“Can I hold you?” He swallows while staring at me.
His odd request brings my eyebrows together as a confused frown takes over my expression.
“If you are asking me in a polite way to feel me up, then I suggest you should think again.” Crossing my arms under my chest, I arch an eyebrow at him, “Because baby daddy or not, I am going to hand your ass in five different ways to you if you so much even try to touch me. And there will be nothing pleasurable about it. Well, for me it will be, but I can’t say the same about you.” I shrug.
“Avery!” He shakes his head looking appalled while I try to suppress my smile seeing his flustered expression.
“Alec!” Raising my eyebrows I say mockingly, which makes him crack a smile.
“You haven’t changed, maybe slightly but not completely.” His eyes rest on my face, a fond smile gracing on his lips.
“No, I have.” I nod and after a long time there is no bitter feeling about this change, just acceptance, “Maybe for better.”
“Really?” He raises his eyebrow, looking unconvinced.
“For starters, my tolerance level has increased.” I slowly nod my head, “I am getting better at controlling my anger.” I never punched anyone when Liam gets shots, so it definitely speaks a lot about my anger control.
“Better at controlling your temper?” He chuckles in amusement, “You should erase that thing from your list because the way you beat the shit out of Freddy is really contradicting your statement.”
Oh, so that loser’s name is Freddy.
“Are you implying that I should not have beaten him?” I press my lips together, “So, what do you suggest what should I have done? Send him a Fuck You card with the picture of a middle finger to express my anger?”
“He tried to hit you-”
“So?” He intercepts me.
“So?” I look at him in disbelief, “So? Really, Alec?”
“Yeah, so? You said he tried to hit me, so why does that made you angry?”
My chest heaves in anger as now I want to knock his teeth down his throat.
“Why does that made me angry?” I glare at him while clenching my hands into fists, “Because I am not just going to stand and watch if somebody tries to hurt who is mine.” I growl as the dark rage consumes me even thinking about someone trying to harm him in any way.
However, as soon as these words leave my mouth realization hit me thinking about what I have just said in the heat of the moment. Heat rising up to my face, because of my slip up.
“I was talking about Liam,” I quickly add, to hide my embarrassment, “You were carrying Liam he could have got hurt, that made me angry.”
“Uh-huh.” He slowly nods his head, raising his eyebrows, his tone suggests he is not convinced.
“Yes, Liam is mine.” I give a sharp nod as I look him square in the eyes, “He is mine.”
“No, Avery, he is not yours.” He shakes his head, “He is ours.”
“However, I am yours.” His lips twist into a teasing smile, “Just like, you are mine, Firefly.”
My eyes snap to him when I hear the name he had given me. My heart twists painfully because I know how far it is from the truth.
I am not his Firefly.
“Alec, I am not your firefly...” I whisper tearing away my gaze from him, “I am just Avery.”
“You are not just Avery.” His hand gently touches my face, “You are my Avery... my Firefly.”
If I was his firefly, I would not have left him. I left him when he needed me.
He said the words that broke me, but I should have tried to see the broken man behind at that cold exterior, his pain behind those hurtful words. But I choose not to see any of those things, even when my mind was telling me all this is a lie.
Holding his wrist, my glance falls at the floor eyeing the distance between us.
The darkness in me swallowed everything... even my love for him.
I choose to believe his words, not the truth that was concealed in those words.
A little faith in him... a little faith in what we had, was needed...
But maybe I failed him and that love, which should have been strong enough to overcome every hurdle. Perhaps, I never loved him enough, and now it seems impossible for me to get reacquainted with the feeling which I have left behind.
“Were you nearby?” I ask as I watch him going through his phone.
“Yes, I was returning from work,” he answers without even looking up from his phone.
“I thought you went home.”
We head straight home from Battleground because that Freddy incident kind of ruined the mood for dinner, especially Liam was being grumpy. Since after some time he again declared that he is mad at us because nobody told him that playing baseball is so fun.
Now, I have to buy him a baseball kit. And I don’t even know how to play baseball.
“I was about to, but some work came up that needed to be done.” He releases a tired sigh.
The dark circles under his eyes look darker than before, while his eyes hold tiredness.
“Alec, when was the last time you slept properly?” I ask sitting straight to get a closer look at his face.
He stares ahead blankly, not responding to my question. His silence gave me the answer, which I already know.
“Alec, you need to rest, otherwise, you will fall sick.” I place my hand on his arm.
“I can’t sleep,” he whispers, still not looking at me, “I have trouble sleeping.”
He doesn’t need to say, but I know he is suffering from nightmares.
Standing up, I hold his hand and pull him up. Then going around the bed, I place my hands on his shoulders as I make him sit. He looks at me with confusion but complies.
“You need to sleep.” I point at the bed, “If I find you are up before ten, then I am going to knock you out for the whole day.”
“You want me to stay?” He asks.
“You want me to kick you out?” Raising my eyebrows, I ask.
“Alec, just lie down and sleep.” I smile looking at his clueless face. “You need to rest.” I lightly nudge him to lie down.
“Don’t go.” He grabs my hand when I am about to turn, “Please stay.” His eyes holding a hint of vulnerability and pain in them.
For me, he is someone who is invincible... strong. So watching vulnerability in his eyes is something I am not used to, and in a heartbeat I know, I hate this expression on him.
“Can you please stay?” He asks reluctantly, his pleading eyes meet mine.
Will it be right for me to stay?
My eyes travel to his face and I know he needs me to be here with him. At that moment, I know when it comes to him right and wrong will never matter to me. I will be there for him whenever he needs me.
I have failed him once, but not again.
His shoulders visible relaxes when I get on the other side of the bed after turning off the lights. I lie down on the far end of the bed keeping my back turned to him.
“Thank you, Avery.” I hear him whisper with a small sigh to which I just nod.
Closing my eyes, I try to fell asleep after I hear his deep calm breaths indicating he has fallen asleep.
I don’t know, how long has passed, but I feel him getting restless while his breathing turns harsh.
Turning around, I find his face scrunches up in pain as he is trying to speak something.
Moving to his side, I prop myself up on my bent elbow while I gently run my fingers on the side of his face trying to wake him up.
“Alec...” I softly whisper, not wanting to startle him, “It is just a bad dream... You are okay.”
“Alec.” I quietly call him again, as I rub soothing circles on over chest feeling his rapid heartbeat under my palm.
“Avery.” My name passes through his lips in a silent whisper, tugging my heart painfully.
It is just my name, but from his mouth, it seems like it is not just a name it is something more...
“Yes, Alec, I am here.” I caress his face, as he blinks and opens his eyes still looking slightly dazed.
The light coming from the hallway illuminating his features.
His eyes roam over my face as his heart slowly calms down.
“I am sorry.” He tears away his gaze looking embarrassed, “I disturbed your sleep.”
“It’s okay.” I continue to massage his head, “Now go back to sleep, I am here.”
“Avery.” He grabs my wrist stopping my hand and drag it towards his chest, just holding above his heart, “I will not be able to sleep.”
“That darkness always chases me.” He sighs, “I just can’t remove that sight before my eyes. Whenever I sleep it is like somebody pulls me back in time.”
Gazing into his eyes, I find nothing but despair.
Swallowing the emotions which are choking my throat, I close my eyes.
“You will be fine, I am here for you.” I run my thumb across his cheek while holding his face.
Winding his arms around me and draws me into his chest.
“Please, don’t leave me.” He pleads, as his grip tightening on me.
“Never, Alec, I can’t leave you again.” Words slip out of my mouth, in which there is nothing but the truth.
His body goes stiff, as he pulls back to see my face.
“I can’t leave you, Alec. Neither I can ever see you in pain, because I care about you too much.” My lips curve into a half-smile, “But I don’t know about love.” I admit honestly.
“I love you, Avery. All just I want is you, nothing else.” He smiles as my fingers catch the wetness that slips from his eyes, “My love will be more than enough for both of us.” I close my eyes as his lips touch my forehead in a lingering kiss.
He tucks my head under his chin while holding me securely in his arms. Placing my arm around him, I allow the familiar comforting warmth of his body to lull me to sleep.
If this is what being content feels like, then I think I have found my contentment.