Try as I might, finding a job in Bubbleport was impossible. The ‘Bows here might have claimed love was colorblind and that they were all for ‘free-love’ but they weren’t ready to employ the offspring of any such union yet. It was the same routine everywhere I went: cocked eyebrows, confused looks and lingering stares before they told me they were not hiring at the moment, even if they had a sign in their window that announced otherwise. Sometimes, especially when I was alone, the owner would refer to me as a mutt and his dismissal wouldn’t be quite so pleasant.
Luckily, Noir didn’t have the same issue I did. For the past year he had been working nights at a local club as a bouncer. He made enough money for us to afford a small one bedroom apartment and we had fallen into a daily routine. For most it would have been usual to be cooking at 3 am but I knew Noir would be walking through that door any minute now and we would sit down to eat before watching a movie – his choice tonight – and crawling into bed.
As if I had summoned him with my thoughts, the front door swung open and Noir bellowed, “Honey, I’m home!” like he was some kind of oldies movie star. I didn’t need to make my presence known; he could see me the moment he walked inside. Swooping me up into his arms, Noir planted a quick kiss on my lips before I scrunched up my nose at the stench that wafted behind him. Sweat and alcohol, a disgusting combination.
“You stink.” I teased, squirming out of his arms.
“I smell like a man.” He retorted. He let me go and made his way to the bathroom but not before stripping out of his shirt and tossing it over my head.
“You are disgusting.” I shouted at his retreating figure.
“You love it.” He said and then the door was shut.
I should have known he was going to pick a horror movie. They terrified me but Noir loved every drop of blood that was spilt. He said there was something exciting about knowing you were safe at home while being thrilled with tales of horror. I didn’t share his sentiment.
“Is it over yet?” I whimpered, both hands covering my eyes as some poor Berry was dismantled by a killer.
I breathed a sigh of relief when the screaming finally stopped, sneaking a quick glance between my fingers. I was just letting my guard down when Noir grabbed my sides while making a horrible screeching sound. The scream died on my lips as Noir’s fingers worked their magic through the fabric of my dress, laughter bubbling up into a strange concoction of fear and delight. In an attempt to get space between us I shoved myself off of the couch, still in a fit of giggles as I crashed onto the wooden floor below.
It didn’t take Noir long to follow, “I’m gonna get chu!” He cried. I tried to scramble away, screams punctuated with giggles, but Noir’s large body towered over me before I could maneuver away. Finger tips danced up and down my sides. All my efforts to escape were proving to be fruitless.
“No, stop, please.” I gasped when my vocals cords allowed.
Noir’s grin spread, just as devilish as always, but his finger slowed, “Why would I do that?”
“Because I love you.” The words slipped out before my mind could register them, before I even could hope to stop them. Noir’s tickling ceased, his face an expression I had never seen before. Those three words filled the air around us, settling in, and unease began to grow in my stomach. One was supposed to confess these feeling for another in some kind of epic, romantic setting; not while being tickled on the floor. The silence seemed to stretch on forever. Every second that ticked by made the option of running away and hiding under a rock for the rest of my life seem much more appealing, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t –“
Soft lips cut me off before I could finish. It was delicate and submissive compared to the fiery and passionate kisses we usually shared, “Don’t apologize. I love you too, Estelle. I have for a long time.”
I could feel my face contort in confusion, “What? How come you never told me!”
Noir chuckled, “I was worried if I told you, you would get scared. I didn’t want to force you to do or say anything that you might not be ready to.”
“Oh,” I whispered before it dawned on me, “is that why you’ve never asked me to have sex with you?” It was a candor question and one that had plagued my mind for a while, though that didn’t stop the blood from rushing to my cheeks. I knew Noir wasn’t a virgin – previous conversations confirmed that – and yet he had never taken any sexual interest in me. I had been afraid, somewhere deep down inside, that I wasn’t his type. That I was not pretty or sexy enough to turn him on.
“To be honest, yes.”
“It’s fine, Estelle. There’s no rush. I don’t mind waiting for you –“
I snorted at the pure surprise coloring Noir’s tone. His eyes were so wide I thought for sure they might pop right out of his head, “I said, can we?”
I was given no response as Noir lifted his weight off of me. I propped myself up on my arms, frowning deeply, as he crouched down beside me, “If we are going to do this, we’re going to do this right.” He explained. Then, in one sudden motion, I was in his arms. I clung onto his strong shoulders, relishing as little drops of water that dripped from his damp hair onto my bare arms. Pure adrenaline rushed through my veins.
It might have lacked champagne and roses, decorations and music, but it couldn’t have been a more charmed night.
A.N: I can’t believe it’s been a year since I started Chasing Rainbows! Thank you all – every single one of you. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. So whether you are a reader, a lurker or an avid commenter I just want to let you know I love you. ❤