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James Maguire, Superhero

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Mary and Gerry ended up staying in a hotel in downtown London for a few days to keep an eye on their daughter. They watched intently as the wee English fella went out of his way to make Erin feel comfortable and safe, and was extremely respectful to them as well when it came to talking about Erin. 

There were many times that Gerry and Mary noticed he'd ask them for permission for things like staying the night in Erin's bedroom when she didn't want to be alone. That comforted Mary and Gerry, and they knew their daughter would be in excellent hands when they returned home to Derry.

"James, dear." They said to him as he washed up after tea. Erin hopped in the shower and the other girls were in the living room, and Gerry and Mary took it upon themselves to talk to James and let them know that they'd be leaving.

"You know Gerry and I are going back to Derry tomorrow. We just wanted to tell you a few things-"

"I promise, Mrs Quinn. She's in good hands."

"Oh, I don't doubt that for a millisecond. I've seen the way she trusts you. She trusts you with her life- and I trust you with her life as well."

James nodded, thankful that Mary trusted him. He knew it would be hard for her to gain that trust, and he clearly had been successful with that.

"You promise you'll make sure she phones home often and makes sure she answers us when we ring her as well?"

James nodded. "I've also got all of her Doctor's appointments scheduled, so don't worry about that too."

"Oh, James." Mary cried, pulling him in tightly for a hug, soon being joined by Gerry as well. "Thank you. You have no idea how grateful we are for you, love."

"There's no need to worry. She's in good hands with me and the girls. I've got all my classes with her this term as well, so you don't need to worry about her being alone."

They nodded, pulling away from James. Mary wiped a few stray tears from her eyes and huffed, smiling slightly.

"Okay. That'll put the gist of my nerves at ease."

 

.......

 

The next day, after long hugs and a few tears, Michelle and Clare dropped the Quinn's off at the airport. As much as she would miss her mum and dad, Erin couldn't help but feel a slight weight being lifted off of her shoulders. For the week they were there, they coddled her like a sick puppy, and even pestered at her to tell them what happened. She was growing stressed, and quite frankly, she was ready for them to leave.

James basically moved in with the girls, bringing pairs of clothes and some things he could keep in their flat since he spent almost every night, not wanting to be too far from Erin. She wasn't ready to be left with her nightmares alone.

One night, a few days after Mary and Gerry had left, Erin had laid awake for the majority of the night, unable to fall asleep. Her mind was racing, and her body couldn't stop shaking, her demeanour being a nervous wreck. At three in the morning, she finally decided that she had enough, and walked into the kitchen to fetch a glass of water.

She eyed James' sleeping form on the couch in the sitting room. Erin badly wanted to wake him up. When she was with him, her shaking nerves were almost instantly relieved with the sound of his voice or being within close proximity to him.

 Reaching for the cupboard to grab a glass, her shaking legs could barely carry her.

"Let me grab that for you, Erin."

Erin's mind went into defence mode and she yelped, scrambling away from the person reaching over her. She grabbed a frying pan on the counter and held it out in front of her, only to realise, in fact, that it was Orla with a bowl of cocoa pops, looming in the darkness.

"Jesus Christ, cousin, it's just me!" She yelled, stepping towards Erin and pawing at the frying pan.

From the corner of her eye, Erin saw James jolt up from the couch and run into the kitchen.

"Orla, you scared the socks off of me." She mumbled, putting the pan back on the counter. She jumped at the touch of James' hand rubbing her arm.

"What were you doing up?" He asked Erin with concern. 

"I could ask the same thing about Orla." Erin cocked her eyebrow at the girl shovelling the chocolaty cereal into her mouth.

"Sometimes I get up to eat a bowl of cocoa pops. I get hungry. Why were you up?"

"I was... grabbing a cup of water."

Orla shrugged and put her bowl in the sink, waddling back into her bedroom.

"Can I sleep out here with you?" Erin suddenly blurted, which surprised both of them.

"Of course." He stepped forward, enveloping her in a much-needed hug. Her head fell into the crook of his neck, and Erin felt him play with the edge of the braid hanging down her back. "Can't sleep?"

She just shook her head, too tired to cry or talk. Erin felt her heart rate relax as she breathed in his familiar scent.

"I just want to stay with you. Please."

James wasn't really surprised by Erin's bluntness and was internally happy that her character was starting to show again. He chuckled and she felt him shake as she held onto him.

"Always, Er. But I'll tell you what. Why don't we crash in your room? It's more comfortable than the old couch anyways."

She smiled, pulling away from him. The two of them stared at each other, inches apart. Erin could feel his soft breath on her face, and he was inches from her lips. James leant forward slowly to connect their lips, but she turned her head.

She just couldn't do it , as much as she wanted to. All she could think about was Will, and how dirty he made her feel in any touch of intimacy, even if it was just a kiss.

Instead, she tilted her neck to lean her forehead against his, clenching her eyes shut. She felt his hand reach up and brush her hair, and felt his lips against her forehead.

"I'm sorry, Er... I shouldn't of, I-"

"Jamie, I love you. You know I do. I'm just not ready yet..." She breathed, squeezing his hand. "It's Will, I-"

"You don't have to explain."  He whispered, caressing her cheek. "I love you too. And I'll be here when you are." He smiled down, leading her to her bedroom.

James climbed into bed, and she followed, curling up beside him, her head finding a place on his chest. His calm breathing helped her to realise where she was.

Erin was with James Maguire. The man who cherished and loved her with his whole heart, who would never lay an unkind hand on her.

His hand found her hair, softly running his fingers through the loose pieces that fell out of the plait. Erin was finally at peace, and her mind could relax.


.....................


The next morning, James opened his eyes to the phone ringing in the kitchen. He looked down to see a peaceful Erin sprawled across his chest. He couldn’t help but smile, for her face was finally relaxed. Placing a kiss on her forehead, he softly shifted her off of him without waking up just in time to catch the phone.

And when James hung up the phone after talking for an hour, a sleepy Erin shuffled out to see what was going on.

"Who was that?"

James looked at her and sighed, scratching his neck. "The police department."

He saw her tense but walked over quickly to ease her nerves. A grin plastered across his face as his eyes glossed over with tears. "Will. He's gone to jail."

"What?"

"But... not for the reasons we think. Apparently, he's been involved with other crimes as well. He's been fined money for domestic violence, but he got four years for thievery."

"Really?" Erin said surprised, rubbing her bare arms. Her mind was racing. "So... h-h- he's gone?"

James sighed. "You don't have to worry about him anymore."

Erin couldn't help but sob tears of relief, and she noticed tears coming out of James' eyes before she jumped at him, hugging him.

She was free.