Disclaimer: I do not own The Host or any of its characters. They are the property of Stephanie Meyer. I do, however, own the plot of this fan fiction.
A/N: Just a little ditty that popped into my head.
A BIG thank you to the amazing ddpjclaf for betaing and my buddy Chriswich007 for his review!
This One Will Be Ours – The Host fanfic
Warm breath on skin. That's what I awoke to. Without the use of my eyes, my nerve endings were hypersensitive. A shiver raced down my spine as the tip of his nose tickled up the back of my neck. He pressed his lips lightly against the scar at the base of my hairline. A rush of breath escaped my lips, and it was only then that I realized I'd been holding it.
"I'm sorry," Ian murmured into my neck, "I didn't mean to wake you."
His arms – one under my neck, now curled across my collarbone, hand cupping my shoulder and the other snaked under my arm and across my waist – tightened slightly, pulling me impossibly closer to the warmth of his body. I threaded my fingers with his.
"Don't apologize," I whispered back.
"How long have you been awake?" he asked, pressing his lips to my shoulder. My stomach clenched in excited anticipation, though I knew this wouldn't go much further.
In the three months since the rains had stopped, since Ian and I took residence in our own private room, not one time had any of our kisses – sweet or otherwise – led to anything more. Ian stopped every time with a muted groan and a chaste kiss against my forehead, as if he were trying to gain back some semblance of restraint. And although he whispered undoubtedly devoted promises of love, it still hurt. As irrational as it was, it still hurt. I knew he was only stopping because he thought he shouldn't push us further. That I wasn't ready, or I didn't want it, or I needed more time. That couldn't have been further from the truth. But my new body betrayed me each time I vowed to communicate this to Ian.
Pet's body – my body – was fragile in every sense. It was taking time and considerable effort not to give way to its bashful tendencies. Each time Ian pulled away to gather himself, I felt myself blush with dejected disappointment. Words and resolve escaped me. I could only nod and curl into his side, hoping the strength would not abandon me another day.
"Just till now. And you?"
"I'm not sure," he whispered, nuzzling his nose against my neck again. "It's easy to lose track of time when I'm with you like this."
I smiled out into the dark room. "In bed?"
"Just . . . alone . . . no pressing task at hand, no . . . interruptions."
My muscles clenched again.
Ian pulled his arm from my waist and ran a finger down my neck, starting at my scar and stopping just at the top bump of my spine.
"Sometimes I forget," he whispered as if he weren't even really talking to me, but rather to himself, "that you're right here under the surface." I shivered again. "But I never forget how beautiful you are . . . my silver angel. My Wanderer." He pressed another kiss to the skin under which my true self resided.
I rolled over in his arms, settling in place with my hands folded up between us. Ian rested his palm against my cheek, and in the soft moonlight trickling in from the cracks in the stone ceiling, he traced his thumb under my eye. I knew he was studying the silver ring that crowded my irises. I blinked self-consciously and dropped my gaze to my clasped hands.
"Hey," Ian chided softly, "look at me." He ran his finger under my eye once again. "Please don't hide from me, Wanda. You know you don't have to. You know I love you, silver eyes and all."
I looked back up at him, and as our gazes met, he searched my face for any doubt. I studied the unsettling reflection of my silver irises in his dark blue ones. It made the pleasurable clenching in my stomach twist into a painful knot. The thought of a Soul in Ian's body was my worst fear.
I took in a shuddering breath and lifted a hand to his face, my fingers dancing delicately over his brow and down his eyelids, closing them as they passed. I stopped at his lips, ran my fingers across them once, and then my thumb back to the other side. He parted them unconsciously.
I lifted my chin to close the few centimeters between us, and when our lips met, the familiar slow burning heat flared into an inferno at the pit of my being. What I had intended as a warm and gentle kiss, though still full of the overwhelming love I felt for Ian, quickly turned into something desperate.
Wrapping his hand around the back of my neck, Ian skimmed his middle finger over my scar again. He parted my lips with his and his warm tongue dipped into my mouth. The excited fluttering in my stomach came back with a vengeance and I fisted my hands into the front of his worn t-shirt, meeting him kiss for kiss.
My heart raced and my head spun. I was in a state of euphoria, a feeling I remembered well from Mel's memories of Jared. But it was so different experiencing it in person instead of through a memory. I didn't think I could feel more deliciously out of control than those memories of Jared made me feel, but Ian's lips scorched across mine, setting everywhere he kissed aflame. I gasped between breaths. Our legs tangled together, and I hooked one over Ian's hip, pushing my own hips into his. He broke our fervent kiss and rolled me onto my back, his body half covering mine. He leaned his forehead against mine and I could feel the frantic beating of our hearts against opposite sides of my chest.
"Good . . . or bad?" I asked and Ian laughed quietly.
I loosened my grip in his shirt. The worn cotton wrinkled where I'd held it, and I flattened my palms against his chest.
And then he groaned. That resolved groan of reluctant restraint. I hated that groan. It haunted my desires. He pressed his lips to my forehead and moved to roll off me. I grabbed his shoulders and pulled against him.
"Don't. Don't leave me."
"I'm not going anywhere, Wanda, just . . . taking a breather." He took a deep breath and kissed my temple lightly. "I'm right here." He didn't roll off me like he meant to a moment before, but he relaxed his body so that it was lying half on and half off of me. His breathing had evened out and there was no urgency in how his hand stroked at the side of my face and through the pale waves there.
I felt the familiar serpent of rejection coil in my gut and my skin flushed with heat. I opened my mouth to say something, though I didn't know what. When no words came, as I knew none would, I closed my lips again and bit down on the bottom one, feeling my throat tighten with an oncoming sob, tears burning at the back of my eyes. Irrational hurt. As desperately as I tried, I felt the traitorous tears spill over and run down the sides of my face into my hair.
Ian's thumb froze when the warm wetness of my tears reached him. I squeezed my eyes shut, anger taking place of the hurt. Anger for myself. Anger for Ian. I was angry that I let this body's fragile emotions take over again, angry that I couldn't find the words and the guts to tell Ian what I wanted, what I was feeling. And I was angry at Ian for never asking me what I wanted.
Just like our entire community in the caves had taken it upon themselves to protect and coddle me from the dangers of the outside world, as well as the daily tasks and chores of our cave life, Ian had taken the terms of our relationship into his own hands and commandeered my say in this situation.
"Wanda?" Ian whispered.
I turned my face away and tried to reign in my foolish emotions.
"Wanderer? What's wrong?" He pushed up on one elbow and turned my face back to his. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have . . . Talk to me, please."
"Oh, Ian!" I cried, the sob finally breaking free from my throat. "Why?"
"Why . . . why, what?" In the glowing moonlight I could just make out the confused furrow of Ian's brow and the worried skittering of his eyes over my face.
I struggled to compose myself, wiping at the tears on my face but they were quickly replaced with fresh ones. Swallowing against the tightness in my throat, I took a few breaths, attempting to gather the courage to speak my thoughts. When I opened my mouth, it all came out in one rushed sentence.
"Why do you stop us every time? I know you think I'm pretty, you've told me yourself and you wouldn't kiss me and hold me like you do if that wasn't true. But I don't understand why you keep yourself from me and why I don't have a say in that. My body is eighteen and my soul thousands of times older than that, older than you! And I love you more than any being I've ever known in any life, and still you pull away from me! Why Ian? Why are you torturing me this way?" I took in one long shaky breath and held it for a moment before releasing it.
Ian just stared at me, his eyes wide and his dark brows hidden in the curls hanging over his face. I became painfully aware of how silent the caves were and prayed in my head that everyone was deep enough asleep that my breakdown had gone unheard. By everyone except Ian, that is.
"Say something!" I begged.
Ian did roll off me then and sat up, pulling his legs up and propping his arms on his knees and resting his head in his hands. I sat up too, albeit slower, and hugged my legs to my chest. My heart sped with nervous anticipation of his answer. My pulse pounded in my ears and it took me a moment to realise Ian was speaking.
"Wanda, you're not . . . ready for that, as much as you may think so. It's a common misconception of human adolescence – and don't think for a minute I ever believed you are actually eighteen, Wanda. I know you better than anyone – well except maybe Mel – but you should know, I can tell when you're lying." The last part he said with a bit of a smirk. I couldn't help but feel defensive.
"God, Ian! That doesn't even matter! I'm older than it, and you, and everyone else in this place!"
Ian's face grew serious again. "Maybe, Wanda, but your experience with humans is young. You haven't even been on Earth a year yet."
"Almost!" I countered feebly. He rolled his eyes at me, and I laughed though I didn't find any of this particularly funny. Ian must have caught the sardonic sound to it.
"It's just . . . you think the amount of time I've spent on this planet matters."
"I suppose, in a sense, the longer we have with the memories, and the more chances we have to parallel actual experiences to them, the better we're able to understand the feelings behind them."
"What are you talking about?"
"You think I'm inexperienced. You think I don't know about sex and its effect on humans. You're wrong, Ian. Don't forget that I have those memories." I tapped my temple lightly. "Even if I wasn't in the body when they occurred, the memories are like my own. It's as good as if I were there." I smiled sheepishly at him, knowing what I'd just revealed.
Ian pondered this for a moment and then cautiously asked, "Did Pet . . . ?"
I watched and waited and so I was not surprised when his face darkened, and he said tightly, "Melanie . . . and . . . Jared. You remember being with Jared."
I didn't say anything this time; I didn't nod. He didn't need me to. So I waited for him to allow that to sink in.
"All this time," he began slowly. "All this time I've been agonizing over a few silly little kisses he gave you that were meant for Melanie . . . I didn't know . . . I didn't think about what else you'd experienced with him." He didn't sound angry, just shocked and sad.
"No Ian, not with him! It's not . . . we didn't . . . God, how do I explain this?" I said to myself, feeling the panic rising in my blood. "How do I explain to you the difference between the memory and the actual act, when all your memories are your own?"
"Wanda! You just said that you were ready for all of this because of these memories and now you're saying I shouldn't hold them at the same weight when you tell me they're with Jared? You can't have it both ways!" I could hear the frustration in his voice now and it worried me. Why did I have to open my big mouth? Why couldn't I have just let things play out? Maybe Ian would have come around in a few weeks or so.
I scrambled up on my knees and scurried to Ian's side, placing one hand on his knee and the other on his shoulder. His face was covered by his hands again.
"Ian. Ian, please! Forget what I said. It's not important. Just trust that I know the significance of what we do and that I only want it with you. Don't punish me for memories I can't help having. Please, Ian!"
He dropped his hands and studied my face for a long time.
"I'm not punishing you, Wanda, I don't mean to. I just . . . I thought I was done feeling this way over you and Jared. I didn't think there was more to feel this way about."
"I love you. You're my partner. I don't want Jared, and he loves Mel. There's nothing to be jealous about. Melanie's memories are just that: hers." He tried to look away from me and I grabbed his chin. "Let me make some of my own now."
A thick silence hung between us as I watched him watching me, lost in thought. And then, in one quick motion, Ian lowered his knees, twisted his body towards mine, grabbed my face between his large hands, and with almost too much force, crashed our lips together. I gasped and he closed his mouth over mine, our tongues meeting in ecstasy. He caught my lip between his teeth and bit down, grazing them hard over the fleshy inside. It was almost painful, but a moan escaped my lips nonetheless. I lifted one leg over his to straddle his waist and he wrapped his arms tightly around me. My head was spinning, in need of air.
With a measure of control I didn't have, Ian slowed our frenzied kisses and caresses and let me catch my breath, though he was panting deeply enough to need it himself. With my brain in a heated haze, Ian carefully popped each button from its hole on the old shirt I slept in and pushed it off my shoulders. Night air met my skin and I shivered in spite of its warmth. Ian dropped his hands to my thighs and squeezed gently.
Brushing his lips softly over mine once, twice, three times, Ian whispered, "this one will be ours, Wanda, just you and me."
I wrapped my now bare arms around his neck and pressed my lips firmly to his. And just as I'd thought about, dreamed about, yearned for, we lost ourselves in each other's touch, my alien soul meeting his human one.