Chapter 45 - Melody
I closed the door behind us, and we stood there, just looking at each other again, as though we couldn’t look at each other enough, drinking each other in with our eyes.
“You know exactly how to handle my dad, Knox,” I said, breaking the silence, still wearing an amused smile at that last come-back of his.
“He doesn’t scare me, Snow,” he said self-assured, and he astounded me again with how much he’d changed. There was a light lit within his eyes, he was constantly smiling, making jokes even. There was this quiet confidence, this almost carefreeness that wasn’t there before.
“What does scare you?” I asked as he took both my hands in his again, intertwining our fingers.
“The thought of losing you,” he said roughly, with so much honesty that it made my heart quiver.
I shook my head. “I know that I said two months ago that when we meet again, you’d need to have something really good to say before I’d consider giving you another chance...” I choked up with emotion, and for a moment I couldn’t get another word out.
He nodded, and that flicker of pain flashed across his eyes again, mirroring my own.
“And now you’re back, Knox. And... everything you’ve said to me today has quite simply... taken my breath away,” I smiled as a tear fell down my cheek, and a smile started to curve on his lips again.
“I’m not finished, Snow... I have more to say, actually,” he said with so much sincerity that my heart hurt again. Because finally in front of me, stood the real Knox. There was no pretense. No masks. No games. No expiration date.
“Come lay with me. My legs feel like they’re about to give under me - it must have been all those stairs.”
I pulled him down onto my bed, and we held each other like we used to. Our bodies curved together in a perfect contour, our arms circled around each other.
“It’s so good to have you back,” I whispered and he brushed his lips across mine.
“It’s good to be back.” He tugged at my bottom lip.
“I love you,” I parted my lips, inviting him in.
“I love you more,” he took up the invitation without hesitation.
Our legs tangled, and we kissed and kissed and kissed until I was dizzy and out of air.
“Stay. I’m not ready to let you go,” I asked shamelessly, and he nodded.
“I’m not ready to let you go either. I’m willing to incur your dad’s wrath, Snow. Because chances are you’re probably not going to be living here much longer,” he declared, and in his gaze, flames flickered.
“I’m not moving in with Connor, I said no,” I said quickly, wanting to get that out of the way too.
He nodded, unperturbed. “Good to know. Because actually, I had something else in mind.”
“What?” My heart threatened to explode, because I thought I had an inkling what he was going to say next...
“You and me. Together. Waking up together every day. What do you say?” He looked at me as he traced my lips with his thumb, and I was drowning inside those soulful indigo depths again.
A smile spread across my lips, as I kissed him. “Yes. Yes, yes, yes.”
“Don’t want to think about that one?” He teased, but he was happy with that answer, I could see it.
“It’s the best offer I’ve had all year,” I teased and he chuckled.
“The year’s not quite over, Snow,” he said enigmatically and I sighed, because I was so incredibly happy right now.
I couldn’t stifle a yawn. I was so incredibly happy but so incredibly depleted. I could barely keep my eyes open, even though I wanted to look at him, and look at him some more just to make sure he was really here.
“You’re exhausted, baby. Sleep. You’ve had a big day. We can continue this conversation tomorrow,” he switched off the table lamp and I didn’t even need to take that sedative, because I could immediately feel myself drifting off to sleep with a smile I couldn’t wipe from my lips.
And so it happened that I fell asleep in his arms again. It had taken a while, but I was back, right where I belonged. I knew that this time we wouldn’t have to end again. And it felt so damn good not to have a future, and not an expiration date.
Before I even opened my eyes, I knew he was there. I felt my lips form a smile. And I savored the feeling of waking up like this.
I felt a flutter on my lips and my lashes parted, and that smile of mine broadened again.
“Morning, Knox,” I said, like I’d said so many months ago.
“Morning, Snow,” he smiled at me, tightening his hold on me.
We studied each other, and he traced the contours of my face with his fingertip.
“I can’t believe you’re really here. This isn’t a dream, isn’t it?” I had to ask.
“I hope to God it’s not a dream, Snow, because if it is, I don’t want to wake up from this.”
His lips feathered over mine again.
“Merry Christmas, baby.”
“Merry Christmas, Angel,” I said, and I could see that we were both thinking the exact same thing.
We were thinking about the same time a year ago, when we woke up together like this on Christmas, with so much sadness hanging over us. And I thanked the universe that it wasn’t this time, a year ago, with so much heartbreak and tears still ahead of us.
“I’m going to go, but I’ll be back soon,” he said just above a whisper, placing a kiss on the tip of my nose.
“Where are you going?” I was suddenly wide awake.
“I’ll quickly shower and get a change of clothes. And... I was hoping to ask if you’d like to come over to my parents’ place for lunch today?”
My cheeks hurt from the smile that formed on my face.
“I’d love to.”
It all felt so incredibly real what we were doing right now. I didn’t have to wonder where I stood with him. If he’d even told her parents about me or not. We were really doing it, and doing it right this time.
“My mom can’t wait to meet you, Snow. And my dad has only good things to say about you,” he reassured me as he pulled himself upright, raking a hand through his sleep-tousled hair. “And then there’s my brother, Alec, who you may or may not remember?” he raised an eyebrow.
“I can’t say I can recall him clearly, no. Older or younger?”
“Younger but only by a year.”
“I’m looking forward to meeting the Vaughn family,” I said as I kissed him before he got up.
“And by the way - back an overnight bag,” he said, smiling at me.
My eyes widened. “Why?”
“Trust me. I’ll bring you back tomorrow - let your family know,” he stated, not asking a question.
A smile started to curve on my lips. “Okay. I trust you.”
“Perfect answer, Snow,” he teased, raking a hand through his hair, combing a loose bang backward.
I wanted him so much. He’d barely let me go and I was missing him already. It felt so good to wake up like this, and I wanted to feel like this every day. And in the gentle morning light filtering through my window, he looked irresistible.
“I’ll be back soon,” he said, his voice gruff, his eyes lingering on me, like mine was lingering on him.
“Hang on, I’ll walk you out,” I quickly said, not wanting Knox to walk into my mom or dad without me there.
“I know what you’re thinking, and I can handle myself, I promise,” he teased. “Sleep in some more - you’ve had a big day yesterday. There’s absolutely nothing your father can say that will keep me away, Snow.”
And I could just look at him and smile again. Because he’d changed. There was something different about him, I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it made him even more irresistible.
I lay in bed after he left for a while longer, just processing what had happened last night and this morning. And all of a sudden, I knew I wasn’t drowning anymore. I wasn’t swimming against the tide anymore. That tiredness was gone. I was floating and it was effortless this time.
Because my heart was filled with promises and all of a sudden it didn’t feel big enough to contain all of the love I felt inside. My angel was back and this time that darkness was gone, and I was right back in heaven with him again.