Jesus fecking Christ.
That seems to be Erin's only thought as she dances with James. As he twirls her this way and that with surprisingly well thought out moves. Since when could James dance, she couldn't help but wonder as he spun her away and then pulled her back in. With a laugh, she braces herself against his chest with her hands, her hair falling into her face and getting caught in her lipgloss. It doesn't bother her, truly, she doesn't even notice.
How can she when she's enveloped in James? When he has his arms around her, when she's surrounded by the pleasant smell of his aftershave (she has noticed that he doesn't plaster it on like some lads their age have the habit of doing. Not that she'll admit that she's noticed it, feck no, she'd rather crawl into a hole and die). When his green eyes are focused solely on her, like... like she's the most important person in the room, like she's beautiful.
She forgets, sometimes, that he thinks that about her. James thinks she's beautiful.
These thoughts are why she, of course, does not notice her hair falling into her face. Not until James is reaching up and gently tucking her hair behind her ear, his fingers lingering on her jawline for all of a second, his eyes burning into hers.
Erin is frozen, her eyes trailing from his hand, down to his wrist, then to his arm. He has his sleeves rolled up.
Has she ever seen him with his sleeves rolled up before? Surely to god she'd remember such a sight. He's not particularly muscley, because he's James. But his arms aren't twiglike either. He's... sturdy.
What a weird feckin' word to describe it.
"Are you okay?" James asks her, brows furrowed in that sweet concerned way of his.
Erin's eyes snap away from his arm, her cheeks flaming. "Aye, grand, why do you ask?"
"Because it's been a bit of a shit night," he points out, thankfully not calling her on her red face. "And also, so I can do this-"
He sweeps her into his arms, causing Erin to shriek with laughter and wind an arm around his neck to stabilise herself. He holds on tightly to her as he spins them; an arm around her waist and the other under her legs, his fingers keeping a firm grip on her.
It makes her dizzy.
Not the spinning, though that does contribute quite a bit she supposes. But the way he had lifted her casually, effortlessly... sweet Jesus it's doing something to her. It's making her stomach twist and turn in the best way possible. She casually moves her free hand to his shoulder, sliding it down to rest on his bicep.
Who knew the wee English fella was so...
No, she refuses to use the word sturdy again. Absolutely feckin' not. He's not a bloody... bookcase, or whatever! He didn't come to Derry flatpacked and with instructions!
"Sorry, what?" she blinks at him, his brows have that furrow again. Dear Jesus he's not even breaking a sweat, spinning around with me in his arms. Erin, however, feels as though she is going to break into a sweat. For entirely different reasons.
"Are you sure you're alright?"
"Yeah! Fine! Just... well, it's just a bit hot in here, isn't it? What with all the dancing, and the lights, and the clothes-" at James's arched brow, she swats at his shoulder. "Don't you give me that face!"
"What face?" he asks, a little smirk starting to creep onto his lips.
"That face!" she pats his cheek. "You know exactly the face, you cheeky bloody bugger-"
"Haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about." James informs her with a breezy grin that looks entirely too much like Michelle's for her liking.
"Leave being smug to Michelle, she's far better suited to it than you." she rolls her eyes, unable to help the smile creeping onto her own lips.
"Do you want to step outside then?" he asks her after a moment, stilling his spinning and just... holding her in his arms. "If you're feeling hot, I mean. Wouldn't hurt to get some air-"
"No," she interrupts, smiling softly at him. "I'm just fine where I am, James."
"Are you sure? I wouldn't want you to..." he trails off, eyes widening a fraction and a delighted smile pulling at his lips. "Oh! Right, yeah. Then... that's more than fine with me, too."
"Oh it is, is it?" Erin teases, moving her hand up his bicep to rest on the nape of his neck.
James nods his head eagerly, beaming at her. "It is. Most definitely."
"Good, glad it is then."
"And it certainly is."
James shifts her in his arms, fingers twitching against her and his arms flexing with the movement. Erin...
Oh dear God, she whimpers. Because she can feel all of it, suddenly hyper aware of his warm hands burning through her clothes, of how his arms feel wrapped around her. And how that leads her down a most dangerous path of wondering what his arms would feel like wrapped around her under entirely different circumstances.
"Seriously, Erin, are you alright?"
"Fine!" she squeaks out, mortified. "Grand, even."
"...right." James says slowly, his thumb running back and forth across her leg for a split second.
Erin leaps from his arms, patting his shoulders. "I'm going for a drink, try and cool myself down and all, you know how it is, aye James? Fucking melting in here so I am-" a slightly hysterical giggle, which has James looking rather alarmed. "-might as well get Jenny's money's worth. Maybe they've got some Ribena, that'd be happy days..."
"I'll talk to you later, ta ta for now Jamesie boy-" Jamesie boy? Where in the mother of Christ did THAT come from? Erin marches away to the drinks table, leaving a very confused Englishman in her wake.
Makes two of them.
She does not, in fact, get her Ribena. Rather some sort of... elderflower cordial thing. Whatever. She downs it anyway and tries to focus her attention on her mates, tries to block out any and all downright dirty thoughts about James Maguire and his bloody arms.
Erin, of course, fails. Rather quickly, actually.