Nothing is mine.
1. Reluctant Confession
Hayley sat on the porch swing, taking advantage of the warm evening. She was getting serious cabin fever, but there was nothing to be done. This pregnancy equated to being cooped up in a sprawling southern mansion. Technically, it wasn't such a bad gig. She had spent a longer time in places that were much, much worse. But after a few weeks, she needed to see something other than white walls and meandering garden walkways.
"You went through my things?"
She jumped a little, startled from her own thoughts.
Elijah had been returned to them two days prior. Things were even more frosty in the Mikaelson household – if such a thing was even possible. The siblings had found no common ground.
"Urm... no. I didn't," she said as a knee-jerk reaction. Of course, it was a lie. And he knew it immediately if his raised brow and indulgent smile was anything to go by.
Elijah walked into view and leaned against the porch balustrade, a hand in his pocket. For someone that had spent a week in a coffin, he looked remarkably good. As usual, he wore a dark, three-piece suit, the jacket of which was discarded. But the waistcoat and tie were impeccable.
Hayley grimaced. "Busted. Sorry."
He shrugged, looking off into the distance for a minute. "No, not at all."
She clasped her hands in her lap, but gently set the swing in motion, the gentle rocking calming. "How did you know? I was meticulous about the way I put things back. I've been known to have done some breaking and entering in my colourful past."
He chuckled. "Believe it or not, I could smell you."
Hayley laughed. "That sounds gross."
"Trust me, it wasn't. It isn't."
She looked away, feeling her cheeks heating. Is he flirting with me? Hayley snapped her jaw shut and bit down on her lip uncertainly.
"It suits you, you know." He pushed away from the railing and came to sit beside her on the swing. Suddenly, the seat was no longer calming and peaceful. It felt cramped. Maybe that was because their thighs toughed slightly. Barely.
"My smell?" She could not help her embarrassed laughter.
"No, laughter. You should do it more often."
She looked away because his eyes were mesmerizing and it was inappropriate. He is this baby's uncle, she chastised herself silently. She didn't need this kind of complication. She could have groaned because she found him attractive. Admitting it only made her so much more aware of him. I'm a freak.
"This is the first time I've laughed in I don't know how long. Most everything has been doom and gloom. Especially when you were away," she allowed herself to admit. "Thank you. For a moment of… lightness, I guess."
She rose from the swing, about to go inside. Distance would be best. "Hayley?"
"Did you find what you were looking for?" At her querying look, he clarified. "Among my things."
From her vantage point, she was looking down at him. The wind rustled his hair ever so slightly. She was annoyed at herself for even noticing.
"A couple of photos - you had weird hair by the way - some ledgers, laundry lists - really?" He smiled but waited for something more. Damn he was good. She confessed. "Yeah. Kinda."
He raised his brow and she wrestled with whether to tell him. I'm already heading over the line of appropriate. What's one more confession going to do?
"I guess," she paused, choosing her words. "I just wanted to know what you were thinking. And whether I could actually trust you."
"And what did you discover?" He stood too and instead of looking down, she now had to crane her neck upwards. She felt hot again.
She moved backwards towards the railing he had been leaning against. "That you're poetic, that you write beautifully, that your penmanship leaves much to be desired–" she teased and he chuckled.
Hayley sobered and continued, "– that you have darkness in you, like we all do I suppose." Her eyes flickered to his and he was staring at her intently. He nodded his head in acknowledgement of her judgment. "But mainly that you are every bit as gallant as you have been towards me… The lonely, homeless, knocked up wolf girl, stranger… person." The last bit came out in an uncertain rush. She had said too much.
"Gallant?" He had pushed both hands into his pockets and she bit her lip again. Oh boy. He really did look good standing like that.
Hayley laughed. "I guess I have been reading too much of your diary. Good night Elijah."
"Elijah?" she called from the French doorway.
"Its good to have you back."
He winked at her. "For what its worth, I missed you too. And, you're not a stranger. And you're no longer alone."
She didn't say anything, couldn't. Because she may have had the urge to launch herself into his arms. It was absurd. She barely knew him. She blamed it on the hormones. That night though, her dreams were filled with him.
I am in so much trouble.
a/n: Might evolve into a series of drabbles because I need a place to park all my feels