Finn hated having power. Possibly more than he hated his father or the monarchy. Probably because power was the reason he hated the other two in the first place. Power corrupted anybody who had it eventually. It was a disease and it punished the weak and vulnerable. Even just as a duke, stepping out in public meant people giving him nods that no other citizen got. Just because he had a title slapped before his name. But he didn’t view knowing someone as a type of power. Secrets and oddities were like thread wrapped tighter and tighter until you almost felt you were one with the other person. Like you could move and they’d move with you. There was no other feeling in the world.
“Ye’re afraid of…it gettin’ too intense,” he guessed. And sure, right now it was light as anything. Just a crush on a pretty girl and kisses in a meadow. But that’s how it always started, didn’t it? And him, being him, was used to tripping and falling hard, of being in that bliss for a few long moments in time and then dropped back out in the cold, seeking the warmth again. It was his cycle. And maybe he was an addict for it. It wasn’t something he thought he could quit, though. But Alice wasn’t like that. She couldn’t just get her heart stepped on and keep smiling. At least not how she was now.
Finn sat up a little. “We don’t have to risk it,” he offered. He shook his head lightly. “Don’t have to have another date. I can keep me distance.” He smiled just a little.
Alice thought about it for a moment. What if they stopped seeing each other? What if, after tonight, Finn Gallagher did keep his distance and Alice Buchanan never had to fear getting hurt? And something inside of her, the part that was frightened said it sounded like the best idea in the world. Her head had always had trouble with the desires of her heart. Two very different parts at war with one another and it didn’t always end peacefully. But the thought of whatever she was feeling now ending just like that… it stung a little. It hurt and she could feel it so easily. She swallowed and shook her head, kissing him quick before she explained with a simple: “Don’t ye dare.” She paused, sliding her fingers along his jawline. “Don’t ye dare, Finn. Don’t wanna’ stop seein’ ye.” She moved with him as he sat up, still straddling his lap. Her arms wound around his neck and she tilted her head to press a kiss to his ear before she sucked gently at the lobe for a few moments and sighed.
“Take risks all the time. Least I did. But not like this. Risks like this… invulnerable or not ye can get hurt, can’t ye?” she smiled, nose brushing Finn’s neck. She pulled back to look him in the eyes because she needed him to know that she wasn’t feeding him some bullshit or just going on because she wanted something from him. No. She liked the Alice she was when she was with him. She felt like the right Alice— or at least the closest she’d been in years. And he had a smile that made her melt and his hands were calloused and perfect and God, she wanted to feel them more often. “Don’t want ye ta go away,” she murmured, pressing another kiss to his lips, slow and soft. “I like this,” she whispered, honestly. “Maybe I wanna’ take a risk,” she admitted, pressing her forehead to his. “… s’livin’, innit? Somethin’ I haven’t done in a long time. Maybe I wouldn’t mind startin’… with ye,” she admitted. She wasn’t saying she was head over heels— not yet, at least. The possibility loomed, but… She wasn’t saying this was any sort of binding contract he couldn’t get out of. If he didn’t want her— ouch— then… he didn’t want her and there was nothing she could do about that. You couldn’t just change a person. And Alice would never want to… not Finn. Not ever.