No information was given about why Niall wanted to see Fiona that next day. All he said was that he wanted to talk to her. His level of respect for her was too great to end things via text or a phone call. He had to do it face to face. She seemed happy that he’d finally got in touch and was keen for him to go round and talk. It was evident from her tone even over text messages that she wasn’t worried in any way about what was to come and Niall couldn’t help feeling it smacked of a touch of ego on her part. She should be worried, he thought.
He arranged to go and visit her after he finished work. Most of the day was spent wondering whether he should tell Chantelle about Fiona and the situation, but was concerned that he might have her worrying over nothing if he did. That affected his conscience as he really didn’t like to withhold information. He reasoned with himself that there wasn’t actually anything to tell. Chantelle was the one he wanted to be with and that was that. In reality there was nothing to officially end with Fiona at all.
When work finished, Niall wasted no time in heading for his car. There was no messing about and he made his way directly to Fiona’s from work. There was no denying the trepidation he felt in spite of knowing that he was doing the right thing. The situation with Fiona couldn’t continue now that things with Chantelle had gone to the next level. More to the point, he didn’t want things to continue.
From his vantage point in the car park, Niall could see Fiona’s flat. It hurt him somewhat that this would be the last time he ever visited. He was taking no joy out of the way things had gone at all and genuinely hoped he wouldn’t hurt her too much. With a sigh, Niall exited his car and approached the block of flats, pushing the buzzer and awaiting a response. He was buzzed into the building by somebody, made his way up the stairs and politely knocked on the door. Just a few short seconds later and Fiona came to the door; a big grin affixed on her face. She looked breathtakingly beautiful and it hit Niall just how much he’d missed her.
“Hey good lookin’,” she said playfully.
“Hi,” Niall retorted awkwardly.
“Come in.” Fiona turned and headed inside the flat with Niall following. She led him into her room and sat down on the bed, patting the bed next to her for him to sit down too.
He did as requested yet ensured to keep some distance between them. Their eyes met and Niall could feel the tug on his heartstrings.
“So you wanted to talk?” Fiona asked.
“Uhm…yeah. We kinda need to,” Niall responded, avoiding her intense green eyes.
“Do you want to talk or shall we just fuck instead?”
Niall could feel his head spinning. The urge to say yes was almost insurmountable. He swallowed the desire to succumb to her advances and thought of Chantelle. His conscience wouldn’t allow him to do what his loins yearned for in bedding Fiona one last time. He somehow had to resist her. “I’m sorry, Fee. I can’t.”
“You can’t? Why? Are you seeing somebody already?” Fiona asked; no attempt made to mask a sense of disappointment.
“I don’t exactly know what’s going on. We went out for a few drinks on Sunday and slept together last night. Whether that means we’re seeing each other I can’t say. All I know is that I like her a lot and I want to see where it’s going.”
“You didn’t waste any time did you?” A teasing smirk returned to Fiona’s lips.
“She asked me to meet up and one thing led to another.”
“You aren’t together officially so there’s no harm in you and I getting down and dirty, is there? No need for awkwardness anymore. We can just casually screw and enjoy one another’s company.”
“Are you for real?” Niall asked, suddenly animated. “You don’t get it, do you Fee? The reason this has all happened is because I don’t want to casually screw. I fucking love you! I want to be with you. The feeling isn’t mutual so I’ve moved on for my own sanity.”
The smile had vanished from Fiona’s face and was replaced by an expression of tremendous guilt. Tears quickly formed in her eyes. “Oh Niall. I knew you cared, but I didn’t know that you…” She trailed off.
“Would it have made a difference had you known?” Niall awaited an answer that never came as a sheepish expression crossed her face. He pursed his lips and looked down to the floor; slowly shaking his head. “You’ve never felt that way for me. While you might care about me and no doubt be attracted to me you’ve never had the intention of taking this any further. This was always going to end eventually. I think you’re just sad that it’s me ending it and not you.”
“That isn’t true, Niall,” Fiona defended herself. “I didn’t know what to do. You’re pretty much perfect for me. I couldn’t justify bringing my relationship to an end for something I wasn’t completely certain about though.”
“You don’t need to worry about it anymore. I’ve made my decision. I really like this girl and I want to see how it goes. I can’t two-time. It’s not in me to do it. The situation between you and I has been causing me enough stress. Regardless of whether me and her are official or not, I won’t mess Chantelle around.”
“She’s called Chantelle,” Fiona asked with unveiled judgement in her tone.
“Yes, she is. She’s twenty-two and a fantastic girl who makes me feel good about myself. Kinda like how you used to before I found out you had a fella.”
Niall’s broadside took the wind out of Fiona’s sails and she broke down in tears.
He succumbed to immediate guilt, shuffled up beside her and put a comforting arm around her shoulder. “I’m sorry, Fee. I really didn’t want to hurt you.”
“Why are you apologising?” she asked through the sobs. “You haven’t done a thing wrong. You’re a good bloke and you deserve a good woman. I’m a horrible cow! I’ve treated you like shit and I’ve treated James like shit. I don’t deserve either one of you.”
“You aren’t a bad person, Fee. Cheating doesn’t exactly make you a monster. You do need to try and work things out with James and be happy with him again though. Either that or end it with him. You can’t end up in a situation like ours again. You’ll only bring trouble to your door.”
“I know,” Fiona uttered quietly.
Niall took her into a proper hug and she squeezed him back, resting her head on his chest. He couldn’t deny that he was savouring the feeling. While he had to end their thing, it didn’t stop the affection he felt towards her.
They said nothing for a while and held one another. Then Fiona lifted her head and began to kiss Niall’s face.
He unwittingly allowed it to happen a couple of times before realising what was happening. “No, Fiona. We can’t do this.”
“Please, Niall. Can’t we just end it on a high,” Fiona pleaded.
He didn’t answer her. His mind whirred and he could feel the testosterone flowing as Fiona kissed him again on the neck. It felt good and every part of him was telling him to give in; all except one and that defiant part was enough to give him the resolve to pull away. “I can’t do this,” Niall said in a fluster as he released his grip on Fiona and stood up aside the bed. “I can’t do this anymore! If I allow this to happen now then I’m not sure I’ll be able to resist coming back for more. We have to bring this to a head here.”
“Okay,” Fiona said simply.
He could see that she was offended by his resisting her advances, though wasn’t fooled by her reverse psychology and he knew that if he tried to ease her tension she would use that as an opportunity to coax him into bed. While he was so very tempted to have sex with her one last time, Niall meant what he’d said to her. He levelled his gaze on her for what felt like an eternity. She wouldn’t look back so he decided there was no point in continuing the conversation. He’d said all he had to say. “Well…I suppose I’d better go then.”
“Right,” Fiona curtly responded.
Niall nodded uncertainly and made his way over to the bedroom door. He opened it and went to step out before his attention was grabbed by Fiona’s voice.
“Niall?” She paused, looked up at him with sad eyes. “I hope she makes you happy.”
He gave her a tight lipped smile for a few seconds before closing the door and leaving the flat; leaving Fiona in floods of tears. Their fling had reached a definite conclusion.
TO BE CONTINUED
Title image from Shine Aloud.