It's always been better when they're together. One shot. Mature.

"Shut the FUCK up!"

Eli is pissed. He stands on the bed, pounding his fist against the ceiling. "Turn the music down, assholes!"

The partygoers upstairs are oblivious to his desperate need for sleep, and the music continues to thump. He looks around the small bedroom frantically. Where the hell are his docs?

He grabs for his discarded jeans and tucks a shoe under each arm. So much for an off-campus apartment being 'quiet' and 'perfect for young professionals.'

Snorting, he steps into his pants, and gropes his way through the darkened hallway. One shoe is half on his foot, and he stumbles over the laces.

He swears loudly, "Two fucking AM. And on a Tuesday fucking night."

He slams the front door deliberately and stomps toward the stairwell, aiming to make each step louder than the last.

He hasn't put too much thought into what he'll say to the jackasses in the apartment above, but who can blame him? His brain is fried. He is in the middle of the last set of midterms before summer vacation, and they are brutal. Utterly brutal.

By the time he reaches apartment 312 he is seething, his nostrils flaring wildly. He beats the door repeatedly with both fists.

"Hey! Hey! Open the fucking door."

The door opens to reveal a young man; he is holding a red plastic cup and grinning.

"What's up, bro?"

Bro? Eli takes a deep breath. Did this idiot just call him bro? "Yeah, dude, think you could turn your fucking music down? You know, before I call the cops?"

"Yeah man", the blonde haired boy chuckles, "just chill out."

And before Eli is aware, the door is unceremoniously slammed in his face. And the party continues.

"You are so drunk!" Clare shakes her head at her friends and giggles.

"I am not."

Okay, maybe she is a bit drunk. And who cares. She is finally finished with midterms. She deserves a little celebration, right?

"Be serious Edwards. You are toast."

Across the table Katie feigns seriousness and takes another large gulp of her mojito.

The group of girls roar with laughter, but the sound blends itself with the rest of the noise in the bar.

"Okay, fine! I'm drunk. But I am still not telling you about…that." Clare can feel the blush spread across her cheeks. Years later, and she still gets awkward discussing her sex life.

The band begins to play familiar song and Alli has to shout to be heard over the music.

"Come on! I bet you're doing it so much more now. How often do you do it? I bet a lot..." Clare buries her face in her hands. Her brain is going too soft to properly evade the questions.

"Alli, that is none of your business!"

Before the girls can continue their interrogation, she feels her cellphone vibrate in her pocket. She slides from the booth, rolling her eyes as her friends coo dramatically.

"Must be loverrrboy."

"Ohhhh, baby."

"Clare, oh yeah, Clare!"

She makes her way to a quieter corner and presses the phone to her ear. "Hello?"

"Hello?" She repeats her question again, and plugs her opposite ear, struggling to make out the caller.

"Hello? Is anyone there?"

She hears a voice on the other line, but the pounding of the band's drum drowns the words out.

She pulls the phone from her face and looks at the screen, the call has been disconnected. Damn.

"Clare? Babe, can you hear me?"

Eli realizes that he screaming and hopes that his neighbours won't hear. After all, he was the one who sent the cops after the idiots upstairs.

He can hear her voice faintly, but the noise in the bar makes it impossible to make out what she is saying. She had mentioned she was going out to celebrate with the girls after her exam, but it's pretty late and he is worried.

Truth be told, after the party upstairs ended, he thought he would be able to sleep. But it's hot in the bedroom, and well, she's not next to him.

"Clare?" He shouts again, hoping she'll answer him and just come home already.

"Can you hear me?"

Ugh, he can't hear a damn thing. He sighs and flips his phone shut, dropping his head onto the pillow and hoping for sleep to take over.

She is way too drunk. Her head is spinning and she stumbles a bit as the girls make their way into the busy pizza joint.

"Your baby calling you home for a little late night BJ?"

A few heads turn to look at them as they enter and Clare shoots her friends an angry glare.

"Would you guys give it a rest?" She tries to make her voice sound stern, but she's too tired. And cold. And hungry. And well, drunk.

Before too long, the girls have their food in hand and are leaning against one another on the sidewalk.

From their vantage point they can see all of the drunken debauchery: police milling about, laughter from all of the other kids, couples kissing in the dark.

Her eyes fall onto a group of guys nodding enthusiastically at a pair of scantily clad girls, attempting to walk properly in their too-high heels.

Ignoring her pizza, Clare watches one of the boys whistle after the girls, and she sighs. She wishes she were home right now. Curled up in their bed, Eli's arms draped over her.

When she lifts her head to refocus on the plate in her lap, she sees a pair of dark black boots clomping toward her. The boots are attached to a slim body, dark hair, and green eyes she knows all too well.

"Having fun, Ace?"

She can hear her friends giggle but she ignores them, and scrambles to her feet.

She catches him off-guard momentarily when she bounds into his arms, wrapping her legs around his waist and pressing her mouth firmly to his. Her friends are hollering from behind her but she doesn't seem to notice them as she deepens the kiss, sliding her tongue across his bottom lip.

She tangles her fingers in his hair and grinds herself into his hips. Part of her knows this is inappropriate, groping like this in the middle of the street. But at the moment, she is too focused on the feeling of him pressed hard against her stomach.

Reluctantly, she breaks the kiss and looks into his eyes, which are currently filled with a mixture of curiosity and excitement. She leans down to his hear and whispers hotly.

"Take me home."

Her breath hitches when she feels him slide her body up against his, and tosses her over his shoulder.

"Don't have to ask me twice."

"Baby, stop." Clare is eager like he's never seen before. And he's having a hard time focusing on driving. Her hands run down his stomach achingly slow, and then cup him through his jeans.


He is moaning now. It's a good thing they're almost home because he is ready to pull over to the side of the road and bury himself inside her.

He groans when she peels down his zipper, sliding her hand to pull him from his jeans, before he can stop her.

"Ace, no."

He gently tugs her hands away from him and lifts them to his lips, kissing them softly. "At least wait until I've parked the car."

He hears her huff out an angry sigh. "Are you sure you're my boyfriend?"

The glimmer in eyes signals that she's aware of her error.

He laughs heartily and pulls into the apartment's parking lot. "I believe the correct term is fiancé, little miss sex fiend."

Before the car can reach a complete stop she is bounding out and up the stairs. And suddenly he's forgotten about all of his midterms, and the party upstairs, and how tired he was when he went looking for her.

"Clare Diana Edwards. Where do you think you're going?"

He is breathless when he reaches their apartment, the door open wide, the sound of her giggling echoing throughout.

He is peels his shirt off as he walks to their bedroom, kicking his boots haphazardly.


When he walks through the bedroom door he can't see her. He steps further into the room, and feels a pair of hands snake around his waist seductively.

"The girls kept asking about us tonight, about this…" Her breath is hot when she whispers in his ear, and the feeling of her breasts flush against him makes him moan.

"They have no idea."

Fuck. He thinks it is physically impossible for him to be any harder.

He pushes her against the wall, and his hands reach under her arms to prop her up more comfortably. He can feel her legs wind around him tightly, her toes hooking into the pockets of his jeans and yanking them down.

He leans down to pull one of her breasts into his mouth and rolls his tongue around appreciatively, this is all his.

Eli loves the little sounds that she's making, and he knows that neither of them can wait any longer. So he pushes into her fast, making her bite down into his shoulder.

The partying idiots upstairs don't understand this. They're too busy trying to find a new girl every night. As if they could possibly find something better than the sound of the woman they love gasping their name. Morons.

When she comes, it's violent. It practically rips her apart, but she can't tear her eyes from his. His arms are gripped against the wall, hers wrapped around his neck.

"Don't stop." She grits out between moans. She is urging him to keep going until they're both completely drained.

It's funny, she'd never considered herself a particularly sexual person, but Eli makes her fall to pieces. She can't get enough of being with him. And it only spurs her on to think of later when all the heat has fizzled; she'll be asleep in their bed with his ring on her finger.

She cries out again as his thrusts slow, and she smiles when he lifts his head from the crook of her neck. She has to work to hoist herself more firmly into his arms, not letting him separate their bodies.

Instead, he walks them back toward the bed. Both of them are exhausted and they fall into a messy heap, they're breathing erratically.

Her eyes flutter shut and she relaxes into the feeling of his head nestled against her chest. She feels suddenly very sober, the haze from the alcohol long gone.

"Why did you come looking for me?" She mutters to him gently.

When he doesn't respond after a moment she lifts one eyelid. He's snoring quietly, his lips twisted into a smirk.

Yes, it's good to be home.