stand, taking care not to fall into the pool, and shakes the excess water off her feet. Niall links their fingers together, pulls her to a stop before she can pass by him. He doesn’t say anything, though, just stares down at her. She stretches up onto her tiptoes to kiss him gently, and his expression smooths out, a brilliant smile tugging at the corner of his lips.

“We shouldn’t do this,” she whispers as her eyes fall closed, but he shushes her, kissing the column of her throat before biting down sharply.

His hand comes up to cover her mouth, stifling her gasp and subsequent moan as he pushes into her, and Emilie’s fingers curl into the countertop. His - their - friends are just downstairs, laughing and drinking and talking amongst themselves. Any of them could come up and catch them, and she thinks it’s that thrill that makes everything hotter. His hips press against her ass, and she follows his hand when it pushes her forward gently. The marble counter is freezing against her belly, almost painful as it digs into her waist, but then Niall is moving, pushing and pulling and filling her over and over.

She’d only come up to take a shower, having just undressed when the door creaked open; she hadn’t expected Niall to corner her with a dangerous gleam in his eye, his jealousy from earlier back with a vengeance and more than evident. The bruising kiss he gave her had stolen her breath, and she hadn’t had the chance - or the desire - to deny him this.

Emilie cries out, tears pricking at her eyes, when Niall’s hand slides along her damp skin to cup her breast. His movements are rough, unmeasured thrusts that rock her body, and his nails dig into her skin. A whimper spills from her lips as he meets her gaze in the mirror. She can scarcely breathe as he slams into her, as he slips a hand between her thighs. His free arm comes up, stretches across her chest; his fingers curl around her shoulder, and she bites down hard on her lower lip when he gracelessly tugs her back onto his cock.

Time stops, the world disappears, all that remains is the two of them right here. Her legs are cramping up from being on her tiptoes for so long, and she can’t easily ignore the pain that lances through her hips from the edge of the countertop, but then the heat is building more and more. She gasps, whimpers, explodes moments later. Her cry echoes through the bathroom, and Niall flashes her a smug smile even as his thrusts quicken then falter. He drapes himself across her back, his hips stilling against her ass, and she tries to catch her breath as he pulses inside of her.

Emilie waits until he’s cleaned himself up and pulled up his pants before turning around. Her arms wrap around his neck; she stretches up to kiss him lightly. “Do you feel better?”

“Yeah. I, er… sorry about that.”

“Don’t be. Trust me, if I had a problem with it, I’d have told you.” She catches his bottom lip between her teeth, tugging lightly, then grows serious. “You know you’re the only one I want, right? No one else comes close - not Derek, not Harry, not anyone. Just you.”

“I know,” he breathes before stepping back.

His gaze skims over her body, and he grins widely then slips from the bathroom. Emilie laughs softly to herself then makes her way to the shower. She isn’t sure whether or not Niall believes her, all she can do is hope he does. A shiver of delight runs down her spine with the ghost of Niall’s touch, the twinge of pain that ripples through her from the way he fucked her without restraint. She exhales slowly, presses her fingertips to the half-moons that mar the skin by her hip. She hopes they stay for a while.

The week passes by far too quickly, and thankfully, there are no more occurrences of caveman-like, jealousy-induced behaviour. Between the peaceful days spent being lazy and long nights spent between the sheets, exploring the taste and feel of each other, learning and committing to memory the sounds he makes, Emilie wakes up on the final morning of her stay wishing for more time. It’s almost impossible how fast time has gone. Her heart aches with the weight of saying goodbye; she doesn’t want to leave yet. She wants to keep being selfish and stay here in this bed with this man until the world turns to dust.

An urgency flickers painfully beneath her skin, races along her nerves, and Emilie reaches out to brush Niall’s hair from his face. He doesn’t wake at the gentle touch, but she didn’t expect him to. They didn’t fall asleep until almost four in the morning, making the most of their last night together. She chews on the inside of her cheek and stares at him. It isn’t fair that this is all she’s getting of him. She will take it without complaint, though.

Niall lets out a soft groan, exhaling sharply through his nose, and his eyelashes flutter against his cheekbones before he opens his eyes to peer blearily at her. She merely smiles in response, drags her fingertips along the sharp curve of his hip. His sleepiness disappears almost instantly, and he rolls onto his back, reaching for her. She doesn’t hesitate, just thanks the stars that they didn’t bother pulling clothes back on last night. The rapid pounding of her heart is nothing compared to the love and desire and need that fills her as surely as he does.