810 - Emma
At one point in the night, not a clue when exactly it happens, I fall asleep wedged in between Lucien and Kenna. Maybe it's a little after Emilia sings her made-up lullaby, or around the same time Kenna starts braiding my hair. It's definitely not before the men start discussing which superheroes they could or couldn't fight, because I still vividly remember that conversation.
I wake up to my body being lifted into the air, a mixture of our laundry detergent and Lucien's shampoo filling my senses. It takes me a while to fathom where I am, only opening my eyes when I feel the softness of our bed in my back. "Where's...?" I mutter, Lucien carefully covering me with our blanket, causing my eyes to drift close once again.
"Kenna, Tom and the babies went home," he smiles, moving a strand of hair from my face and shedding his shirt. "Matt and Brie are in the guest room."
He gets into bed next to me and I invite him into my arms, my face against the bare skin of his back. "Will you sleep, too?"
He sighs lightly, my fingers tracing patterns on his upper arm. "After a day like today, I'm not sure if I can."
I kiss right in between his shoulder blades, feeling his heart beat faintly when I move my arms. "You should at least try." Wasted advice, of course, but it's all my tired brain can come up with. "Stay here with me, avoid the world."
He gently kisses the back of my hand. "I promise I will."
He sticks to his promise, because the next morning, he's still in my arms. When he feels me shift, so does he, turning to face me.
"Did you sleep?" I ask, rubbing the sleep from my eyes.
"Here and there," he mumbles, pulling me in closer so our legs tangle and I can hide my face in the crook of his neck. With the faint morning light peeking through the curtains, reality floats in.
Lucien will have to return to the office, and I will stay here. I could pretend it is like a little break, a well-deserved holiday, but my mind won't let me.
"Will he be there again today?" I ask, my hands drawing patterns on Lucien's back. They go from circles to random letters, and only stop when my fingers cramp up.
"I'm not sure," he sighs. "There's only one way to find out."
I lean back, looking him in the eyes. "Are you going to be okay?"
He nods, though the doubt in his eyes couldn't help him be more convincing. "I'll try to be. Are you?"
I shrug. "I'll try to be, too. I was thinking about finally assembling that side table we bought weeks ago, and I might make that recipe I've been dying to try."
There's a hint of a familiar expression on his face. The same one I saw when Callum had just cheated on me and left me homeless, and when Eschieve was about to have an abortion. It's worry, mostly, but Lucien also knows now is not the time to tell me to slow down.
"You should get up," I mumble, looking at the time. "Waiting any longer will only make it harder to face today."
He buttons his shirt in front of the mirror with precision, as if this is the first time wearing a suit in stead of the millionth. I follow his movements, the way his fingers find each and every button perfectly, smoothening out the fabric when he's done.
"If there's an upside to this internship," I smile, having gotten dressed myself as well, "it's that I get to see you like this more."
"The suit really does it for you, huh?" he smiles, a little bit of the stress forgotten or at least ignored.
"It just reminds me of when I fell in love with you," I pluck a stray hair from his shoulder. "When we were still friends, or friendly, and I'd just wonder what was hidden underneath the armour - the clothes, but the tough exterior, as well. How badly I wanted to get to know you, really get to know you, and how I dreamt of being yours, you being mine."
Our eyes meet in the mirror and there's an unspoken sentiment lingering around us, not broken when Lucien speaks. "And look at us now."
He turns around for a kiss, soft and sweet. From his night stand I then find his ring, and after slipping mine on, I hand his to him. He hasn't worn it much, still a bit careful and worried about watchful eyes. "You should wear this. No one will notice, and it'll be a little reminder of that no matter what happens, I love you. And that can make anything a little more bearable, even working with Callum Prittchard."
He smiles, slipping it onto his finger. "What did I do to deserve you?"
"I ask myself that every day," I smile, kissing him once more.
We walk out of our bedroom together, finding both Matt and Brie in the kitchen. Coffee is already brewing, and from the other smells emerging from the stove, Matt is making us breakfast.
"It's good to see you both a little more cheerful than yesterday," he smiles. "Lunch is already in your briefcase, Lucifer, and so is a new pack of cigarettes - you might need them, no matter how horrible the habit is.
Small conversation is made until Lucien really has to leave, and I walk him to the door.
"Remember," I smile, pressing a kiss to his cheek. "The best way to get rid of a bear is not to attack it, but to retreat and if all else fails, make yourself as large as you can and scare it off."
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