Author's Note: I am so sorry! We have two goldens within our family – one named Midas and one named Winston. I got mixed up, and I know that's not an excuse, but I am so sorry I called Midas Winston.
Also, words cannot express how much I love this chapter, and I hope y'all do too! :)
"I have to go to work; I can't just sit around and babysit you two," Adam chuckled, taking a sip of coffee from his mug, "So behave, and don't wreck the apartment. I'll be home about six."
"I'll keep an eye on him," Clare assured him.
"It's both of you I am worried about. Behave yourselves. And you too, mutt," Adam scratched the dog behind the ears, "See you guys later."
He grabbed his keys off the counter, and headed out the garage door. Clare stood from the barstool at the kitchen counter, and poured Midas some dog kibble from the Tupperware she had brought with them.
"Good boy," she said, patting the dog as he scarfed down the food as if it were his last meal, "Good boy. Don't eat so fast. Geez."
"So, Clare," Eli grinned, running his finger along the rim of her coffee mug, "We have the house all to ourselves, and I believe I owe you a kiss or two," he raised an eyebrow, and Clare felt her legs wobble uncertainly underneath her. Being alone with Eli. Normally it would have been no big deal (she had, after all, been alone with him for the past few days) but this was different. After last night, everything was different. After that kiss, her world was different.
Clare felt her head float above her neck as she thought back to that kiss they had shared on the couch. She hadn't been kissed like that since…well, since they were together ten long years ago. Eli had taken her breath away in more ways than one, and even thinking about that kiss caused her head to cloud with fog, and small goose bumps to prickle along her flesh.
"Well, what do you propose we do?" Clare asked, leaning against the counter next to him.
Eli stared at her, knowing what he wanted to do; but what he wanted to do, and what he could do were two different things entirely. Besides, ghosts/angels/whateverthefuck he was probably couldn't do what he wanted anyways. He felt as though his brain was swimming in murky water of thousands of emotions and thoughts.
"We could go over to the couch," Eli's right corner of his lips raised into a smirk, "And see what happens from there?"
"Okay," Clare slid past him and made her way to the living room. Her heart was beating frantically within her chest; and she was worried that, at any given moment, it would tear through her flesh and flop to the floor like a fish out of water. She swallowed those nerves that entangled the saliva in her throat, and sat down on the couch.
Eli slid next to her, "Well, here we are. On the couch."
"Oh do not go and make this awkward," Clare rolled her eyes.
"We are kind of forcing this, aren't we?" Eli asked, bashfully – as if he was aware that at that moment, it just wasn't right.
"Maybe a little," Clare laughed nervously, "We shouldn't force it, or make it awkward. It should just come naturally. We can't just…but then again, that dare kiss was a bit forced," Clare reminded him, "And you remember how that turned out."
"Yes, and I know I promised you that I'd make that kiss up to you today, but maybe today still isn't right either. You just called off your wedding, Clare. You're going through so much right now, and I don't want you to use whatever this is as a means of…"
"I'd never use you, Eli," Clare shook her head, hurt that he would even think that, "I get it. You are right, Eli. We shouldn't just kiss because we can, and because I am now single. We should kiss because we want to kiss. I want to kiss you, but I want to get my life in order first. I need to get through to my mother, and I…I," Clare started to cry.
"What's wrong?" Eli asked, instinctively wiping away her tears with his thumbs, "Shh…tell me what's on your mind, beautiful."
"I want to kiss you, Eli. Oh I want to kiss you so terribly much. I don't know why, or how, all of this is happening; but all I know is that I want you. You have treated me so much better in these past few days, than my ex ever did. You are right, Eli. You are so right."
"About how…how…never mind," Clare jumped up from the couch and hurriedly swiped at the tears, "I-I have to call my mother. I have to…I need to get through to her and tell her. Um…excuse me," Clare hurried into the bedroom and snatched her phone up off the nightstand. As she was about to dial the number, she noticed the eight missed calls on her phone. Eight. That's what she was worth to him. Eight missed calls.
It was weird to have a number placed on her worth, and Clare tossed the phone aside. She wished she could have just told Eli what she had wanted to tell him; but would he even believe her, or would he think she was just projecting. Clare felt dizzy and she sunk down on to the bed, and cradled her head within her palms.
Why couldn't she just tell him the truth? Why couldn't she just tell him that she was falling for him all over again, and that maybe – just maybe – she was supposed to be with Eli. Maybe he was her soulmate. The very concept frightened her. So much had happened in such little time, and Clare felt completely, inconsolably overwhelmed.
She finally picked the phone up off of the bed, and called her mother. On the fourth ring, she answered.
"Clare? Hello, honey!"
"Mom, I have something important to tell you. I don't want you to be angry but…well, I called off the wedding with James."
"You did what?"
"I called off the wedding, Mother," Clare could have told her all about finding out James' had been cheating on her; she could have, but she didn't, "Our hearts just didn't feel into it anymore. We talked for a while, and we both concluded that it just wasn't right for us. Mom, you should be glad we discovered this when we did…before it was too late," Clare tried to keep her voice from cracking.
"Honey…are you sure this was the wisest decision? I mean, if you were unhappy, I am glad that you ended it before you got in too deep. We can cancel the reservations, and I can talk to Darcy, but I just want to make sure this is what you want. I want you to be positive."
"Very well then," Clare could practically see her mother's pursed lips and her nod, "Did he do anything to hurt you, Clare?"
"No Mom, he didn't."
"Is it another man?" Her mom asked again, "Be honest with me honey. I won't judge. If it's another man, then maybe that other man is supposed to be who you are with."
"Not really," Clare shook her head, "I just felt…I felt like I was making a mistake in going through with the marriage. I needed to end it before I shackled myself into a lifetime of unhappiness. Please understand."
"I do honey. I know you must be going through a lot right now. Why don't you just take some time and gather your things and figure out a place to live. You are always welcome here…"
"Adam is letting me stay with him, Mom. Just until I get everything sorted out. I want to go back to work, Mom."
"Good for you, honey. And don't worry – I will make the phone calls to the venue and the family. Don't worry about any of that, okay?"
"Thank you," Clare felt as though a huge weight had been lifted up and off her shoulders, "Thank you so much, Mom."
"Of course, honey. I have to go, but feel free to call me anytime. Maybe next weekend we can do lunch together – would you like that?"
"I'd love that. Thanks again, Mom."
After she hung up the phone, Clare crawled onto the bed, and covered up under the blankets. Having her mother make all the phone calls was a huge relief, but she still felt burdened by these feelings for Eli. She knew it was dangerous to be falling for him; especially when he was an angel – or a ghost. And to realize these feelings after discovering her fiancé was having an affair didn't exactly make it any better.
She flung the blankets over her head, and wished she could just disappear. It would be her luck to fall in love with her guardian angel. How could she, how would she, ever be able to explain that one to her family. Clare closed her eyes and tried to take some deep, calming breaths.
I am falling in love with an angel. I am falling in love with an angel. I am falling in love with…what am I doing? I can't fall in love with an angel. I just can't. It's not possible. But, then again, it is Eli. Maybe I never was not in love with him? Maybe I always was in love with him and only now, I am realizing it. But still…this can't be happening. Why is this happening? Why am I falling in love with an angel?
Because said angel is Elijah Noah Goldsworthy. That's why. Elijah Noah Goldsworthy. He makes me laugh, and he makes me feel so loved and protected. He makes me feel more than I ever did with James. He – as obnoxious as he is – brings me so much joy. Joy. Something I haven't felt in a long time. It's like…when I am with him…my whole world is suddenly made right.
I was blind to it before, but now that he's in my life again, I realize how much I need him. How much I…how much I was missing out without him. I realize now that I…I love him.
Eli was sitting on the couch still when he felt it. It was like he had been struck with lightening. It was a powerful, painful, beautiful feeling. It was like an electric jolt. And with that pain – that sharp, hot pain – Eli realized he had felt. He had felt that pain, and because of that, the pain was beautiful. He stood from the couch and lifted his arms. He turned in a circle, and he breathed in air.
And in the middle of the beautiful pain, the voice said, "Good job. You did it."
Eli glanced around, "I did it?" He asked, "What do you mean I did it? I didn't do anything!"
"But you did," the voice corrected him, "She's in love with you, Eli. She always was, but now she's finally realized it again."
"You mean she always was?" Eli was too excited to feel any sort of anger.
"Yes. But she needed to realize it. She needed to realize that love, and that passion. She needed to realize that losing you was a mistake. You both needed to realize how desperately you two need one another. You needed to realize that you are soulmates, and one cannot fully live without the other."
"You bastard," Eli laughed – a laugh that was filled with life and joy, sunsets, rainbows, the first cries of a newborn baby.
"I've been called worse," the voice chuckled, "Thank you for doing my work, Eli."
"But…but how do I explain this? My family, my friends, everyone thinks I am dead."
"The joys of being God," the voice laughed, "Trust."
"What did you do?" Eli asked, "What…"
"Trust. One little word. And yet…it is so difficult for you humans to do."
"I'll work on that," Eli promised.
"I have to go for now. I will always be with you, and you can still hear my voice…but now you'll just have to work a little bit at it. Take care, Eli."
"But…" Eli paused and glanced around the apartment again. Could it really be true? Could Clare still be in love with him, and he be human once again?
Eli ran towards the guest bedroom and knocked on the door, "Clare? Clare, are you alright?"
Clare groaned at having to dig herself out of her cocoon, but replied, "Yeah, I'm fine. Come in."
Eli flung the door open, and hopped onto the bed next to her, "Clare…Clare…you won't believe it if I told you! Guess what!"
"What? What happened?"
"What?" Clare was taken aback. She noticed that glint of light dance in his eyes, and she knew.
Clare didn't have to be told a third time. Together, they fell back against the pillows, and began to kiss. This kiss was, unbelievably, even better than the one they had shared yesterday. Eli thrust her lips apart with his tongue, and Clare accepted. Their tongues seemed to fight for power and dominance of the kiss. They wrestled together and entangled together. Eli grasped Clare's bottom lip between his teeth and sucked, causing her to – once again – moan. Clare knew where this was going, and when she had the chance, did the same. Eli felt his body explode with sensation, and it felt as though this was his first kiss all over again. But this time it wasn't awkward; unlike his first-ever kiss no lip piercings got tangled up in tongue piercings (yes, Eli Goldswothy had had his tongue pierced at a point in time).
He couldn't help himself, he let a moan escape his throat and Clare couldn't help but smile into the kiss at the reaction she had enticed from him. Eli flipped her over so that he was on top of her, but something stirred in Clare, and she flipped on top of him. Now, Eli was the one lying down, and Clare was straddling him.
She began to kiss his forehead – soft, delicate, feather-light kisses – then she kissed down his temples to his cheeks. She covered every inch of his face in those soft kisses, purposefully neglecting his lips. Eli's bottom lip quivered ever-so-slightly as she got so close to touching his lips with hers. He could practically feel their kiss that she was so cruelly withholding. Clare smirked and pulled her face away before moving to kiss down his jawline, down his neck. She paused when she reached his pulse point, before sucking and biting at the throbbing flesh.
She felt the blood course and pulse, confirming what she had already known to be true – Eli was alive again. He moaned as she lightly bit at the tender flesh; and he gripped the sheets in hysteric passion. Everything was so intense. It was as if he was feeling everything for the first time – and in a sense, he was. Clare smirked against his neck before devouring it some more.
Eli squirmed beneath her, biting his lip and griping the sheets within his fists. Clare loved the effect she had on him. She loved that she could drive him so crazy. She had lost her virginity to James when they were in college. It had been so dull, and so passionless. This is making love, Clare suddenly realized, this is what this is what making love is.
It was as if they had so much built up tension; as if they had both wanted to tell each other for years how they felt about one another, and now they had been miraculously given the chance.
Eli was growing good-naturedly frustrated. She had had her fun, but now it was his turn. She had made him squirm and moan (something very un-Goldsworthy like), and now, it would be his turn to do the same to her.
He flipped her, and now he was straddling her. Clare's eyes widened in anticipation. Eli started at her neck. He didn't waste a second in completely devouring her neck in bites and pleasurably painful kisses. Clare moaned and gasped with each touch. Each touch of Eli's body against hers was like an electric shock. Each touch of Eli's body against hers was so natural, and so powerful.
Eli gripped a handful of Clare's auburn curls as he continued to trail kissed down to her collarbone. Clare's head rolled back as he traced along her collarbone with his tongue.
"It's not so nice to tease someone now then, is it, Clare?" Eli grinned wickedly.
"I hate you," Clare wined.
"You do not," Eli rolled his eyes, "You love me and I know it."
"Shut up," it was Clare's turn to roll her eyes. Suddenly, something clamored out in the living room, "What was that?"
"Guys you wouldn't believe who I ran into…guys? Anyone home?" Adam called, making his way down the hall.
Eli dropped his forehead to Clare's, and grinned against her lips as he said, "Busted!"