And your heart's against my chest, your lips pressed to my neck
I'm falling for your eyes, but they don't know me yet
And with a feeling I'll forget, I'm in love now
Kiss me like you wanna be loved

'Kiss Me'- Ed Sheeran

He didn't really know why she was crying. He never asked. She was quiet when she stepped inside the door. Her back rested against the dry grain and her eyes lightly fed tears to the floor beneath her. His eyes landed on her heaving chest and as he stepped forward on the creaking floor she dropped to her knees. He listened to her gasp. Her laugh was strained at her loyal dog lapped the tears from her cheeks. She ruffled his fur until her sadness returned, her sharp eyes turning dull in the dark. The dog whimpered but trotted away as the man approached her with ghostlike silence. Her neck dropped and she stared to the floor, her hands reaching upwards for him to grasp. He did so, gently, and pulled her from her place, and once she was standing he gave her hands a gently squeeze before letting go.

When she finally looked up at him, there was hope in her eyes. Something he radiated pulled her back to reality. His thumb grazed her cheek and rested on her temple, willing her forward until her breast touched his. She looked up, her lips quivering in anger and raw emotion. He quieted their shivers with a finger against them. They were warm and it send chills down his spine. They turned upwards in a gentle smile and he leaned down to whisper honey into her soft ear, and he slid his lips over her neck. Reassurance of the spoken nothings.

She moved even closer and took his hands, wrapping them around her until he straightened his spine, staring down at her with such adoration he's never experienced before. He pulled her arm out to their side and there they stood in the threshold of the apartment, tears and smiles. Smoke and steel.

One, two, three, four.

He counted in a hushed breath, taking her in a single stride and moving his feet back and forth. She let out a chuckle, quiet like her usual tone but deep within her chest. He felt her forehead against his chest and he smiled. After all this time a dance could still make her feel better.

He stopped when he felt something warm on his neck.

One, two, three, four.

Her heartbeat was stuttering and he could feel it. It almost matched his. It did match his. His eyes were wider when her feet slid between his and she rose to her toes. He instinctively leaned downward and in a moment of ignorant quiet their lips collided. Hers opened slightly, ever so slightly, drawing a breath of lust from his mouth. He closed his eyes and his arms moved from her outside to her inside, fingers digging into her uniform and tugging her as close as he could. Even behind the windows of his eyes all he could see were those beautiful eyes. Golden and saddened but beautiful all the same. Deep and shadowed and calloused and bruises. Torn and hidden and quiet and loving.

Warm, like he was right now. He loved her warmth. He loved it more than anything. He broke the kiss to pull in air and he felt giddy when their air mixed. It was better than nicotine, her breath. It was better than cigarette smoke. How it swirled around him and lifted him up. She was a high, better than any drug, and he never wanted to come down.

He almost kissed her again but the tears returned. She gasped for air and her fingers dug into his shirt, tugging him forward. Her face tussled the fabric and her tears stained his shirt. She sobbed into him. She wept, and he held her.

He told her he'd keep her safe. She promised to stay forever. And in a silent moment they vowed to be together for the not so nearly infinite days ahead.

They stepped in time to the bedroom, but not to fulfill passion. Of course he'd never felt any such things besides lust and the occasional puppy love, so gestures towards the forbidden room were unalike what he was now considering.

She laid herself on the bed and tugged him down with her. He hovered above her, arms on either side of her shoulders and he lowered himself dangerously close.

Her hands rested on the back of his neck and she continued to cry. He remained there, sore arms and legs, until she was only looking at him and her tears had left her. He glanced at her lips. Her neck. Her hips. Her legs. She was so warm. She was just so warm.

He felt her heartbeat again in the silence and he smiled. So did she.

He told her that she was beautiful. She kissed him in thanks. He kissed back with a yearning he'd never touched on. She allowed him to caress her and to kiss her. He allowed her to tug his shirt over him and she allowed the same.

She pushed him off of her with a smile and laid beside him. They breathed into each other. They stared into the darkness. They stared into each other's eyes. He cursed her silently for having such a beautiful body and a beautiful soul. She cursed him quietly for smelling so damn good. Cigarettes and candles. Aftershave and ashes.

He sat on his side and kissed her again, his hand tucked under her back. It was then that she told him that she loved him. It was the first time she'd spoken such words. It was the first time he'd realized that he loved her too.

One, two, three, four.

He kissed her again, hard, breaking her smile. He pulled her closely and told her that he loved her too.

They fell together in a race of heartbeats and the roaring of the quiet night. She fit so perfectly into his arms and he fit so flawlessly into her life. Sleep took them but not as quickly as they'd loved, and he kissed her once before the black of the night washed away their consciousness.