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Chapter 15 : 15. Teddy
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My heart slammed into my ribs as my arms drew around Victoire more tightly. I could hardly believe that it was her kissing me so passionately; my best friend, my part-time lover and my soul mate. I had known instantly why she was at my flat, it was written all over her face. But it almost didn’t feel real, like a dream.
When you have been through thick and thin with someone, you can hardly imagine life without them. Victoire was the only constant in my life, the one who had always been there for me. Life went bitterly slow when we were separated, and the time we spent together flew by in a happy blur. I was just so overjoyed that she had finally admitted her love for me.
A grin slid across my face, and I felt Victoire respond. Her hand played with my hair, and I barely noticed as it became tangled and knotted. All I wanted was to touch and feel and know the woman next to me. It was though I was discovering her all over again, as though the times before now had never happened. This was real.
I breathed in her scent, my body tingling with desire. Our bodies and tongues entwined, I needed more. For a brief second, it didn’t matter that we were still in the middle of the street in broad daylight; love blinded me.
“Inside,” Victoire said breathlessly as we broke off. “It’s cold.”
I laughed even though she wasn’t being particularly funny. I was just so over the moon that it was me she was leading inside that my good humour escaped me. It all seemed so familiar, yet it was completely new territory. Victoire was leading me inside, and my mind cast back to the first time I saw my flat.
“Victoire, I’ve seen all the flats in Hogsmeade already,” I said exasperatedly. “None of them are what I’m looking for.”
We were standing outside a plain door in the high street, the brass number unpolished and dull. I had had enough of house hunting for the month, and was not amused that my best friend had dragged me up here when we were supposed to be spending time shopping.
“Oh, don’t be such a kill joy.” Victoire beamed up at me, her eyes sparkling. “We might as well make use of this Hogsmeade trip, I’m not going to see you again for a month. There’s no harm in looking.”
I rolled my eyes, letting Victoire take my hand and we waited for the owner to answer the door.
I had not been expecting how perfect the flat was; it blew me away, and if Victoire liked it then I would have to trust her. I signed the deeds, and spun Victoire around on the spot, deliriously happy. House-hunting for five months makes you very easy to please.
“You’re too clever for your own good, do you know that?” I said light-heartedly as I walked her back to school. She smiled coyly and waved goodbye, leaving me alone once again.
I had never thought that we would be retracing our steps in such a way; Victoire’s hand tightly linked with mine, our hearts beating faster and faster as we tumbled closer to ecstasy. I could say with complete honesty that I was happier today than I was the day I bought the flat. As the silence of the rooms was disturbed, I wondered if I could ever have guessed that this was the direction Victoire and I were destined for. For many, the answer was obvious. For me, the answer was obvious. For Victoire, it had only just recently dawned on her.
As she led me into my bedroom, my eyes cast over her body, my eyes widening at how much a loved and adored her. Being sober made my feelings ten times as intense, and the whole room seemed to be charged with electricity. My pleasure was heightened simply by the face that I was standing in the presence of the one I loved. And when our lips met again, I knew Victoire felt it too; we were meant to be together.
Our eyes locking, we tumbled back onto my bed; it sank under our weight. It was remarkable how different Victoire was. Once upon a time she would never have been so forward, especially not in broad daylight. When we were finally and deliciously naked, I could see all of her, and I didn’t hesitate to tell her how much I wanted her.
“Can I say it?” I gasped, kissing her collarbone as she lay underneath me.
“Say what?” she murmured, her body relaxing under my kisses.
“I love you.”
Her eyes fluttered open, and I lifted my head to meet her gaze. She smiled contentedly. “I suppose I wouldn’t mind…”
I returned the smile, kissing her nude lips. “I love you.”
She giggled, sending shivers along my spine. Her hands cupped my face, her smooth palms caressing my skin. Then, she uttered the words I had forever longed to hear, the words that made my world come undone.
“I love you, too.”
“Are you kidding me?” Victoire’s incredulous and angry voice cut into my head like agitated knives. I winced, trying to ignore what the future held.
“I don’t have a choice, Victoire,” I explained calmly. “This job is fixed, I’ve already signed up. I can’t back out now; I can’t abandon them!”
Victoire stared at me, her gaze breaking through my calm exterior. We were sitting in my living room, darkness creeping in through the windows, reminding me that my time here was limited.
“So you refuse to abandon your colleagues, but you don’t mind abandoning me?”
I shook my head strongly. “It isn’t like that at all!” Anger began to snap at my heels, and I did my best to ignore it. Getting angry wouldn’t help. It was just that Victoire didn’t understand anything about my work and how I felt about it. Fighting evil was what I lived for, what I needed. It was who I am. Just because I was in love, it didn’t stop me being a good person. And I wasn’t one to back out of an assignment, especially not at the very last minute.
“I thought that now-” Victoire began, her voice becoming softer. I groaned inwardly.
“It’s only for a month.”
“What if it isn’t?”
I sighed. “It’s just for a month, I promise. I’ll be back before you know it. You need to focus on your job, too.”
“I’m still looking,” she said dully, picking at a thread on her jumper. My heart went out to her, it really did, but I wasn’t going to be away for long. We’d spent longer apart before now.
Silence came between us. It was that familiar awkwardness again, surrounding us and smothering us. What I would give to break it. I knew what Victoire was thinking, and part of me agreed with her. She’d finally admitted her feelings, after all this time. But we had the rest of our lives to spend time together, and one month wasn’t that long by comparison.
“What if something happens?” Victoire said quietly, her insecurities unleashed. “What if you don’t come back?”
I looked into her big, worried eyes, and gave her a comforting smile. I opened my arms, and she leant into my chest. I held her tightly, reminding her of how much I cared. “I’ll come back, I promise. Nothing bad is going to happen to me.”
“I’ll miss you.”
“I know, sweetie.” I kissed her forehead gently, then got up and went over to pick up my bag. “I’ll miss you too.”
I looked over my shoulder at my Victoire. Huddled up on the sofa, she looked like the vulnerable little girl she used to be. When you watch a person grow up, you can’t help but remember what they used to be. I was lucky to have her in my life, I was lucky that we still remained friends after all these years. Nothing was going to change the way I felt. A month apart was nothing compared to a lifetime of memories and hopes.
I studied her face with a half-smile, memorising ever inch of her so I could take her with me; her round eyes, small nose and the nude lips that I knew so well.
“Goodbye,” I said, turning away again. I walked towards the door, but she stopped me with a gentle hand placed on my arm. I held her hand in mine, our eyes meeting one last time. I kissed her, using my tongue and mouth to savour her one last time.
When I stepped outside, the cold met my skin and stung it. My pulse slowed, my eyes dulled. I didn’t know if I had the strength to stay away from her for a month. It was a strange realisation that I was choosing to leave her behind, to spend a month alone. My friends, and my godfather, would call me a fool. Work should never come between love, I knew that. It was a rule of old. Yet, something drew me to the mission that I couldn’t explain. Part of me wondered if Victoire would wait that long, especially after today. No matter what she said, though, I wasn’t abandoning her. I was committing; it was the one thing she thought I would never do. And so had I thought so, until I realised Victoire was The One.
All I knew was that I loved everything about her. From her glossy blonde hair, her large, round eyes and plump lips to her spare tire, flannel pyjamas and smudged make-up. Hell, I’d even put up with lending her my coat once in a while and buy her red lipstick. Whatever made her happy was hers. That kind of love didn’t last a month; it lasted a lifetime. And I knew that I’d sold the rest of my life to my best friend. Forever.
A/N: Please don’t hate me!!! Good comes from the most unlikely places, I promise. And sorry this is so short, but there wasn’t much more to add. Thanks so much for reviewing, it makes my day worthwhile!
by the way, this story isn't anywhere near over. I'm only about 60% done with it :)
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