I've fallen head over heels with the characters of Haven and it's gotten me back into this creative writing outlet. I enjoy the sarcasm, character interactions, and most of all find Lucas Bryant absolutely adorably rugged and hot. :)
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Property of Syfy!
They're out on Nathan's deck, longnecks in hand, laughing about something one of the Teague brothers did earlier in the week, when he "accidentally" bumps her shoulder for the third time that evening and Audrey finally and completely loses her patience.
"Just how long have you been able to feel me?" she asks before taking a sip of beer to cover her smile.
The wide-eyed look he turns on her makes her want to laugh, which she doesn't out of respect…or something else. She never can tell lately what makes her do the things she does around her partner. He makes her feel like an awkward teenager all over again and she's not yet ready to confront that and give it a name.
"What the hell are you talkin' about, Parker?" he asks once he's recovered from the shock and has slung back most of his beer. She watches his actions, knows him well enough to figure out that he's about to look at the half empty beer bottle and use it as an excuse to get up and leave for a couple minutes. Which he does.
"Want another?" he asks and this time Audrey does laugh. She nods and he disappears into the house. She gives him exactly three minutes before she follows him inside.
He's leaning on the kitchen island, hands gripping the butcher block top like it's the only thing keeping him upright. When she slides open the door and steps inside, he looks up and there's some unknown emotion in his face. It's so unfamiliar, so raw and present, that she stops dead in her tracks and grips the glass bottle in her hand a little tighter.
"How long, Nathan?" she asks softly, head tilted to the side and attention completely focused on him.
He thinks she's beautiful and the air in his lungs leaves him. He hangs his head and stares at the tile floor. "Since just after Jess left," he says, eyes still staring down. When she's quiet for longer than a couple seconds – record time for Audrey Parker – he looks up. She's smiling at him and he remembers to breathe again, just barely.
She walks to the island and sets the bottle down, leans her hip against the counter top. "Since the day I kissed your cheek?" He nods, staring at her, his face unreadable in the evening light of the kitchen. She leans forward to test a theory and tentatively rests her hand on his. He starts at the contact, pulls away.
She'd like to say it doesn't hurt her a little, but she can't.
"I don't understand it," he says. "That's why I didn't say anything. I was afraid of what telling you would mean."
She does the math in her head. "That's how you knew about the chameleon," she says and he nods. She sighs at him. "You're an idiot," she says with a smile and he grins quickly, comes back to the island.
"You're the first thing I've been able to feel since I was seventeen," he says. He looks almost embarrassed, his cheeks tinted red. "I was kinda hoping you wouldn't notice," he says, sheepish.
She laughs then, all out laughs, her eyes welling up with tears at the silliness of the situation. She's an orphan who shies away from all touch and physical contact and he's a guy who can't feel anything, who stays far away from people and physical contact because it reminds him of how unreal he usually feels. They're kindred spirits.
Nathan watches her laughing and he shakes his head, moves to leave the kitchen. Realizing he's misunderstood, Audrey races around the island and stops him the only way she can think of – with a hand on his chest. She wipes her eyes, still smiling.
"I'm not laughing at you, Nathan. I'm laughing at the fact that we're far more alike than you realize."
He looks down at her hand and then back at her. The look in his eyes takes her breath away and she sobers almost instantly. His own hand comes up and covers hers, his heartbeat speeding up beneath her fingers. She thinks that if he put his hand on her chest, he'd feel the same fluttering rhythm.
"You're a real boy," she says quietly and he chuckles softly. "No more Pinocchio."
"Does that make you Jiminy Cricket?" he asks, his lips quirked in a half smile.
She tilts her head to the side again and the heartbeat beneath her fingers starts pounding. "I don't think I can pull off the top hat and tuxedo look," she says. His eyes go distant for a minute and she laughs. "Stop picturing me in a tuxedo and top hat."
The hand not covering hers rises and cups her cheek. He feels instantly lightheaded when she leans into his touch, turns her head just slightly and grazes his palm with her lips. "Audrey," he says, using her first name in the hopes of grounding them both. It sounds foreign but familiar at the same time and something pulls in her abdomen, something wonderful and warm and for a moment she thinks she'd give anything to just have one night of normalcy with Nathan Wournos.
"Yes?" she asks, her voice a whisper.
His eyebrows knit together – the patented Nathan-in-deep-thought facial expression – and she thinks he's changed his mind, decided for the both of them that this is a terrifically bad idea, whatever this is. They're partners, friends, and their lives are so intertwined that if something were to go wrong between them Audrey knows she'd have to leave Haven to survive it.
"I think…" his voice trails off and his hand drops from her face. The loss of contact leaves her bereft. He takes a single step back from her and she stares at the space between them, catalogs the inches of distance: one inch for every time she's ever run away from someone important, a half inch for every lie she's ever told a guy to get out of going on a date, a quarter inch for every lie she's ever told herself.
She's miles and miles away from the woman she used to be and she no longer wants to run, no longer wants to hide. She wants to crawl inside the warmth of Nathan's arms and start over again as a different version of herself.
So she takes a deep breath and shakes out her shoulders and looks at her partner – her best friend – with an expression of determination he's seen far too many times and she does the one thing she maybe should have done a month or so earlier.
"Fuck it," she says and jumps on him.
Lucky for Nathan, he knows Audrey Parker well enough to know that it was coming. The minute her jaw had set and her mouth had hardened he'd planted his weight and had smiled and had waited for it. And as she kisses him senseless – literally senseless because he can't hear from all the blood pounding in his ears and he can't smell anything but the lavender shampoo she uses and all he can do is feel the weight of her in his arms and taste the beer and vanilla cupcakes they had earlier and crave more and more and more – he thinks that maybe his whole life he's been waiting for a petite blond woman to jump on him in his kitchen and make him feel…something.
When they come up for air, Audrey begins to giggle. Wrapped around Nathan's waist like a poor imitation of a belt, she laughs and laughs and laughs and he holds her, smiles against her mouth and realizes he's been missing this his whole life.
"Now that," he says breathlessly, his mouth so close to hers that he kisses her as he speaks, "is what I call fate."