My first Eli and Clare story. I hope you enjoy this, it's been in the making and in the mind for a while- and it feels great to finally get it typed out :)
Enter the beginning.
"Coffee Date at Dawn"
"Good morning, baby."
His calm greeting came out in a whispered voice. She could smell the soothing mixture of his natural light vanilla scent that for some indescribable reason reminded her of a summer's evening.
Mmm…Eli. Her eyes were still closed but she could sense that he was there, staring at her. She slowly opened her eyes, only to see his emerald orbs staring back at her blue ones.
Clare semi groaned. Eli was crouched down next to what she though was their bed and was level with where her head was rested on the pillow. Her vision was still blurred, but she felt him as he leaned in and kissed her forehead.
Clare's eyes slowly became adjusted to her surroundings but soon realized that she was in fact not in their bedroom, she had fallen asleep in the living room while writing and editing her piece for a series that she was working on for the next issue of 'The Exponent', a newspaper she currently worked for as a journalist and one of the members on the editors team for the 'Features' and 'Related Arts' section.
Eli inhaled lightly as he stared at his Clare.
'Mmm…sweet sweet strawberries'…He realized that for an indescribable reason, her scent always reminded him of an autumn evening's breeze.
Eli looked down at the girl who had wrapped herself around his heart in one swift motion years ago. She had been so tired lately; he couldn't help but feel concerned for Clare seeing her in such a busy and stressed state these past few weeks.
He knew they both were having a bit of trouble keeping up with one another lately, always on a different schedule, never quite on the same wavelength with her job at The Exponent, and his hours at UT, teaching English Literature, Modern Literature, and Application of The Arts courses. His Publisher and Editor were also very demanding over the past few months as he rushed to meet a deadline for his latest novel.
Eli hadn't planned on continuing his first book as a series, but after "Crimson and Gold" received a surprising amount of recognition, reviews and comments, he found himself pounding at the keyboard lacing together more scenarios, plots, and intriguing characters into the tale he had created. He finally sent a hard copy of his second edition to the series to his Editor a week ago and was now finding his rhythm back into his and Clare's life.
He realized, however, that she was not quite over her own personal mountain of work in terms of her current projects; she was still staying up late nights trying to get everything in order, edited, and ready for presentation.
God, she had him. She had him good. Truth be told, if they were going to strip everything down for what it was worth, Clare's fifteen year old self had him at hello…or rather at, "Sylvia Plath killed herself."
He couldn't help but let his lips tug into a smile as he thought back to that day in their English Lit. class ten years ago, and how being sixteen years old seemed like a lifetime ago.
'And look how far we've come…' Eli thought nostalgically.
Eli had successfully graduated from Degrassi and was accepted into NYU, and Clare was not far behind as she entered her senior year. That first year had been tough, but truth be told, it was only preparing the two of them for their biggest challenge. Clare was accepted to Stanford and it was at that point they both realized they were going to have to work harder than ever to keep going strong.
Long distance was not easy. There were many a nights that consisted of arguments, snapping, tears, and straight up exhaustion. And yet, they made it work.
Eli remembered back a few years to the night he came up for the weekend to visit Clare. After two hours of disagreeing, arguments and feeling exhausted and hopeless Eli found himself on the verge of breaking.
"It's not supposed to be easy Eli!" She shouted at him, as if trying to get through to whatever doubts he was feeling.
"I know Clare! But we are stretching ourselves thin with patience, and I'm still trying to grasp that whole 'Love is patient Love is Kind' thing!" He shouted in annoyance.
He remembered it so clearly, because he was absolutely surprised by Clare's response.
She looked right at him and shouted "And sometimes Love means slowly losing your mind, but that doesn't mean I will love you any less Eli Goldsworthy! If anything I come out of these hard times never loving you any less! I don't care if there are some nights that my patience is pulled so thin that it breaks—because I will always come out of it loving you with everything I have."
It was in that moment that everything clicked, as if any feelings of doubt were pushed aside. They would make it work no matter what. And with that, they helped each other and pushed through. They made it through University and long distance, and entered "adult world".
And now here they were, back near Toronto, in somewhat familiar surroundings, both grown with some form of life experience under their belts. With Clare being twenty five, and Eli being twenty-six, it was as if the '"adult world" literally crept up on them.
Eli shook himself from his thoughts and snapped back to the present. He watched as Clare's eyes closed again, clearly ignoring his attempts to wake her up.
"Come on baby, I know you are tired but start the day with me. You won't regret it."
How cute, she was being difficult.
"Let's go my little journalist, up!" dissatisfied by her lack of enthusiasm to move, he removed the sheets from her horizontal form causing her to curl up and bring her legs up and close to her chest, her figure resembling that of a fetal position.
"That doesn't mean anything Clare. I haven't seen my beautiful brilliant journalist at all lately. Come on, time to get up. " He knelt down once again and pushed a few auburn curls out of her face. She shook her head lightly and continued to doze off back into slumber.
He sighed, almost feeling defeated. He then decided to bring into action his wake-up-call tactics.
He gave her a small and soft kiss on her nose that got a small smile from her in return.
He watched the edges of her lips turn upward, her mouth making the "Mmm" sound that he loved so much.
"Aw, you like that Clare?" he came in closer to the crook of her neck and began to nuzzle her continuously. "Eli like's it too."
"Do whatever you want to me, just don't wake me up." She mumbled, clearly not a morning person today. She then turned to the side ignoring his attempt to bring her to life.
As tempting as that offer was coming from Clare, who was in a slight sleep-induced coma, He only stuck to the simple wakeup call tactics. He would get her back later…and she most definitely will not want to be asleep during that. Caught up in his own head, Eli was grinning like a fool but snapped out of it when he saw she was as good as asleep once again.
"Alright baby, I knew you were going to be difficult. So I was a good and brought you something that you quite frankly can't resist."
She heard the steps as he made an exit from the room, only a moment long enough to grab something from the kitchen. As he made his way back she could immediately smell the irresistible aroma of coffee grinds, the scent bitter, roasted and strong from where she laid.
He sat next to her on the couch and moved the four dollar and fifty cent latte around her nose, intoxicating her senses further as he held one for himself in his other free hand.
She was still buried in her pillow, but she extended a single arm, her hand was outreached waiting for the beautiful god sent drink.
"That is no way for you to thank the man in your life that has brought you this beautiful gift." She smiled back at him, hardly wanting to dispute anything he threw at her at this hour. Finally, she made her way to sit up and he handed her the coffee cup and watched as she slowly drank her coffee.
She leaned against him resting her head on his shoulder.
"Mm, you know the way to my heart at 7am. How on earth did I get so lucky?" She asked gratefully in her raspy morning voice that he always found unbelievably sexy.
"Anything for my girl." He whispered as he kissed the side of her head through her lovely disheveled hair. "I'm so sorry we haven't seen much of each other this past month Clare. It seems like all this work has been getting to both of us. I miss you, baby."
Clare looked up at Eli who face looked sad and disappointed; she reached out and caressed his cheek reassuringly.
"Hey…You have nothing to be sorry about. You're here now, I'm here now. At this very moment I couldn't ask for more." She told him in all seriousness, and brought his face towards hers for a kiss.
"Mmm…Clare, how did I get so lucky?" He said with an equally heartfelt smile, mimicking her previous words.
They sat there for a while, simply enjoying their coffees, and enjoying each other's company, the sun's bright ray's streaming through the window, marking the mornings beginning.
Eli was currently running his fingers through her hair while she was rubbing her free hand over his thigh.
"Clare, now that you are speaking in full sentences, you can get yourself in that shower and get ready for the day." He told her, in hopes to further motivate her to make her way out of bed and join the rest of the world with him.
She continued sipping her coffee. And to Eli's surprise, she sent him that sleepy sexy look of hers before responding.
"Only if you join me." She breathed out, a smile creeping on those beautiful lips of hers.
Eli did not need to be told twice.
"And, how, Mrs. Goldsworthy could I possibly say no to such an invitation?"
And that is the beginning.
Looks like Eli and Clare are trying to keep up with each other and meet in the middle after missing each other due to their hectic lives…and Eli is subtly noticing Clare's stress and exhaustion.
Let me know what you think—reviews greatly appreciated!
Reviews = Love
Love = Happiness and Motivation
Motivation = New Chapter Faster
Need I say more? ;)
Til' next time