Chapter 50

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It should have been awkward when she awoke in the morning, but she was too bleary eyed and slightly hungover to be anything close to embarrassed. As she laid in bed with a hand over her forehead she felt the pain of the burn she'd sustained and immediately recalled what happened - and what almost happened but ultimately did not -and found herself frowning as she pondered it all.

And then she laughed. Loudly and hysterically and animatedly as she rolled across her bed and held her stomach, curling into a ball of giggles and cackling at the absurdity of her life and her awkwardness toward love and relationships, even as she winced a little at the pain of her blistered hand. She would never understand herself; she was throwing herself at the man she'd taken in to help get him clean, and would have gladly bedded him had he not had the good sense to turn her down. She was an idiot and she hoped Harry would forgive her for being so disgustingly lame and desperate.

She stopped laughing at the thought of him and turned to her door, which was wide open. She looked out into the rest of the apartment and was suddenly worried; she'd learned how sensitive he was in the last few weeks, how deeply he felt things and internalized them, thinking and over thinking them, cautious in his sobriety and careful not to be too quick to trust himself or anyone else. She'd put him in a vulnerable position, pushing him behind the bar and doing nothing to stop him from drinking but rather encouraging it. He was a fun drunk, his humor was sweet and silly and sarcastic and he didn't lose his manners like other men did. She'd enjoyed seeing him that way.

She'd enjoyed seeing him any way was the truth of it, but a truth she would not acknowledge even as she scrambled to her feet and hurried to his door. She realized she still wore only her underwear and bra but was too distracted by the sound to properly care; there was music wafting from behind his half open door, and it was all him. He strummed the guitar that Alex had given her and his voice followed the tune he played gorgeously. Effortlessly.

"When the world receives the light, at the beginning of the day, you'll hear me call your name, because I love you more than light, and it will always be this way, as long as I believe in life." She pushed the door open to find him leaning against the wall while sat on his bed, casually strumming the guitar and looking relaxed. He caught her eyes and continued to sing with a smirk on his face that she couldn't quite identify the meaning behind. "When the morning comes too soon, and I am still without your love, you'll let me call your name, because I love you more than light, and it will always end this way, as long as I believe in life..."

He sang more words to the song and she leaned against the doorframe, in mesmerized disbelief, for she loved the song he sang and had sort of thought no one else in the world knew it.

"When the day is almost done, and there is nothing left to say, you'll hear me call your name, because I love you more than light, and it will always be this way, as long as I believe in life."

He sang and riffed and she watched in quiet admiration until he finally stopped and put the guitar down in his lap with a slightly apologetic look on his face.

"Good morning."

She spoke quietly and easily and felt none of the worried panic she'd worked herself into before. He grinned at her.

"Good morning. Sorry about the guitar I didn't think you'd mind-"

"I don't mind!"

She quickly assured him and he smiled even more which seemed impossible.

"Well, erm, I'm sorry I woke you then. I didn't realize I was so loud."

"You didn't wake me!" She insisted and marveled at the joyous expression on his face. She'd never imagined him happy and shy, and never noticed the muscles in his arms and the way his chest and torso were defined. They weren't that way before; she would have noticed long before now if they had been. "I came to apologize to you actually. I was so wrong last night and it was so inappropriate of me to throw myself at you like that."

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