Having Alex in our apartment was... good. She could bring out a real smile on my face, just by stroking my hand.
After we'd eaten, Beth stayed and chatted for half an hour, and then decided to give us some space. As she left, she winked at me and I rolled my eyes.
"You feeling better?" Alex murmured.
"Yes, thank you."
"Has your mother... called again?"
"No. I talked to one of my cousins. She said they scattered his ashes underneath the trees in the orchard. That was always his favourite place."
"She didn't even tell you before the funeral?" Alex frowned.
"Oh Helena... I'm so sorry." She wrapped her arm around me and kissed my forehead. I relaxed in to her touch.
"It's not your fault. It's all on her. She never... she hated that he talked to me when she'd shut me out. This is her last dig; not letting me say goodbye properly."
She stayed, holding me until I slept; the best I'd slept since my mother had visited. When I woke up the next morning, there was a note next to my bed, which I could not remember getting in to.
I had to go to work. I hope you feel better. I'm free for lunch if you are?
God you are so beautiful. I'm not a creep I swear. Oh god now I'm rambling.
I smiled and bit my lip. She was adorable. We arranged to meet at hers for lunch, and that I would bring the food. I showered and dressed, making sure that I looked human after days of spacing out completely.
I'd packed up the food picnic style, and I headed over to her apartment, smiling gently. I had to do some revision, having missed the last few days, but I could catch up after spending some time with her.
"God I can smell food from here!" I heard her call before she opened the door.
"I hope that's a good thing."
"Very." She pulled me inside. "But I'm so much more happy to see you." She kissed me, backing me up against the door, with both hands wrapped in my hair. I curled the arm not holding the bag of food around her waist, and went to deepen the kiss but, right on queue, her stomach rumbled. Loudly. She broke away and looked at me embarrassed, until I burst out laughing, at which point she pushed me gently, trying not to grin.
"I think your stomach just ratted you out. You are so much happier to see food." I picked up the bag and led the way to her kitchen.
"Only on this occasion. I skipped breakfast."
"You know you could've helped yourself?" I frowned, putting the food on the surfaces while she fetched plates. When she didn't reply I looked around to find her blushing. "What?"
"I sort of... lost track of time."
"You were distracting." She murmured.
"I was asleep." I teased. "How could I have been distracting?"
"You just... shut up." She saw my smirk and blushed harder. I stepped close, so that she was backed against the surface, and she went very quiet.
"It's good to know I'm having such an effect on you," I said, hands on either side of her; effectively trapping her. Her eyes were dark, and her breathing was shallow now. Then, smirking I picked up the plates from behind her, pecked her on the nose, and went back to the food bag. I heard her exhale, and then swear. Grinning, I plated up the food.
"You'll be the death of me," she muttered, taking a plate and looking a little flushed. I flashed another grin at her. "I don't have time for food and a cold shower, so watch it." She scowled playfully. We ate, moving to safer topics like her day, and how I was going to get back in to my revision routine. Every so often, I'd brush my foot against her leg, and she'd still, watching me carefully. I chuckled as I washed the plates, enjoying the game. I felt her hands arrive on my hips, and then slide around to hold me.
"I know what you're doing."
"Do you indeed?" I grinned, turning around in her arms. "And what is that?" She eyed my wet hands, hovering near her face, and I relented, grabbing the cloth and drying them.
"You're trying to get me all riled up because you know I have to go back to work. Soon."
"However did you guess?" I teased, sliding my hands in to her hair and pushing her head back gently, delivering a long, slow kiss to her pulse point. Her breathing hitched again. "But if you want me to stop...?" She made a strangled noise in the base of her throat and I took that as my cue to continue. I laid kisses up her throat, along her jawline and finished by nibbling her ear, all the while moving us slowly round so that she was backed against the worktop.
"Helena..." she moaned, hands in my hair, forcing my face around to hers for a kiss. I let her, and after a few heated moments, I ran my fingers under the edge of her shirt, and across her stomach. When I grazed over her hip bone she gasped in to my mouth and I grinned as I gave her one more kiss, before pulling away and hearing her whine at the loss.
"Whoops. Looks like you'd better get off." I smirked. She stared at me, and then slapped my arm, probably harder than she meant to.
"I can't believe you did that."
"The pun? Or..."
"Both. You'd better be here when I get back or so help me..."
"Why don't you come to mine? It's closer."
"I'll be there as soon as I finish," she muttered, trying to smooth down her shirt and neaten her hair.
"I'll make dinner."
"Screw dinner." She growled, pulling me in for a searing kiss. "I'd rather taste you." With that, and another scowl over her shoulder, she left the apartment. I chuckled, fanning myself slightly.
She wasn't the only one affected.