Solace ~ h.s.

If he weren't there... I don't know what would have happened.

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43. ⪻ 43 ⪼

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H.

The sheets are soft against my skin, the fabric heating my barely clothed body as I shuffle around trying to find a more comfortable position to lie in. I had been in and out of consciousness for the last five minutes, trying hard not to wake entirely. Reaching out, my hand searches for the girl lying next to me, knowing the only way I’ll be able to get back to sleep is if she’s pressed to my chest.

My eyes snap open to meet an empty bed and a silent room, confusion taking over my every thought and feeling. My fingers drift across the mountains of sheets and duvet that had covered her shivering body last night, only now to drift across a covered mattress.

Worry begins to creep in bit by bit as I softly call out Annabelle’s name whilst I sit up. I’m given no response as I stretch out my upper body and reach for my phone sitting on my bedside. Just as I’m scrolling through the awaiting notifications, hoping to find one from my girlfriend, I hear the door to the room opening and shutting.

Annabelle appears to be in her own little world, headphones in and her head in the clouds. She bops around with each step setting the two to-go cups she’s holding onto the desk near the foot of the bed.

“Morning, darling.” I say to her, my voice full of sleep, as she begins taking one headphone out of her ear. My voice startles her, causing her to jump and place and her hand to cover her heart.

“Oh, good morning.” She answers, sending me a smile once she sees that I’m sitting up awake in bed. She turns around fully and I see she’s wearing a her favourite skinny jeans and a jumper she bought a couple weeks ago when we went out, one that I absolutely love her in.

“I was wondering where you buggered off to, had me a bit worried.” I admit to her as she picks the cups back up and walks over to her side of the bed, which just so happens to be my favourite side of the bed, but I compromise.

I’ve always slept on the right side of the bed, and so has Annabelle. Ultimately she won the fight of if we were to ever share a bed she’d be granted the right side, as long as I was able to cuddle her as much as I wanted.

Crawling up onto the mattress, Annabelle hands me the cup before taking a seat beside me and leaning back against the headboard. I thank her before taking a cautious sip, finding it to be a tea with just right amount of sweetness in it; just the way I like it.

“I just went and grabbed some coffee and tea, and took a little walk.” She says to me, taking a sip of what I can only presume to be a heavy dose of coffee. She prefers coffee over tea, whilst I prefer the latter. “You were out cold so I figured you wouldn’t miss me too much.” Smiling over at Annabelle, I pucker my lips every so slightly and place a chaste kiss to her cheek causing her to wriggle at the sensation of my slight stubble on her cheek.

I offered to shave it for her, but she refused,stating she liked my face with a little stubble. SHe thought it was sexy, so who am I to deny my girl the face of a sexy man?

“Well, I did miss you, so much.”

“Good, because I missed you too.” Annabelle tells me, letting her eyes fall closed as she releases a deep yawn from the depths of her body.

“You seem tired.” I point out, Annabelle peeking over at me with one eye. “How long have you been up?” I wonder, trying to remember the last time I felt Annabelle slip out of bed.

Annabelle warned me of her sleeping patterns before the first time I officially spent the night. She told me it takes her forever to fall asleep and then once she does; she enjoys tossing from side to side every so often, even when she’s completely unaware; and lastly she gets up to wee at least once, if not twice, a night.

That being said, I’ve gotten used to feeling her slip out of bed and then tiptoe back into bed at least once a night. It doesn’t bother me too much, even though she apologizes nearly every morning, sometimes even after returning from the loo in the dead of the night.

“A while.” Annabelle sighs and pouts her bottom lip out slightly. “I couldn’t really sleep to begin with and then I just gave up around five.” She tells me, glancing at the clock on my side of the bed.

My poor, sleepless girl has been up for nearly three hours already.

“I’m sorry, love.”

“You should be, it was your snoring that kept me up.” Annabelle jokes, poking my bare side with her freshly painted fingernails. She claimed that she wasn’t going to meet her birth parents without a fresh coat of nail lacquer covering her normally bare nails; claimed she just wouldn’t have it.

“Lies. I don’t snore.” I lie, knowing pretty well that I do in fact snore, even if it is only a little bit.

“You sort of do.” Pouting dramatically, I stick my bottom lip as far as I can and make the saddest face possible, just to get a giggle out of Annabelle. It works as she reaches over and squishes my cheeks, placing a barely there kiss to my lips. “Don’t pout, it’s rather cute.”

“Why thank you.”

Annabelle lets go of my cheeks and lowers her head down onto my shoulder, staring at the foot of our shared bed to where our cases lay opened on the floor. Neither of us appear to care if our hotel room is wrecked in least, our clothes from yesterday simple discarded on the floor; more so mine than hers, but we still share the mess.

Ever since our day out yesterday, Annabelle has been quite quiet and I presume it’s from nerves. I asked her last night if she wanted to discover some soft of night life out in Inverness, perhaps stop by another pub or something. Annabelle simply wanted to stay in and sleep, though it would appear she didn’t do much of that last night.

“What’s the real reason behind your sleepless night?” I ask after our prolonged silent cuddle.

Annabelle shrugs her shoulders and releases a deep sigh. I know she likes to bottle everything in, but she’s been getting better at sharing everything with me; whether it be Edward related, anxiety related, career related, you name it, we’re talking about it.

“You think you know me well enough, what do you think?” Annabelle says to me as she sits to her full height, wiggling her brows at me whilst taking a sip of her coffee. Setting my tea onto the bedside table I shift my body to capture Annabelle in my arms, pulling her relatively light figure onto my lap.

“I think you’re worried and nervous about meeting your parents.” Nodding her head, Annabelle agrees with me, her eyes cast down at her hands clutching the coffee cup.

“Yeah.” Her voice is barely there, wafting into the air in a whisper. “It's the uncertainty on how today is going to go. You know I like to have a plan, most of the time. Today is one of those times where I would like to know everything that’s going to happen.”

From the beginning, she’s always been one to want to be in control. She’s not too keen on surprises, which is why I try to keep her in the loop about everything, but I do like to implement a bit of spontaneous surprises in our relationship. She likes to be aware of all the plans in a day’s time to plan for an emergency situation that may occur.

Once I decided to take her and Edward out to play footie. There was a slim chance of rain and Annabelle planned an entire backup plan if Edward didn’t want to play in the rain or the weather proved to be too cold, etc.

And when something goes wrong that she hasn’t planned for? She’s a mess. Annabelle claims she doesn’t freak out, but she’ll excuse herself away from myself any anyone else we’re with and have a little breakdown. Usually there’s pacing, occasionally there’s tears.

“Let’s say we get there and Grace Reid and Edan Thomson do in fact live at this location. Then what? What if they send us away like trash? What if they get angry at me for finding her? That’s worst case scenario. Now what if they’re delighted to meet me? And what if they feel more of a connection to me than I them? What if once I tell they all about my life they wants to get to know myself and Edward better? What if -”

“Hey.” I shush her from her rambling, noticing how worked up she’s getting as her chest heaves and falls heavily. I can almost see the wheels turning in her brain, the cause for the contoured features on her normally smooth face. “If they get too overbearing, you can shut it down whenever you feel uncomfortable. Or tell me and I’ll shut it down.” I assure her, trying to get her to calm down in the slightest.

“Remember, you said it yourself yesterday, you are your own person. You make the decisions about yourself and if you don’t want to do something, then you don’t have to do it. That goes for any scenario, not just this one. Okay?”

“Yeah, okay.” Annabelle tells me, but she seems reluctant to let the words slip out of her mouth. “And what if they hate me?”

“Not possible.” I promise her. “And on the off chance that they turn you away, I’ll change their minds.” There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for this girl and if it meant knocking some sense into her birth parents, I would do it.

“No violence.” She tries to keep a straight face, but I can see the corner of her lips curling upwards.

“Alright, no violence.” I find myself smiling now that she too is trying not to break a smile. There for awhile I thought that we were going to have tears, and I hate seeing them streak her beautiful face.

Annabelle shuffles off my lap, causing me to inwardly groan at the friction she’s caused inadvertently. She has no idea what she does to me, mainly because I’m usually the first one to get up, so I have time to fix problems like the one residing in my pants.

“You should get ready.” She tells me as she sets her coffee on her bedside table and lowers herself back into the confines of the duvet and sheets. I watch as she pulls her phone out of her pocket and focuses her attention on the screen before making a move to get out of bed.

“You’re right. I’m going to shower.” I announce to her as I stand from bed and quickly walk towards the loo.

“Have fun.” She calls after me, chuckling lightly to herself.

Once I’ve made it to the confines of the loo, I’m about to close the door but I’m quick to poke my head out to address Annabelle.

“Care to join?” I wonder, watching as Annabelle’s eyes widen before her attention is drawn from her phone towards my direction.

“You’re a comedian.” She jests, laughing loudly at my not-so-joke. I was joking, but if she had agreed, I wouldn’t be disappointed.

“One day you won’t laugh like I was joking.” Annabelle reaches towards her coffee cup, lifting it up in air as a toast to me.

“Until that day.”

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