I Don’t Want To Wait, fifty-nine
rowaelin high school bff au
AN: Midnight update! I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to post until I got settled in NYC, but it turned out that I got bit by the writing bug and needed to get this one out ASAP (I also started the next one, so hopefully it’ll be a short wait!). Thank you all for being so patient with me as I regroup and change my literal entire life lol. I hope you enjoy this one! And, per usual, I have no idea if my taglist worked, so share if you can. Thank youuuuuu! Without further ado...
Based on the prompts:
Person A waking up from the best sleep of their lives completely on top of person B’s chest who has their arms wrapped tightly around person A.
Aelin took a deep breath in and smiled. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d slept so well. Her body relaxed with her exhale, melting further into the soft fabric beneath her cheek. She let her eyes flutter open and couldn’t fight the smile that tugged at her lips.
Her head was perched on Rowan’s chest, and his arms were still wound tightly around her waist, clutching her to him, even in slumber. His lips were barely parted, letting a soft snore escape them every so often.
She didn’t even remember falling asleep, but it must have happened quickly after they’d been towed home. The pair were still dressed in their Thanksgiving clothes, but now a streak of early morning sunlight shone through the front window, bathing them in a comforting blanket of pale gold.
His face was so relaxed, nearly glowing in the bright sun; he looked… lighter. And she felt it.
She knew they still had more to talk about, but she was so incredibly relieved that she could relax around him again. And they had both made a promise to each other, huddled in the back of his car, that they would start being honest with each other. Really, truly honest.
“Are you staring at me again?” Rowan croaked, eyes still closed, startling Aelin so much that she nearly rolled off the couch and onto the floor. Luckily, Rowan’s iron grasp tightened, ensuring that she remained on top of him instead. He laughed, and she felt it rumble deep in his chest and against her.
“You said I could stare at you whenever I wanted,” Aelin said, reminding him of his words in the car yesterday, accenting her words with a small tap to his chin. He grabbed her finger and pressed it to his lips. Her stomach fluttered as he moved his hand to link with hers and rest on his chest, instead of letting it go. She never wanted him to let her go. Never ever.
“It’s weird to stare while I’m sleeping,” Rowan mumbled, but as he adjusted himself beneath her, and Aelin felt something poking into her hip, she realized that he was feeling anything but weird.
“Weird, huh?” she said, lowering herself back onto his chest with a pointed wriggle against him.
“Aelin…” he groaned, making Aelin smirk with pleasure. She let her lips brush against the bare skin of his neck, planning to tease him a little more as he continued to wake up, but all remnants of sleep evaporated as Rowan hoisted her under him.
Before she could blink, she was pinned with her back against the couch beneath a heavily breathing Rowan. His eyes darkened as he settled between her thighs and his arms lowered, creating a cage around her, until his face was just above hers. Her heart thundered with adrenaline coursing through her body at his proximity. For a second, she could swear that a flash of doubt crossed his face, and she was sure that he was going to pull back, just as he had over and over again in the last few months. But instead, he leaned closer, his eyes darkening as he breathed her in.
“Can I kiss you?” he asked, his voice low and devoid of any sleep.
“If you don’t, I might die,” Aelin whispered, causing him to smile widely.
“How do you always manage to be so dramatic?” he laughed.
She was about to counter, but all thoughts flew out of her head as he pressed his lips to hers. It was different somehow. Not desperate or relieved like yesterday’s kisses had been, but more secure, more confident. A kiss to lead them into the future. One of reassurance.
Their lips parted and tongues met softly as hands slowly roamed, searching for any kind of skin to touch. She shivered as her palm met Rowan’s warm back, his kisses increasing in passion as she drew him closer. She felt him press against her, and she knew they were veering into dangerous territory. She needed to take a breath, regroup. But when she pulled away, Rowan looked at her seriously.
“I told you, I’m not scared anymore.”
She nodded. “I believe you.”
And she did. But she also recognized that they were on her living room couch in broad daylight, and she was nervous that if she kissed him any longer that soon she’d be pulling both their clothes off. And she wasn’t exactly certain that was the best idea. But she was so incredibly tempted to say fuck it. Clearly no one else was home, or her dad would have already sprinted downstairs at the first sign of movement.
But just as she went to lean in again, the front door opened.
“Well, well, well…” Lorcan chuckled. “What do we have here?”
Rowan’s face blanched with panic as he struggled to push himself off Aelin and into a less compromising position, much to Aelin’s disappointment. She really wanted to stick her middle finger up at her burly friend, but she didn’t make it that far because her dad interrupted, shocking her.
“Aw, let them be, Lor.”
Her head swung around, as if she were the little girl in the Exorcist, then back to Rowan, who was looking at her, just as puzzled as she felt.
“Let them be?” Aelin repeated, sitting straight up as she looked at her weary dad, who had taken the all-night shift.
Rhoe just shrugged.
Aelin couldn’t believe it. Was she still dreaming? Had she woken up in some alternative universe?
Aelin opened her mouth and closed it again. And then opened it again. “I was alone in your house with my boyfriend all night long, and you walk in on us in… what could be construed as a compromising position, after months of threatening both of us bodily harm, and you’re telling Lorcan to let us be?”
Rhoe’s grin widened as he sauntered in. He let his hand pat against Aelin’s hair as he walked past the couch and into the kitchen, removing the leftover pie from the refrigerator.
“Your boyfriend, huh?” Rhoe said, a slight bounce in his step.
“Yeah,” Lorcan piped up. “Why should he be worried?” His grin widened. “Last we checked, you two were ‘on a break.’”
Aelin rolled her eyes as she tossed a throw pillow in Lorcan’s direction. He karate chopped it out of the air, not even flinching as it approached his face.
“Obviously, the break is over,” Aelin said.
Aelin’s heart stuttered as she grinned at Rowan, who did nothing but grin right back at her. Her boyfriend. Right back where he belonged.
“Obviously,” Rowan repeated back.
Aelin tried to temper her grin by leaning into Rowan’s shoulder, but as he wrapped his arm around her back, all she could do was smile more as she burrowed into his shoulder.
“I knew it was just a matter of time,” Lorcan laughed, grabbing a fork and joining Rhoe in the kitchen to eat bites of leftover pie right from the tin.
Rhoe snorted. “Such a liar,” he mumbled through his crumb-filled bites. “He’s been extremely worried about you two,” he shouted at the pair on the couch.
Aelin’s eyes flew to Lorcan’s, and she vaguely remembered that Rowan had said that Lorcan had threatened him to shape up.
“Thanks,” she said, her throat narrowing with a wave of emotion. But Lorcan just shrugged her off.
“I just want my babes to be happy,” he said, but his dark eyes shone with an earnest sincerity that had Aelin swallowing back an uncomfortable twinge of tears.
“Speaking of the babes,” Rhoe clapped loudly. “Maeve has requested that you both check in with her before you go off to do… whatever you’re going to do today.”
Rowan nodded as he absentmindedly let his fingers draw patterns on Aelin’s shoulder.
“What are we doing today?” Rowan asked her, which made Aelin remember something they’d discussed the day before.
She jumped up from the couch and rushed to her backpack, ignoring the looks of confusion on the boys’ faces. “That reminds me!” she said, plopping back down next to Rowan with her open planner. “We need to go over my schedule for the next few weeks and see where you can fit in.” She paused and looked at him seriously. “I need you to be a much more active participant in my schedule the next few weeks.”
“I’m here and ready for study duty,” he said.
His smirk reminded her of all the positive reinforcements to motivate her studies he had suggested last night while they waited for their tow truck. Apparently, Rowan was more than ready to jump back into their physical relationship. Her cheeks unwittingly warmed, and she was sure they were a dark pink with how heated she’d just become.
“Do I want to know why the mention of studying has you both blushing?” Lorcan asked. “Is studying some new euphemism I don’t know about? Do I not know the language of the youths anymore? Am I not a youth?”
Rhoe barked out a loud laugh and shoved the rest of the pie toward the spiraling boy. “Have a bite of pie and calm down, youth.”
Aelin raised her brow in her dad’s direction. It was not like him to ignore a moment to tease Aelin and Rowan for blushing at each other. In fact, now that she really took a look at him, he didn’t seem at all like his usual post-night shift self. He was bursting with energy and filled with nothing but smiles and laughter.
“Dad,” Aelin began. “Aren’t you supposed to be grumbling and tired and exhausted? What’s going on?” she asked.
Rhoe’s grin widened.
“You do seem to be in a suspiciously good mood,” Rowan commented.
“Funny you should say that, Rowan,” Rhoe smiled. “This is actually all your doing. You have made my day. My month. My year. Maybe my life.”
Aelin’s brow lifted higher.
“Because of this?” Aelin pointed between her and Rowan. “I didn’t realize you were so concerned about my love life, dad.”
“No,” Rhoe laughed. “I mean, yes, I’m very glad you two have decided to stop being idiots, but no. I’m talking about this.”
Rhoe lifted his phone out of his pocket and pressed the screen. She sat back, eyes wide as she listened to her mother’s incensed voice came out loudly from the speaker.
“RHOE, WHAT THE FUCK?!” Evalin’s voice rang out. “Aelin’s boyfriend just shouted at me in the middle of our extremely lovely Thanksgiving dinner. Not only that, but he embarrassed me in front of an entire restaurant and insulted my boyfriend by running out in the middle of the meal. After I’d been absolutely nothing but polite the entire time! What kind of bad seeds are you letting Aelin run around with? Never in my life have I been so outwardly disrespected. That young man needs to be taught some MANNERS. Fuck!” Her screeching voice lowered to a whispered hiss, as if someone walked in on her leaving the message. “I have to go, but we are NOT finished talking about this.”
By the time the message was finished playing, Aelin’s heart felt like it was going to beat out of her chest. Evalin had called Rhoe to complain about Rowan?! She looked to Rowan nervously, but he was laughing.
In fact, Rhoe was laughing, too. Hysterically. She watched as her dad wiped at his eyes, gasping for air.
“It’s so good,” he wheezed. “I’ve listened to it like forty times. Play this at my funeral,” he cackled.
“DAD!” Aelin was utterly horrified.
“I’m sorry,” he attempted to get out through large gasps of air. “I’m sorry.” He paused. “It’s just… I think that’s the first time I’ve ever heard her say ‘fuck’ outside the bedroom.”
Aelin gagged. “Oh my god, EW.”
Rhoe laughed, his expression still gleeful. “I’m sorry, but, you know you weren’t born via immaculate conception, right?”
“Still, I do not need to know anything that has ever been said inside your bedroom,” Aelin said.
Rhoe held his hands up in acknowledgement. “Fair.” He took a deep breath and looked over at Rowan, a glittering gleam in his bright blue eyes. “You really yelled at her?” he asked. “In public?”
Rowan nodded, and Aelin watched as her dad approached the couch and clapped Rowan’s shoulder with his large, steady hand.
“I know this is extremely bad form, and I will deny saying it if you ever repeat this, but… thank you. That bitch had it coming.”
“She deserved way worse,” Rowan mumbled and Rhoe nodded sagely.
He laughed again, mostly to himself, and pressed his sugary lips against Aelin’s forehead. “I’m going to bed. I love you,” he mumbled against her skin.
“I love you, too,” Aelin replied.
“Don’t forget to check in with your Aunt!” he called out as he traipsed up the stairs.
“Breakfast?” Rowan asked, pulling Aelin off the couch and back into his arms. She sighed happily and wrapped herself around his waist.
“Yes, I’m starving,” she moaned.
“Me too,” Rowan commented, his voice low and husky. She tilted her head upwards and welcomed the kiss that was headed her way. But their lips had only barely met when they were disrupted by a loud thud.
The pair jumped back, narrowly missing Lorcan as he plopped horizontally onto the couch, eyes already closed as he stretched out.
“Don’t you have a home with a real bed?” Aelin quipped, annoyed by the interruption.
But Lorcan was somehow already asleep. A loud snore filled the room, causing Aelin to giggle softly.
“To Maeve’s?” she asked, and Rowan nodded.
“French toast with extra bacon?” he asked, and Aelin couldn’t help smiling widely. “We can go over your schedule while we eat,” he added, while handing her her planner.
“I love you,” she said, leaning further into his side. But, she really was hungry. She hadn’t really eaten much yesterday because of the Thanksgiving upset, and her stomach was rumbling and ready for food.
Laughing, Rowan helped her put on her warm coat and led them to the front door, but as they opened it, they were shocked to see Elide and Manon on the stoop.
“Oh!” Aelin gasped, clutching at her chest.
“Sorry!” Elide smiled apologetically. “We’re a little early.”
Aelin narrowed her brow in confusion. Early…?
“For shopping?” Elide filled in. “You said you wanted to do all your Christmas shopping today because you wouldn’t have any time next month?”
Right. Aelin had been so overloaded with emotions in the last twenty-four hours that she’d completely forgotten about her plans with Elide. But sure enough, as she opened the planner in her hand, there in big bold writing was SHOPPING!
Whoops. With … well, everything, it had completely slipped her mind. She turned to Rowan to apologize, but he beat her to it, interrupting before she could begin.
Rowan shoved his hands in his pockets and tilted his head back, swallowing back a frown.
“It’s fine,” he said quickly.
Aelin narrowed her eyes in his direction, wondering what he was going on about.
He seemed to be fighting the urge to shrink into himself, and Aelin watched as he actively took a slow breath and roll his shoulders back instead. Interesting.
“You guys shop, and I’ll meet you back at Maeve’s when you’re finished,” he continued, and Aelin barely contained a gleeful giggle as she reached out for his hand.
“Oh no,” she said as she laced her fingers through his. “You’re not getting out of shopping. No way.” She turned to her friends, one of whom was practically vibrating with excitement as she asked, “It’s okay if Rowan joins, right?”
Instead of a reasonable answer, Elide flung herself around the pair, nearly knocking them over in the process. Aelin swayed on her feet, looking down at her petite friend, who had somehow managed to squish her face between her and Rowan’s shoulders.
“Oh, I’m so happy!” Elide cheered, squeezing the pair impossibly tighter. For someone so small, Elide was really and truly strong.
“El,” Aelin gasped. “Air.”
She mumbled out and apology and stumbled backwards, returning to her own girlfriend with a grin.
“I told you they’d figure it out,” Manon finally chimed in as she winked at Aelin. Her heart warmed, blooming with affection for the friends who helped her stay sane the last few weeks. Even Manon had hoped for their reconciliation. She couldn’t help but smile wider as she leaned into Rowan’s side.
His arm wrapped around her shoulders, tracing gentle circles into her arm in a familiar gesture of affection.
Manon’s golden gaze flickered to the spot where his fingers danced and sighed loudly.
“Just…don’t hook up in a dressing room and get us kicked out of the mall, okay? I really need a new winter coat.”
Aelin gasped in feigned horror, drawing her hand up to her heart. “What? I’d never!”
All her friends stared back all too knowingly at her, causing her expression shock to morph into a self-satisfied smirk.
“Okay, I might, but Rowan would never.”
“And that’s why Rowan’s my favorite,” Manon said seriously.
Aelin was about to fight back again, but Rowan’s smile was so blinding, she resisted. She’d missed that smile. She forgotten how it lit up his whole face, his cheeks upturned and his green eyes glistening with unbridled joy.
“Are you sure you don’t mind?” he asked again as they all made their way to the car.
“It just means that I’ll have to wait longer to buy your Christmas card, but that’s fine. That is an art that can’t be rushed.”
Rowan’s pace stuttered as he looked at her seriously.
“You we’re going to still buy me a Christmas card?” he asked. “Even though we were…” He left the words unsaid but she understood. She had a feeling they would never refer to their untimely break up ever again.
To prove herself, she pulled her planner from her notebook and directed Rowan to the gift list in the right corner. Sure enough, first you under HOLIDAY GIFTS, was written in Aelin’s neat handwriting - ROWAN CARD.
“I guess I hoped we’d figure it out, too.”
He smiled and squeezed her hand, reassuring her that no matter what, they’d always figure things out.
. . .
As expected, the mall was an absolute madhouse. Christmas carols blared from the overhead speakers as shoppers flitted to and from each store searching for the best deals.
Aelin loved it.
“It’s Christmas!” Aelin cheered as she increased her pace, Rowan keeping stride beside her as she tugged at his hand, overwhelmed with holiday excitement, chewing at the large soft pretzel Manon had bought her.
“Not quite, Ace,” he laughed.
“Where to first?” Aelin asked. She had so many people to buy gifts for this year, and she needed to fit it all into today. As soon as school started up again, she knew she’d have just as little time as before. If not less. She needed to make the most of the day.
“Department store?” Manon suggested. “I need a coat, a hat and ski gloves.”
“Ski gloves?” Aelin asked. “Do you ski?”
Aelin couldn’t picture her leather-clad friend enjoying any kind of sporting activity.
“I don’t but many mom kind of strong armed me into joining a few clubs this year.” She paused. “I’m on the senior social committee.”
Rowan snorted as Elide looped her arm through Manon’s and looked up at her with wide eyes. “Yes, because when I think Manon Blackbeak, I think social.”
Manon nudged Elide with the tip of her elbow, trying to shake her off, but Elide only squeezed her arm tighter, leading her toward the large coat section marked with large red sale signs.
“Anyway…” Manon continued, ignoring her girlfriend. “I had the privilege of planning the senior ski trip, and the whole committee is expected to go.” She smiled as her eyes gazed down at her girlfriend with affection. “It’s fine, though, because I got to help with room assignments. So, it turns out that Elide is actually going to be bunking with me for three whole days.”
Elise’s cheeks blushed as she pulled out a black jacket and handed it to Manon. “What about this one?” she asked, clearly trying to divert the conversation but Aelin couldn’t believe her ears.
“Your uncle is letting you go on the senior ski trip?” Aelin gaped. “And sleepover with your girlfriend?”
Elide’s conservative uncle never let her anywhere. Nights at Lorcan’s shed managed to make him believe she was at weekly Bible study. She had no idea how he’d agreed to the senior ski trip.
“I told him it was a three day Mission Trip to the south,” she said, chewing at her lip. “And he obviously doesn’t know I have a girlfriend,” she said with a frown. “I’m totally going to hell.”
“Happy to help,” Manon said, seeming thoroughly pleased with herself as she threw another black coat over her arm. Elide’s frown slid off her face as she leaned into Manon’s side, even closer.
“Senior ski trip,” Rowan said, his eyes alight with mischief. “I’ve heard…lots of stories.”
He looked to Aelin. She’d heard those stories too. A long weekend of snowy debauchery awaited anyone who signed up to go to the Staghorn Senior Ski Trip. It was infamous.
“Is it too late to sign up?” Rowan asked, causing an unexpected giggle to escape Aelin’s lips.
“Nope,” Manon shook her head. “Just have to give the committee a check by December 1.”
“How much?” Rowan asked.
He couldn’t possibly be serious. Aelin’s cheeks heated so much she thought she might need to take off her coat.
“$1600?” Manon replied, and she watched as Rowan deflated. But at his reaction, a spark of hope bloomed in Aelin’s chest. He was serious about wanting to move things forward physically. It wasn’t just lip service. He wanted that. With her. On the senior ski trip, of all places.
“Oh,” he said sadly. “Never mind.”
“It’s okay,” Aelin reassured him with a squeeze of her hand. “We’ll have our own fun here. Two weeks of winter break and rushing to finish my college applications,” she laughed.
“The most fun,” he laughed.
“It’s not senior ski trip debauchery level,” Aelin admitted. “But, you never know.”
“No,” Rowan replied, leaning down to brush his lips against hers. “You never do.” He paused as he leaned back slightly. “Maybe we should start implementing that study reward system for college apps, too.”
Aelin raised her brow. “What kind of reward?”
Rowan leaned forward and kissed her again, surprising her by opening his mouth slightly in a kiss maybe slightly inappropriate for their surroundings.
When he pulled away, his eyes were dark and filled with promises that Aelin wasn’t sure he’d ever fulfill. A shiver ran down her spine and her heart beat faster.
“I’m listening,” she said as her lips curled into a wide smile. She wrapped her arms around his neck, trying to pull him back down for another kiss, but he unclasped them and brought them between them, kissing her knuckles gently. What would have felt like a rejection merely days ago suddenly felt like the low whispered promise of “later.”
“You sure you can’t swing the ski trip?” Manon laughed. “I’m sure I could fudge the names so that Rhonda Whitethorn and Aelin Galathynius are bunk mates.”
“I wish,” Aelin groaned.
The noise unintentionally must have set Rowan off though because before she knew what was happening, she was being pulled through racks of clothes in the opposite direction from Manon and Elide. She barely heard him about that they’d be back in a bit over the whooshing of her pulse as he took off.
Rowan’s hand gripped hers tightly as he led them through the maze of the store, searching for something. His hand reached out and grabbed at a few shirts on display before barreling into the long stretch of dressing rooms in the back corner of the floor.
Aelin felt the cold shock of the mirror against her back as Rowan pressed against her, securing her firmly.
“Rowan would never,” he laughed to himself as Aelin watched his eyes grow impossibly dark. “Rowan would absolutely.”
With that, he swooped down and captured her lips, making her gasp with surprise. His mouth moved against hers with a determined fervor that had her pulse quickening and her body warming under his touch.
“Oh!” she gasped, startled. But she couldn’t bring herself to stop him. She wanted this. So much. She’d missed him. Was still missing him, even though he was all over her. They had too much time to make up for. His hands moved down her torso to palm at her butt, causing her to squeal.
“Shh,” he warned her, swallowing her next moan with his lips.
She didn’t know what had happened or who this confident boy in front of her was, but she was not upset about it in the least. It felt like whatever dam Rowan had erected this fall to keep some physical distance between them was entirely gone, and now his desire spilled forth into her, completely uncontrolled. It thrilled her.
Without separating their mouths, Aelin lifted her leg to wrap around his waist and was infinitely grateful when he got the picture and lifted her other one to hook behind him. From this angle, he was able to keep Aelin pinned against the mirror comfortably, his hands once again able to roam freely as his hips kept her in place.
Aelin didn’t even stop to think as his hands went under her sweater and his mouth lowered to nip at the sensitive skin below her ear. She shivered in earnest. Goosebumps breaking out on her arms as he continued to suck at her neck.
His mouth created a warm trail of desire, moving with ease to the other side of her neck and then back to her mouth again, never relenting, never easing up, but always giving her just enough to keep her squirming against him. And if what she could feel between her thighs was any indication, the keeping her squirming part was not an accident.
“I’m sorry,” he finally said as he pulled away panting.
“What?” Aelin asked. “You don’t need to be sorry. This is…amazing,” she panted, still catching her breath. She wanted to reassure him that he didn’t need to pump the breaks anymore if he didn’t want to. If he wanted to give this much, she was more than ready to receive.
“I’m sorry because we could have been doing this for the last four months,” he groaned as he let his head fall forward, resting it against hers.
She couldn’t resist rubbing her nose with his, and she laughed softly as his blonde lashes fluttered against her skin.
“You don’t have to apologize,” Aelin whispered. “You had to go through what you were going through. And if it brought us here, I don’t think I can be mad about it.”
She watched as his expression softened, though his grasp on her never faltered. He leaned in and pressed kisses to each cheek, then her forehead, then her nose, then her lips, whispering soft, reverent “I love you’s” between each one.
And when he was finished being soft with her, she tugged at his hair and opened her mouth beneath his again.
“I love you, too,” she whimpered, setting him off again. His lips crashed to hers again and again, making her forget everything else but the feel of his body against hers. She forgot where she was. She forgot who she was. She forgot her name and her age and the time and the place. All she knew was Rowan and his incredibly talented mouth.
She didn’t know how long they’d been at it when the fitting room door swung open. A horrified sales lady dropped her large pile of clothes, shrieking as the pair scrambled to detangle their limbs from each other.
“One person only in each fitting room!” the woman cried as Aelin wiped at her mouth and cackled wildly.
“We were fully clothed!” she shouted over her shoulder as the woman pulled out her radio, surely to report them to security. “Don’t look so scandalized!”
She and Rowan were still red-faced and giggling when they found Manon and Elide.
“We’ve been looking for you!” Elide cried out. “Where were you?”
Aelin looked over her shoulder at the woman, who was now pointing at her and Rowan from across the store at a burly looking security dude.
“We need to leave,” Aelin sputtered through her giggles. “Now.”
“What did you do?” Elide asked, but Manon just grabbed her girlfriend’s hand as she shook her head. She knew all too well what the pair had been up to.
“Run!” Rowan directed as he pulled Aelin by the handout of the store, laughing the whole time. They didn’t stop until they were back in the car.
. . .
Rowan and Aelin were dropped off at Maeve’s after a detailed account of what had happened. And though Aelin hadn’t accomplished a single thing on her to do list, she still felt like she was on top of the world.
And she wasn’t the only one.
Every time Maeve came by to drop food at a different table, she made sure to pause and give Aelin the biggest hug she could manage.
“Maeve,” Rowan whined as she paused again to squeeze the pair of them tightly.
“Hush,” she scolded her nephew. “I have missed Aelin just as much as you have. Maybe more.”
“That feels highly unlikely,” Rowan muttered under his breath, causing Aelin to laugh.
Maeve just glared at her nephew and then turned back to Aelin with a relaxed smile.
“How’s the schedule coming?” she asked, scanning the new color coding Aelin had added to the next few weeks of her planner.
Anything written in black was for school assignments. Pink was for the hospital volunteer program. Blue was for dance class. And purple was for college applications. And bright green highlighter meant that Rowan was expected to join in whatever activity it was. She got a thrill of pleasure each time she used the highlighter and it made them both smile to see so much green patterned on the page.
“Good,” Rowan answered as he shoved a soft fry into his mouth. “Look at all the green. That’s me.”
Aelin smiled at the gesture. He always left her the extra crispy fries because they were her favorite. For the hundredth time that day she had to resist leaning over the table and kissing him.
“College essays need to be finished in two weeks if I want notes from Miss Crochan,” Aelin explained, “So that’s first priority.” She tapped her pen against the paper. “Then I still have three more labs this semester.” She made a face. Those damned labs would be the death of her. “Luckily midterms aren’t until January, so I have a bit of time. But the winter dance festival is in two weeks, so that’s going to be difficult to balance with everything else.” Aelin bit the tip of her pen. “But it’s fine. I’m figuring it out.”
“And I’m helping,” Rowan said, grabbing another soggy fry. “Turns out I’m great at schedules.”
Aelin couldn’t help it. She leaned across the table and kissed him, tugging the collar of his sweater toward her and grasping it tightly.
From behind her she could hear Maeve laugh and head back to the kitchen. But Aelin was mostly preoccupied with the boy attached to her mouth.
Eyes glittering, he pulled back and smirked. “So that’s it, huh? Schedules really get you going?”
“Oh yeah,” Aelin laughed. “Just wait until we get to my to do lists.”
“Maybe I should put this all in a spreadsheet?” Rowan laughed, popping another fry into his mouth.
“Oh baby, don’t tease me,” she giggled.
“You’re a menace,” he breathed softly as his cheeks flushed.
“A menace who loves and appreciates you very much,” she said. She watched as he looked up startled. A piece of hair fell forward onto his forehead and she couldn’t resist leaning forward and smoothing it out.
His blush deepened, but he smiled at her regardless, letting her fuss over him. Now that she was allowed to touch him without holding back, she planned on taking advantage of every minute.
Which reminded her…
“Since I have my planner out…” she began as she flipped through the next few weeks. “When do you want to have sex?”
She’d thought she’d be able to shock him or at least ruffle him a tiny bit, but all Rowan did was smile. Though she didn’t fail to notice the blush that tinged the tips of his ears with a dusting of pink.
“Remember how last time we planned went?” he asked, shutting her planner gently.
But, despite her tawdry delivery, Aelin was serious. They had to schedule a time to lose their virginities. Had he not seen her next few weeks? If they didn’t schedule it, it wouldn’t happen at all!
“But—” she started to protest, trying to flip the planner back open, but he held firm and leaned toward her. And for all her former confidence, Aelin suddenly felt her pulse start to race again. How could he do that?
“It’s going to happen when it happens,” he said as his eyes narrowed in on hers, assuring her silently.
But she wasn’t so sure. She didn’t like not having a plan. She was all about a plan. Spontaneous didn’t seem to work for them either.
“But—” She tried to open the planner again, but he just shook his head and laced his fingers with hers and placed them on the table. Aelin breathed deeply, trying to take this new piece of information in stride, but she needed more guidance. She looked at him with pleading eyes. “Can we set the week at least?”
Rowan cracked a smile and shook his head again. “How about we just leave it as… soon?”
Aelin narrowed her eyes at her boyfriend, who was sitting next to her far too calmly for what they were discussing. How was she the flustered one all of a sudden?
“Soon,” she tried out. But it didn’t satisfy her. “How soon? Before break? Before Christmas? Before New Years?”
Rowan chuckled. “Soon,” he said again, before returning to his soggy fries.
63 notes · View notes