A/N: Well here it is! The conclusion of This Thing We Have Here. A fun ride over this past year, I must say. I'm excited to tie up Jamie and Eddie's story here and see what awaits them down the road. I appreciate all of the kind words and support! This is fun for me, how I daydream and collect my thoughts in a fictional world and I'm happy you could come along. Enjoy!
The absence of warmth or soft steady breathing beside him stirs Jamie awake. It takes him a moment to realize Eddie's not there and in his half-conscious state, he slides an arm across the sheets to be sure.
Raising his head, he's still, listening for the sound of footsteps or movement somewhere across the room, but it's quiet.
He lets out a rumbling moan as his muscles - admittedly tired from a fairly intoxicated and rather… active night with his girlfriend - engage and he slowly rolls over onto his back.
There's a crumple beneath him, then he reaches back to realize a square of paper had been stuck to his hip on the outside of the sheet. When he pulls it off, he sees it's from the hotel's sticky notepad provided on the desk.
Ran out for food it explains in Eddie's handwriting, along with a looped little heart.
A soft laugh escapes him as he stretches, rubs a hand over his face and decides to use the time to head to the bathroom and get a shower.
Knowing they were going to have a hotel room for the night, they had both packed overnight bags. He fishes inside his for a few essentials before he makes his way across the room.
A hot shower wakes him up, pricking his skin and clearing the dull throb he feels in his head. After he dries off, he hears the click of the hotel door on the other side of the wall.
"Oh I was hoping to get back before you woke up." Eddie breezes into the room just as Jamie emerges from the bathroom. He snaps the waistband of his own boxer briefs, low across his abdomen.
She carries a paper bag beneath her arm along with two large coffee cups tucked into a cardboard tray.
"Yeah well you left me," he muses, following her as she sets her contributions on the desk. "I checked the nightstand for the two hundred dollars I usually charge for that kind of night."
"Two hundred? Yeah right." She grins as she makes her way over to him, sweeping wispy hairs from her wavy ponytail off her face. Dressed in olive linen shorts paired with a flimsy white t-shirt, it made him appreciate the summer glow of her skin. "Too bad. I'm going to pay you with bagels and coffee because you're a cheap, dirty lay."
She barely finishes her teasing insult before Jamie scoops her around the waist and slings her to the bed.
A squeaky giggle erupts as she bounces there beneath his weight as he topples over her.
"I didn't hear any complaints last night," he reminds her. Straightening his arms, he plants a hand on either side of her shoulders.
She arches beneath him, countering his dominance over her when she wraps her legs around her waist. "I meant cheap and dirty as a compliment."
"Good because I was just giving it to you the way you like it."
"Yeah. You're good that way."
His head ducks and he uses his face to inch up the fabric of Eddie's t-shirt. "Thank you for breakfast," he mumbles against her stomach.
"We didn't eat yet," she laughs.
"Okay well the food's not going anywhere," he reasons. "And we have an eleven a.m. check-out time, so-"
"So get naked again, you're telling me?"
At the waist of her shorts, he closes his teeth at the drawstring ribbon there, lifting his head as he pulls. "Mm-hm," he grunts before he lets the tie go. "This all needs to come off." Sitting up on his knees, he concentrates to get Eddie's shorts undone. "Do you see me dressed? That's not fair."
She giggles. "Alright." As she shifts on her back, she helps Jamie along, pulling her t-shirt up and over her head. "I'm still getting used to how much of a morning sex guy you are."
He simply agrees with a hum as he slides her shorts down the length of her legs. "Five minutes."
After he gets rid of her clothes, she tangles her legs around him and pushes herself upright. "Okay but I really want that bagel and I know how you get about cold coffee." Then she shifts, landing Jamie on his back before she straddles him. "So four minutes, because I'm hungry."
His hands grip her hips and he tugs her against him. "Not to mention demanding."
"Oh, you love it," she sighs, tipping over on top of him, decidedly the one place he prefers Eddie in the driver's seat.
"Was it the firing squad you thought it would be?"
"Not at all. Was it for you?" Eddie quips over her shoulder as she turns the key in her door.
Jamie offers an amused grin as he steps into the open doorway of her apartment, lingering there against the frame as she heads inside. After spending a relaxing Sunday at Jamie's place, recovering from their weekend, they concluded the day with dinner at his father's house in Bay Ridge.
They had agreed that the two of them would part ways for the night after he took her home. Eddie hadn't slept in her own bed all weekend and they both needed to get ready for a busy work week ahead.
"It was actually more tolerable than I thought it would be," he answers.
She turns back to him, her lips twisting before she smiles, fluttering charming black lashes. "Because I'm a catch."
"You definitely are. You make it easy."
"And your family is not as intimidating at Sunday dinner as you make them out to be." Reaching out, she plays with the open edge of his blue Oxford shirt before her hand grazes his chest and slips into his hand.
His fingers intertwine with hers and he idly swings her arm side to side while he stalls. He's so consumed with the love he has for her, still adjusting to the fact that he can express it now, that it aches a little in his chest to say goodnight. "Yeah well, I'm not used to someone having my back at family dinner. That's new."
She shrugs easily and steps up to him in the doorway. "I'll always have your back, partner."
He just lets a soft smile curve on his cheek as he looks at her, draws his fingers between hers, trails fingertips along her palm.
Eddie speaks up again. "I should get inside. It's late." She teases him with a reminder of his own words he had all but dismissed her with the first time they kissed.
Biting down on his bottom lip, he makes a regretful face. "That's one of the dumbest thing I've ever said."
"Oh, no, no. You've said way worse."
He simply accepts it, letting his head fall with a quiet chuckle.
"But I'm glad that's what you said," she tells him. "That one time. Forever ago. I think if we had given in… then-" Her voice is quiet as she rests her head against the frame of the doorway. "We would have gotten lost."
He knows she's right. He fell for her because of everything they had built together, every look she challenged him with, every push, every pull of her heart that made him feel things he wasn't used to. Every star she painted in his sky, each one mysterious, exciting, lit up with the promise of something big, but something constant. He knew with her, he'd never be lost.
Jamie looks at her, at the flickering flame in her eyes before he gives, letting the weight of his head fall onto hers. "I love you."
She sniffs a soft laugh, the corners of her smile twitching up. "I love you too, Scout." Then she wonders, "Do you want to come in or something?"
He feels his brow crease and simply nods his answer before Eddie steps back, gently pulling him inside to stay.