435. - Lucien
As I pry her laptop open she hides her face behind her hands. "I know I shouldn't, but I just can't stop thinking about it." She mutters, and several doom scenarios cross my mind, her being on some sort of second-love dating website taking the lead.
"Wait, that's it?" I ask, seeing the apartment listings. "Jesus, Middleton, you had me thinking you were looking for another boyfriend. Scoot over." She does, dropping her hands. Her cheeks are still burning, but by now she mostly looks confused. "I have some demands." I state simply, sitting next to her and pulling the laptop over to my lap.
"Hold on," She places a hand over mine before I can click anything. "Shouldn't we talk about this?"
"I mean. I already told you I was kind of into it when you first brought it up. Can't say I haven't been thinking about it, either." I shrug. "And the fact that you're here looking for apartments delivers the message quite clearly, if you ask me."
"Yeah, but it's about a bit more than that, don't you think?"
With my fingers still hovering above the mousepad, I let out a sigh before nodding and closing the laptop. "Wine?"
Not much later we're seated on the tiny couch, which in itself really is argument enough to find a larger place, both of us with a glass of red wine in hand. Sexual tension seems to have made place for awkwardness, and I realise why when Emma offers me a hesitant "So..?"
I don't have the best track record with properly discussing these kinds of things, not to say that it's abysmal. We both know this, we've both dealt with the consequences and if I go into this like I did everything just a year ago, we're gonna suffer more consequences. But, I also realise, there is no doubt in this situation. I have a very clear image of what I want, and it involves Emma and getting an apartment together. "I love the idea of us getting a place together." I say. "I know that this apartment is fine for just you, but we both know that if I'm going to be staying with you for whatever amount of time, it's just not big enough. You could move out by yourself and simply get a bigger place, that I would make use of whenever I'm in the country, but... I don't like that as much. I'd still be a guest in your house. I don't want that. I want to be coming home to you. Really coming home. But at the same time... It's only been a month since we've gotten back together. Might be a little fast, hm?"
"Oh, it's ridiculously fast." She says with a chuckle, and she takes my free hand in hers. "And it really doesn't make sense at all. But in some weird way, that's also why it makes perfect sense. You're right - there isn't anything wrong with this place, technically, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't mind some improvements. And I miss having you around, even when you're not actually there. Does that make any kind of sense?"
"About as much as us moving in together after a month."
She hits my thigh with a laugh, shaking her head. "Is it really moving in together, though? You'll be gone a lot of the time, and I'm still working in Glasgow. The main thing will be that you won't have to 'crash' somewhere when you're in the area. You'll have your own place to be coming home to. It just happens to be my place as well."
"That sounds an awful lot like roommates, and I'm not sure if that's how I want to approach this. Em, I wouldn't be moving in with you because it's practical. I'd be moving in with you because it feels right, because I'm in it for the long run. I'd consider this even if I was still permanently stationed in Edinburgh. Yes, it's only been in the month. At the same time, however, it feels like a lifetime. Everything clicked into place for me when we got back together. I want something that belongs to us, not just you or me. It's like you said - there's gonna be moments when you're in Glasgow while I have a day off, and I don't want to feel like I'm 'just' in my apartment, or feel kind of awkward because I'm staying in yours. Wait - are you crying?"
"No." She says, wiping the tears away from her cheeks. "It's been a rollercoaster of a day, okay?"
"Oh, ma chère," I chuckle, putting my wine glass down so I can wrap my hands around her face instead. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you cry."
"No, no, it's okay." She places her hands over mine, closing her eyes with a chuckle. "Happy tears."
"I wonder if our friends have a bet riding on that - how long until Lucien makes Emma cry."
She smacks me again, but it gets her laughing. After wiping the tears from her face she takes a large swig of wine. I watch her inhale and exhale deeply before her eyes meet mine again. "So... Are we really doing this?" She asks. With a grin, I pull the laptop back on my lap. Immediately Emma shifts into place next to me, fitting there like the last piece of a puzzle.
"Well, like I said: I have some demands. First of all, rent." I slide the little bar far higher, and Emma gasps.
"I can't afford that! Not even half of that!"
"I can, though. Not to brag, but I make half that in a single photoshoot and I have about seven of those a month."
"That was definitely a brag, but also if this is going to be our place, I'm not going to let you pay for it all!" She shakes her head. "I can contribute, and I want to."
"Then what do you suggest?"
We bicker over it for a while, just like we did our holiday to Barcelona, but in the end we land on an agreement where she pays one third, and I'll pay the other two. It's not a hard agreement, flexible if needed, but for now it gives us a range to search for.
"So, demands." Emma states as she takes the laptop back from me. "What are they?"
"I want a big kitchen, and lots of light. Somewhere high, if possible, but I'm not moving anywhere that hasn't an elevator. And it has to fit a grand piano, because I'm not doing another year without one."
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