23. “Just once.”
Looking back, Liam can’t help but snort at his teenage self’s naiveté, a loud laugh escaping him and almost waking his boyfriend next to him. Zayn doesn’t wake up, though, grumbling something unintelligible, stirring in the sheets like he just knows he’s being disturbed from his afterglow-induced sleep.
“Sorry,” Liam mouths, rubbing his hand over buzzed, short hair. His hand slides ever so adoringly along Zayn’s cheekbones, and when Zayn sighs in content at the tender gesture, Liam chuckles, aware that he’s now forgiven— not that Zayn will even remember any of this in the morning.
But then Liam’s back to his first thoughts and memories, wondering how all of this began, how he accidentally found one the most beautiful things in his life. And while he’s unsure why they keep tossing the word “accident” and its derivatives around, making it seem that neither have ever owned a dictionary, it’s perhaps the best way to explain it, because neither Liam nor Zayn knows how they got where they are today.