Ben Chilwell | All Too Well (part 1)
song recommendation: state of grace - (taylor's version)
i hope you guys enjoy this mini series, i loved writing it lots and lots <3
part one | part two | part three
word count: 1,537
November - the first fire
four months before
NOVEMBER FOURTEENTH, The day of the annual england national team celebration party. an excuse for near and distant friends, family and lovers to come together one last time to recollect old victories before the next set of antics begin.
your usual invite from mason saw you drunk in the middle of Declan's living room at last years party, sprawled across the glass dining table, mascara smudged across your face. wine spilled onto the white rug, glitter and empty red cups scattered across the hardwood floor.
this years do was moved into a huge hall, banners and balloons hung across walls, confetti replacing the glitter from the previous years. with a dress code of formal and a firm warning for you all to behave, you were nothing but forced to keep the tone down this year. besides, nobody wanted a repeat of kane and maguire drunkenly swinging from each other's necks roaring sweet caroline on karaoke.
you sit alone at the bar, outside of the main hall. chelsea dagger echoing through the walls, you can already taste the bitterness of pints being thrown in the air, voices yelling along to the chorus. a break away from the football hooligans themselves was long overdue after dancing your way around the hall in heels.
as the song blares, the door to the main hall opens, the bass getting louder for a few seconds before instantly returning to its dull echo again. out steps ben, flushed red cheeks and eyes that are tiring.
he wears a grey suit, just like the one he wore for photo day in june. if mason, your best friend since nursery, hadn't already told you they'd both went to get theirs fitted together the other week, you'd have guessed he pulled the same suit from the archive.
his trousers hug around his thighs, sleeves folded as the top two buttons of his cotton shirt lay undone. you could see the bare skin on his chest, glossy from the heat of the hall.
he struts over, eyes gleaming as he approaches.
"hey, you." he says, his forearms resting against the bar as he leans. "i haven't seen you all night. you okay?"
ben smiles softly, his green eyes glistening from the dim lit lights that hang low above you both.
"i'm okay, just needed some quiet time. it's a little overwhelming in there." you return his smile, holding his gaze.
"you came for some air too?"
"yeah. yeah you could say that." ben chuckles, his head falling as he does so.
"it's getting rowdy. a lot of shots are being flung back in there right now." he returns his eyes to yours, taking a heavy breath. "no doubt stones is having war flashbacks right now."
you titter, the memory of john’s face turning sour from the endless shots of tequila pickford continued to hand him last year flashing through your mind.
"well, it's nice to see you finally, i'm glad you're having fun. you've done everyone really proud this year."
you stretch your arm over, rubbing your palm against his bicep. You can feel him tense as you press against him, your stomach sinking.
this felt like a moment you knew all too well. the year had already been full of stolen glances, accidental hand brushes and pathetic excuses to try and make each other laugh. the ignorance you both shared towards the situation was so apparent that even mason commented on it sometimes, you denying his words as though your heart didn't ache for him.
your hand resting on the bar, you watch as he places his clammy fingertips against the marble. he taps his fingernails as he stands with thought, eyebrows furrowed slightly whilst his eyes scan the drinks menu pinnned on the board behind the bar.
you hesitate to move, every minuscule atom in you threatening to edge even just an inch closer to his body-his hands. please just come closer your eyes beg, hoping he'd meet your gaze and be able read you like his favourite book.
but he does no such thing.
watching as his eyes skim over the words, you trace your tongue over your bottom lip. you notice ever little fragile detail about him. his hair falls eligantly over his brow, nose pointed at its end. you want to trace the outline of his indents; his cupid's bow, soft laughter lines, the line that holds his jaw.
"let me get you a drink," you burst, "i'll chose seems as you can't decide."
he looks towards you, cheeks attempting to pull his lips into a smile; the tug of his teeth restrains the grin.
"alright; hit me."
you call the bartender over, squinting your eyes as they quickly run over the drinks menu.
"two sambuca shots please."
ben winces, throwing his hand over his eyes. he sighs, his lips now curving into the grin his teeth couldn't stop from growing.
"you didn't," he mutters. "do you remember what happened to us last time?"
"how could i forget?"
the last time you'd taken a shot together, mason had handed out sambuca shots to everybody he could reach. ben hated the liqueur, but didn't let on. you'd bounced over to him, drunkenly begging him hook arms with you to do it together. he'd agreed, of course, shakily looping his arm around yours. glasses at the ready, the room echoed a countdown before necking them back, bens face scrunching as it his tongue. with no time to process it, ben spits his out, ricocheting onto your white dress. the shock of his actions causing you to do the same, spraying it all over his grey t-shirt. eyes full of panic, ben stood back from you, stunned at what just happened. almost in sync, a burst of hysteria choruses from the pair of you, collapsing into each other's arms.
"it's been a year, i thought you'd have had practice, no?"
you laugh, taking your shot from the bartender. ben picks his up, swilling it carefully around the tiny glass.
"of course i have. mason shoves it down my throat whenever he can. doesn't let me live that night down."
he inches closer to you, eyes glued to yours. he's careful, breathing getting heavier as he stops in front of you. standing from the stool you're sat at, your eyes scan over his lips; he's so close now.
"hook my arm," he proposes, holding his arm out for you to hook yours around his. you pause, reluctant to move once more. heart pounding, you wrap your forearm around his, stepping closer to reach your glass.
"on the count of three," he whispers.
"three." you chorus.
both pouring the liquid into your mouths, neither of you flinch. ben swallows it, opening his mouth to show you that it's all gone.
"impressive benjamin. congratulations".
he untangles your arms, clinking the glass to the marble.
"thanks, i learnt from the best." he brushes his fingers through his hair, sweeping the few stray strands falling back to where they were originally.
"so, me?" you question, finger pointing to your chest. you let out a giggle, bens eyes rolling as his teeth show, laughing himself.
"you're so childish." he comments, shaking his head.
the laughter fades, and for a few moments, it's silent. he's searing, you can see it. his eyes glued to yours, his cheeks attempting to light the fire you so desperately wanted to blaze. with his lips parted, he's watching the way you simmer as you stand observing him.
and as though he finally sees his favourite line written on your face, he says it.
"i know you're falling for me," he whispers, inching closer to you. "i know you're scared. don't be." he doesn't move, his eyes eager for you to let him in.
you sigh, your shoulders deflating. you'd been waiting for him to say anything for months, and tonight he'd finally saw enough to let go.
eyes still stuck on his, you reach your hand out to his cheek. you're right, he's on fire, skin warm to the touch. you cup his chin with your thumb, his arm wrapping around your waist as he pulls you in as close as he can.
"are you sure you want to do this?" you murmur, eyes flicking back and forth from both of his.
"i've never been so sure of anything in my life." he replies, head tilting as his lips come closer to press against yours. they taste like the liqueur he'd just spilled into his veins, the familiarity of it sending goosebumps over your skin.
you press against him, hands wandering to his hair, fingers clasping around his strands.
you can feel your own skin burning against his. perhaps the warmth is enough to set his world on fire; just like he'd made yours.
pulling away, bens grip on your hips stays tight. he stares into you, face full of lust. you can see it in the way his pupils dilate, he wants you more now than ever.
"i've been waiting to do that for a long time." he whispers, breath tickling your skin.
you grin, hand gripping onto the collar of his shirt.
and so you'd let him in. he's so much closer now than perhaps he'd ever be.
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