Feels Like Forever



Emilie pouts against his lips when Niall wraps his fingers around her wrists, halting her hands in their task of skimming along his skin. He doesn’t stop kissing her, but he makes it perfectly clear that this is all he will allow. Sighing, she drops her head back to the pillow and frowns up at the ceiling.

“You’ve had a lot to drink tonight,” he whispers, laughing quietly when she rolls her eyes. “I won’t take advantage of that.”

“But we’ve done this many times, and you know I want to.”

He presses a soft kiss to the tip of her nose. “I want to, too, but I want you fully there. I want you to have a clear mind.”

“Fine. If you wanna be logical about it.”

“I do.”

She grumbles but lets him move away from her, and he drapes an arm over her belly once he’s lying on his side next to her. Emilie rolls to face him, lets her fingers trace along the line of his jaw up to the curve of his brow. Niall exhales slowly, steadily, as Emilie shifts closer.

This kiss is gentle and sweet, and Emilie’s stomach lurches at the aching pleasure that overflows, spilling through her and painting her blood with its warmth. She presses her fingertips into his skin and yearns for more, anything to match the heat that consumes her. Niall follows where her hands push him, sprawling on his back while she moves to straddle him.

Her skin burns in the most pleasant of ways as his hands slide along her back, rucking up her shirt in his movements. His nails drag lightly across her spine, and she bites back a moan even as her hips move of their own accord. A gasp bursts from her when he nips at her lower lip and chuckles breathlessly at her reaction.

“Please?” she murmurs into the kiss, and she fears the spell is broken by her quiet plea - Niall yanks his head back to stare up at her with eyes darkened by want. “I promise I’m not drunk to the point of not knowing what I’m doing. I’ve been drinking, yes, but I am completely in my right mind. Please, Niall, let me make my own choices.”

He blows out a breath, mouth opening to say something, but Emilie ducks down to trail a line of kisses from the corner of his mouth, along his jaw, to the column of his throat. He lets out a strangled groan when she sucks lightly at the skin there, and she counts it as a victory as she moves against him.

“You’ll have to be quiet, can you do that?”

She pulls away to meet his eye. Confusion wars with her desire, and Niall grins before rolling the both of them so that she’s on her back. Her fingers clench the bedsheets tightly, hips lifting so he can pull off her pyjama bottoms, and her heart thunders in her chest as he settles between her thighs.

Fuck,” she groans, and his laugh ghosts across her skin; the last coherent thought in her mind is that this is the best ending to the best birthday ever.


“Morning, Sleeping Beauty,” Emilie chirps as Monica shuffles into the kitchen late the following morning. “You look like shit.”

“Did you know Derek snores? Like, full-on, loud-as-thunder snores?”

“I did not. Coffee’s in the pot.”

“It’s quiet in here, did everyone run away?”

“Nah.” Emilie crosses the room to refill her own mug, reaching around Monica for the sugar bowl. “Harry went home, Mully went to his girlfriend’s, and the rest are outside enjoying the sunshine. So come on.”

As Emilie and Monica step out onto the patio, Niall looks up from the conversation he’s holding with Jackson, smiling brightly before turning away - but not soon enough. Monica evidently has seen the pale bruising that Emilie left on Niall’s throat last night, and she nudges Emilie sharply.

“You gave him a hickey!”

“Hey, watch the hot coffee. Besides…”

Emilie turns so her back is to everyone else, pulling down the edge of her tank-top to show off the identical mark on the swell of her right breast. Monica gapes then shifts to stare at Niall over Emilie’s shoulder. Before she can say anything, Emilie claps a hand over her mouth.

“No. He’s already feeling awkward enough about the fact that it even happened while my parents were right down the hall. And the fact that my concealer? Not exactly his shade. Hence why we can even see the hickey because it looked like I smeared bleach on his skin if I put more concealer on.”

“How awkward was it? That your parents were in the same house while you two got nasty.”

“I… didn’t think about it,” Emilie replies as she leads Monica toward the table. “I had other things on my mind at the time.”

“I’m sure you did.”

“What were you girls talking about?” Rose asks, and Emilie grimaces and hopes that Monica has at least an ounce of decorum.

Unfortunately, it turns out to be the complete opposite. Monica, thankfully, has the decency to keep her voice lowered as she informs Rose that they were discussing the hickeys that Emilie and Niall gave each other. Emilie groans and lets her head drop to the tabletop. Her mother doesn’t speak for a moment then lets out a soft laugh.

“I suppose I asked.”

Monica runs her hand through Emilie’s hair, scratching lightly at her scalp. “Sorry, Bean. I’ll stop embarrassing you now.”

“I’d appreciate that, thanks.”

“So you haven’t talked about the creep in a while. Everything sorted with that?”

“What creep?”

Emilie winces and slowly lifts her head. Niall smiles apologetically, but she can’t focus on anything except her dad’s displeased expression. Sighing, she takes a sip of her coffee and shrugs. No one says anything, the only sounds coming from birds and toddlers as they roll a ball between them in the grass.

“I, uh, had a problem with this guy at work. He’s the father of one of the kids, and I just got weird vibes from him from the get-go. It’s fine.” She holds up a hand when Jackson goes to speak, interrupting him quickly. “Dad. It’s okay. I’m never on my own. It’s... inconvenient, I’ll admit it, but my coworkers and I look out for each other. He hasn’t tried anything since he cornered me to ask me out. As I said, it’s fine now.”

“Well, why the Hell is he still allowed on the grounds?”

“Because we don’t make it a habit of punishing a child for their parents, and forcing Lily out of the daycare just because her dad is a creep would punish her.”

“If he does -”

“If he does anything, the cops will be called and I will press charges.”

Niall clears his throat, and Jackson finally drags his gaze from his daughter. “She’s not on her own, Mister Ellis. Between her coworkers and me, Emilie is safe.”

“Good. I won’t hesitate to go to prison for murder.”

“And that’s my cue to change the subject,” Emilie announces, slapping the table with her hand. “Derek, I hear you’re a snorer.”

“Filthy lies,” Derek replies instantly, and Emilie loses it.


Emilie pushes herself to her feet, runs her fingers through Niall’s hair as she passes, and makes her way upstairs. It’s been five days since her birthday, and she has done her best to make the most of the remaining time she has with Niall before he gets busy again. He managed to clear a week from his schedule, but the impending events loom ever closer.

She knows this is ridiculous, that there’s no reason for this, but she hasn’t been able to settle down tonight. There is nothing to make her think that Ryder is anything other than safely asleep in his bed. She just can’t stop herself from checking on him.

The door squeaks softly as she pushes it open, and she freezes just inside the room.

The bed is empty.

Heart pounding in her chest, Emilie runs to the bed, ducking down to check under the frame. No Ryder. She can’t breathe as she turns to the closet. He hasn’t hidden in the bottom of the closet before, not even during games of hide-and-seek, but she can’t not check everywhere possible. Toy-box, play tent, between the dresser and wall…

Ryder is nowhere to be found.

Emilie’s throat tightens, and she gasps for air. Her vision pulses at the edges, palms clammy and skin on fire with cold. Tears prick at her eyes as she stumbles down the hall, down the stairs to the living room.

Niall, Mully, and Louis fall silent at her reappearance, but Emilie ignores them, turning toward her boyfriend. He stands and hurries to her side. She swallows thickly, hands shaking as she waves them about in an attempt to bring forth words. Her stomach churns violently, threatens to expel the dinner and wine she’s ingested.

“Em? What’s wrong?”

“I- I can’t find Ryder. He’s not in bed, not anywhere in his room. I can’t find him.”