Without responding to Megs text, Ehren made his way to her apartment, locking his door securely behind him. He actual put himself more together tonight. A black button down with flowers and his grey blazer and matching pants. He knocked on it, hoping that he didn’t regret not taking one last good look in the mirror.
He didn’t need to be scared, he realized because he had no evidence that what happened last time would happen again. It was probably just some sort of freak accident. He smiled when she opened the door. “Can I show you something?” He asked, way too excited to wait for her to get ready.
The fact that her phone didn’t buzz with a reply was a bit odd but she thought nothing of it. A shrug and her phone was set aside in favor of what she actually had been up to - a bit of light painting. Brush would marr canvas until the knock at her door would come. Things set aside Meg moved from her place where she had been perched to paint and she hoped that she didn’t look like a crazy mess for whoever was there.
With a bit of caution she approached. Through the peephole she noticed Ehren and her smile grew as the door opened. “Hey! Wow, you look nice.” Impressed by his appearance she beckoned him inside. He seemed eager, the energy he exuded was intoxicating. “Of course you can!” She laughed, nodding.
“Hang on a second, I’ll go put on something not covered in paint.” Turning on her heel she nearly ran into her bedroom, door closing behind her. In record time for getting ready she was back out with Ehren, presentable in a short, denim miniskirt and a band tee shirt which was tied up at the hem into a knot. Her hair had been pulled up and wrapped in a scarf where it had been before.
He smirked and grabbed her hand to lead her out of her apartment. He wanted to get there quickly because he couldn’t really contain his excitement. He waited for a moment while she locked the door behind her and then began to pull her in the general direction of the arts center. “I’m sorry, I know this is probably a little sudden but I am really bad at keeping secrets and if I don’t show it to you right now I might just tell you before you get to see it. It would completely ruin the fun.” He explained, his pace brisk as they made their way.
Dani had graciously let him borrow a key to get in after hours, even though she gave him a hard time about it. “I have a surprise for you.” He finally admitted.
The door to her apartment was closed. Her bag and everything was left behind, key stuffed into the pocket of her skirt. And then they were moving in the direction of the Facility, though she was unsure where they were actually headed.
At his admission her eyebrows arched but her smile grew in anticipation. “You’re sneaky, I’ll give you that,” she laughed, hand finding his and holding it gently. A surprise for her. He’d put something together and she found it so endearing.
As they made their way into the Marigold, her curiosity only grew. “Really? That’s so sweet. What is it?”
Finally they arrived and he used Dani’s key to unlock the door. Inside it was dark with the exception of a few back-up lights. He followed the hall to find the door for the auditorium, grabbing a small flashlight off a podium near the door. As they made their way down the aisle he let go of Meg’s hand.
“Stay right there for one second.” He pleaded, slipping off toward the lighting booth where the stage lights were operated. He tried a few different ones at first, missing the center stage each time. Finally he found the right one and eased the lights up to the center of the stage where a bass sat on a stand.
He left the lighting booth and wandered back over to her to see her reaction.
Letting him lead her into the Center, Meg stayed quiet. She was curious. That was certain. Down the corridor they went after the flashlight was gathered. Into the auditorium.
Nearing the stage she wandered and then paused. A nod would come. She would do her best to remain though she wasn’t sure what they were doing here so late.
Interested, she watched the lights flicker. And then she saw it. The glimmer of the top coat in the lights and instantly she felt as if she’d been hit by a tanker truck. Her frame slouched and her hands lifted, cupping over her mouth. Tears welled up in her eyes.
It was beautiful.
He couldn’t see her face, only that her hands had come up and covered her mouth. “I had to call in a few favors, Dani is probably done being my friend with how much I’ve been bugging her.” He approached her from behind to stand next to her.
“It’s not your bass, or even one like it but it’s better than nothing and it’s yours whenever you want to come by and play it.” He offered, stuffing his hands deep into his pockets. She hadn’t said anything yet, not a thing, and he was starting to grow nervous.
It’d been years since she has seen a bass guitar; after the first year of being here her hopes of having one again had dwindled and faded. Now there was one settled on the middle part of the stage and she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. If that was possible what else could happen?
She felt his presence behind her before his voice could echo and resonate in the auditorium.
A sniffle. Meg moved a hand to wipe at her eyes which were streaming before she turned and threw herself at him. Her eyes squeezed shut and she clung to Ehren. “Thank you.”
He wrapped his arms around her as he clung to him, letting an arm drop to her back. He let his arm trail down as far as his arms would reach and brought his other hand up to her hair to run his fingers over it. “You’re welcome.” He said although it didn’t seem like the right word. She deserved to have this here.
The sniffle made his eyebrows furrow, he hoped it hadn’t just dug up old memories of her band. She’d expressed how much she missed her bass and while it would have been nice to find the one she owned, this was all he could manage.
Clinging to him, Meg buried her face in his shoulder. She didn’t deserve such a gesture. He was far too kind, too thoughtful. How had she gotten so lucky? So fortunate to have someone like him waltz into her life unexpectedly?
After a moment she raised her head. Up onto her toes, arms would wind around his neck and she leaned up to kiss him. “You’re too sweet. That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me.”
Pulling back she smiled at him. Letting go, Meg pulled back and turned, peering at the bass. She itched to play, her fingers twitched. It’d been years but a bit of practice and she would be back to her old self. Was that what she wanted, though? To fall back into old habits?
Ehren smiled at her as she looked at the bass. “Go check it out.” It wasn’t plugged into an amplifier right now so she wouldn’t be able to hear it’ right now and besides, Ehren wasn’t sure where Dani stored those things anyway. However, he was sure for her just being able to play around on it would be nice enough.
He knew he probably wouldn’t ever see a semblance of what her band had once been but he couldn’t imagine anything sadder than her missing her instrument. If there was some way for him to bring his dog here, he’d do it in a heartbeat, but who knew where she was or if she was even still alive.
He walked with her toward the stage and up the steps onto the stage where the light was shining down. “Go on.” He urged her.
Like a child being lead to the toy store she followed Ehren. Hand in hand, step by step they approached the stage where the instrument sat. She let him go and ascended the short steps, finally on the level with the bass guitar. A quick motion and she was there.
A hand would extend, fingers tracing the strings. The reverberation shook her core and another moment had her plucking the thing from the stand and pulling the strap across a shoulder.
It fit fine as far as her height was concerned. A moment was taken to really feel the guitar - the weight, how it sat in her hands, the pressure against her frame.
And then her fingers were dancing across the strings. Muscle memory was a godsend; a few failed attempts and a few pauses to correct herself and then she was playing as if she’d never left the stage at all.
He watched her from the side of the stage with rapt attention. She looked like she was in her element and the smile it brought to her face was worth all of it. There was a couch in the corner of the stage to her left and he sat on it as he watched her deftly pluck at the strings like she’d never stopped in the first place.
He supposed he was a little bit lucky. The fact that she was interested in him was pure dumb luck, that Dani would be able to help him like she did the same. Maybe his life wasn’t doomed after all, maybe he could still find some sort of semblance of happiness in this world.
He remained quiet as he watched her, mesmerized by the attention she gave the instrument.
Fingers crawled down the neck to find chords, the others plucked the strings without abandon. She swayed where she stood, rocking out to that audience of own who couldn’t really even hear the deep tones of the notes.
After a few moments she sighed and smiled happily, looking over at Ehren. Reluctantly the bass was taken off, set upon the stand. She could be there all night playing and she knew he deserved a bit of attention, too.
Moving over to where he was she nodded, “Thanks again, that was amazing. Really. So nice of you.”
He smiled up at where she stood and pushed his hand out to find hers and give it a good squeeze. A warmth filled his body as he looked at the appreciation on her face. This was what he did everything for, to help people and he wouldn’t stop for anything, not even for himself. “No problem at all.” He responded, slipping his other hand into hers.
The way she looked down at him sent a chill down his spine and his cheeks began to redden. She was so beautiful and he was so totally whipped by her. At this point he’d do anything if he meant that she would keep looking at him that way.
Her hand found his. Fingers curled into his and she moved to get closer. “You don’t know how kind that is, really. People don’t do things for people anymore.” Her lashes batted at him, lips twisted into a playful smile.
“I’ll always remember it. You should let me do something nice for you, to repay you, of course.”
“How?” He asked her, pulling her hands so that she kept coming closer to him. He didn’t want to force her but he did like the feeling of her small frame in his lap. He liked the way her fingers grasped at his own and he felt his heartbeat quicken in response.
“I mean, yeah well you are giving me a painting so I think that’s pretty even, don’t you think?” He asked her, flicking his eyes up to meet her gaze.
She bit at her lip and slid into his lap of her own will. Arms would wind around his neck and those large eyes would look up at him. “If you consider that even, then sure,” came the reply coupled with a shrug.
Her fingers slipped into his hair, she leaned in to press the ends of their noses together.
He surged forward to kiss her, placing his hands on her hips, he slid his arms around her back to pull her closer to him. He didn’t expect to feel so much of a spark between them when they started their first date but the electrical chemistry that they had physically was undeniable by now.
She was irresistible, and Ehren loved how pliant she was beneath his fingers.
She was glad he’d closed the distance and hadn’t pulled away. Her body leaned into his strong hands urging him on, really whatever was on his mind. Eyes closing she kissed him deeply. Meg couldn’t help but feel a shock of electricity any time they were together.
Never in her life had she expected such a virulent, intense connection to someone else. But out of all the people on the island she was glad it was with Ehren. She only hoped he wouldn’t abuse it.
One of his hands slid across the length of her back to lightly rake down her shoulder blades. There was something so sweet about the taste of her lips that he had a hard time resisting when he had the urge to take a bite out of them.
A soft groan escaped his lips, caught up completely in the moment. He didn’t have room in his mind right now to worry if he was going to slip into another vision. This was the only thing that his mind dared to think about.
The fact that they were in a public place even if it was after hours didn’t phase her in the slightest. She was more than comfortable settled there in his lap nearly anywhere. Their kisses continued with zeal.
And then she drew back, eyes fluttering open. “We should probably take this someplace else, yeah?” She didn’t want to upset Dani as much as she didn’t want to move.
He looked up at her, his lips a slick red circle and his breathing ragged. It was clear exactly what was on his mind and hers so he nodded, allowing his grip on her to loosen so they could stand up. When she climbed off of him he suddenly felt cold and following her up, unwrinkling some spots on his jacket where their contact had bunched it up.
“Where ever you want.” He agreed, taking her hand so that she could lead him.
Crawling out of his lap she stood up. Hands would find his and she took a step backward, then another. “Why don’t we go back to my place? Get your painting.” More than that maybe.
With a grin she turned and lead Ehren out of the place. A moment of pause to lock up and get everything shut down, and they were heading back the way they’d come.
Soon they were at her door. Fishing for the key from her skirt pocket, the apartment was unlocked and Meg pulled Ehren across the threshold.
He nodded to her suggestion and followed her home. The moment he was pulled through the threshold he crashed into her lips again, picking her up by her hips to wrap around his abdomen. He couldn’t really contain himself in this moment, so happy in this one moment to just think about what was happening right then.
With her in his arms he leaned back to shut the door and walked her over to her bedroom. When he placed her down on the bed he broke the kiss and shucked off his blazer. His fingers went to untie her shirt so that he could slip it off of her body. Glazed eyes stared at her for a moment before he leaned down to kiss her again.
A soft humming noise of delight was delivered upon his lips as their bodies crashed together again. Arms would wind around his neck, legs around his waist as he lifted her. The denim of her mini skirt rose high up over the hips and backside exposing skin once properly covered.
And then they were moving. Soft sheets would meet her. Meg sat up and pulled back, sliding out of clothes as prompted.
Exhale would come through her nose. Mouth moved against his. Her hands found his shirt and she pulled at the fabric to silently suggest the obstacle be removed.
He helped her along with the buttons on his shirt and slipped it off his shoulders before tossing it to the ground. He could feel himself push against the zipper of his pants as his fingers made their way down to pull down her denim skirt off of her slim legs. When he’d safely removed them he dipped his head down to press a kiss to the bone at her hip.
Everything about her was soft. Her skin, her hair, the smile that played on her lips and all of it was intoxicating. He climbed back up to meet her, pressing their bodies flush together and stole another kiss from her lips.
Glad for the help she pushed away the fabric of his shirt, wanting only the skin beneath. Nails would scrape playfully at the flesh exposed, leaving the faintest of red marks as if to stake claim. Out of her skirt, she kicked it away to the floor and worked out of the rest of the barriers.
Her eyes watched the way his mouth found the bone of her hip, a grin spread across her lips. He was gentle with her, she appreciated that. And then she drowned utterly in the next kiss.
Hands would scramble for purchase on skin, muscle, as she drew him flush against her and moved to lay back against warm sheets, blankets.
One hand cradled her neck as he kissed her and the other trailed down the length of her torso. He let his fingers slip beneath her panties and come to rest at the moment sensitive area. It was important for him to know that she was as into this as he was. He was not disappointed.
He ground his hips down into hers and propped himself up for a minute while he took the condom out of his pocket. Yes, maybe he was expecting to get laid tonight. He looked at her as if to get the go ahead. He wasn’t completely undressed yet but if she was into it he wanted to be reassured.
Those fingers dancing across her skin elicited sounds, had her shuddering at his touch. Tongue would slide out to graze the swell of his lips as she melted into his touch. There was no doubt she was into what was going on. She wanted it as much as he did.
Hands would slip down his frame to his waist, nimble fingers would work the button of his slacks and zipper open and apart, seeking what lay beyond. The sight of that little square of foil delighted her. “Good boy,” She breathed, nodding. Glad that one of them was prepared she hoped they could go all the way this time.
He groaned into her touch, standing up to free himself of his pants, shoes and socks. When he came back to the bed her lifting her up by her back, finding the clasps on her bra to let it fall off her shoulders. Once off he pressed delicate kisses to her chest, trailing down until he hooked his fingers into her panties, sliding them off her hips.
He let his lips wander down before pressing his tongue against that sensitive nub, desperate to hear the wanton moans from her mouth.
Meg let him go only long enough to watch him become freed from the burdens of clothing. Sitting up slowly, frame shivering and limbs spread she watched with hunger as his fingers moved and his body shook to rid itself of garments. And then once more, like a fish on a lure, she was in his grasp. Arms would shift and delicate lace would peel tenderly from skin.
Hips lifted, Meg slid out of the barrier. And to her surprise what came next caused her jaw to drop and her body to writhe. “Ohhh, Ehren!” She called, legs spread. Fingers would find the short strands of his hair and grip, head would tilt backward as her eyes closed.
He continued to swirl his tongue around before he sucked in for a brief moment. It had been a long time since he’d done this but he remembered that driving women crazy. His eyes flicked up at her to watch the look of pleasure on her face. There was nothing more beautiful in the world right now and he continued for another minute before he came back up to her again, wiping his mouth.
Ehren looked deeply into her eyes for confirmation. “You ready?” He asked her which was almost a question to himself. At this crossroads Ehren suddenly remembered what had happened last time. He had a choice to make. Would he let his fear overcome him or take a chance for once in his life?
She could feel her body vibrating at his touch. Breathless, heart hammering against its bone cage, Meg’s back arched and her grip became white knuckled. And then her eyes popped open when he pulled back. She let him go, taking a deep breath, expression desperate for more.
Nodding, she offered a smile. Waiting was a challenge when you were engrossed in a moment like that. An arm would lift, hook around him, and draw him in close while he figured out what was on his mind.
Just like when he asked her out on a date, Ehren said screw it to himself and knew he couldn’t stop now even if he wanted to. He took the condom package and ripped it open, sliding it from the tip all the way down to the base before he settled between her legs. Using one hand to guide himself inside he felt a burst of nerves explode as he pushed himself inside of her.
This was better than before, being so close to her, only using their bodies to get to their ultimate goal. He propped himself up on his hands as he rolled his hips into her languidly, allowing her legs to wrap around him for control.
He felt better than he looked, which was a hard thing to accomplish in her opinion. The pressure was welcomed and finally it gave way to what they both sought: pleasure. Meg groaned, hips pushing against his to ensure that he got as deep as he could go.
Legs would wind around his to pin him in place, keeping him from getting too far away. There was no room for regret here, they’d come too far for that.
Arms wound around his neck and Meg pulled herself up, breathing soft words into his ear.
Her whispers sent a shiver down his spine and he felt himself quicken his pace a little, making sure to arch a little deeper each time to hit that spot inside of her. She felt unbelievably good around him, slick and wet. It had been so long he would have been surprised if he lasted.
He let his mouth come to hear ear, nibbling on the lobe as her mirrored the sweet sounds she was making. Every part of his body felt like he was burning and electricity flowed through his veins.
Doing her best to match his pace, Meg struggled to focus. He was so good she couldn’t find an anchor into reality. It’s been so long since she’d coupled with anyone. She didn’t want it to end any quicker than he did though she knew it wouldn’t be the last time, either. Or maybe that was wishful thinking. Things this good never happened to her.
Head tilted to allow him better access to her ear, her eyes closed. Humming sounds of pleasure Meg dug her nails into his skin.
As she tilted her head to give better access his lips redirected their focus to her neck where at sucked a mark. He could feel the warmth building in his belly each time he rolled his hips into her. Nothing else in the world mattered except for him, Meg, and the room that they were currently in.
He let go of her neck and moaned against her skin. “Meg..” he pleaded although he wasn’t sure for what. More, less, it was all so much. His heartbeat began to quicken to an alarming rate and the flush cane to his cheeks.
She could feel his lips searing a mark into the sensitive, tender curve of flesh at her neck. Her body shuddered. When they were done each would bear the aftermath of the act - her scratch marks, his mouth marks. But she wouldn’t hide it or act as if it hadn’t happened. It was a source of pride.
“Ehren,” she moaned in reply, body twisting slightly to offer better access and deeper plunge. She bucked up against him wanting to take him to the next level of euphoria.
The way she moaned his name was enough to drive him over the edge and he pushed as hard and as deep as he could to hit that spot inside of her. It wasn’t long until he felt a surge go through him like a tidal wave and he was filling the condom. Relief washed over him that he never felt before and it suddenly occurred to him that it wasn’t happening, he wasn’t slipping into a vision.
He climbed off of her and laid down on the bed next to her, trying to slow his ragged breathing.
Her entire body tensed all at the same time, stomach fluttered and twisted, as she hit her peak. For a moment her heart stopped, breathing ceased, and then everything began to function again. Making herself untangle from him, it was with reluctance that she let him go.
But the smile on her face would not fade so easily. Her hands danced across his skin finding warmth, and Meg gathered him into her arms, closing her eyes as she rested there trying to regain herself. “Wow.”
His breathing wasn’t calming down and with his arms wrapped around her it started to quicken. “Fuck, fuck, fuck no.” He said as his vision started to blur and his eyes rolled to the back of his head.
This time he was in his apartment, and he blinked as he looked around. It looked different. The painting she had yet to give him hung over his bed. He looked around, this had to be a vision of himself.
He got up and wandered into his living room where he saw Meg. She was...pregnant???
Megan was humming softly to herself. In the living room she was standing up, painting something on a canvas by the window that overlooked the street. Sunlight poured in through lace curtains. She wouldn’t be able to stand for too long. The swollen belly made being upright for too long strenuous, her ankles tended to swell but she couldn’t paint sitting down and relaxed.
Her hair was a more muted pink, pastel in color with teal ribbons of curls pinned up and out of her face.
In the panes of the window she saw his reflection and smiled, turning to look over her shoulder at him. “Hey!” Eyes would divert back to the canvas enough to set the paintbrush down before she was swiveling to better face him. That was when she spotted the card around his neck.
He looked down at where she was looking, the ID badge hanging around his neck that classified him as a mutant. Shit, shit, shit, he thought, holding it up to his eyes to look at it. “Meg, it’s, it’s not what you think.” He pleaded with her. Even pregnant she looked beautiful, but he wasn’t ready for that, wasn’t ready to even think about becoming a father.
“I promise, I never wanted to keep this from you.” He begged her, he had to tell her the truth now, even if it was only a vision. “I can see the future.” He mouth said but it wasn’t his words that were coming out, but the words of a future version of himself.
Her brow furrowed. Lips dropped into a frown. “You’re a—“ the word sat heavy on her tongue. “— like us.” Hands would fall to her sides as he begged, though his confession had her eyebrows arched. The future? What a blessing and a curse.
“You lied to me.” The anger alleviated, giving way to a pure sadness. Fingers would lift, touch the top of the swell of her belly. Inside the developing child kicked, fluttered. “You lied to us.”
He walked toward her to try and dissuade her from anger, but it was apparent that it was boiling up inside of her. “Meg, please, I never wanted to lie to you.” He begged, falling to his knees in front of her, taking her hands in his.
“I did it to protect you, the both of you. You have no idea how this affects my life.” He didn’t like the way his future self sounded. Pathetic, needy. He didn’t like this version of him at all.
Her head would turn, eyes would close as she saw him kneeling, taking her hands. “You’ve never been a man to beg,” she breathed, the ache of the gravity and weight of the situation present in her voice. Her hands remained in his. Slowly she lifted one of his palms and pressed it upon the swell. The little thing inside was kicking at the place where Meg had put Ehren’s hand.
“Keeping secrets doesn’t protect anyone,” she managed, finally turning to look down at him. “And I thought we were your life?”
“You’re my everything.” He said, a little powerless man begging for the one person, or rather two, who was keeping his fragile form together. Ehren wasn’t by any means a strong confident person, but he wasn’t a sniveling beggar either. This was a bad version of him, a version of him that couldn’t even keep it together for a moment.
“Please..” he heard himself beg before his world began to fade away and Meg’s room came into focus.
When he awoke he was covered in sweat and as pale as a sheet. He gasped for breath as he grabbed Meg’s arms. He’d been out for an hour, which was much longer than usual and he stared at Meg in horror.
“Ehren,” Meg had started, shaking her head. The vision began to fade.
“Ehren?” Her voice was nearly frantic. She was shaking him, eyes searching his face for any search of anything useable to let her know he was alright. And then finally he gasped for air. Relief washed over her and she sat back, startled a bit when his hands gripped her arms. “Are you alright?” Her voice was marred with the fear. “You were out for an hour!”
By that time she’d put clothes on in case she had to call for help. She didn’t like the look on his face at all. “What happened?”
He looked at her in shock as his breath began to normalize and he let go of her. “I..” He began but then couldn’t say anything, couldn’t tell her what was happening. He stood from the bed on shaky legs and fell on the floor as he tried to gain back the use of his legs. Once he was up again he went to his clothes and began to pull them onto his body.
“I...I have to go, um, see a doctor.” He was scrambling to come up with an excuse that sounded real and this was as good as he was going to get. “Another panic attack, I think this one was bad. I’ll call you ok?” He said as he shakily buttoned his shirt.
He wasn’t going to call her, he didn’t know what he was supposed to do now but he couldn’t let this continue, not if this was in his future.
Her eyes widened.
She’d been in a near panic; what if he’d died in her bed or in her house? That would’ve been terrible! Lucky he’d been breathing but she was no less terrified and anxious on her own. Her arms ached from where he’d grasped but she paid it no mind. Instinct was telling her to help.
Scrambling from the bed she did her best to help him stand up, to find balance. “A panic attack?” She inquired, blinking. “That was not a panic attack. That was like a trance or something.” Meg took a step backward unsure of what was going on with him.
“You’re going to the doctor now? You don’t even know what time it is!” There was medical facility twenty-four seven but that sort of treatment was probably better coming from an actual primary doctor and not some ER doctor. “Ehren, just talk to me.”
He shook his head, tears forming in his eyes. “I can’t!” He yelled at her, shaking his head when he’d realized how rude he’d just been. “Listen, I’ll be fine, don’t worry about me.” Maybe this would be enough to get her off his back.
He grabbed his socks and shoes from the floor and sat down to put them on. “I’m used to this, I can handle it, ok?” He couldn’t tell her anything because then he’d look like an asshole and he looked like an asshole because he didn’t. There was no real moral reason why Ehren was behaving the way he was except for pure selfishness. He didn’t want that to happen so he wasn’t going to let it.
She blinked. Her own eyes watered and her jaw set. He had been rude. Meg threw her hands into the air and then waved him away. “Fine! I won’t.” Arms would cross over her chest and she turned her head away so he wouldn’t see any expression or emotion there. “Get out.”
Meg turned away. She wandered into a different place in her apartment to put distance between them, slamming a door shut behind her with a foot.
Ehren’s eyes softened and he turned around to exit her apartment. He didn’t want this either, he didn’t want her to hate him but it was the only way he was going to stop it from happening. “I’m sorry.” He said, barely loud enough for her to hear through the door and made his way out of her apartment.
When he got home he collapsed on his bed and began to cry. Why was he cursed with this? The minute he found someone he had a connection with and it was completely ruined. This was his life.