Jack was the first to wake up in the afterglow with renewed vigor. A smile graced his lips when he noticed the platinum blonde sleeping peacefully across his chest with her hair disarrayed as a wavy blanket surrounding her alabaster skin. It was then he recalled their previous event, and his grin stretched. Perhaps they were late in comparison to other couples, but it was actually their first time making love. To his dismay he had wished that their first time could have taken place under a different situation rather than make-up sex-could it be considered make-up sex for their first time?
He was surprisingly sentimental about these kind of stuff, and he had discovered this new characteristic when he was dating Elsa. Because she was always involved with a handful of classes, internships, and jobs, she and Jack had rarely went out on proper dates. Majority of their time spent together were on her break periods, study periods, holidays, and once-in-a-blue-moon free days. It was because of this monstrous schedule that Elsa had initially rejected his courting. At first, he had tried for days on end to forget about her, but he couldn't bring himself to do so in the end. Regardless of the hardships, Jack had expressed his understanding to their difficult relationship and had successfully convinced her to be his girlfriend.
In the past, his patience were immeasurably commendable, compared to his present former self. Back then, Elsa was someone distant with admirable qualities. She had been the embodiment of perfection in his eyes, and he had wanted her to know how he felt about her-maybe it was wrong for him to tell her that. Instead of a praise, it added more stress on her plate, and he had no idea. They were cooperative since the start, but perhaps they had never grasped a good understanding of one another. All he knew was that he loved her and she felt the same.
The brunette lifted his hand and he gently caressed Elsa's platinum locks. They were surprisingly soft despite it's disheveled appearance. His gesture made him wonder the last time he has been this intimate with Elsa. The answer was never. The most PDA they were capable of doing were holding hands. Elsa preferred having intimate moments in the comfort of their privacy, but sometimes he had slipped up and went as far as pecking her cheek in public. It was the first time he had ever seen her flustered, although he regretted it right afterwards. It was at the wrong place and the wrong time. They were spending lunch at the restaurant she worked at and her coworker so happened to be on shift that day. He had a crush on Elsa, Jack knew that in a heartbeat. He was placed under her care, and also so happened to be the restaurant owner's nephew. Despite the upper advantage he had over him, Jack was still tempted to sock him. He had learned he was bullying Elsa since then, just so he could stir up that reaction. In the end, he has never broken through her wall, and Jack was forced to bite his tongue. Meanwhile, everything else had fallen into place after their first date.
After that, his behavior had become more mild. His patience were beginning to thin, and he had became more selfish. He found himself craving her presence and more intimate exchanges. Reverting back to his former easy going self had served to be difficult challenge. He knew he was whipped by this point. She had him wrapped around her fingers, and it was futile to escape. The distance in their relationship began to bother him, but he had restrain himself from letting Elsa know. He had to pretend these feelings didn't exist. It wasn't just Elsa who had their own demons and insecurities to fight.
He had suggested they lived together as a halfhearted joke, but he was taken aback when Elsa had taken it under serious consideration. Maybe guilt had compelled her to take up his offer, and that's why she was sleeping with him like this.
"Morning sleepy head," a groggy voice greeted.
"Oh, good morning," he smiled back warmly. "Did you sleep well?"
"Yeah..." She sat up and stretched her arms, when she realized the sudden draftiness of the room. When her eyes adjusted to the room, she noticed the articles of clothing streamed about the room, then she glanced down at her bare chest. Instinctively, she pulled the blankets over herself and glared at her amused lover.
"Oh don't mind me," he chuckled absorbedly, "I was just admiring the view from here." He received a stinging slap on his chest. He winced, but the blow didn't affect his cheerful mood. Instead, he sat up and pulled her against his chest.
"Jack, I have morning breath," Elsa whined sheepishly, "this ridiculous bedhead too..."
"We've swapped spit before," the brunette retorted snarkily, "and I think you look beautiful." He pressed his lips against her cheek. "Even with that drool stain."
"What?!" The platinum blond exclaimed, her hands flew to the edge of her lips as a scarlet curtain rained down her face. Jack could never get tired of her.
"Jack!" She chastised.
"Still it wouldn't make a difference." He earned another jab to the torso. "That's it!" He pulled her back on the mattress and tickled her beneath the sheets. He cackled mischievously as she wailed on with defeated and apologetic cries.
"Okay! I'm sorry, Jack! I won't do it again!"
"Yes! I will! Please! I can't breathe!"
His actions had fallen into a halt and rested at her hips, then it slowly snaked around her torso while his right glided up to her right arm and down to her hand. Absentmindedly, he ran his thumb across her wrist, before intertwining his hands through hers.
"You seem like you're in deep thought," Elsa noted. "Are you sure you had enough sleep?"
"I had enough sleep," he replied vaguely, "I'm just daydreaming."
"And what does that have to do with my hand?" she chuckled.
He dug his head on her shoulder, and trailed kisses from her blade to her neck and back. In between kisses he mumbled, "Can't a man have his lovey-dovey moments?"
The platinum blonde cracked up from his diction.
"What?" he erupted.
"I didn't expect you to say something like that."
"Well, I have my moments…" his voice trailed into a whisper with blazing cheeks. "So as long as you don't as much as even peep a breath of this to Aster and the others."
"Ah, of course…" Elsa replied airily. She met his dark gaze with half lidded, teasing eyes, "We wouldn't want that."
He pecked her cheek. "A pride is all a man has."
They exchanged a brief chuckle when left hand gently caressed his face. "There's something on your mind, isn't there?"
"Are you questioning my actions?" he teased.
She shook her head. "Not at all. This is just new to me, and it's pretty refreshing, actually." Sensing a nod from her shoulder, she continued, "What I mean is… earlier you looked like you were so engrossed in your thoughts you didn't hear me call your name."
He stared at her with muddled, furrowed eyes. "Didn't you say good morning?"
"I called your name before that."
"What were you thinking about?"
He glanced back at their laced fingers, and gently held it up to her. "When was the last time we had been this intimate, Elsa? Because I can't remember."
She stared at their joined hand and gently squeezed his. "Never."
"That's what I thought too," the brunette mused. "But doesn't it bring back some memories?"
"Exactly," he answered wryly.
"Oh…" her lips curved to a frown. "I'm sorry."
"Nah, don't be," Jack shrugged off. "It can't be helped. I knew what I was getting myself into."
"You have surprising amount of patience," she noted lightly, "and you've been strangely positive about this the whole time."
"Not really…" the brunette sighed, "My patience have been running thin since then. I feel bad for admitting this but I've been really selfish, Elsa. I'm sorry for having to drag you into moving in with me when I wasn't thinking about your wellbeing." From the side, he looked at her with a half bitter smile. Suddenly he felt a stinging sensation from his left cheek. While his mind was registering what had taken place, his head had subconsciously turned toward her with an incredulous expression plastered on his face. Before he could bark her name with wounded revelation, he met with pained sapphire eyes.
"You idiot," Elsa scolded, but the hand that had delivered the blow was now gently caressing the reddening spot. She was glad she wasn't looking at his face from their position. "Honestly, so was I…"
He stared at her with widened eyes and ajar lips. "I thought you were doing it out of duty."
"Don't sugar coat it, Jack," the platinum blond reprimanded, she glanced at him from the corner of her eyes before returning her gaze to the roof. With concentrated intent, she considered her words thoroughly, as if the words would paint themselves across the white canvas. "I didn't think you would feel the same way… But I think we need to stop thinking that our actions are derived from obligations. If we were compelled to do it based off of that, then wouldn't our efforts have no meaning?"
He frowned to himself as he took her words into deep consideration when he felt her lips gently press against his head.
"What I'm saying is if I'm compelled solely because it's my obligation to be in a relationship, then wouldn't being together be enough? Wouldn't holding our hands like this be enough to satisfy our regimen?" She angled her head to kiss temple. "But after completing the task, why do I feel like it's still not enough?"
"Even when you had other things on your plate?" Jack squeezed her hand and smiled sadly, "You still thought about me."
"Of course I would... I fell in love with you after all."
"And so have I." He brought the hand around her torso to cup her chin and turned it to face him. When her eyes had fluttered shut, he kissed her with as such passion, he had nearly lost his rationality. When they broke contact, he retracted with a chuckle and a mischievous grin. "It's like you said, I don't feel satisfied with just that kiss."
"No," she rejected quickly, catching on to Jack's baited plan. "That's not fair, Jack. You went overboard last night."
"But you didn't stop me," Jack remarked pointedly.
"I still have papers to grade today too."
"We have enough time to spare before that."
"But-" her words were heckled by a warm breath and a husky whisper to her left ear.
"Are you sure you're satisfied with just that kiss?" the brunette tantalized, followed by kisses and gentle nibbles to the lobe of her ear, purposely enticing her. "Really?" he blew on her ear, and smiled inwardly when he felt her trembling response.
"You're really unfair, you know..."
"So does that mean I can?" his voice escalated, breaking off his seducing tactic with an excited grin. This was an opportunity Elsa could have taken advantage to escape, but she didn't, because, God, she couldn't keep lying to herself forever.
"Do you need to ask?"
"I want to make sure I have your consent. It's not just my desires after all."
"You're right," she smiled approvingly. She was moved that their feelings were resonating on the same frequency, even more so now that Jack was earnestly considering her feelings. It was that last sentence that became her deciding factor, and Jackson Overland with his earnest, and unconsciously witty, answer had bought his winning ticket to get laid. Avoiding his eyes, she answered, "Just… be gentle, please. I'm still sore from last night."
Taken aback by Elsa's sudden submissive reply, Jack had to momentarily pinch his own face to make sure that he hadn't misheard it. "I didn't imagine that, right?"
She nodded, much to her chagrin.
"You'll really let me?"
"On second thought, I'll just finish grading some papers…"
Just as she had began to sit up, Jack had pulled her back against his chest with a smug, impish grin. Bringing his lips to her ears, he whispered huskily, "I promise I'll have you lost in euphoria, you'll forget about the pain."
The brunette gaily hummed to himself as he stood before the stove bare, with nothing but clad in dark boxers. He had insisted to cook breakfast while she took a shower. He knew she was in a really good mood, when he overheard her singing to what sounded like the closing chorus of Head/Tails, and he found himself singing along with her as he waited for the eggs and bacon to finish. Playing the closing instrumental solo in his head, he sang, "So let's just go to Paris, and try our hand at romance. I need a chance to show you, that I'll take you anywhere, so call it in the air." Carrying the pan in one hand and a spatula in the other, he closed his impromptu with the latter. Knuckle connected to the counter, he rapped to the original beat of the song in place of the slow, lingering, harmonic duet between the piano and drums.
Having been so engrossed to his ad lib, he was unaware that his beautifully, refreshed girlfriend was watching him with astonished amazement, until he heard an applaud from the bathroom door. He had almost dropped their breakfast.
"Wow, Jack," Elsa complimented ecstatically, "I never knew you could sing like that, or that you knew of this song."
"Well, it's a small hobby," he answered embarrassedly, while placing their eggs and bacon on their plate before facing her. He was taken aback that she had selected wearing one of his forgotten white button up shirts. He couldn't deny that it was a pleasant sight.
"Why didn't you tell me about this?" she complained, her arms folded over her chest.
"There was never a right time?" the brunette retaliated, then pointing the spatula accusingly, "And why are you wearing one of my dress shirts?"
She arched a brow, and wittingly replied, "Why not?"
"I don't mind it," he answered absentmindedly, then friskily he added, "I can't promise what I'll do to you."
Elsa blushed fiercely. "We've already done it twice, Jack. I'll have to resort to self defense if you try anything silly."
"Okay, fine," the brunette chuckled, defeated, as he returned the utensils to the sink. "I promise, I won't do anything." He walked around to pull her seat out. "For The Missus."
She pecked his lips in gratitude before sitting down and having him push her seat in. "Thank you, my love."
"No problem," he answered, making his way to his own seat and settling himself comfortably. "Now let's dig in."
Her first bite was the fluffy, golden pancake, followed by the eggs and bacon. "Mm, this is delicious," she praised. "Is cooking also one of your hobbies?"
After downing his meal with orange juice, Jack replied, "It's more of a necessity. Tooth's got me pretty healthy-conscious."
"I'm glad," the platinum blond answered relieved, but she couldn't help but feel jealous. "I'm sorry I couldn't-"
"Hey now," he comforted, "it's okay."
"Has she been making you meals all this time?"
He chewed another mouthful before answering. "Once in a while, but I usually order take outs. Aster's thinks she's baby-ing me too much."
"Sounds like he's jealous," Elsa noted, chuckling. "I know Tooth's just looking out for you with the best interest."
"But?" Jack pressed on. His brow arched questioningly.
"But what?" she feigned innocently.
"Sounds like there was a but at the end of that sentence. You don't happen to be jealous are you?"
"No," Elsa answered composedly followed by eating another bite.
He propped his elbow on the table with his head resting on his hand, and cocked it sideways. "Really?" he challenged.
Elsa's eyes fell back on her breakfast.
She heard him snort, and she glared. "What."
"You are!" he guffawed. "God, Elsa, you are ridiculously cute when you're embarrassed."
"Is that why you've always been harassing me up to this point?"
"It's called tough love, my dear."
She finished the rest of her meal after that, and quickly took her plate to the sink. "Thanks for the meal."
"Oh come on!" he hollered from the dining table. "Elsa! Don't be mad."
"Don't forget to do the dishes, honey," she called back evenly.
Finishing his meal, Jack brought his plate to the sink, completed his chore within five minutes, and settled himself beside Elsa, with their backs pressed against the couch.
"You defeated the purpose of buying a couch, you know?" the brunette commented aimlessly.
"I prefer working like this."
"Why not the dining table?"
She glared at him and coldly responded, "Because you're there."
"What?" he feigned offense. "You know I'll always support you."
"Like the way you are now?" she questioned his attire. "Can you please put some clothes on?"
"Come on, Elsa! This isn't the first time you've seen me like this? Unless…" he arched a brow and smiled mischievously, "you're ready for round three."
With the swiftness of a cat, she scribbled something on a sticky note and slapped it to his forehead.
He ripped the tag off, crumpling the paper with the word IDIOT centered in crimson with one hand, while the other rubbed the tender skin. He swore he had witnessed a murderous glint shining in her eyes for a split second, but quickly disregarded the assumption. Instead, played off his rejection coolly by innocently stretching an arm around her shoulder and regrouped the pair on the first button of the shirt. "I guess it can't be helped, I'll just have to wear this, then."
"What are you doing?!" she shrieked, but her hand had automatically pinched the thin flesh of skin on the back of his hand and twisted it.
"Ow!" the brunette cried out, recoiling immediately.
"Jack, I'm serious!" she hollered, sharply. Then immediately regretting her own behavior, she apologized. "I'm sorry."
"Tough love, right?" Jack grinned, cheekily. "I know I deserved that."
She had kissed the blossoming scarlet injury before either of them could register what had just happened. It was only until her lips retreated, Elsa had froze in place out of sheer mortification, where as Jack had turned away, biting back the urge to laugh.
Avoiding his gaze and splashed with the same hue as his tender injury, Elsa asserted, "Forget you saw that. Any of that."
"W-why?" It took a huge amount of will power to utter a single word, however the tone had tapered off into muffled spasms of snickers. Getting ahold of himself after a couple seconds, he cleared his throat and with better composure, he added, "It was cute."
Her eyes turned to him with daggers. "Not. A. Single. Peep."
"I didn't know…" he snickered, persevering his way through the end, "I really thought-" he was gasping. "I really thought… I was a princess meeting Prince Charming just now." He had lost it after that and threw his head back with howling guffaws while his weight slid and connected to the platinum blonde's shoulder.
Irritated, she positioned her hands on his shoulder blade and firmly pushed him away. However, his momentum had sent him flying side-profile, landing arms first, followed by his chest. Unfortunately, her actions had little to no effect to the mirthful man. Her patience thinning, Elsa collected the papers and shoved them to a manila folder followed by three crimson utensils.
Easing away from his fit, Jack slowly eased his arms to sit upright and noted Elsa's behavior. He knew he needn't ask because it was a waste of time, but he did it anyways solely of that reason. "What are you doing?"
Her actions hadn't ceased from organizing, however she had stuttered momentarily, and her hands had floated in place before answering, "I'm going to the library."
It was brief, barely above a second, but that short hesitation was enough to have the brunette take action. And by action, it meant clutching his girlfriend's arm, driving her to his chest, and imprisoning her in his arms so she wouldn't escape.
She was wriggling and squirming, tickling and jabbing, but to no avail, her efforts had no effect on his grip. Rather, it had an idiosyncratic result and tightened his grip. Her actions ceased to a halt when she heard his earnest answer erupting from his chest.
"I'm sorry. I won't do anything more than this, I swear."
She sighed deeply. Along with that one breath, the tension in her body had melted away too, sending her arms to drop limp beside her. "I know, Jack." Even though he was dorky and immature, and there had a number of moments she wanted to rip clumps of her hair, she believed him without hesitation, because their relationship was a product from mutual, distant efforts and solitary trust. They were clumsy and stumbling over newly harvested discoveries, and clashing with dignity to hide their flaws, but they had never done anything as to betray one another. And she knew, from their previous argument, that Jack had raised that white flag and felt his lips kiss the crown of her head.
"Can I cuddle with you like this when you're working?"
"No," she answered immediately. The reason she was vehemently against this was not only had it been distracting, but feeling his breath on her skin sent an uncomfortable wave of electrical signal throughout her body, but she would never disclose that information with him.
"Elsa…" Despite his groaning complaint, he had loosened his hold on her.
She had immediately returned to unpacking her work, and sat to her former position before Jack had interrupted her. From the corner of her eyes, she watched him stand up and head for their bedroom. She was surprised that her rejection had pushed him to that extent, and she was about to call him back when he had returned wearing a white wife beater and sat himself beside her with a noticeable amount of distance between them. She was glad, but also slightly peeved by their distance, and so, without taking her eyes off the essay, her left hand reached for his and he had responded by weaving his slender fingers through hers.
Then feeling her hand alight, her eyes followed just in time when the brunette connected his lips to her hand. He wore an innocent, grin, and she flusteredly returned a small smile before returning her attention to the assignment. Although she was busy with her own tasks, she had shared a similar desire as he had: she valued their moments together, but she was better at controlling her emotions around him. Instead, she squeezed his hand and he responded back.