Taking a day off
A/N: This is my first story ever and it's not even in my native language, so please bear with me. I'll be happy to receive your feedback, though. I put some effort into this and I'd love to make it better.
The story takes place after the end of the rains and it's basically Ian/Wanda fluff. One morning Wanda does not want to get up and Ian tries to persuade her to take the day off. Written from Wanda's POV. I tried to keep it in character; I hope I did them justice. Rated M for some mild adult content.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.
It was early morning when I woke up. I could see through the cracks on the ceiling that the sky was just turning pale blue. A pretty, peaceful color, but not as beautiful as my favorite blue, the sapphire of Ian's eyes. My Ian's. I turned my head to look at him and couldn't help a smile.
His pale eyelids were firmly shut, his breathing even - he was still sleeping deeply. As usual, he was lying prone sprawled all over the bed with most of the sheet tangled around him. The remaining space was just enough for my small body and the leftover sheet could hardly cover my waist, but I didn't mind - it was hot anyway. Somehow I was lying comfortably.
At least there was an advantage for my petite figure. Although it no longer bothered me that much - for some reason I did not feel so frustrated any more. Maybe it was because I was getting used to my physical abilities and had started to accept my limitations. Or because my body was getting used to the work in the caves and I did not feel that exhausted any more. Or maybe it was because Ian made me feel so beautiful. For both my soul and body.
I giggled quietly at the memory of the previous night. Even though we were living together, in our room, for a couple of weeks already, it was still so new to me. The emotions were so strong, I was losing control completely. I never expected to feel this way. How was it possible to literally melt into his arms? My mind just stopped thinking. It was as if only the two of us existed in the world. Just me and him. In our room, becoming one. Nothing else seemed to matter.
It was funny how nervous I was the first time. I didn't know what to expect and I was so shy. But Ian was gentle and patient, giving me time to relax and let myself in his caresses. Not that it was difficult with his kisses putting fire all over my body. I could still feel his lips on my skin from last night. I followed with my fingertips the trail of his wet kisses on my neck, my collarbone, my breasts, my stomach. I couldn't imagine it was possible to feel more loved. I smiled when my hand touched the skin on my side, right above my hip. It always tickled and made me giggle when he bit it softly.
"What are you thinking?" Ian asked suddenly and I turned to look at him, surprised to hear his voice.
His eyes were shining and he was smiling with a smug expression on his face. How long had he been watching me? Could he tell what I was thinking? I felt my blood coloring my face and quickly turned my eyes away.
"I didn't know you were awake," I mumbled.
His arm grabbed my waist and pulled me to him. He unraveled the sheet around him to cover us both and moved on top of me. My heart pumped harder as our bodies touched again.
"Do you know how beautiful you are when you blush?" he whispered. I smiled and my cheeks flushed darker.
I took a quick glance at his face. He was smiling too, piercing me with his brilliant eyes. His face was so close to mine, our lips were almost touching. My eyes flickered between his eyes and his lips, anticipating for his kiss, but he didn't move. He was teasing me. I frowned, and he laughed quietly, before taking my lower lip between his teeth. A small moan escaped my throat and I crushed my lips on his, too impatient to play his little game. I felt him smiling for a second before responding to my kiss with the same urgency.
The molten rock was moving again through my body and I sighed happily when our lips parted, as if a good, long kiss was necessary to start the day right.
"I have the impression that you've missed me already," Ian said teasingly.
"Just a tiny bit," I admitted and he chuckled.
"Well, then, we have to do something about it," he murmured in my ear. He brushed his lips on my neck, as if he couldn't decide where to kiss first, his warm breath making me shiver. He wrapped my back with both his arms, pulling me closer to him and started spreading open kisses on my neck and collarbone. He softly bit my shoulder and, once again, I melt into his embrace, fire spreading across my body. My hands moved on their own - one in his hair and the other dancing lazily on his shoulder blade. His lips trailed the line between my breasts and I arched my back in pleasure, when suddenly I heard voices in the corridor. I paused, but Ian didn't.
"Don't worry, people are just waking up. No one will bother us -"
He was interrupted by a strong knock on the door.
"Wake up, bro! We're planting the eastern field today!" Kyle's loud voice made me jump in surprise. Afraid that he would enter the room, I quickly buried myself into Ian's chest. Ian growled, tightening his arms around me.
"Get out of here, Kyle!" he shouted back, glaring at the door.
Kyle did not reply. He was probably away already, but we both stayed still for a few seconds waiting for his response. Eventually Ian looked at me and his face softened immediately.
"Sorry," he murmured. "Kyle's an idiot, as always..."
"No," I said, slowly relaxing my body. "He's right. We need to get up." I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I didn't want to leave his embrace yet.
"Wanda... We can stay a little longer, we don't have to get up right away."
Normally I would have disagreed immediately. No one wanted to get up early and work, but it was necessary. Planting was a lot of work and many hands were needed. But I was so warm in Ian's arms, so comfortable, that I didn't want to leave, not yet. I found myself wishing we were alone in the world, just the two of us in our room, with no worries for anything else, no one to disturb us, no work to be done.
I kept my eyes closed and breathed deeply. What was I thinking? Of course there was work to be done. And I loved my family - Mel, Jamie, Jared, Jeb, everyone. How could I not help them with every way I could? Until now, whenever I had to choose between what needed to be done and what I wanted, I always knew what to do. No matter how difficult it was. The moment the thought occurred to me, I knew right away that I had to get Jamie's medications, save the Seeker, give Melanie's body back... Despite the cost to me. I was even willing to give up my life. And now I was conflicted about going to work? Over staying in bed with Ian? I would be in his arms again this evening! How low of me, how selfish!
"Wanda?" Ian interrupted my thoughts. "What's wrong?"
I opened my eyes to find him watching me carefully. He could read the conflict on my face but didn't know the reason. I knew I shouldn't tell him. He would only argue with me, trying to convince me to skip work.
"Nothing," I replied without looking at him, although I knew this would raise more questions. "Let's go for breakfast," I continued and tried to free myself under him.
He didn't let me go.
"Honey, please. Talk to me. Please." His voice was low, his beautiful eyes worried and I suddenly felt guilty. I worried him for no reason at all. For a moment, I wondered what thoughts crossed his mind, but quickly turned my attention to calm and reassure him. I smiled and put my palm on his cheek.
"It's nothing Ian. I'm sorry I upset you. It's really nothing. It's just that... that it's difficult to leave your arms, that's all."
Ian smiled back as he kissed my palm.
"I also want you in my arms - all the time. But why does that bother you?"
I paused for a second trying to find the right words to explain it.
"It doesn't bother me being in your arms. It's just that... I feel my priorities are all mixed up. I know I should get up and go to work, but I do not want to. I'd rather stay in bed with you all day, even though I know it's wrong!"
Ian laughed. "It's not wrong to do what you want, Wanda. It was about time you did something for yourself. If you prefer to stay in bed today, this is what we'll do. I know I'd love it too." He winked at me, a wide grin forming on his lips.
"But Ian, that's not fair for everyone else! They need our help - it's not right to ignore them and stay here!" I protested, desperate that the conversation took exactly the turn I tried to avoid in the first place.
"Don't worry, they can manage one day without us. There are plenty of people to help. Besides, everyone takes a day off now and then, haven't you noticed? Even Mel and Jared disappear occasionally." He stressed the last words meaningfully, grinning at me.
I frowned, feeling that this would be a lost battle. I was afraid that I would give in too easily as I could feel part of me being excited already in the prospect of spending the day with him. I closed my eyes - I was already thinking about myself again.
"It's just selfish," I murmured, frustrated by my own feelings.
Ian's forehead touched mine.
"Wanda, don't torture yourself. It's okay to be a little selfish sometimes. It's part of being human."
I looked at him surprised. Being selfish was so foreign to Soul philosophy. Souls always put the needs of the community first, never their own. Egoism, anger, hatred were the dark side of human emotions, so ugly, so poisonous. They were the reason for all human atrocities that had taken place on this planet, for Souls deciding to take over Earth in the first place. Even now that I knew how loving and caring humans could be, even now that I loved them more than my own species, I was still horrified by these emotions. As time passed, I was feeling more and more human, but I could never imagine me having such feelings. Was it inevitable though? Would there be a day that I would feel and act in the darkest way possible?
I flinched at the thought.
My reaction alerted Ian and he brushed my cheek with the back of his hand. "Speak up," he urged me.
I smiled at his tireless efforts to understand me. He was studying my face again.
"Selfishness is such a negative emotion to me. It scares me," I confessed. "I-I hardly ever feel like a Soul any more and I'm afraid to experience such ugly feelings."
Ian sighed and smoothed my creased forehead with his thumb before replying in a low, tender voice.
"Sweetheart, emotions have many scales. There is a huge difference between being a self-absorbed jerk - like Kyle, for example - and allowing yourself a treat or having fun once in a while. This is what I meant and there is no need to be afraid of that. What you feel depends on who you are. And I know that you are the most gentle, the most sensitive and caring creature in the whole universe. Too altruistic for your own good. There is no way you will ever harbor any harsh feelings."
He talked with a certainty that surprised me - as if he knew me better than me myself. He made me feel warm in my heart, not for the praise itself - I knew it was an exaggeration - but for believing in me so much. I wished he was right. Not only to avoid any ugly emotions, but also to live up to his expectations.
"Besides," he continued, the grin returning on his face, "wanting to spend the day with me hardly qualifies as selfishness. I'd say it sounds more like... being in love." He closed the distance between our faces and brushed his lips on mine. "But that's a good feeling, right?"
I felt my face turn crimson. He was serious a second ago and now he was flirting with me again. His hot breath on my lips was far too distracting and it took me a few moments before I was able to nod. "Good" was all he said as he kissed me slowly, gently, and I felt my body melting again in his hands, my thoughts trailing off incoherently.
He moved his lips to my ear. "So, do we take the day off?", the taunt still present in his voice.
A small giggle escaped my mouth. He already knew the answer; he knew that I had already resigned. But even worse, I knew I wouldn't regret it, being unable to care for anything outside this room. Maybe he was right, maybe this was what it was supposed to feel like. To be in love. With him.