11 Can't hold back any longer

"I'm home." Yu mumbled. He closed the door and slipped off his shoes before heading to the common area.

"Did Noelle buy all these?" He noticed the bags on the table.

Recently, he started coming home when he was sure Noelle had left for work. His work hours were somewhat irregular anyway, so sometimes he had to stay longer for shoots. He knew he needed to apologize for the way he treated her the last time they spoke but he couldn't bring himself to face her. He was too ashamed. But after that incident he realized something he should've known before...he was in love with Noelle.

Yu loved her attitude, her kindness, the way her nose scrunched when she smiled a genuine smile. He loved the vanilla fragrance that seemed to secrete naturally from the pores of her skin. He loved the way her hair bounced when she moved and how she would tie it up when it got in her way. Everything, he loved everything about her. He needed to confess to her soon, no, today. Today he would confess to her. If he didn't soon, someone else might win her over before he could.

Yu gathered the bags on the table and headed to Noelle's room. He turned the doorknob slowly, as if warning her he was entering for in the slightest case she was still home. She rarely ever missed work. He pushed the door open. The heavy bags that hung from his fingers were now on the floor, his eyes widened. He wasn't angry but sad instead.

The air felt heavy in his lungs. With a lack of energy Yu asked "Elle, who is this?" his voice cracked, he couldn't hide his disappointment any longer. Tears stung his eyes and threatened to escape.

Noelle felt as if a blade punctured her heart. She was in physical pain after seeing the state of her close friend.


Noelle moved quickly to go to his side but Haru grabbed her wrist again. He seemed to love doing that. He fixed himself up and then proceeded to stand. He slipped his arm around Noelle's waist and answered Yu's question.

"I'm her boyfriend. You must be the friend letting her stay here. Thank you for taking care of her but she no longer needs your help, she'll be staying with me now."

What? Obviously this man wasn't her boyfriend and she obviously wouldn't be leaving with him. Yu knew that right?

Yu's body went stiff as he looked at the taller man. Noelle was leaving him? She didn't know how much he needed her around. She was such a big part of his daily routine and daily life, she couldn't just leave so suddenly.

Haru turned to face Noelle and leaned to her ear "Pack your things, I'll come get you in a few days." He then placed warm fingers underneath her chin, tilting her head upwards. He placed a soft kiss on her forehead.

Yu's heart ached at the sight.

Noelle's eyes fluttered closed. Despite the current situation, her body welcomed Haru's touch. Her forehead tingled as the remnants of his hot kiss seeped into her skin. For a second, they were the only two in the room.

He removed his arm and offered his hand to Yu before leaving the room. Yu looked away.

Haru looked back at a dumbstruck Noelle before adding "Take your time and settle your affairs." with that he showed himself out.

After she was sure the front door closed, Noelle rushed to Yu, holding his hand with both of hers.

Tears fell through her lashes before she could wipe them away "Yu, what's wrong? I've never seen you like this. Can you tell me what happened?"

Yu wiped his eyes with the back of his hand before facing Noelle "You really don't know? Elle how could you be so oblivious?"

Noelle was confused but sincere "Oblivious of what? I don't know what's wrong with you or how to help you. Please tell me and I promise I'll help you."

"You promise to help me? No matter what the issue is?"

"Of course, you don't even have to ask me that. Just tell me how I can."

Yu took a step closer to Noelle, with his free hand he placed it against her cheek. Noelle closed her eyes and leaned against the warm hand. She missed the way it always embraced her before. Yu wiped away a falling tear with the tip of his thumb.

Yu smiled softly with sad eyes. "Don't cry for me Elle, I don't ever want to make you cry again."

Noelle opened her eyes and placed her hand on top of Yu's. They stared in each other's eyes, as if trying to truly understand the feelings of the person in front of them.

He took another step closer and placed his hand on the small of Noelle's back. She could feel his breath on her cheeks now. Boyfriend or not, Yu was done holding back. He was taking the chance.

"Wait, what is thi-"

Yu slowly interrupted her by gently placing his lips on hers. Noelle's body hardened, not only was this her first kiss but it was coming from her dear friend. Yu lightly licked Noelle's bottom lip as if asking for permission to enter. She was confused with his sudden advancement but if this made him feel better, she was willing to continue.

She allowed Yu's tongue to explore her mouth and his lips to caress her's gently. She wasn't sure how his kiss was suppose to make her feel. All she knew was that her body was warm and her mind was at peace. She felt a feeling of comfort. She felt as if everything would be okay as long as Yu was in this state, as long as Yu was happy.

After a short while, Yu pulled away so Noelle could catch her breath. He moved the coils from her forehead and placed a gentle kiss a bit higher than where Haru kissed her previously.

It all made sense now. Noelle looked into Yu's eyes knowingly.

He smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes "Do you understand now?"

She was suddenly embarrassed to be seen this way by her best friend. She dropped her head as she fixed her eyes on the space between them.

"Please look at me." Yu touched Noelle's shoulder with a tender hand. He felt as if time stopped when Noelle finally brought her eyes to his. They were so beautiful. Serenity was the only word he could think of to describe how he felt when she looked at him.

She opened her mouth to speak but her words were mute. She tried again, this time being able to use her voice.

"Do" she paused "Do you like me?"

Yu's smile dropped a little. Was the moment they just shared not enough for her to understand?

He pulled her in for an affectionate embrace, too afraid to see her reaction after he revealed what was in his heart.

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Into her shoulder he confessed "I love you."

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