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March

I breathe in, looking at the room around me.

And I breathe out.

This should be a good thing. It's a very good thing, an accomplishment, even. But I don't feel so good about it. It actually kind of sucks.

Here I stand, in the middle of my apartment. It's clean. Too clean. I think I saw the floors sparkle. I haven't seen my apartment this clean, not even when I moved in. It's weird, unfamiliar.

It's my apartment, but it doesn't feel like my apartment. It doesn't feel like home anymore.

The walls have been painted over, all remnants of glass shards have been swept up or vacuumed. It looks great, it just doesn't feel like me.

The team was here to help with any finishing touches, but they've all left. Some helped with painting, Sofia helped look for a new couch because my old one had paint splatters. Morelli is around here somewhere. He disappeared when I was saying goodbye to the team, but that was only a few minutes ago. He'll be back.

I think I hate this room. So much.

I stare at the door and remember what happened when I walked through it four months ago. I look at these floors and remember what a mess it was four months ago. I look at the walls and remember how much of my paint was wasted on them. I look at the empty spaces of my apartment and remember how many paintings used to fill those corners.

Everything is a reminder of what happened and what he did. He intoxicated this room, polluted the air, and invaded my space. I hate it here.

All of the walls are so white, so plainly white and dull. It makes me want to punch a hole in every wall and use a painting to cover it up. Everything is so blank, so simple, so ugly.

I turn and look at my studio, which was once filled with canvases and paints. Now half of my cabinets that were once full of paint tubes and brushes, are now empty. Void of everything that made that place mine.

There's a lump in my throat that I can't swallow, and it's so irritating. An unwavering weight that'll never go away. I think that weight is making up for the missing parts of my soul.

That's when I hear the door open.

I hate that I flinch when I hear the lock click.

But I relax soon after, because I know that only two other people have the new keys to my apartment. Luca and Vanessa. And by the smell of lemon cake, I know exactly who it is.

I don't spin around to look though. I stay frozen, like a mannequin in a store window, with my arms hugging my stomach. I feel his gaze burning on my back, but I never turn.

Then, I hear his footsteps near me.

One, two. One, two. One.

He's right behind me.

And then, he's all around me.

I lose track of time, from when he wrapped his arms around me, when he spun me around to face him, when he kissed me so hard I forgot what I was even worried about.

We only stop to breathe, but right now, I'd suffocate to keep kissing him.

He looks at me like he knows something's wrong, but he doesn't know what. I'll have to tell him eventually. That I hate this place even after everybody put some much effort into fixing it up for me.

Suddenly, he pulls out a piece of paper from nowhere. Maybe I was too focused on kissing his lips. He flips the paper so I can see what's on it.

I kinda have to squint to see what it is, but then it's clear. It's a dinosaur, with spikes along its back and a long tail, all drawn in a familiar red crayon. In the corner, there's writing saying, 'To: Han-Banan From: Rina!'

"She made this for me?" I whisper in awe, taking it carefully into my hands. She even drew the sun and clouds.

He nods, "She said it was a 'going away' present."

God, that little girl is so lovable. I look up from the drawing, and look at him, really focusing on his expression. There's something else he wants to say, but he doesn't.

"It'll be the first piece of artwork up on my wall," I try to smile to lighten the mood, but he sees that my face doesn't brighten like it usually does.

Something lingers in the air between us, but we don't address it. Though, we both know what it is.

I have to leave his house. It's almost synonymous with leaving him. No more dinners with him, no more breakfasts, no more nights in his bed.

"I brought your clothes, they're in the car," he whispers, his breath warm on my lips, but there's an undertone in his voice. One I can't quite decipher yet.

I tilt my head, "Ready to get rid of me?"

His eyes darken, like the clouds before a storm. Like the dark chocolate that people spit out after realizing that it's not milk chocolate. Lucky for him, I like dark chocolate.

Suddenly, he wraps his arms around my waist, pulling me into him. We're such a perfect fit, I wouldn't want to be held by anyone else.

"If I had it my way, I would make it so that there's not a single day where I don't wake up without you in my arms," he dips down to be impossibly closer to me, our lips just hovering over each other.

Then he kisses me again. Except it's harder this time, with more urgency, so much more need that it makes my eyes roll back. Like he needs me. And I need him.

I silently say sorry to Carina when I drop her drawing to run my hands through his hair, to pull him even closer. Oh my God, his hair is so soft.

His hands drop lower, lower and lower until they skim past my ass. I briefly break away from his lips to take a sharp breath that makes my chest rise dramatically, but then I pull him back in.

His fingers run along the back of my bare thighs, leaving a trail of goosebumps behind them. He grips, and squeezes, and rubs the soft skin. Everything is tingling, like I'm being lit up from the inside. Like sparklers are being lit inside my brain.

His hands start to slip towards my inner thighs, and I understand what he's doing.

I jump the slightest bit but he does most of the work, picking me up by my thighs. I wrap my legs tight around his hips so I don't fall, and my skirt rides up my legs, bunching right below my ass.

I'm also pressed right against his bulge.

An involuntary moan emits from my throat and gets lost in his tongue. He instantly freezes. We both pull away from each other, but he keeps his hold tight on me. We're both out of breath, desperately fighting for what little air is left between us.

"Why'd you stop?" I pant, my hands still on his neck.

He shakes his head, "I'm gonna lose my mind if we keep doing this. I'd like to keep it for a little longer." He leans closer, making our foreheads touch, "And when we actually do this, I'm gonna drag it out so long, just so I can remember every moment of it."

"So you can remember every moment of it," he whispers in my ear.

"Your distraction techniques are working," I groan, leaning my head back then on his shoulder.

It brings out a deep chuckle from him, and it makes me smile too. "If that wasn't a clear enough answer, I've never wanted to get rid of you, Hana. And somehow, I'm sure that I never will."

I lift my head back up to look at him, searching his eyes for any detection of lies. But I think it's the most honest truth he's said to me.

"Back to your house then," I smile, "At least one more night."

He nods, "One more night."

Neither of us mention the words 'last' or 'final', because it seems a little too soon to say it'll be our last night ever sleeping together, or even living in the same house. After all, he did promise me a moment I'll never forget.

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