Game recaps featuring the legends was commonly seen on tv. Elliott and Wraith were on the sofa reviewing the game they had with Path. Still in gear from their last match, the two of them decided to make a stop in the common area to hang out before going to their rooms. Wraith was sitting and Elliott was resting his head on her lap as he watched the screen. A year ago when they were teamed up for the first time, she never thought that she would grow close to him, let alone let him rest on her lap. When you spend your days saving each other’s lives, it’s hard to keep emotions at bay and it’s even more difficult to not form close relationships. Either way, she was glad to have him in her life, despite the fact that he was a pain in the ass most of the time.
His comment refocused her attention to the tv.
“Look at that bamboozle! I really am the best, aren’t I? What would you do without me?”
“I’d be fine. You’re good, but you’re not as good as me.”
“You’re kidding, right? You don’t actually think that you could beat me in the games…”
“Of course I do!” And he had to sit up and say this next part with a proud smile on his face, “I’m a legend!”
Wraith chuckled, “You want me to prove it to you? Let’s go down to the practice arena and try it with paintball. If I win, I want your legendary 301.”
“No way! That’s my baby. I’ve earned it fair and square. Plus, it’s not like you have anything I want. What about when I win?”
“You mean, if you win. What do you want?”
He didn’t say anything. He just looked at her up and down as a slow smile crept on his face. She raised an eyebrow inquisitively before it dawned on her what he was implying. He was full-on smiling at her now that she’d figured out it. She rolled her eyes. Such a typical male response to want sex as the prize.
“Well, you’re not winning, so it doesn’t matter anyway. You’re on.”
She realized her mistake the moment she had fired her gun, but it was too late. She had been fooled by one of his decoys and now had given her position away. She heard footsteps outside and when the door flung open she went into the void to escape his shots. He followed her trail, which unfortunately for her, had led to a dead-end.
She looked at the gorgeous man pointing the gun at her.
“You’re not going to do it. You don’t have the guts.”
He couldn’t let that one slide.
Wraith got knocked down for a few seconds from the force of the paintball hitting her in the chest. She winced as she tried to sit back up, looking at the green paint that had now smeared her game gear. He sat beside her silently, instantly regretting not letting her win.
“Well, you win, I guess.” She sounded bummed-out and Elliott found it amusing that she took something as silly as paintball that seriously. Or was it the wager that made her sad? He decided right then that he wouldn’t bring up his prize. He never meant for her to be truly uncomfortable. He was kicking himself for even bringing up sex, knowing that physical contact was a big deal for her. Sure, she had gotten a lot more comfortable with him over time, but this would be on another level.
“I can’t believe I fell for your decoy. I knew you’d be sending them and I still fell for it anyway.”
“It was a stupid bet and it easily could’ve gone the other way. I was just kidding before…”
He was hoping she knew what he was referring to.
She looked up at him. “Really? That’s too bad…”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I lost a bet and my ego is seriously bruised, my gear is ruined, and now…” she didn’t know how to finish the sentence.
What she wanted to say was,
I have fun every time we’re together.
I had forgotten how to laugh and you brought me out of my funk.
I trust you explicitly.
Your touch is the only one that doesn’t repulse me.
I find myself thinking about it - thinking about you, all the time.
She didn’t say it, and he- he didn’t have the self-confidence to believe she would ever want him outside of losing a bet.
Elliott couldn’t sleep. He replayed the entire day over and over again in his head, feeling like an idiot all over again. It was just after 2 am and he wanted to sleep but guilt and pain had led to his insomnia. Also, what did she mean when she said it was “too bad”? He saw his phone light up in the midst of the dark.
It was a text from her and it made his heart beat faster. He felt like a high schooler.
“Are you up?” It asked.
One little question led to him having 20 more in his mind.
Do you hate me? Are you texting to say you never want to see me again? Why are you up at this hour? Are the voices keeping you up?
He refrained from making the situation even stickier and just replied with a simple “yes”.
He kept looking at his phone waiting for the next text but it didn’t come. After a few minutes he gave up and went back to sulking.
His eyes flew open at the sound of a soft knock on his door. He got out of bed and every step closer to the door had him feeling more nervous. He opened the door to see her standing there in a grey tank top and shorts. Her hair was in a messy bun and the bags under eyes gave away her sleep deprivation. Neither of them said anything, but he moved out of the way so she could come in.
She’d been at his room many times but it was never in the middle of the night, and certainly not in sleepwear. He was trying hard not to stare, but she was gorgeous and he couldn’t look away. He half-way expected her to scold him for his staring but all she did was move to the bed and lay on her stomach while hugging one of his pillows. He mirrored her actions so that he was laying facing her. They still hadn’t said a word to each other, but she hesitantly reached her fingers to brush against his, and he gave her a tight smile. Her eyes closed shortly after, and within a minute her breathing changed as she fell into a deep sleep.
He couldn’t really complain, could he? The woman who occupied his thoughts 24/7 came to his room in the middle of the night and was now sleeping in his bed. He watched her slowly breathe in and out. A piece of her hair was covering her face so he carefully tucked it back so he could see her more. She looked so peaceful and in need of this rest. He fell asleep quickly after that, dreaming of the one who was now merely inches away from him.