When Erin pulled away, she felt no regret. She saw him smile at her- the smile that made her heart gleam with safety and security.
“James… I…. I had been waiting so long to do that.”
He just held her, fiddling with her hair, and sighed happily. She spoke up to continue.
“I… you know I love you and trust you. But…” she stopped to lift her head from his chest. She could almost feel his heart sink at the mere thought of what she could say.
“I’d like to take things slow. Like…really slow.” She whispered. He sighed in relief.
“I’d expect nothing more, Er.” He said, brushing his lips against her forehead. He knew what she was implying at, but she still explained.
“After being taken advantage of, even just kissing you was so difficult for me, not because I didn’t want to.. but because…”
“Aye. And I can’t imagine how long it’s going to take me to want to go further.”
James brushed her pieces of fringe out of her eyes.
“I fully understand. I’m here, and I’m here for whatever you’re comfortable with.”
She shifted further into his neck, and let the breath go that she’d been holding.
James’ heart aches for her. She was so wounded, and he wondered if she’d ever be back to her normal, bubbly self.
Erin lifted her head again to press a kiss to James’ lips.
Suddenly, they heard a slight knock, followed by a quick opening of the door.
It wasn’t enough time for them to fully break apart, and when Clare stood in the doorway, mouth wide open, the couple didn’t know what to do.
They weren’t planning on keeping their newly budding relationship a secret. Everyone knew something was going on. Clare was just ecstatic for it to finally happen.
The short blonde bit her lip to stop from screaming out in joy.
“We’re you two… kissing?”
James smiled at Erin, then looked at Clare. “No.” He joked, his voice singing.
“Definitely not.” Erin agreed.
“I can’t believe it. We’ll, of course I can, it was going to happen eventually, but like, still!”
“Clare- relax.” Erin said, getting up from the bed. She grabbed James’ jumper- the one she’d worn pretty much every day, and pulled it on her. The clock read 10:04 pm.
The door swung open again.
“You’s better be getting to bed- classes start up again tomorrow- what’s going on?”
Michelle stood in the doorway on, wine glass in hand as per usual.
“Clare came in to see us-“
“I caught them kissing!” She laughed, and Michelle raised an eyebrow, just in time for Orla to poke her head in.
“‘Bout time.” Michelle smirked, throwing a pillow at Erin.
“Careful!” Clare squealed, and Orla took the other pillow from Michelle, who had it aimed right for James’ head.
“Well, you two have fun in here.” Michelle smirked, motioning to the couple on the bed. “I’m out.”
“Me too.” Clare agreed.
“Ditto.” Orla said.
Erin and James were once again left alone.
“Went well, I’d say?” James giggled.
“Aye, I’d say so.”
“Ready for bed?” James said. Erin yawned in return.
“I’m a bit nervous for classes tomorrow.” Erin looked up at James. “Everyone is bound to have heard what happened. And I don’t feel comfortable people approaching me-“
“Don’t even worry, Er. I’ll be there with you the whole time. We’ve got all of our classes together. It’s a new semester.”
She nodded, trying to swallow down her fear, but she just couldn’t stick it. Of course, it helped immensely that James was going to be there, but she couldn’t help but worry.
“Alright. I trust you.” She smiled. “I just don’t trust everyone else.”
She wasn’t lying. It was one hundred per cent true.
James sighed and nodded in return, brushing a chunk of hair behind her ear. “ You going to sleep okay tonight?”
“I took some melatonin.”
“I can make you a tea?”
“S’okay Jamie. I’m already feeling sleepy. But thank you.”
He nodded, kissed her forehead, and then sunk into the covers. Erin did the same, settling on his chest, her head in the crook of his neck.
“Good night.” She mumbled. If she couldn’t fall asleep, she’d at least pretend to be sleeping. There was no use for a tired and worried James as well.
“Good night, love.”