synopsis: she doesn’t do one-night stands. but, the way niall horan makes love to his
guitar onstage has her wishing she could trade places with it, if only for one
a/n: my favourite boys mclennon created “I’m Only
Sleeping” (lyrics copyright Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC). Gibson created the absolutely
stunning ES-335 guitar. the plethora of photos from flicker sessions
sparked my imagination and as a result, i created the following. five !!! thousand !!! words !!! feedback is love, please leave me some. x
Niall Horan’s guitar
is almost as long as her legs.
She sits atop the
mangled covers of her bed, back against the headboard, blue-jean-covered legs
stretched out in two long lines before her. The guitar lies next to her in perfect alignment - the
headstock near her thigh, the body next to her calves.
“A perfect fit,” he sighed
into her ear as he pushed deeper inside her. The sigh turned into more of a
groan, stifling her own noises of pleasure and pain and release as he filled
her. It had been too long. But this…this was worth waiting for. He reminded her
what she’d been waiting for all this time.
A tiny grin pulls at
the corners of her mouth at the recollection. Did last night really happen? She
reaches out and gingerly strokes the neck of the guitar. It is proof that the
events of the evening before were, indeed, real.
Damn. What had she
been thinking? Or more to the point, how much had she been drinking? Picking up
strangers – well, if you count a world known celebrity as a stranger - in pubs
was not her style. She’d never been that reckless or free. Sure, she always had
a weakness for guitar players. But Niall was the first one who’d made her bold
enough to do something about it.
She considers why she
found him so different from the guys in other bands. He was more than just a
great guitarist on that stage last night. He was an artist, in the truest sense
of the word. The way he delivered each song was nothing short of spell-binding.
His passion overtook him completely, stiffening his body, roughening his vocal
chords as he growled crooned and whispered the words that
distilled the emotions behind them.
He was mesmerizing to
her. She was dazzled by his soul, laid bare on that stage.
“Of course you’re
drawn to him. He’s fit and he’s
Leave it to Jen to
put it so eloquently, she thinks back with a grimace.
“That - that’s not it.
He’s got a lot more going on than that.”
You should go for it. You look hot. You’ve got your lucky jeans on. How do you
get those things on, anyway? With a set of pliers?”
jeans, you prat.”
She looks at them
now, snugly encasing her slender legs. Niall had no problem removing them last
night. She’d never felt so free as when his gorgeous hands effortlessly undid
the button and zipper, then pulled down and down until her legs were bared. They
possessed him all night long, tangling with his, wrapping around his torso,
cradling his neck when he…
She blushes even
though there is no one here to pass judgment. Niall’s guitar was the only
witness throughout the long, sheet-twisting night.
She speaks to it now.
“Are you jealous?”
She smiles and plucks absently at its strings. “He made me sing last night
after he was through with you.”
He played her with
the same conviction and authority, coaxing the very best from her, of that she
is sure. No one had ever made her come alive that way. She felt like a work of
art in his skilled hands. A lump of clay made into something more than it had any
notion it could be…something exquisite.
“You’re so beautiful,”
he murmured, letting go of her hand and reaching for her face instead. His
thumb stroked her jaw, sending currents all the way down to the
unlikely destination of her toes. The city lights tinted his face varying
shades of red, yellow, blue and violet as the taxi drove them toward her three
knew her own face must be some embarrassing shade of scarlet. She wasn’t used
to such straight forward compliments, and certainly not from the likes of him.
She wondered again whether or not to believe him. She wanted to. It suited her
purposes to believe he was sincere.
eyes were dead earnest. Wide-set pools stared at her like twin seas, inviting
her to dive in. She knew there was no putting one toe in the water. She was
teetering on the edge of the board with only one way to go.
touched her fingers to the masculine hand that cradled her face. She brushed
them along the light hairs near Niall’s wrist, then slid them between his
fingers. He released her chin and took her hand in his once more, lacing his
long fingers through hers and squeezing until the warmth of his palm became her
heard the sound of her address invading the air between them. The cabbie was reciting
the street name and number as he pulled up and parked in front of her building.
Her eyes met Niall’s again; her toes gripped the edge of the diving board. His
grin hovered between bashful and arrogantly expectant.
took a deep breath and jumped.
“Let’s go in,” she
Her smile grows as
she gazes at the guitar. He played it for her, a private show, after they made
love for the first time. She’d plied him with his favorite beer; a happy
coincidence - or fate? - that she already had some in the fridge. Her gaze
shifts now to the two empty brown bottles on her nightstand, their faint sour
smell tickling her nose and refreshing her memory.
shouted to the bartender over the noisy crowd.
“Make it two.”
turned to see the owner of the smooth-as-silk baritone behind her, then nearly
jumped out of her own skin. There he was, her guitar demigod, in his entire
sweaty post-gig splendor. A sheen of moisture bathed his face and dewed the
bramble of stubble covering his jaw and neck. The patrons swarming the pub
jostled him into her and the dampness of his t-shirt pressed against her bare
should have been grossed out by his sweat. The unwelcome sensation of being
coated in second-hand perspiration would have normally sent her shuddering. But
as he smiled apologetically down at her, his lips curling into a disarmingly
grin, he was instantly absolved. Moreover, he, and his sweat, were welcomed.
stood a head taller than she did, and when the bartender held their beers
aloft, the Irishman easily reached over the packed crowd to retrieve them. He
handed her one bottle, then clinked his own briefly against hers.
“Cheers,” he said.
“What are we
toasting to?” she asked.
said with a half-grin. “Everythin’.”
“Well, that leaves
it wide open,” she replied with the quirk of one brow.
“That’s the idea,”
he answered, his smile deepening.
shook her head and took a swig, then watched him do the same. His lips looked
positively delicious wrapped around the mouth of the beer bottle. His grin
returned the minute he finished swallowing.
“D’you want to go
sit somewhere?” he asked.
stared blankly at him for a moment. It was definitely too good to be true that
he wanted to spend some time with her. Maybe she wasn’t as sly as she thought
and he’d noticed her gaping at him like a beached guppy all night long. Maybe
he figured she was an easy target. And tonight, she had to admit, he might be
to sit,” she lamented. “You’ve got the place packed.”
chuckled, appearing unfazed. “Follow me.”
did as he said, and soon found herself winding through the tiny backstage area
and out the back door. They emerged onto an enclosed patio that she never even
knew existed. Looking around, she saw other members of his band and what
appeared to be their crew, occupying most of the tables and chairs.
“Nice,” she said,
realising that this was a VIP area of sorts. Strings of tree lights decorated
the shrub-lined latticework fence and gave off an ambient light, while the moon
shone from above.
led her to a small bench in one corner and waited until she sat down before he
She dreads the
dissipation of his scent.
“I should shower
first,” he mumbled between urgent kisses as he backed her across the room
toward her bed.
“I don’t care,”
she gasped into his mouth.
“But I’m so sweaty
from the gig. I must smell.”
“Shut up,” she
ordered. Kiss, step backward. Kiss, step backward. “You’re just going to get
sweaty again. We’ll shower later.” Kiss, step, kiss, step, stop. The backs of
her knees hit the edge of the bed.
“Fuck. I like how
you think, love.” He grinned and gave her a push, and down she went.
They did shower, much
later. But they were too tired to put clean sheets on the bed, so they shook
out the covers, flipped over the pillows and curled together into one
clean-skinned, damp-haired entity to go to sleep.
Her memory of their
pillow talk is spotty, convoluted by the residue of alcohol and hormones. She
knows that when he was younger he dreamt about being in the position he’s in now.
She told him she dreamt of writing novels but wrote TV scripts instead.
was a continuation of the one they’d begun earlier last evening, in their patio
corner with its tree lights creating a halo around Niall’s chestnut hair. They had
exchanged names, then philosophies. He’d thoughtfully drank his beer during
their discussions of life and art and self-expression.
She remembers the
intense passion emanating from him; she could almost see it, like a palpable
aura around him. He’d infused her with it, and she had begun to speak of her
own passions. How she wanted to write life changing novels, but was waiting for great
things to happen in her life so she’d have something to write about.
Niall’s eyes had
twinkled like the lights decorating the fence behind him, and he’d given her
that delectable lop-sided grin. A knowing look had passed between them.
He would give her great
things to write about.
“Why me?” she
asked during a brief lull in their conversation. It came out almost tentative,
reached out one calloused, nimble guitarist’s hand and touched the side of her
face, then fingered a few strands of her dark hair. She was mesmerised by the
depth of his ocean blue eyes as he gazed at her for a prolonged moment. He
seemed confused by her question.
“You’re the only
one I saw tonight,” he said softly, matter-of-factly.
let out a surprised laugh at his answer. There were thousands of girls at the concert, dozens in the pub, and she could guarantee that they were all smitten with his looks and talent. Her
brow furrowed in bafflement.
sighed and frowned, then tried again. “You’re the only one I wanted to bring
back here,” he clarified. “The one I wanted to know better.”
shook her head, still perplexed. “But what made you feel that way?” What is it about me, when you could have had any of
those drooling girls out there? Any girl in the world? She wanted to
hand continued to work its magic behind her ear, sending tingles to much more
“I could see how
the music affected you,” he said, his voice as smooth as a shot of Black
Velvet, and giving her the same warm sensation in her belly. “Ya don’t feel it
here,” he asserted, tapping his index finger lightly on her temple. Then he
moved the magic fingers lightly over the thin cotton knit of her shirt,
bringing them to rest over her heart.
“You feel it here.”
wondered if he could feel her heart betraying her, pounding against her ribcage,
trying to get closer to him. She was beginning to feel swallowed in his gaze,
and fought to keep her head above the surface. Flailing, she grasped for
something familiar to save herself.
“Does that line
work on all the other girls?” she said with a sharp, cynical laugh.
eyebrows shot together in what appeared to be wounded surprise, and his hand
dropped quickly to his lap. She immediately regretted giving in to
sarcasm-coated insecurity. But she was more afraid of giving in to him. She
needed his honesty too badly not to test it first.
masked his hurt with a cautious half-smile. “I don’t know. You’re the only one
I’ve tried it on. Still waiting t’ see if it works or not.”
looked up at him with apologetic eyes. “I think the odds are in your favor. As far
as chat up lines go, that was a pretty good one.”
crooked grin she was already half in love with reappeared. “Well, I thought so,”
he said with a wink before taking a swig of beer.
that little hiccup, their dialogue went back to the easy flow it had enjoyed
before, with very few drawbacks. It was the kind of conversation that was
oblivious to constraints of time and place. They were engrossed in each other
when his security guard invaded their newfound bubble to bring them back into
their previous reality.
bar was closing. Niall’s band-mates had already slipped away, unnoticed, to
help pack up their gear and head back to the hotel. He reluctantly told her he
needed to join them.
“But I’d rather
finish our conversation instead,” he said wistfully, hopefully, as he stood and
offered her his hand.
took it and allowed him to help her up. Her hand felt small and protected in
his. She was surprised at how much she liked the feeling. She looked up into
the lure of his sea-colored eyes and decided to take the bait.
“I live quite close to here…we
could finish it at my place when you’re done…if you want, I mean,” she
suggested, in a hopeful tone of her own.
looked like he was trying very hard to keep his smile contained to its
ubiquitous half-grin instead of letting it break free across his face. But his
eyes crinkled up into happy slits as he quietly said, “I’d like that.”
She can feel her own
eyes crinkling now just thinking about it. About him, and how adorable he is.
And sexy. And smart and talented and easy to talk to, not to mention amazing in
bed. He’s so many irresistible things that he makes her head spin and her heart
drop. She hates him a little because she’s feeling too much for him. No one
should feel this much in twenty-four hours. That’s impossible.
She blames the
pheromones. They were raging all night long, every time she rolled over and
into his arms. He would smile in his sleep and pull her closer until his skin
and hair and heat and breath were indistinguishable from her own.
She slept very little
last night. She was too preoccupied with watching him, listening to him,
feeling him next to her. He was beautiful. He was by far the most beautiful man
she’d ever had in her bed, though there had been admittedly few predecessors. Niall
possessed that aching sort of beauty that poets attempt in vain to describe.
She tried counting
his freckles and moles to fall asleep, but they were far more interesting than
sheep, and not nearly as calming. So she tried counting his eyelashes instead,
but there were too many. She finally was forced to close her eyes and try to
ignore him, which was the ultimate exercise in fruitlessness. She hadn’t been
able to take her eyes off of him all evening, and the urge had only grown
stronger as the night went on.
She didn’t remember
falling asleep. But the next thing she knew, she heard a soft humming close to
her. A humming, and a strumming. A luxurious thrill rippled through her sleepy
form when she realised what it was. She opened one eye, squinting against the
sunlight that had forced its way in around her window shade. And there sat her
guitar god, in all his morning glory, playing and singing softly to himself.
he’s singing to me, she realised.
“Please don’t wake
me, no, don’t shake me, leave me as I am - I’m only sleeping,” he sang, before
giving her a grin at the end of it.
“The Beatles,” she
mumbled, grinning back. “Classic.”
“Always,” he agreed.
Then he put the guitar aside and turned his attentions to her instead. He
played her softly, gently this time. Their melody was tender and sweet on this
sunny Sunday morning, but the climax of today’s song was every bit as
passionate as the one from last night’s.
If this is how Niall
Horan treats all his conquests the morning after, she fears she will never tire
of being played.
traffic sounds were muffled under the hum of the taxi’s motor. He must have
felt her eyes on him, for he turned to catch her stare and return it.
“Meant what I said
earlier,” he told her. His voice was low, hypnotic.
“About what?” She
knew what, but she needed to hear him say the words.
“Why you. This.”
His head nodded slightly to the kaleidoscope of neon lights refracting through
the window as they zoomed toward their destination. His fingers found hers on
the car seat between them and staked their claim.
“I know,” she
whispered, trying to locate her tongue. “I’m sorry about the crack I made.
Nerves, I guess.” She paused and searched his face; she found the bravery she
needed there. “I’ve never really done this before. With someone I just met,”
One-night stand, her
mind echoed. She winced at the thought. She already knew one night with him
would never be enough.
expression was sober. “I guess you wouldn’t believe me if I said I don’t do
this very often, either?” His fingers tightened around hers.
“Should I?” she
considered that for a moment. “I’m sure that can’t be due to a lack of offers.”
smirk waffled between cocky and embarrassed. “Uh, let’s just say I don’t find
many of them as tempting as yours.”
was her turn for the embarrassed grin. Her fingers squeezed back. She wondered
how the scenery could pass in a blur when the cab was moving at such a snail’s
soon replaced her impatience when they reached her apartment. Her trembling
fingers fumbled for her keys as she braced herself for him to see her cosy
three-room studio. It was quite a step up from her recent college dorm days, located
on the outskirts of central London and most importantly, it was all hers and
that was a first. No roommates to cater to or clean up after; no prying eyes to
interrupt her evening with the glorious man about to grace the place with his
She looks around the
room now, trying to see it through his eyes, the way he seemed to view it when
he entered. He had appeared enthralled as he studied the music posters and art
that camouflaged its suddenly too small walls. He commented on their similar
taste in music, which they had discussed at the bar, and was now confirmed by
“You’re a fan then?” he smirked, tapping two fingers upon the poster
that boasted his face alongside his previous bandmates. She blushed, bringing
her gaze down to her hands.
His attention was
quickly diverted to a series of watercolour paintings of London’s landscape and
when she pointed out the works of art that were her own creations, he looked almost…in
“These are amazing,” he mused as he
studied her watercolor series. He told her she should pursue that talent along
with her writing. He even suggested that she could illustrate her own books;
maybe children’s books, since the market seemed to be ever hungry for new work.
didn’t know what to say. No one had ever encouraged her the way he did, to
think big and go for it. He lived that way himself, it seemed. Fearless.
felt her own fear melt away when he turned to look at her, a new kind of wonder
in his eyes now that he had seen what she was capable of. She felt like maybe
she was on even footing with him now - that perhaps she had touched him with
her art the way he’d touched her with his.
connection pulled them toward each other, and her heart began to thud
erratically in her chest as he drew closer. This was it…the moment she’d been
waiting for all night.
unknowingly, from the moment she became a fan of his.
fingers reached her face before his lips did, gently caressing, unleashing
shivers that washed over her skin in waves. He said nothing. He let his eyes do
the talking instead, sweeping over her features, studying her, asking her,
lashes fell, and there were no more unsaid words, just soft against soft, wet
against wet. Warmth turning to heat, want to need.
She yearns for him
now, still, even after the way he awakened her this morning. A melancholy
settles in her bones as she gingerly strokes the glossy wood of the vintage
“I envy you,” she
whispers to the inanimate object. “The affection he gives you. The emotion he
pours into you. I know how good it feels now. I could get used to it.”
She runs the tip of
her index finger along the edge of the neck then strums each string, one at a
time. She allows each note to reverberate in the air before sounding the next.
She remembers the way he handled the instrument last night, from gentle, almost
reverent strokes to relentless, rhythmic pounding.
“God, I can’t hold
back with you,” he rasped into her ear, accent thick as he plunged deep inside her.
“Then don’t,” she
gasped, clutching him more tightly to her and lifting her hips to meet his.
answered with only grunts as he picked up the pace, grinding into her with the
full force of his body, pulling out almost completely before filling her again.
Over and over, deeper and deeper…harder, faster, ruthless, relentless…ramming,
slamming, rutting, fucking. There was nothing but Niall now. Over her, around
her, inside her. His eyes, his breath, his body, merging with hers, taking
control. Making her cry out in helpless ecstasy.
let out a haunting moan of his own when he came inside her, a sound of desire
leaving his lungs in a stunning release. She was bathed in his breath, his
sweat, in him. She soaked up every bit of it deep into her body like a thirsty
sponge, yet still craved more. She clutched his damp hair in her fingers and
his pumping torso between her thighs; then she hung on for dear life as long as
She wraps her fingers
gingerly around the neck of the guitar and lifts it up, bringing the instrument
to her lap. She puts her left fingers to the frets and her right fingers to the
strings. She gives it a tentative strum; the sound that emits makes her wince.
“I wish I knew how to
play you,” she says with a sigh.
She tries arranging
her own fingertips on the frets in a way that her father taught her and if done
correctly, would create a sound similar to that of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were
Here” but, once again, her ears are disappointed.
“I guess you need him
as much as I do, don’t you?” she muses. She tries again, and this time,
something akin to music rings through the air. She smiles at her small triumph
and plays the makeshift chord again.
“It’s not hopeless,
then, is it?” she says to her new stringed friend. “Now, maybe you can tell me
how to make him need me as much as he needs you.”
Her fingers take a
stab at forming another chord, but fail this time.
“Wrong answer,” she
grumbles. “That’s okay, I won’t give up,” she adds with determination, and
maybe a little false bravado. She knows how much this instrument means to Niall;
how much more it is than just pieces of wood with strings. It is infinitely
more than the sum of its parts.
She wants to be that
sat facing each other, wrapped in the sheets on her double bed with their
half-drunk beers nearby on her nightstand.
“So, why this
guitar? You let the guys take your others in the van,” she commented after he’d
played a beautiful song for her. She hadn’t recognized the tune; he told her it
was one that hadn’t made his album. She was even more impressed than before,
which she hadn’t thought possible.
“This old girl?”
he answered, running his hand affectionately up and down the neck of the
guitar. “She goes everywhere with me. I don’t let her out of my sight for long.”
He continued. “She belonged to me dad. He taught
me everything he knew on a beat up old ES-335. He said ‘if it was good enough
for Chuck Berry and Eric Clapton, it’s good enough for us.’” He let out a laugh
at the memory. “It’s still my favorite. I love the tone. I always seem to be
able to coax whatever emotion I’m looking for out of her.”
grinned again and played idly with the strings. She tried to take a mental
snapshot of how gorgeous he looked, moonlight streaming through the window
across his contented face. She never wanted to forget this moment. She was
seized with the sudden realisation that it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
“I’ll bet it was
hard for your dad to give it up,” she said of the guitar, as she watched Niall’s
fingers fly over the frets.
brows furrowed, as if he tasted a sour memory. “It was hard for him to give up
a lot of things. But, I wouldn’t be who I am today without him. He’s a great
sounds lovely” she said, in all sincerity. She reached out a tentative hand to
touch his face, wondering why she felt timid after the jaw-dropping sex they
had just had. Maybe it was because his sharing something about his family felt
just as intimate. She had let him into her home, and then her body; he repaid
her by giving her a glimpse into his soul.
closed his eyes for a moment when her fingers stroked the rough stubble of his
jaw. He inclined his head toward her hand, ever so slightly, and the earth
moved beneath her just as violently as it had when he had thrust deep inside
her moments ago. She marveled at how easily he could affect her.
“Your father must
be so proud of you,” she stated.
eyes opened and he managed a smile at her.
“I only ever think
about makin’ him proud,” he said.
fingers drifted back to ruffle the hair over his ear. “I think anyone would be
crazy not to be proud of you, Niall,” she assured him. “What you’re doing – the
music you make. It’s all sort of…beautiful.”
“You’re sort of
beautiful,” he replied, giving her that crinkle-eyed grin again.
blushed. “Now you’re talking crazy.”
“You’re the crazy
one if you don’t see it,” he insisted. He drifted closer; she leaned in. Their
kiss was slow and soft. Respectful. His hand sought her face and cradled it
gently; his eyes enveloped hers. She floated euphorically in the reflection of
those warm, blue seas.
“I see it now,”
“That’s good,” he
replied, his thumb tracing her lips before he kissed her lightly again. “Now,
Beautiful, how about that shower?” he suggested with a smile.
had no argument this time, and happily joined him in the water.
The squeak of ancient
door hinges signals Niall’s return, jarring her from her reverie. She had given
him the keys to her apartment so he could go get them coffee and breakfast. She
offered to make him something, thinking about how it would look if he were
caught leaving a strange house in last night’s clothes, but he insisted that he
wanted to treat her, so she let him. She didn’t hesitate to trust him with the
keys to her place. After all, he was leaving his most cherished possession with
her in return.
She shoots him a
deer-in-the-headlights look at first, not sure how he’ll feel about her
touching his ES-335. But a relieved smile soon spreads across her face to match
the happy one he wears as he walks into the room. He’s carrying a take-away
tray in one arm while he closes the door behind him with the other. He makes a
beeline straight for her.
“Did you take good
care of my girl while I was gone?” he asks as he sits down on the bed,
balancing the tray loaded with coffee and pastries on his thigh.
“Yeah, o’course,” she
assures him, setting the guitar carefully back down beside her.
Niall picks up one of
the lidded paper cups and hands it to her. Her sheepish gaze meets his amused
“Love,” he chides,
flashing his crooked grin. “I was talking to the guitar.”
Her eyes widen in
surprise, then crinkle with her own irrepressible grin as she apprehends his
“Music to my ears,”
she murmurs, leaning over the tray and pressing her lips to his. He chuckles
softly and kisses her back.