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A/N: Some people were requesting that I write a chapter in James’ POV and I said that I wouldn’t be able to write a full one but I figured that this chapter would be the perfect one to do it in especially because of what happens in it. And the ending which I have been planning since the beginning of the story! The next chapter will be back in Elle’s POV and I’m really excited because these next few chapters are the ones where everything kicks off! And I'm super sorry it's been a while but I found the challenge part of the forums and now I'm entered in 2 challenges, I have finished one and that's why it took a while to get this uploaded. I was just waiting for that to get validated first. I’ve given up on the interesting fact after realising I am seriously not that interesting, haha.

Disclaimer: I only own my OCs and the plot but everything you recognise from the Harry Potter world does not belong to me but the talented J.K. Rowling.

“I still think your presents were the best.” – Elle Underwood

Elle was sleeping peacefully in our bed as I tried to quieten my alarm clock that I had set last night before going to sleep. Her ginger hair fanned out behind her and she was curled up in a little ball next to me, the duvet wrapped around her cutely. I quickly and quietly snuck my way into the closet opposite our room, took down my suitcase and took out the bag that had two of the three birthday presents for Elle in it. The third present was hidden at the back of my wardrobe, which I also got out but carefully as it could be easily damaged. I put the presents on the floor beside my side of the bed so I could easily reach down and grab the first one to give to her when I woke her up.

“Elle!” I whispered, nudging her lightly on the arm, “Elle, it’s time to wake up.” She moved slightly and then her eyes peeled open, revealing those bright blue eyes.

“What’s happening?” She grumbled, rubbing her eyes and stretching.

“What’s happening is that you’re turning 23!” I smiled widely at her, waiting for her to remember that it was her birthday today.

“Oh… yeah,” her eyes widened slightly but then narrowed as she saw me sat crossed-legged next to her with a beaming smile, “Why are you staring at me like that?”

“Listen,” I started carefully, “I know you said that you didn’t want anyone to make a big deal out of today but…” I trailed off, leaning over the side of the bed to pick up the first present that I had wrapped horrifically.

“James! You didn’t have to get me a present!” She exclaimed, taking it off me and just staring at it in shock.

“Well, open it.” I urged her as she laughed at my excitable facial expression.

“Your wrapping is horrendous, James.”

“I know, I know! Just open it,” she unwrapped it slowly and carefully and stared at me confusedly when she saw the plain black frame in her hand, “Tap it with your wand.” I explained and watched as she picked it up and tapped it gently where the picture should be. The screen suddenly came to life, showing picture after picture of Elle smiling and laughing throughout the holiday. There was one where she was on the roof top with me, watching the sunset that I managed to take sneakily when she wasn’t looking, and the one from the water park as she pulled a funny face down the slide.

“Oh wow…” she gasped, watching and occasionally laughing when a funny picture came up, “This is amazing!” She looked at me with a wonderful smile that made my breathing stop a little.

“I just thought it would be a nice gift for you to remember your first ever holiday abroad,” she looked back down at the pictures, “It’s not the best circumstances, I understand that, but I wanted to make something that’ll help you remember this.” I finished sheepishly. I really wanted today to be perfect for Elle. So much had happened on this holiday for her, that I got a glimpse of, and it wasn’t good stuff so she deserved at least one day of happiness and especially on her birthday.

“James, it’s a wonderful present,” she leaned forward to embrace me in a hug and I couldn’t help but bury my face in her neck, she smelt so good and I wanted to stay here forever, “Definitely one of the best presents I’ve ever got for my birthday,” she pulled back from the hug, leaned against the headboard and put the picture frame on her side of the bed, “What’s the plan for today anyway?”

“I’m not finished yet.” I answered, pulling up the next present which took me ages to make. Whilst she went dress shopping with my Mum and Lily the other day, I went back to La Concepcion and made a huge bouquet of tissue paper flowers for her in loads of different shades of green because I remembered her favourite colour was a moss green.

“You got me another present!” she sat bolt upright again, taking the flowers off me and looking at them in amazement, “You made these?” She whispered, sniffing them as I’d put a spell on them to make them smell like flowers even though they were fake.

“Yeah, I thought about getting you real flowers but then you’d have to water them and they’d die after a few weeks. So I made these because they’ll literally last forever,” I explained warily again because her reaction was still quite neutral, I didn’t know whether she liked them or not, “So… do you like them?” I asked gingerly.

“James, I love them. They’re the most thoughtful present I’ve ever gotten, thank you so much!” she put them on the side, next to the frame and hugged me again and kissed my cheek this time as well. Is it weird to say I really wanted her to kiss me again? “How did you know my favourite colour was green?”

“I remember you saying a few nights ago that your favourite colour was like a moss green so I decided to make them in different shades of green near that colour.” I replied.

“Oh, well thank you! They’re lovely.” She smiled a blinding smile at me, making me like her just that bit more. If that were even possible.

“It is no problem and…” I leaned over the side for the last present.

“Another one?” She rolled her eyes but blushed at the same time.

“Just one more and then I promise after that I’m done!” I smirked at her shyness, which was absolutely adorable to me, and handed over the last one, “Now, be careful with this one because it’s very delicate.” I warned her before she slowly ripped the wrapping paper off to reveal a black velvet jewellery box.

“James… you really didn’t have to!” she gasped when she opened the lid, showing a radiant necklace that had multiple diamonds and diamantes on it, forming an inverted triangular shape at the front, “This is too much! I can’t accept this!” She shook her head and went to hand the box back to me but I pushed it back.

“You’re gonna have to accept it, Elle, it’s your birthday present.” I said seriously, watching her stare at it in awe and amazement again.

“This must have been so expensive.” She protested, her index finger trailing the line of the diamonds on the top row of the triangle.

“It was worth it though.” I shrugged, running a hand through my hair nervously.

“It’s beautiful, James, thank you so much.” She whispered, closing the lid and putting it in her bed-side drawer, probably to keep it safe.

“I’m glad you like it.” She climbed out from under the duvet and knelt in front of me on the bed before grasping the sides of my face in her hands and planting a soft kiss on my lips. I wrapped my arms around her tiny waist and laid down on my back so that half her body was lay on my chest and our legs were tangled together, still kissing. Man, those kinds of kisses are the ones that drive me wild. There’s just so many thoughts going through my head when she kisses me like that, I am literally left feeling so… speechless. It’s nothing like when I used to kiss Courtney.

“This has been the best morning ever on this holiday,” she whispered when we separated, staring into my eyes deeply and her face hovering above mine as we lay on top of the duvet, “Thank you, James.” She added before she kissed me again and again and again. Just little pecks but I was seriously enjoying this so much, I didn’t feel the need to deepen the kisses because these little ones were enough to last me a lifetime.

“Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Elle, happy birthday to you!” Mum, Dad, Al and Lily came in singing whilst Mum held her birthday cake with two candles that were in a ‘23’ shape. Elle’s face blushed bright red and she snuggled her face into my neck as I chuckled and ran my middle finger up and down her back gently.

“You gonna blow out your candles and make a wish?” Lily said impatiently, receiving a small glare from yours truly whilst Elle leaned forward, closed her eyes for a few seconds then blew out her candles.

“What did you wish for?” I asked, smiling down at her as she looked up at me.

“Not telling otherwise it won’t come true,” she teased. Mum handed her a knife and she cut us all a slice for breakfast, “Mmm, can’t say I’ve ever had birthday cake for breakfast but it’s nice. Thank you guys.” She blushed whilst we all ate our slices of cake.

“We know James told us that you didn’t want to make a big deal but he didn’t mention anything about not getting you presents and a cake.” Dad smiled as they all pulled out a bunch of presents, placing them all in front of Elle.

“You really shouldn’t have… James already got me some pretty spectacular presents.” She looked really flattered but also like a deer caught in headlights.

“But our presents are so much better!” Lily beamed.

“No, they will never be better than my presents! My presents were awesome, weren’t they?” I looked down at Elle to see she was watching us with a fond smile on her face.

“I don’t know until I’ve opened their presents but I have to say the bar’s set pretty high,” she agreed and got to work opening each of their cards and presents, “Thank you guys, they are such lovely presents.” Elle thanked them all, stood up and put the presents beside the side-table in a pile so that it was all neat and together.

“You’re welcome,” Mum hugged her, “When you’re dressed come downstairs and we’ll tell you what we’re doing today,” she looked positively excited and knowing what we were doing today, I could understand why, “Dress for something beachy.” She winked at Elle as they all left the room.

“I still think your presents were the best.” Elle whispered to me with a cheeky grin when we both got out of bed and started getting ready. I just pulled on a simple plain t-shirt, swimming trunks and some beach sandals. Elle came out wearing some high-waisted shorts and a grey top with a black bikini underneath.

“Does this look alright?” She asked nervously. I stepped toward her, put my hands on her waist and kissed her quickly.

“You look perfect,” I smiled down at her and she blushed heavily, rolling her eyes, “Okay, let’s go and have some fun today, birthday girl.” I teased and she pushed me in the sides jokingly.

“Please don’t call me that all day.” She begged.

“Sure thing…” I smirked at her and she turned around, “Birthday girl.” I quickly dodged her flying hand and ran down the stairs into the kitchen as she chased me.

“Not funny James!” she giggled when she caught up to me and I slung her over my shoulder, “Put me down!” I slid her back down onto the ground happy that she had that smile on her face again and was enjoying herself fully instead of being apprehensive for this wedding or feeling guilty for agreeing to this for me. Which I was eternally grateful for. If she hadn’t agreed to this I would have been screwed.

“Come on you two, sit down so we can start the surprise.” Mum said excitedly, ushering us both to our seats and putting a small plate of scrambled eggs, bacon and hash browns in front of us. The cake slices from before were just small ones so they weren’t really filling. Just as I started wolfing down my food, someone knocked on our front door and everyone looked between each other in confusion.

“I guess I’ll get that then.” Elle laughed at our confused expressions and stood up, exiting the room and we all heard the front door open.

“Were you two expecting anyone?” I asked my Mum and Dad, who both shook their heads.

“It might be someone from the Spanish Ministry about your letter about the wedding on the beach Mum.” Lily suggested.

“It might be, we’ll just have to wait and see when Elle comes back in.” Dad said, continuing to eat his food and we all followed suit. Elle came back in a few minutes later with a very solemn expression on her face, holding a piece of card in her hands and a crease in between her eyebrows. The reason behind her facial expression followed behind her seconds later. Valerie.

“Hello everyone!” She greeted us with a wide smile, showing off perfect teeth. Elle came and sat next to me, slumping in her seat a little so I immediately grabbed her hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze.

“Hey Valerie…” We all said back but a little bit more reserved ever since we found out that she used to make fun of Elle when she was ginger.

“I just came by to say that I’m holding a celebration party tonight at my new resort and I would really like it if all of you could attend. It’s a black-tie event so you could all get dressed up for one night.” She beamed, handing each of us a card like the one Elle had in her hands.

“Well, I don’t see why we can’t go… it’d be a fun night and we can celebrate Elle’s birthday as well.” Dad smiled a little forcefully at Valerie than would be considered normal.

“Oh yeah, I completely forgot that it’s your 23rd birthday today,” she looked down at Elle, who smiled briefly but still didn’t say anything, “Happy birthday.”

“Thanks.” She mumbled back finally but wouldn’t look anywhere except at our hands that were joined together.

“I really hope you can attend tonight, it’ll be so much fun,” she looked round at all of us one last time and it sort of descended into an awkward tenseness, “I’ll let myself out then, see you later hopefully.” She left the room with a forced smile after no-one offered to show her out. Elle immediately relaxed when she heard the front door slam shut again and I moved my hand from hers to the small of her back. She looked up at me thankfully, smiling a tiny bit and I just kissed her temple reassuringly.

“Right, are we all done so we can go?” Mum broke the silence and we all stood up at the same time.

“Do we really have to go to Valerie’s tonight?” Elle whispered to me as we all congregated in the foyer to apparate together.

“I think we do,” she looked disheartened and I wanted to do everything I could to make her happy again and see that smile from before, “But I promise you I’ll keep you away from her as much as I can all evening,” I stuck out my pinkie finger and she grabbed on with hers, the beginnings of her smile starting to come back, “There’s her smile!” I encouraged and she blushed again, hitting me over the arm.

“Where are we going?” Elle asked my Mum, who was getting a bag packed and ready for us.

“You’ll see but it’ll be a really relaxed afternoon after the last two hectic days.” She answered conspiratorially and Elle immediately turned to me with her arms crossed.

“I’m not telling you either.” I held my hands up with a smug smile on my face.

“What if I told you that it was my wish for you to tell me?” She asked.

“But it wasn’t so I don’t have to tell you.”

“You’re so mean.” She pouted and I kissed her on the lips again. I could never get enough of this.

“But you still love me.” I winked and held my arm out for her to grab so we could apparate.

“Unfortunately.” She muttered under her breath.

“I’m sorry, what was that?” I pretended like I hadn’t heard it.

“Nothing love.” She smiled innocently but I didn’t believe her for a second and raised my eyebrow.

“James, you do know where we’re apparating right?” Mum called from behind us and I swivelled round.

“Of course I do, I’m not stupid.” I rolled my eyes when I turned back because she’d bollock me if she saw me do that to her.

“Don’t you roll your eyes at me either… you’re not too old for smack.” She threatened.

“Yes Mum.” I muttered sheepishly as Elle was trying to contain her laughter so I apparated us without any warning. When I felt the smooth, wooden laminate flooring beneath us, I opened my eyes to see Elle staring at me evilly.

“You could have given me some warning!” She moaned, holding her head.

“You were being mean and laughing at me.” I pouted, crossing my arms as we heard some more pops above us.

“Sorry but seeing you whipped by your Mum is hilarious,” she smiled, nudging me in the side, “Where are we anyway? It’s a very posh room…” We looked round at the beige and cream themed living room. The room was shaped like a really obscure triangle that was slightly curved on the two sides, a long beige couch took up the two sides with a dark wood coffee table right in the middle of the room. A flat-screen TV was built in the wall so that the extended couch was facing it with the walls being a birch colour with the floors the same colour. Behind where we were stood was a small corridor with a door on the far end that I’m guessing led to the bedroom and adjoined ensuite bathroom.

“Well, if you come up here to where the rest of the family apparated because I’m silly and apparated to the wrong room, I’ll show you.” I explained, grabbing her hand and pulling her passed the TV and down the small corridor to where there was a small staircase on the left that we walked up.

“There you are James! You apparated below?” Mum looked absolutely ready to kill me, “You spoiled the surprise!” She whined, looking between myself and Elle.

“Calm down Mum, she still doesn’t know what the surprise is yet.” I appeased her, letting go of Elle’s hand and patting Mum’s shoulder reassuringly.

“I’m confused…” Elle snapped our attention back to her and I just gestured to the room around her. Her eyes widened when she took in the view from the room we were currently in. In front of us were two seats nailed into the floor that faced a huge range of controls and a wide, curved window that showed a panoramic view of the ocean from the Spanish coast, “Oh my god! Are we on a boat?!” She yelled loudly in shock.

“Well, technically it’s a yacht but yeah, let’s call it a boat.” Al laughed, sitting in one spinny chair and smiling at her.

“Why are we on a boat?” She asked, looking at me in confusion when the obvious shock was over.

“Well…” Mum looked at my Dad happily and I had to roll my eyes, “We bought a yacht a few years back and we’ve not really had much time to use it if we’re honest because we’ve been so busy so…” she trailed off looking between myself and Elle then finally at Dad. I didn’t know where she was going with this… she told me that we were spending the day on our yacht…

“We’re giving The Lily to you two as a wedding gift.” Dad finished the sentence, looking between us and I was just shocked into silence.

“What?!” I spluttered, sitting down on the corner sofa that was built into the wall so that I didn’t fall over.

“Are you serious?” Elle whispered, her blue eyes probably as wide as mine.

“Yes, completely serious. You two can use it on your honeymoon and travel around if you so wish.” Dad said happily and I was still so shocked.

“And you can come and live in here for the rest of the holiday, apart from Sunday night because it’s bad luck for a bride and groom to see each other on the night before a wedding. And we’re having stag dos and hen dos separately.” Mum added giddily.

“We can go back to the villa now and help you get all your stuff and move it onto here, if you want?” Lily said expectantly and we both just nodded our heads mutely, “Great! Let’s go!” She clapped her hands and both Elle and I were walking around in a daze as we apparated back to the villa, packed our stuff and then went back to the yacht to pack our stuff away.

“When you’re all done, we can go and tan on the outside deck.” Lily clapped Elle on the back gently and she nodded in response. When they’d all disappeared, closing the door to the bedroom, Elle turned to me in a panic,

“Oh God, this is turning into a nightmare!” She hissed.

“Why? I quite like having a yacht to myself.” I smirked, trying to distract her from panicking.

“James! This isn’t funny!” she glared at me and I shut my mouth, “That’s even more money they’re spending on us now… the holiday I could get over because they weren’t really spending money on me in the form of plane tickets and what have you but a yacht, James! A fucking yacht!”

“Calm down, Elle, it’s fine… honestly!” I tried to calm her down.

“Stop saying it’s fine! It might be fine for you but for me, yeah not so much,” she said sarcastically, “It’s not fine, I’m not used to having this much money and having a yacht being given as a present! It doesn’t help that it’s being given as a wedding gift when none of this is real… oh my God!” she ran her hands through her hair frantically, pacing back and forth and I could tell that she was nearing a panic attack, “I never celebrate my birthday anyway and I told you that I didn’t want to celebrate it, you promised you wouldn’t make a big deal out of it and this is just making me feel worse!”

“Elle!” I shouted over her rambling and she stopped to look at me, her eyes already glistening with tears, “Listen, I’ll tell them to go back to the villa, okay? I’ll tell them to calm it down and not bring up the fact it’s your birthday anymore, okay?” I grasped her face in my hands so she was forced to look at me and calm down, “Just… please don’t cry because I hate seeing you cry.” I quietened down until I could see she was calm, breathing normally and the tears were gone.

“Okay.” She whispered, still staring at me with those beautiful blue eyes.

“Just carry on unpacking and I’ll be back in a minute.” I brought her face closer to me as I kissed her forehead, stayed there for a few seconds before going back to talk to my family.

“James,” I turned back at the door to see Elle with a small smile on her face, “Thank you.” I just gave her a reassuring smile back and walked to the stairs that led onto the walk-around deck. Lily and Mum were already laid down on towels in their swimsuits trying to get a tan whilst Dad and Al were getting some beers from the cooler.

“Mum, Dad!” I called and their attention was drawn to me suddenly.

“Yeah, what is it James?” Dad looked at me in worry.

“It’s nothing bad… well, it kind of is…” I started, “Elle just almost had another panic attack and I was just wondering if we could all maybe stop mentioning presents and celebrating Elle’s birthday anymore?”

“Oh no, is she okay?” Mum stood up and made to move back inside to talk to her.

“Yeah she’s fine now but I think she just wants to be left alone.” I hinted and it took a few seconds before Mum got it.

“Oh… OH! Guys, we’re gonna go back to the villa now so we can leave James and Elle to get used to living here!” She rounded everybody up.

“But I wanted to tan here!” Lily protested, making things difficult as always.

“You can tan on the beach, now get up because we’re going back to the villa.” Mum pulled out the Grandma Molly impersonation which we had all been subjected to at one point in our lives, me more than Al and Lily.

“Fine,” she huffed, pulling a kimono on over her swimsuit and crossing her arms moodily whilst I smirked at her, “Mum! James is making faces at me!” She whined childishly.

“I was not!” I argued.

“Oh, would you two grow up?” Dad rolled his eyes at us and we both stuck our tongues out at each other when they weren’t looking.

“We’re really sorry about Elle sweetheart, tell her we’re sorry we caused any trouble.” Mum kissed my cheek, Dad patted my back and Al and Lily just waved before they all apparated.

“Will do,” I saluted to myself and went back into the bedroom, “Well, looks like it’s just you and me again.” I smiled kindly at Elle, who was sat on the corner of the bed.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to have a freak-out. It’s just… I’m not used to all this and this lifestyle.” She apologised again.

“It’s fine, Elle, honestly. I understand that you aren’t and sometimes I think we all forget that.” I chuckled, sitting next to her and wrapping an arm around her waist.

“It’s nice to forget sometimes though,” she smiled, laying her head on my shoulder, “Are we gonna go and tan then or just sit here?” She finally asked.

“You finished packing?”

“Yeah, I feel like relaxing now because I swear I’m gonna be on a high-alert all night tonight.” She shivered as we walked onto the front of the yacht where there was already a towel laid out for Elle.

“Well, I made a pinkie promise and I’m gonna stick to it don’t you worry.” I reassured her, slipping my top over my head and lying down on the towel next to where hers was. Slipping on my sunglasses, I watched as Elle slowly stripped off her top and shorts to reveal a very skimpy black bikini and I couldn’t be happier that I met her and she agreed to go on this holiday with me. We lay there for a good few hours, until four when we had to go back to the villa and get ready at Lily’s request because she had to ‘makeover’ Elle.

“I’ll see you in a bit then, I guess.” She kissed me on the lips slowly as Lily practically dragged her upstairs so I was left to get ready in Al’s room.

“So… how’s things going with Elle?” He nudged me as I pulled on my white button down shirt and black slacks.

“Yeah, it’s going really good thanks,” I answered a little awkwardly, it sounded like he was implying something, “Why do you wanna know?”

“Just want to make sure my older brother is using protection.” He ruffled my hair as I swatted it away laughing.

“Worry about yourself mate,” I punched him in the shoulder, “Got anywhere with that girl in your office yet?” I teased him, knowing it was a touchy subject for him.

“I actually hate you.” He pouted childishly and I laughed again.

“You have to love me by default, you can’t choose your family!” I sing-song to him, finishing pulling on my shoes, bow-tie and black jacket to finish the look. It was incredibly posh and I felt like I was younger again and was forced to go to the stupid Ministry parties with Mum and Dad.

“Stopped checking yourselves out in the mirror yet? Cause everyone else is ready apart from you.” Lily popped her head around the door and her hair was over her shoulder in a messy plait, her face done up with a whole load of make-up and my older brother protectiveness came out.

“Show us what dress you’re wearing.” I ordered, crossing my arms at the same time as Al. It seemed like we both agreed that if she was wearing something inappropriate that she was going to change.

“Why do you care what dress I’m wearing?” She still wasn’t showing us the dress.

“Because I need to make sure that my baby sister is not dressed as a walking talking piece of meat that other men can ogle.” I answered, narrowing my eyes as she rolled her eyes.

“You two are unbelievable! I’m 22!” She moaned and disappeared down the stairs so we followed her to where everyone was waiting by the front door. When I saw Lily’s dress I was caught between disappointed and glad that it came to mid-calf but still was quite form-fitting in places that should not be shown off. Not to mention that her boobs were nearly hanging out at the neckline. Well, I was distracted by Lily’s dress until I saw what Elle was wearing and I was nearly swept off my feet in pure, unadulterated amazement. Her dress was a dark green, matching her hair perfectly, was floor-length and hugging every single curve that I didn’t know she had and flowed out at the bottom, sort of like a trumpet. The back dipped low to the middle of her back and showed a quarter of her scar. This, however, was the only part of skin showing because it had long sleeves and the neckline almost reached to her neck so it wasn’t low like Lily’s was. Thank God because I don’t think I would like it very much if I saw another guy eye her up.

She looked absolutely iridescent, beautiful, gorgeous, stunning and if there were any more adjectives I could think of at this precise moment, I would add them. But one stood out to me more than the others and that was; perfect. Her hair was straight down her back but curled at the ends slightly, she was wearing a pair of silver dangly earrings and that’s when I looked at her neck to see she was wearing the necklace that I had bought her for her birthday. I was speechless and felt incredibly ordinary and unworthy whilst I stared at her stood there, a small blush creeping up her cheeks as I tried to find any words to say.

“You can close your mouth now, James.” Lily teased but I didn’t retort like I would have because I just couldn’t form any coherent thoughts. I thought she was pretty that day when I had to pretend-propose to her but this… pretty was an understatement. Pretty just wouldn’t do her justice.

“James, we’re gonna be late unless you apparate with Elle to the resort.” Mum’s voice was the one that snapped me out of my daze and I briskly walked forward to hold my arm out for her. It was probably a good idea that I had to focus on apparating us to the correct location because I needed to say something that didn’t sound like I was a quivering mess inside.

I coughed once we’d arrived in the entrance hall, “Uh…” I started, scratching the back of my neck nervously, “You, uh, look beautiful.” Oh my God, that sounded terrible! Why couldn’t I have used a better word than beautiful?

“You scrub up pretty well yourself.” She smiled back, brushing some hair from her face. I held my arm out for her, she linked her arm around mine and we walked into the main room together. An overwhelming sense of pride came over me as I saw that nearly every single eye was drawn to the amazing woman on my side and I also felt smug when I saw a few jealous looks of the guys.

“So glad you could come,” Valerie’s voice called from behind us and true to my word, I made sure myself and Elle were stood behind everyone else, obstructed from her view, “Your table is over here!” She directed us to a circular table that Courtney, Alfonso and Travis were already sat at.

“Oh, fucking fantastic.” I heard Elle hiss and when we’d sat down, I grabbed her hand under the table and kept a tight grip on it.

“It’ll be alright, Elle, I’m right here.” I whispered in her ear before placing a kiss on her temple.

“It’s lovely to see you all again! It has been way too long since we last saw you!” Courtney greeted everyone enthusiastically, her voice already grating on my nerves like fingernails scraping on a chalkboard.

“There’s a reason.” I whispered under my breath to Elle and she tried to hide her grin.

“How do you and Valerie know each other?” Mum asked, generating a stimulating conversation around the table.

“Oh, well we worked together on a project a while back whilst I was still a waitress.” Valerie answered.

“Yeah, it was before I’d even started dating James, wasn’t it?” Courtney turned to Valerie like they were old friends.

“I think it was, yeah. Anyway, it went really well and we just kept in contact. We had no idea that James had started dating Elle here!” The conversation was now directed at myself and Elle.

“Crazy world, isn’t it?” Courtney giggled, pouring herself some wine. I noticed that Alfonso was giving Elle hungry looks and I could see it was making her uncomfortable and it was making me angry because she was mine, so we switched seats, “Elle, how’s the holiday going?” Courtney asked when Valerie had captured the attention of everyone else in the room for her speech before the dinner was served.

“It’s going very well thanks,” she answered with a forced smile, “Actually, it’s getting better on Tuesday.” She turned to me and I had to plaster a massive smile on my face because I had no idea where she was going.

“Yeah, it is,” that’s when I realised what was happening on Tuesday. The wedding, “We… are getting married.” I announced, making sure everyone on the table could hear now that Valerie had re-joined us after finishing her speech. The mixture of responses was hilarious, the Potter’s, myself and Elle looked positively ecstatic. On the other hand, Travis, Valerie and Courtney all looked gobsmacked. I’m not sure what was going through Alfonso’s mind but judging by the way he was staring at Elle, I had a pretty good idea.

“What?” Courtney was the first to break the silence.

“We’re getting married.” I repeated, my jaw clenching as I looked at the girl that I thought I had been in love with for 3 years. A flash of jealousy swam in her eyes before both her and Valerie put on smiles and congratulated us, ordering more champagne to celebrate. Elle was silent throughout the dinner, only focussing on her food and laughing at the occasional comment that I made under my breath so it came as a shock when Valerie rounded on her after the dinner had been taken away and nearly everyone had got up to dance. Including my parents, it was so embarrassing.

“So Elle, what made you fall in love with James in the first place?” She put her head on her knuckles on the table as if she was actually interested in what she had to say.

“Uh…” she stumbled a little because she was being put on the spot suddenly, “Well, I’m not really sure when I fell in love with James… it just sort of happened.” She shrugged, looking at me for reassurance that it was a good answer and I smiled in return.

“Come on, you can do better than that!” she urged with a little bit of smugness behind it, “And say it looking at him because then we can see him blushing.” She teased and Elle finally managed to look me in the eye after a few seconds. I really hoped she’d make it believable…

“Okay,” she took a breath, “I realise it every time you smile…” she paused to smile herself but her blue eyes never left mine, “When you properly smile, not a smirk or one of your lopsided grins, because it makes you look younger and happier.”

“Aww, that’s adorable!” Valerie inputted but it seemed like she wasn’t done yet.

“And whenever I wake up… you always, without fail, have an arm around me protectively and I somehow feel safer knowing it’s there,” I swear I had stopped breathing, forgetting that everyone else was in the room, “You never push me for an answer when there’s something you know I don’t like talking about. You just let me know you’re there for me and it’s more than enough, just knowing you’re there,” her grip was as tight as ever on my hand under the table, “I just love the fact that you’re so open about your love for you family. It’s amazing how well you get on with them and you all make me feel like I have been a part of the family for years and years. And you always do things to make me smile, especially if I’m not feeling great that day.” She finished finally and I couldn’t bring myself to look away, I just couldn’t. It was incredibly heartfelt and my heart was swelling, my breathing was ragged and I couldn’t help it… I was starting to fall blindly in love with this girl opposite me and she had no idea how much she had affected me in such a small amount of time.

“Your turn, James!” Valerie still didn’t manage to break our eye contact and I started feeling worried as to what I would say, “Don’t hold back.” She joked and I wasn’t sure whether people had come back to our table yet because all I could think about was how I was going to express my feelings for Elle without giving anything away majorly.

“Okay, here goes,” I whispered to myself. I might as well be truthful, it was the only way to make it realistic to other people, “When you laugh and your nose crinkles a little, it’s adorable and I love making you laugh just so I can see it and hear you laugh in general. And feel proud that it was me that made you laugh and just me. Whenever you blush at any compliments thrown your way because it just makes me want to shower you with compliments so you can see what I see every day and make you believe it,” at this she blushed which only made me smile even wider, “You never take anything I say seriously and always have a sarcastic response or retort which makes just hanging out with you entertaining. Like we can sit around all day doing nothing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world because of the things you say,” I felt someone sit beside me but I was fully concentrated on Elle’s eyes, “The way you ask about my day or how I slept or to tell you stories about when I was younger because… I don’t know, it makes me feel young again and that you are actually interested in hearing my answers. And when we kiss, it’s like we were made for each other because you fit perfectly against me and they always leave me satisfied yet wanting more at the same time. It’s enchanting.” I finished with a shaky breath, relinquishing my tight grip on her hand for her to grip it back just as tight. A cough from the side finally broke our gaze and we shifted back in our seats quite awkwardly.

“That was so unbelievably cute!” Lily squealed and then sighed dreamily, occasionally staring between us.

“Thanks… erm, do you wanna go dance?” I asked Elle, just to get away from the completely awkward tension.

“Yeah sure.” She agreed, took my hand and we walked in silence to the dance-floor. Immediately as we stepped onto it, a slow song started and I put my hands on her waist whilst her hands wrapped around my neck and we started swaying slowly. Our eye contact was re-started again and I didn’t realise I was singing along to the song until it got to an incredibly cheesy part and Elle giggled adorably. Her nose crinkled and like I said before, I loved it when she laughed because it was a wonderful sound. Her head descended to rest on my shoulder and I leaned my head on hers, occasionally placing kisses on top of her head. We never broke apart even as song after song was played and it was perfect until Lily interrupted us.

“Guys, I have an idea! Why don’t we all go back to the villa, or yacht in your case, and get ready and go out to a nightclub in Spain?” She looked excited and I guess Elle was in a good mood because she agreed happily.

“You sure you want to go out tonight?” I asked.

“I’m sure. I’m unusually happy for once and I want to go out tonight and have even more fun.” She nodded her head. We walked back to where my Mum and Dad were sat, explained what we were doing and said our goodbyes. Once we were back on the yacht, we went into our bedroom and began to get ready to get changed. I could see that Elle was struggling to get the back of her necklace undone so I stepped behind her.

“Here, let me help you,” she pulled her hair to one side so I could get easy access to the clip and waited until I had undone it. She put the necklace back in the drawer before turning around to face me again, “I’m sorry I couldn’t keep you away from Valerie at the start of the evening.” I felt like I should say something but it only came out as a whisper.

“It’s okay, James, we were sat on the same table… it couldn’t be helped.” She whispered back, her arms hanging by her sides and I wanted to talk to her about the stuff she said but I wasn’t really sure how to go about it.

“Those things you said…” I gulped and watched her become frightfully still, “That was, uh, very clever. They were very… realistic.” I stepped closer so we weren’t so far away.

“So were yours,” her voice was so hard to hear but I was mesmerised by her right now, her blues eyes searching my brown ones frantically, “We should probably get changed now.” She coughed slightly.

“Right.” I breathed, slowly moving so that my hand was cupping her neck and bringing her closer to me.

“Right.” She copied me before our lips joined, moving together as one. My other hand grasped her chin before moving down to her waist, pulling her body fully against mine. It was such a different kiss to the one that had happened after I had pretend-proposed. This one had so much more unspoken emotion in it and I was intoxicated by everything Elle. Her body. Her eyes. Her laugh. Her lips. Her mind. Her soul. It just simply mesmerised me, I wanted so much more. I would never, ever get enough of her no matter how hard I would try. Her hands came to life, moving up to my chest where she splayed her fingers before moving them up slowly, shrugging off my jacket and tossing it to the side. My hands moved from her face to her back where I was intent on trying to get us as close as possible. Our lips were still moving together, slowly as if savouring every single moment of the kiss and I was doing just that because it was feeding my hunger for her. My bow-tie and shirt had disappeared before I realised it and we gently moved onto the bed so I was on top of her but not breaking the kiss. Suddenly, our clothes were gone and strewn around the room as we both lay there naked. I broke the kiss before it went any further and looked down into those beautiful blue eyes.

“Are you sure?” I whispered, really not wanting to ruin the moment but I had to be certain this was something that she wanted. She nodded her head, bringing her lips back onto mine as we began to move.

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