Feels Like Forever



Niall’s hand is warm, firm, on her back, and Emilie lets him guide her away from Ryder’s doorway. To her surprise, he doesn’t stop by their bed; he smiles knowingly at her puzzled expression but continues on toward the bathroom. She leans against the counter and watches as he twists the taps on tub, before turning back to her. His fingers dance along her hips, feather-soft against her skin, and he smiles victoriously once her shirt is on the floor.

Her giggle echoes across the short distance between them, and she stretches up to kiss him gently even as his hands work the button on her denim shorts. Everything in her mind has short-circuited, vanishing into obscurity with the heat of his body so close and his lips moving against hers. She can barely think straight, and the world spins blurringly around her. Her skin ripples with goosebumps, cold air meeting bare flesh under hot hands.

“Cruel,” she gasps when he suddenly steps back, but all he does is laugh and tug her toward the tub..

“Got your mind off earlier, didn’t it?”

She blows out a breath, willing her heart to calm down before it bursts straight out of her chest, and Niall helps her step into the bathtub. She lowers herself to sit in the bottom, relaxing almost immediately in the heat of the water, as he strips. Once he’s turned off the taps, he follows suit, settling in at the other end of the tub. Emilie lets her fingertips run along his shin, from kneecap to ankle and back, as she rests her head against the wall.

“Ready to talk now?” he asks quietly, peers at her closely.

“You met Mom, Daddy, and Mama. We’ve never talked about me meeting your parents. Why?”

“Before I answer,” he starts, words measured and slow, “why don’t you tell me what you think?”

“So you can poke fun?”

“Emilie, when have I ever mocked you for how you feel?”

His sharp voice hangs heavily in the air, and she ducks her head to avoid meeting the intensity of his gaze. Sighing, she hunches in on herself, pulling her knees to her chest.

“Never. Sorry. It’s just... this is so stupid. Is it because you don’t want anyone to know Ryder’s past? That he has a shit mother who’s in jail for neglect and drug use?”

“No, babe, I promise that isn’t it.”

“Then why? Just tell me. Because right now, I can’t help but wonder if you don’t want me to because you wanna dump me anyway.”

Her words are far too honest, pleading, shaky and revealing far too much, but Niall doesn’t mention it. He blows out a soft breath and reaches for her hand. The expression on his face flickers slightly at her hesitation, then she’s letting him pull her until she’s settled on his lap, head on his shoulder.

“I... I wanted to wait until you brought it up. I wanted you to actually want to meet them, instead of feeling like you had to because I asked you to.” His hand trails along her spine, pressing comfort into her skin, and he turns his head enough to kiss her hair. “Then we, ya know, we separated and got back together, and I felt like suggesting you meet them would make you feel more pressured to make us work.”

She sniffles and buries her face into the curve of his neck. “So you don’t care if they know the truth about me and Ryder?”

“Oh, love, no. I don’t. They already know a bit, anyway. I told them you have custody of your nephew, but that’s all I was comfortable sharing with them. Mully, Louis, and Harry already know, but that’s because Mully lives here, and you and Louis are friends. So I was leaving it up to you to decide when other people can know.”

“So I’m being an idiot,” she breathes, slumping against him, and he laughs softly.

“Nah, not an eejit. Well, I guess we both were. But whenever you want, I’ll set up a video chat with them until you can meet them in person. Just say the word.”

“I feel so ridiculous right now,” she whines, jolting sharply when he pinches gently pinches her sides. “Don’t be rude.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. How will you ever forgive me?”

“I might have an idea,” she murmurs slowly, leaning forward to kiss him as she shifts on his lap, and he groans into the kiss.

Water laps around them, threatens to spill over the edge of the tub, but Emilie doesn’t care about anything other than the heat pooling in her gut. Her arms wrap around his shoulders, and his hands press firmly into her ass, holding her still as he takes control of the kiss. She gasps and pleads, wanting more, and his smile burns into the column of her throat, a hand sliding between them.

He curses against her skin when she holds his cock, guides him into her, and it takes all of her willpower to not crumble into pieces the instant he carves out a home inside of her. Emilie rests her forehead against his, smiles shakily at him, and Niall brushes a lock of hair from her face. It’s uncomfortable, trying to have sex in a tub full of hot water, but she’ll take it, take everything he wants to give her. If only to have his love imprinted in her cells, her entire being becoming nothing more than his.

“You okay?”

She nods, a jerky dip of her chin, legs trembling as she slowly begins to move, to rise and fall and fill herself with him. His thumb doesn’t stray from where it’s pressing against her, and the discomfort fades away the longer she keeps this steady pace. Air grows scarce, her head spinning, as her stomach clenches.

“An’ Em nakey!”

“What the fuck!”

Ryder grins from the doorway, scrubbing a fist over his eyes, and Emilie covers herself as much as she’s able to with her arms. Niall lets out a strangled sound, head dropping back against the wall. She whispers an apology before turning back to Ryder.

“Uh, hey, sweetie, can you, um, go stand by my bed? I’ll be right there, I promise.”

“It dark.”

“I know, Ry, but I’ll be right there. Trust?”


“I’m so sorry, babe,” she murmurs even as she carefully clambers to her feet. “I will so make this up to you.”

“Ye-yeah, I’m just gonna…”

He gestures vaguely toward his lap, and Emilie understands. Running her fingers through his hair, she steps out of the tub and reaches for a towel hanging on the rack. She hurries through drying her body off and wraps herself in her robe. Her heart still hasn’t slowed it’s rhythm, beating painfully against her ribs.

She knows it isn’t Ryder’s fault that he woke up and interrupted, but she is still incredibly frustrated that it happened. And now that he’s awake, he is either going to stay awake for the next couple of hours or fall asleep in bed with her and Niall. Both of those possibilities mean no returning to her previous activities.

Ryder stands at the end of the bed, fingers in his mouth and Lionel dangling from his other hand. He blinks owlishly when Emilie turns the light on and closes the bathroom door. She sighs, slumping as she sits on the mattress.

“You, my little monster, have utterly awful timing.”

“An’ Em take bath?”

“Yeah, I was taking a bath.”

“Why Ni-Ni there?”

“Um... it, it takes less water that way. We wanna treat the Earth right, yeah? Can’t do that if we waste water.”

“I take bath, too?”

“No! Not tonight,” she amends more calmly, and Ryder seems to accept it, settling in against her chest. “Why are you even up, PopTart?”

“I miss you.”

And there it is, the one thing that drowns out all of her irritation. Emilie kisses Ryder’s hair and exhales sharply. Of course she would cave to his cuteness. Of course. How could she not? Ryder is pretty much the only person she can rely on to always make her happy and content, even when his behaviour aggravates her beyond belief. Even when he uses his skin as a canvas for Sharpie-art.

And yes, even when he interrupts her fun “adult time” with the man she loves.