As she looks through the house she now has been settling in for about a week and some days, Zora wonders briefly about the changes that have settled in her life over the short period of time. She no longer wakes up at five thirty in the morning, despite sharing her bed with Jed. There no longer is yelling though there hadn’t been any of that for a short while but there had been plenty of it when she’d first moved in with Niall.
She doesn’t have to clean the whole house by herself, doesn’t have to prepare every meal on her own without fail, she has days where cuddling seems to be the best thing that could ever happen to her. She feels no remorse for having eased out of Niall’s life so close to the holidays.
Two days following her little escape, Jed sat down with her, telling her about how things were going at work and how Niall was doing. It was the only time they ever discussed it. It had been his one rule and she had no issues whatsoever about it. ‘We don’t discuss him unless it’s work related’. There never had been any discussions about work before, this wasn’t going to change.
Sitting down in the spacious living room, she briefly wonders how she ever managed to live with him without wanting to tear his head off every other day. It makes no sense in her mind but she knows it simply was in the way he acted, in those little words he murmured. He had a good, strong hold over her and that just was it. If Jed hadn’t eventually come along as he had, she still would have been with Niall.
Briefly she wonders about the wellbeing of he brothers but that too is out of her mind quickly enough. They are old enough to take care of themselves. She has no reason to worry or fret about their well being or about anything at all that concern them, in the long run. They have a roof over their heads, they have food and if for some reason they get in trouble, well it would be their own fault for wanting to stay where they were and not coming with her.
As she nestles a little deeper into the cushions of the couch, she closes her eyes and relaxes. Jed is still asleep. She sees no reason to waking him up since there is nowhere he has to go and there is absolutely no where she might want to go. She knows he works hard and that his very work is bound to be a little harder as of lately since he does still work with Niall and as it turned out, during their conversation, Jed had told her that the man had been a little pissed at finding the note and he’d been giving his partner the cold shoulder ever since.
“Maybe he’ll ask for a partner change.” She yawns softly, feeling almost ready to drift back to a comfortable doze. This feels so different. Dozing this way, just relaxing. Something that just couldn’t happen back there.
“Ask for a partner change for what?” Jed’s voice startles her out of her relaxed state, fear spiking briefly in her though she relaxes and manages a low, startled laugh. He murmurs an apology and settles at her side, taking her hand in his, simply brushing his thumbs over her palm. This is how he usually tells her that he’s sorry, by trying to soothe her.
“You just startled me, I’m sure that before too long I’ll be used to your coming and going, you’re surprisingly light on your feet and I think I’m not used to that yet.” She smiles at him, curling her fingers over his gently and he smiles back though he doesn’t look too convinced.
“I was just thinking that it can’t be safe that he gives you the cold shoulder constantly. He’s supposed to be your partner. I know we’re not supposed to talk work but hear me out just right now and then we can go back to work to celebrate our new chance at life together a little more, yes?” He frowns briefly but he caves in, nodding, he’s still rubbing his thumb against her palm.
“You’re a cop, Jed. Your job can be downright dangerous in particular situations, I know that much and I’m not going to ignore it, that’d be stupid as hell. If he’s giving you the cold shoulder, he’s not focused on doing his job. What happens if you two get in a sticky situation and he’s not paying attention? What happens if you get shot?” The worry suddenly gets a good hold of her and she freezes. She can’t recall being this worried about Niall in this way ever in her time spent with him.
Jed smiles, bringing her palm up to his lips to kiss it. “I’ve been working with him for a little more than ten years, Zora. I’m not honestly worried about this. He always acts this way when he gets dumped because he’s always the one getting dumped. It usually last a week or two, a month if the relationship really seemed to mean something to him but it passes. He’s my friend, despite how he acts and how he treats other women and I know he looks out for my ass in bad situations.”
Still filled with uncomfortable fear, Zora sighs and rubs her free hand over her eyes. “I trust you. I want to trust you to the end of the world but I can’t trust him. I swear if something happens to you while he’s this way, I’ll have to do something. I don’t know what but I’ll do something.”
“You’re precious, Zora. Thank you for worrying about me.” As he utters those words, Jed moves back to his feet before he moves back down to her, sweeps her off her feet but instead of keeping her to his arm, he drops her over his shoulders. She shrieks, just once, too startled by his sudden motions to do anything else. Moments later she laughs as he walks his way out of their living room and back to that bedroom. She had promised it, after all.
He settles her down gently, lovingly on the bed despite his shoulder treatment and she sticks her tongue out at him. “You’re an absolute oaf, I swear.”
“An oaf, me? I carried you gently and carefully, I have now deposited you lightly on the bed and here I was thinking of making sweet and tender love to you but if you think I’m an oaf, I suppose I’ll just have to wander off and do oaf things.”
“No, no wait!” she knows he’s playing with her but playing along doesn’t hurt. She wants nothing more than kindness and love with this man and she knows that she has to treat him in a way he deserves as he’s treating her as she knows she deserve.
“I’m sorry, I take it back. You just know how I get when you do these kind of things, it’s so sudden that I don’t really know what to make of any of it.”
He murmurs a slight apology, they both know they’re somewhat at fault for this one mock-situation. She came out of a bad relationship and he knows it, he has no intention of being rough with her but some actions are customary with him and he knows they’ll work out a way to make things work.
“Cuddle sounds perfect, after that and once my heartbeat is back to normal, you can take me to places unknown as much as you like.” She chuckles softly as he eases to her side, pulling her against him. She nestles, closing her eyes and marvelling at how right it all feels. There are no remorse whatsoever in her and she knows there never will be.
“I’m thankful you’ve appeared into my life when you did, Jed. You have no idea how thankful.”