Aurora ran her hand down his arm and kissed where her fingers had been. She wanted to make him feel loved and she planned on doing so every second of ever day. She pulled the duvet over her a little better and allowed her head to rest on the pillow properly.
When Jay said he needed to go back she looked over at him. She didn't fully understand why he wanted to go but she nodded, wanting to be supportive of him. "I'll go with you." She said as she took his hand in her hand again, bringing it to her lips for a minute.
"When do you want to go?"
Jay eyed the freckles on her shoulder as she spoke. He sighed. "That was a long time to have hope," he said softly against her skin, then fell into a long silence.
He wondered if he would ever feel closure. If years from now he might not even think about the months he spent locked up like an animal, being abused. But a part of him didn't want to forget. Because that meant forgetting Miguel. They had become like brothers. They had held hands when they were at their worst. And then he had been erased and the only way he was still alive was in Jay's memory.
"I need to go back," he said. "I need to see that place again." He knew she might not understand. Hell, he hardly did himself. He had no idea what he would do when he got there. But he needed to feel in control.
Aurora shouldn't have needed to hear the words from his lips but for some reason she did. Hearing them offered her some relief and she closed her eyes a moment as she allowed them to wash over her, followed by the kisses he trailed over her before he came to rest his head.
For a long while they stayed that way and she was glad that they could take advantage of this time alone together. She promised herself that she would take advantage of this more often because these were going to be the moments that made them remember that they had each other when everything else around them was falling apart.
When he spoke again, she met his eyes with her own and she placed a hand in his hair. "I thought about you every second of every day. When they came back and you were not with them...the only thing that stopped me from falling apart was my determination to bring you home. Jay, I'm so sorry for what they did to you and to your friend."
Jay grew serious then. He could tell she was worried about the future. Almost as much as he was. She was so strong, but he had to remember that she deserved her weak moments.
He looked her in the eyes. "I promise," he said softly, making sure she knew he meant every syllable. He kissed her lips. Then her jaw. Her neck. "I promise you that I'm not goin' anywhere." He gave one last kiss to her chest before laying his head above her heart.
He knew that he might not be able to help it. If something happened again… if one of them was taken or worse… but he pushed the thought from his mind. They would deal with the troubles as they came. They would live in the moment. Jay would never willingly leave Aurora.
After a long moment of silence and tracing her hip with a finger, he sighed deeply and looked up at her from where his head lay on her shoulder.
"I thought of nothin' but you…" he said low. "It was the only way I managed to… I was locked away with someone. And every time I thought I was gonna break he told me to think about you…"
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She was about to answer his question she then he missed her. It was enough to make her words disappear and she had no idea what she was under his spell. Aurora wrapped her arms around him and stepped closer, pressing her body flush against him as they kissed.
"Because I love you." She said before she continued to kiss him. She wanted this and she hoped that he did too. "I want you Jay." She said as she kissed him deeper and started to push him towards the bed a little.
"You are everything I've ever wanted or needed."
She pulled away and looked up at him with a look he hadn't seen before. And then she stepped back. He hadn't expected her to start undressing, but he didn't look away when she did. His eyes stayed locked on hers. And only when the clothes were on the ground did he let his eyes wander. They landed on her belly then went back up to meet her eyes once more.
He closed the distance again, pulling her close. "Why would someone as gorgeous as you want to me with me?" he asked softly, moving hair from her face. And then he kissed her. Deeper than he had any time before.
He was right. This wasn't exactly ever going to be easy. The world was a completely different place and love was already complicated before all of this happened. She just remained was she was for a while and allowed him to hold her and she tried to will the guilt to wash away. It wasn't until he started to make light of things that she looked up at him and she chuckled a little. It hadn't occured to her how much they had skipped in their relationship.
Aurora looked at him then, a new determination in her eyes and she took a step back from him and started to undo the shirt that she was wearing. Once that had fallen to the floor she pulled down her pants until she was stood before him in her underwear, a small swelling where their baby had started to grow showing.
"Then maybe we should correct a few things."
Aurora buried her face in his chest, then and he couldn't help but feel his own amount of guilt wash over him.
"Don't be," he said softly. "I'm sorry, too. But maybe we don't get to be sorry anymore." He wrapped his arms around her, one around her waist and one in her hair. He kissed the top of her head softly. "The world ain't exactly making this easy for us."
He held her like that in silence for a long moment. "I feel like we're doing things backward," he said, letting out a low amused breath. If we were back in Fairgarden I would have at least taken you on a few dates by now." He hoped his jokes, however bleak, were lifting the mood. "I would have been worried that I was too old for you. That I wasn't good enough." He kissed her hair softly once more. "I would have convinced you to stay with Harrison's help. We'd move in together." He rubbed her arms affectionately. "We'd spend a few years like that before the baby. I'd definitely see you naked before I got you pregnant, that's for sure," he joked.
To hear that he didn’t really regret the first time they were together came as a relief. In some ways it meant that he didn’t regret getting her pregnant either. They both should have been more careful but they weren’t thinking about that then. It had been a primal need.
She looked to the floor a little, feeling guilty about the fact that she had given him so much space. Clearly it was the wrong thing to do because he needed her around. She was just doing what she thought was right for him. He needed to heal and if she was there all the time...she didn’t really know what she had been thinking at the time.
Aurora only looked up when a hand found her cheek. They were having a baby. She already knew that but she didn’t know why it was only until now that it really sank in. Maybe now that he was feeling better and didn’t feel so weak he could handle talking about these things.
Aurora closed whatever distance was left between them and wrapped her arms around him, burying her face in his chest. “I’m so sorry Jay.”
Jay listened and nodded slowly. He hated to admit that it made sense. But he had to clear some things up.
"I said that... because being with you like that... I just... I forgot everything. How the world was. And I thought maybe that's how it would be again. Just you and me. I want something else to think about other than what I-" he swallowed hard. "I wouldn't regret it. I never really regretted it the first time. I wanted to, because I thought it was the smart thing to do, but I'm through trying to play smart."
He ran a hand through his hair and sighed. "I'll get over what they did to me. Eventually." He was whispering now. "But I made a friend... and what they did to him... what I saw..." His eyes watered just thinking about it. He couldn't say any more.
"I just wanted to come home. Come back to that feeling. Even if it was just sitting and holding your hand for hours on end. But I never see you." He paused and lifted a hand to the side of her face. A single tear fell down his cheek. "We're having a baby," he whispered. "Shouldn't we start acting like it?"
She let out a little bit of a laugh and shook her head. "You have been through a lot Jay. I don't know what happened to you and I'm not asking you to tell me but you said you were good...physically. I figured you had lot going through your mind and I didn't want to push anything on you that you weren't ready for." She shook her head and breathed out. "And the first time we... you regretted it and I didn't want you to feel that way again."
Aurora was the one to look away this time. It felt silly now she said it and she hadn't even realised that was why she had been holding back until now.
The wave or relief that washed over him felt almost as good as that first hot shower he had after months of torture. Her hand in his felt right. And like it hadn't been there- truly been there- in some time. He watched her face as she spoke and he knew she meant every word. He sighed heavily.
But then her next words were out of her mouth and the tension rose again inside him. He felt like a stretched rubber band lately. He knitted his brows together and looked at her with a worried expression.
He could only ask one thing. "Why...?" He searched her face for the answer.
The moment he told her what he had thought she had meant by hunting she went red in the face. It wasn't like they hadn't had sex before but that was different. It was in the moment and they didn't have time to talk about it or time to even think, it just happened. She didn't want it to be like that again. Not that she didn't enjoy it but they were both well aware of their feelings for each other now and it might have been a little naive of her but she hoped that the next time they had that moment it would be special.
"Shit." She said after a minute and then when he started to doubt her she stepped forward and closed the distance between them, taking his hand in hers. "Jay...no. God no! I love you. You think some scars or words that were said in anger months ago could change that? I loved you even when it felt like I hated you." She said with a little bit of a laugh and then she sighed and placed a hand on his cheek.
"I'm sorry if I made you feel a certain type of way. I didn't think you...wanted to...do that."
Jay let his old shirt fall into their new hamper. He was about to put on a new one when Aurora stepped into the room. His scars were there, plain as day. He knew she had been one of the ones to help clean them, but he still hated having them on display.
He shook his head at her question and pulled an old t-shirt over his head.
"No," he said softly and finally looked at her. "No... I'm just worried that I did," he said honestly. "You know- where we got that deer today- we weren't even a yard from where we..." He let his eyes drop to the floor. "Call me stupid, but... I thought that's what you meant by 'hunting for leisure'," he used air quotes for the last bit and he let out a laugh that sounded far from amused.
God, he felt stupid. He looked up at the ceiling, as if he might find the words he was looking for there. "I get that I wasn't well. And I get that you're busy. But if I've done something to turn you off of me, just tell me now." He clenched his jaw a few times. "Is it... is it the scars? Is it... Still from the things I said before...?"
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