She had never been big on country music, the constant twang and oftentimes ridiculous lyrics about dogs and making love on top of a pickup truck (how was that even comfortable? The bed of a pickup truck, she could get, but the top of one? No. Just no.) made her roll her eyes and change the station more than anything else. Living in a small area heavily populated with cowboys (and aliens) didn’t give her that many options for radio stations though and sometimes she had to make due. Lately though…Well lately, she’d been listening on purpose, just dying to get that excited rush from randomly hearing The Song. The only one that she’d ever heard that explained the man she couldn’t get out of her thoughts so perfectly. The song that explained the man that she was quickly finding she’d gladly follow to the end of this planet…and the next…and the next…
She puts her key into the ignition and a slow smile came to her lips when the soft notes start to fill the car. There were always flashes of moments both good and bad that came to her mind with each verse. Opening her mouth to sing along softly along with the lyrics, she changes lanes, the desert sun going down softly in the background, illuminating the landscape around her in pinks, oranges, and blues like a stunning sherbet scene that matches her mood perfectly.
“When it rains it pours but you didn’t even notice/It ain’t rainin’ anymore, it’s hard to breathe when all we know is/The struggle of staying above, the rising water line/Well the sky is finally open, the rain and wind stop blowin’/But you’re stuck out in the same old storm again”
The thing about that line is just that it was so true. It ran along the vein of their relationship. From that ill-fated first date in high school when they had decided to finally try to be a them, instead of a him and a her only to have had that opportunity ripped away by tragedy so quickly after. They were always around the corner from another tragedy, so they stayed in Fight mode. They made sure the other one was taken care of, always, but it was so difficult to put one’s guard down, to let themselves get too comfortable inside of any lull of that rang of peace and comfort.
“You hold tight to your umbrella, darlin’ I’m just tryin’ to tell ya/That there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head/If you could see what I see, you’d be blinded by the colours/Yellow, red, and orange and green, and at least a million others”
She saw those colors. Every damn time that she looked at him. She’d seen them since youth. She had seen them even when he was breaking her heart with the truth that had he had kept from her for so many years. She sees them whenever he tells her that he loves her. She sees them when he smiles at her from across the room. They explode behind her eyelids whenever they kiss (much like he makes all the lights in the house do, when they really get into it). She sees them even when he can’t see them, when he gets so down on himself and talks about how he doesn’t deserve her…She sees them so fucking always. He was so golden and she promised herself every day that one day she’d make him see it, too.
“So tie up your bow, take off your coat and take a look around/‘Cause the sky is finally open, the rain and wind stopped blowin’/But you’re stuck out in the same old storm again/You hold tight to your umbrella, darlin’ I’m just tryin’ to tell ya/That there’s always been a rainbow hangin/ over your head/Oh tie up your bow, take off your coat and take a look around/Everything is alright now/‘Cause the sky is finally open, the rain and wind stopped blowin’/But you’re stuck out in the same old storm again”
She pulls into the dirt in front of his house, parking the car and thinks for a moment about how calm everything had been lately. For a bit, it had truly felt like their universe would never get to this point. Every day, they were learning more and more about the history of the crash and the history of a planet she’d never get to go to, one that a part of her was always afraid he’d decide he did, indeed, want to leave to go home to. She knew he loved her, she knew how much he loved her, and all the things that he would willingly give up for her. She also knew that if he were to decide he wants to go back to his home planet, she wouldn’t stop him. If he were to decide to go home, somewhere he could be well and truly safe, how could she begrudge him of that? So she liked to take every moment that she had now and tuck them all inside of her, letting them fill her in the best way. Every kiss, every time he looked at her, every sweet word, every touch…All of it. It was all saved deep inside of her in a place she’d never let anyone get to, a place she’d never let anyone but them touch.
“‘Cause the sky is finally open, the rain and wind stopped blowin’/But you’re stuck out in the same old storm again/Let go of your umbrella, darlin I’m just tryin’ to tell ya/That there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head/Yeah there’s alway sbeen a rainbow hangin’ over your head/It’ll all be alright”
She rose her hand to knock on the door, the butterflies in her stomach knocking around at the knowledge that she was only moments away from seeing him. Her fist never hit the door, though, because he was already there, opening the door, ready for her, still anticipating her every move, that smile that he had reserved for her and only her spread across his face. Looking up and smiling back, she’s unable of wasting even another moment and closes the space between them, tasting his mouth against hers, the rest of the world burning bright and fading into the sherbet sky hanging over the desert night.
Chapter 2: Butterflies
Realizations can be startling.
A night on the couch set to Country music.
I'm having such anxiety over this chapter because it's a little out of my comfort zone. Hopefully you guys like it anyway!
When she had looked over the counter earlier that day and saw him there, she had almost dropped the pot of coffee she was holding with a sudden jolt. It wasn’t that she was surprised to see him sitting there, looking like a damn vision, holding flowers she knew were for her with an incredible, sheepish smile on his face. She hadn’t been expecting him but it’s not like he didn’t stop by all the time, even if it was just for a quick cup of coffee (a move he used to bring her a bouquet of flowers or her favorite candy bar, or a note that was scrawled just for her left with money left on the counter).
So no, when she’d turned around earlier that day and almost dropped that pot, it hadn’t been surprise to see him. It was the fact that suddenly she knew, without a single doubt in her mind, that she was in love with this man in a way that she’d never loved anyone before him. For a minute, she’d been dying to run again. The fact was that what she had with him wasn’t a thing that she thought was real. People say that you just “know” when the someone is the love of your life, when someone is your forever. She’d never really bought into it. Yet the knowledge had come to her with perfect clarity, glaringly obvious now that her heart and her brain had managed to meet in the middle.
So, yes, maybe she had put extra thought into how she dressed tonight when their only plans were to sit together on the couch and read their own books, and eat takeout...it's just that now that she knew how she felt for certain, she wanted to tell him. Immediately. She wanted him to feel as loved as he always made her feel, to know that there wasn’t a single force in the universe that could keep them apart.
The song changed on the stereo and she nudged his leg with her foot, waiting for him to look up at her. She gave him a small smile when he raised his head and swallowing down a little bundle of nerves that was rose up in the back of her throat, unwarranted but still there. She watches his brow furrow, clearly thinking this was going to be a different conversation, and she moves over on the couch, sitting closer to him, his hand grasped in hers and just looks at him for a moment, enjoying the butterfly frenzy occurring in her stomach, and listens to the lyrics coming out of the speaker.
“I was just coastin’/Never really goin’ anywhere/Caught up in a web I was gettin’ kinda used to stayin’ there/And out of the blue I fell for you ”
She smiles a little bit at that last part, and the words just come tumbling out of her mouth. She had been planning on saying something more romantic, something deeper, something that would impress the writer in him, but watching the grin that appeared on his face, she knew that none of that had been needed. The three little words had been enough.
“You do?” he asks, finding his voice, reaching out and touching the side of her face. She nuzzles into his hand greedily, always wanting to be closer.
“So much,” she responds, looking him in the eye and knowing he can feel it, the emotion she’s putting into these words. “More than I knew was possible,” she adds honestly.
“Now you’re lifting me up, instead of holding me down/Stealing my heart instead of stealing my crown/Untangled the strings around my wings that were tied/I didn’t know him and I didn’t know me/Cloud nine was always out of reach/Now I remember what it feels like to fly/You give me butterflies”
He leans in towards her and their lips meet, his body leaning over hers, covering every sense that she has, and she wonders if the butterflies will ever stop. He’s touched her a thousand times, she’s had him inside of her, and yet the butterflies always showed up. They always would make their way up to reach him as he ran a hand through her hair, were always there to reach him as she melted underneath him, were there as his fingers reached for the hem of her shirt and dipped underneath, caressing the skin that she wants to be touched by him and him only. They butterflies are there, feeling like they're bursting out of her skin when he finishes pulling off her shirt and lets his shirt follow it to the floor, as they’re there skin to skin with her breath stuttering as she pulls him closer with her legs, wanting to feel him everywhere.
“Kiss full of color makes me wonder where you’ve always been/I was hiding in doubt ’til you brought me out of my chrysalis/And I came out new/All because of you”
Right now, they butterflies are there as he’s kissing her neck but as much as that’s usually a spot that drives her insane, right now she wants his mouth on hers, so she pulls his lips to meet hers as she undoes the button of his pants, sick of having any kind of layer at all between them. He catches on immediately and undoes her pants, while her hand rests on his heart, feeling the jackhammering underneath her palm. His eyes are looking in hers and she’s caught in how beautiful the moment is, here with this beautiful man, who touches her with such reverence and such want.
“Now you’re lifting me up instead of holding me down/Stealing my heart instead of stealing my crown/Untangled all the strings that were tied/I didn’t know him and I didn’t know me/Cloud nine was always out of reach/Now I remember what it feels like to fly/You give me butterflies, yeah/You give me butterflies”
Her thighs fall open and he enters her slowly, but she rises up to meet him, pushing at the back of his thighs with her heels and urging him to move faster. She wants to feel him there tonight, tomorrow, next week. She wants there to be nothing else in her thoughts except for how they feel when they’re one unit. She kisses his shoulder and leaves a trail of open-mouthed kisses up to his ear where she pulls the lobe between her teeth and listens to the hiss that comes out of his mouth as his pace gets faster, both of their bodies climbing in search of release.
She whispers “I love you so damn much, Max Evans” in his ear and that’s it for him, he’s over the edge, and the fact that that’s what did it for him sends her following right after him, crying out at how sharp everything feels.
“Now you’re lifting me up instead of holding me down/You’re taking my hand instead of taking my crown/Untangled all the strings ‘round my wings that were tied/I didn’t know him and I didn’t know me/Cloud nine was always out of reach/Now I remember what it feels like to fly/You give me butterflies/You give me butterflies/Ooh, ooh, mhm”
She slowly comes back into her body, feeling very well spent, in a spot that her body had curled up in next to him of it's own accord. He holds her, stroking her back with his thumb, a rhythmic movement. She closes her eyes again and lets herself enjoy the moment. Eventually, they’re going to have to get up and move off this couch but for now, she drifts off, curled up tight against him, feeling a deep set contentment she's never before known.