— joel miller x fem!reader
— warnings: explicit content minors dni, smutttt, dirty talk, very minimal plot sorry not sorry, swearing, needles, mention of injuries/cuts
— a/n: happy tlou release week!! this is set in jackson between the first and second game, i wrote the first part before i saw the show but just imagine with me okay. and it’s literally just bc i saw joel in that denim shirt and went yeah… i wanna fuck him in that. lmao. also dedicated to @everybirdfellsilent because we have been waiting for this show for so long and it’s finally here and oaoxosoxosox. wow.
You hadn’t asked for much.
It was a simple fix, you were sure of it. Yes, you don’t know anything about how to fix hinges, nor do you have any clue about how you broke it in the first place. Either way, it’s just a few screws and a metal piece, so was it really that hard to find five minutes to fix it?
Leading another one of the horses into the stable, you pointedly step over the gate that now lays on the floor, too heavy for you to move it. The horse tramples it, of course, which is why you had asked for someone to come and fix it before the horses were brought back in from patrol. Clearly, no one gave a shit about your question, but you know they’d all be the first to complain if it was their horse that got out through a broken gate.
It was late now, anyways. Too late for you to get anyone out, and even with the safety of Jackson’s walls keeping you blocked off from the outside world, being out at night still freaked you. When you finally got the horse in your hand settled and fed, you promptly sat yourself on the floor of the stable. Without the front gate, it wasn’t safe to leave the horses alone. With your luck, they’d get spooked and run all the way through town, and the last thing you needed was more reason for the people in here to look at you.
It wasn’t that you weren’t liked— you just kept to yourself. This life was hard enough as it is, and you didn’t see the point in making friends when in five years this place would probably be full of strangers. People die every day out here, you knew that too well. You wanted to save yourself the heartache wherever you could.
All that anti social behaviour certainly didn’t win you any favours though— hence the still broken door. You loved it— you were good with horses, having lived in a farm before the outbreak, so you decided to volunteer to help in the stables, but it was hard work sometimes. It kept you busy enough, though, and horses never wanted to make conversation, so… win-win.
There was only one problem with working in here. Truthfully, it wasn’t so much as a problem and more of a chronic condition. At least, that’s the way it felt every time Joel Miller made some kind of appearance. Most people just left the horses tied up out front for you to take care of, but Joel seemed to enjoy the peace the stable provided— that and you never talked much, which seemed to work for him. On the days he’d come back from patrol, the two of you would share a few hushed conversations as you worked and he hid from the rest of Jackson, and then you’d fall into a comfortable silence, sometimes for hours at a time.
Weeks had passed like this, and every single day you got a little bit more interested in who the man really was, other than his clear infatuation with his horse. Right when he came in would be the time you talked the most, after about forty minutes it would get too busy and you’d work until the sun set. But those forty minutes started to stretch a little longer, and he seemed to gain interest in you, too. Maybe you were grasping at straws, but hearing Joel’s low voice rumble a few more words every time he spoke to you was doing wonders for your self esteem, and even you couldn’t deny the way your face warmed when he smiled at you.
“Hey, you still— damn. What happened here?” Joel calls from the gaping hole that is the stable door, and only because it’s his voice calling you do you look up.
“It’s been broken all day. I asked someone to fix it, but…” You shrug, sighing and leaning your head back on the small gate that was the only thing holding the horse behind you from leaping out down the main street. “I guess they had other shit to do. I can’t move it on my own.”
Joel considers you for a second, how your frame is backed against the gate, conveniently placed at the closest point to the open door. Then, he looks back to the door on the ground, and back up to you. He smirks.
“So you were plannin’ on sitting in here all night?” The weight of the day makes your shoulders slump forward, and for the first time you really consider your plan. “You gonna body check a horse when he makes a run for it?”
“Okay, it was a dumb plan. But, it’s that or let them all out and get stuck cleaning up the bar floor or something.” He smiles again, the setting sun behind him washing over his shoulders in a pretty orange colour. A tilt of his head in your direction has you standing up, taking the lead of his horse that he offers to you.
“You take him, I’ll go get my tools. Fix it up before sun down.” Before you can protest or tell him he doesn’t have to, he’s walking off to the right up the hill where his house sits.
You’d always been a bit jealous of the spot his house is. It’s far away enough from everyone that you get some real privacy, but close to the stables if you need a quick exit. He had a porch, too. One you spent a little too much of your time staring at during your work hours, when he spent his off days strumming a guitar right in your line of sight. He was just… peaceful to observe. He brought a calm to you that no one else seemed to be able to do, almost enough that you could forget about the world outside and just exist in that little bubble for a while.
You lead Joel’s horse inside, hearing it trample the door again, and hang up his saddle next to the stable. Joels horse is much like him— quiet unless provoked. You found it out the hard way when you first led it in with a routinely aggressive horse, thinking it’s demeanour would calm him down. The next morning you woke up to two very angry horses and a half bent gate of steel.
“Saved you your favourite spot.” You say to his horse, Old Beardy. You never asked how Joel picked the name, but for some reason it worked so well— at least, he was definitely older than most. “See? He’s right up there.”
The stable at the back was angled just right so that the small window at the height of a horses head pointed directly towards Joel’s porch. Not close enough to see anything other than the outside, but enough that you know it’s there. You don’t come in here often, Joel always taking his own horse in, but when you do you can’t help but notice the instant calming effect it has on Beardy— you might have more in common with this horse than half the people in Jackson.
When you find your way back to the front, Joel’s footsteps are trudging back down the hill. You’ll be fairly useless as anything other than company while he fixes the door, but you can’t seem to stop your heart from racing a million miles a minute as he gets closer and closer. Yes, he makes you forget about everything on the outside, but that’s mainly due to how insane he drives you. All those conversations in the stables and too long looks in town are just all too consuming, and now, when you see him come into sight, you have to put some physical difference between him and you.
“You don’t have to, Joel. Really, I’m sure someone’ll—“
“No, they won’t. Knowin’ the people around here, you’ll be sleepin’ on the floor till next year.” He bends down, and you drop yourself back to the floor and stare in some kind of mesmerised silence as he runs his hands over the broken hinges of the door.
In a few passing thoughts you’d never admit to yourself, you have an obsession with his hands. He was just so…capable. He could do so many things so easily— and some kind of backward wire in your brain fizzled with electricity at the sight of him in his element. He starts fiddling with tools, first starting to remove the broken hinge, muscles flexing as he tears off the old bolts.
“What happened?” He says, the words muffled by the screwdriver in his mouth.
“I have no clue. When I woke up this morning it was blown in. I spent a good hour trying to move it but it’s so—“ With one arm, he pulls it up to stand vertical, a fist wrapping around the edge of the gate. It doesn’t even look like he tried. “—heavy.”
“Come ‘ere and hold it straight.” He says, keeping one arm out in front of him, the other still holding the door up. “I won’t let it fall. Come on.”
“Like this?” You say, staring down at him as you finally reach the door and take a little bit of the weight. He flicks his eyes up, nodding and shifting on his knees to get a better angle on the door.
“Perfect.” He says softly, looking up at you for another split second before clearing his throat and screwing on a new hinge.
“You really didn’t have to do this, but thank-you.” Joel shakes his head, his fingers fiddling with a latch.
“Least I can do. Everyone should be up here helpin’ you anyways.” He stands up, and with only a barrier the width of a gated door, you can feel his body heat keeping you warm when he towers over you. “Keep holding it still.”
“Yeah.” You manage, eyes fluttering closed. “People help, though.”
“Oh, I bet.” He says, sarcasm dripping off his words as he laughs dryly.
“They do! Sometimes… I mean, it’s not their fault. I’m kind of a hermit up here. I don’t really make an effort, so I can’t blame them.” He stops working, his knuckles white over the railing of the gate, and looks to you.
“You’ve trained all these new horses to track better than those guys ever could. They’d die out there without ‘em. Carl doesn’t know his left from right— he got lost eight times last patrol. It’s cause of your horses he got back safe.” Joel’s face is more serious, his eyes sharp but still with a hint of softness that he often looks at you with. “Doesn’t matter if you ain’t makin’ friends. This ain’t middle school, and people should be helpin’ you no matter what. Least of all fixing a door.”
“That’s why I keep you around, Joel.” You smile lightly, his voice getting lower the angrier he gets.
“Good. You tell me next time, and I’ll come round and help. Avoid the whole town all together.” You hum, letting go of the gate as he hauls it up in the air and shuffled backward, setting it against the hinges. “How do you know so much about horses?”
“I lived on a farm, way back when. Besides, they’re easy to navigate once you get to know them.” Joel puts the screwdriver back in his mouth, and you can’t help but stare at him. The small scars on his face, peppered around his cheeks. Some are older, worn and faded, while the one across his nose is new. It’s not even scarred yet, still fresh
“You okay?” He says softly, tilting his head.
“Your face.” His eyebrows furrow, and you shake your head. “Sorry. You… did something happen on patrol? You have a cut—“
“Just a few clickers. Real old, hauled up in a caravan out west. Nothing we couldn’t handle.” The door drops into place, and he swings it out towards him. It sounds less squeaky than it usually did. “Good as new.”
“You should clean it.” You say, worry edging in your voice. “If it was clickers.”
“I’m fine.” He shrugs it off.
“Come on. It’s the least I can do. I have a first aid kit in the back, and then we can call it even.” He relents, locking the door behind him and stepping further into the stables. “Sit. I’ll get the kit.”
“Yes, ma’am.” You can hear a small smirk on his voice, and you roll your eyes, turning around to find the kit. “Why you got a first aid kit in here anyways?”
“You’re using it now, aren’t you?” You turn around, raising your eyebrows. “You’d be surprised how many people come here before going to medical. I started to stock up a little, do what I can. It’s not much, but I can clean it off and do some botched stitches until they see a real doctor.”
“And none of those guys came up to fix the god damn door?” He was getting angry again, and you tried to ignore the shiver that went up your spine when he spoke like that.
He was sitting on a small stool, putting him about waist height. When you stepped closer, shuffling your feet on the floor, he tilted his head up. His open legs invited you closer, nearly drawing you in with a magnetic field he was completely unaware of.
Armed with a cotton ball and disinfectant, your fingers were light enough to breeze along his jaw to hold him in place. He stares up at you, watching your eyes as they flit between the cut on his nose and his wandering gaze. His face is warm when you work up the courage to place your palm on his cheek, thumb gently smoothing over the salt and pepper flecks of his beard. He doesn’t flinch away when you press the cotton ball to his face, swiping across the bridge of his nose.
“Does it hurt?” You whisper, feeling the need to keep your voice low.
“No.” He does the same, the heat of his body making you shuffle slightly closer. His hands are in fists on his knees, like he’s straining to keep himself still. “Told you it was fine.”
“And I told you I wanted to help.” When you’re satisfied with the results, you take a fresh cotton pad and dry it up. “You might need stitches. It’s deep.”
“Go on.” He says, and you lean back, eyes wide.
“You want me to stitch your face together?”
“Good practise, and I trust you.” The simple words have your heart slamming against your rib cage, but instead of showing it you kneel in between his legs and search the contents of the kit for a needle.
“If I mess up your face, you knew what you signed up for.” When you find what you’re looking for, you straighten, Joel’s face is right in front of you. It takes you a second to realise just how close he is, and the position isn’t lost on him either. It’s probably the most emotive you’ve seen him, his jaw going tight from how hard he’s biting down.
“It’s already messed up. You’re fine.” He manages, his voice strained.
“Hold still.” Whispering the words, you lean closer and bring the needle to his skin. His eyes close, and it’s when you press the point into his nose that his hands shoot out in front of him, holding your hips gently.
“It’s fine. Are you okay?” He grunts in a way you think is affirming, so you keep threading the needle. You only need one stitch for a spot this small. “Your face isn’t messed up.”
“It’s not. Messed up.” You feel his thumbs stroke along the bone of your hip just once before he stills again. You tie off the stitch, and his eyes open. “There. You’re pretty again.”
Your breathing was rapid even though you didn’t have a true reason for it, but neither of you moved. His hands— strong and so fucking capable, holding you still on your knees in front of him. His eyes were pools, inviting you in with a gleam of something shiny, and where you were nearly gasping he was calm and collected. In his element, like he was right where he should be.
The whole stable was a dull orange now, the colours dusting through the strands of Joel’s hair. It’s never really sitting right, wind whipping it out of control on patrol, but you have the urge to run your hands through it anyway. You let yourself explore one small piece of him, like he has to you, and your fingertips run back over the shell of his ear, tangling in his hair. He sucks in a short breath, leaning into the hold of your hand.
“Joel.” You say, voice so soft he would of never heard you if you weren’t so close, but you call for him and he leans closer. Your foreheads nearly touch, and his hands tighten their hold on you.
“Thank you, darlin’.” You sigh deeply, unable to keep yourself upright at the nickname. It rings through you, his accent strong and adding an entire other layer to why he’s so easy to fall into. You don’t even really notice how dark it’s gotten— you usually have sprinted home by now. But Joel’s here, and with him this close, you can’t think of anything else. He leans closer, and your eyes flutter closed.
“Can I kiss you?” He says, the brush of his lips against yours sending a tidal wave of need from your head to your feet.
“Only if you hurry up.” You answer helplessly, voice cracking, and he smiles against you and finally brings his mouth to yours.
It’s anything but calm. That peaceful energy of the stables is completely shattered and sorted into something electrical and sizzling. He yanks you forward, bodies pressing together as you use the leverage of your hand fisted in his hair to kiss him harder and deeper. It doesn’t take long before his tongue is swiping along your bottom lip, seeking permission.
You let him in— you’d let him do whatever he asked for if he kept pouring himself into you like this. He tasted good, which should be impossible but when you’ve been starved of something for this long it doesn’t matter what he does it’s just that he’s giving it to you. He moves his hands to the small of your back, pressing your hips right in the middle of his open legs, his other hand on the back of your head.
You feel him groan when you press together, the sound waking up parts of you that had been dormant for far too long. It was like he had access to each nerve in your body, and every little sound or touch had them blaring red and sparking.
“Fuck, darlin’. Come closer.” He groans into your mouth before kissing you again. You smile for a moment, not entirely sure how you could get any closer, and then it’s wiped off when he hauls you upward, hooking your legs around his waist on the stool. “Yeah. Right here.”
Your arms cling around his neck, his own searching up and down your body. Your shirt rides up with the movements and you moan every time he grazed along your skin. There’s something equally hard and soft about his hands— rough from years of work but soft with the way they hold you up, how they’re careful not to dip too low or high. You arch your back, giving him wordless permission, and he groans into your mouth again.
At some point you have to breath— both of you gasping for air in the quiet of the darkened stables. He brings his hands to your face, holding you against his forehead so he can look into your eyes. He was smiling too— like actually smiling, not that half smirk you’ve seen so often.
“What are we doin’?” He laughs, kissing you again.
“I don’t know, but can we keep going somewhere that doesn’t smell like horse shit?” You whisper and he laughs again. It’s sounds so good— like the sound of the beginning of your favourite song. It makes your heart sing, melting you into the tune. “Please, Joel. I really want…”
“Tell me, baby.” He moves, angles your head with swift moves of his fingers so he can kiss you lower. Under your jaw, and then he drags his mouth down, along your neck, teeth nipping softly… “Fuck knows I wanna hear you say it.”
“You. I really want you.” He hums against your skin, one arm hooking under your ass as he stands easily. You squeal, muffling the sound in the mop of hair on his head. As you walk outside, there’s only a few people still mulling around, and they turn their heads towards you when they hear your soft laughter mixed with Joel’s— two sounds that seem to alarm them more than clickers.
For the first time since you’d been here, you really don’t care if people are looking at you, or what they’re saying. When Joel locks the gate behind you and slides you down his chest to let your feet touch the floor, you are reminded once again of his ability to remove every single thought from your mind except him. Just him, and his hands on your hips, spinning you around and leading you up the hill towards his house. How every so often he’ll bend down, pressing his lips lightly to the back of your neck, and how you can feel his smile on your skin.
He guides you easily, your body on auto pilot to his small gestures, and when you finally rush up the few steps of his porch— one you’ve spent way too much time staring at from afar, you’re both attached to each others face like horny teenagers. He fumbles with the doors lock, jamming keys with aggressive force while his other hand stays soft and sweet on your waist, holding you against him. When the door gives out behind you he never lets you stumble, taking you in his stride with practised precision. You’ve seen the inside of his house, but never the layout, so as he guides you blindly through the hallway, your shut eyes and occupied mouth never see it coming when you fall backwards onto a bed.
“Let me take this off.” He mumbles against your lips, tugging at your shirt and jacket. In a tangle of limbs you both shove at the material, finally hooking it over your head. He presses you flat against the mattress again, hanging over you and running his hands up and down your sides in long, soothing strokes. “God damn gorgeous.”
“Your turn.” The blaze in his eyes dulls slightly at your comment, and he just bends to kiss you again. He links your hands in his own, pulling you away from where they were tugging at his shirt. “Joel.”
“Nothin’ there you wanna see, baby. Just let me look at you.” As sweet as his voice sounds, and as much as you want him to continue, you pull away from his greedy mouth.
“Please take your fucking shirt off.” You say harshly, biting at his bottom lip hard enough for his eyes to open again. He looks over you, taking in the sight of you under him with your arms pinned above your head, back arched towards him. He’s clearly contemplating how difficult it would be to ignore you, smirking a little when he looks up at your hands again.
“Or what? You gonna make me stop?” He kisses under your jaw, his free hand skating along your side, only stopping when his fingers reach the hem of your jeans. When he hears you gasp as his hand disappears under the fabric, he laughs. “Nah, you won’t make me stop. Want it just as bad as I do, don’t you?”
“But I want—“
“Shh, shh. I’ll give you what you want.” His mouth his dizzying— words and movements hot against your skin as his hand bypasses your underwear and drags slow circles against your clit, immediately drawing his name from your lips again. “There you go, darlin’. Feels good?”
“God— yeah, faster. Please.” Your chest was rising and falling so fast, trying to pull the air he was punching out of your lungs with every quick movement of his fingers. He hums at the praise, and you feel him shift above you, sitting up so he could slip one finger inside of you. “Fuck, Joel!”
“I know, baby.” He tilts his head up to kiss you again, tongue matching the fast and unpredictable pace of his hand. You can feel it building— pleasure rippling up your spine and fizzing low in your stomach, and your hands tug under Joel’s unrelenting grip.
He seems to forget he was meant to be holding you, his groans and concentration all focused on the way he was fucking you with his hand, so he lets you go, his hand going to hold your face. It makes you smile under him, but it quickly gets lost when you moan his name again, rolling your hips against him.
Now your hands are free, you have a moment of clarity when your eyes flutter open and see him staring at you; eyes flitting between your face and your chest. You want to have that— to see skin you’ve only thought about in the late hours of the night when you were alone, never admitting it to yourself when you woke the next day. You grab onto the hem of his shirt, ripping the denim up as far as you can, getting your hands on the bare skin of his back.
He doesn’t help you— too obsessed with the way you are writhing and moaning so loud the poeple down the street will know what your doing. Neither of you care about anything else than this, right here, and the fiery hot spark that’s lighting you up inside.
“Shirt, Joel.” You tug at the collar, then card your fingers through his hair and pull. He grumbles something, and then you whimper when his hand leaves you and he sits up on his knees. He was out of breath, towering over you and keeping you caged underneath him as he tore the shirt over his head and threw it behind him. When he leans back down, he doesn’t give you the time to admire him that you’d like, but you take what he gives you. He shoves your own jeans down, shaking them off you in one tug, and your eyes hardly have time to open before you feel the backs of your calves press against the flexing muscles of his bare shoulders.
“Perfect.” He says, speech almost slurred, and the look he gives you reminds you of the one he gave you in the barn. Before you can think enough on it, both of his hands hold your hips down and he gives you one last look before he buried his face in your pussy.
It doesn’t take much to have you screaming his name again, that sweet hot pleasure that was building so quickly comes rushing back with the wet heat of his mouth. He eats you out like he’s fucking hungry for it— pulling borderline shouts from deep in your chest, like something is bashing against your ribcage, only awoken by his complete and utter devotion. His tongue swirls and fingers curl, and you lose sense of direction, clawing at his hair and feeling his groan when you pull him into you.
There’s no where to go, stuck under his weight as he dives into your taste, at his mercy entirely. It was so different to see him undone— a sight you wouldn’t be able to forget next time he came into the stables all soft eyes and short words. No, here he was holding your eye contact, groaning your name as if you were the one doing this to him. He gave you no choice but to hurtle towards the edge of consciousness, knowing you wouldn’t be able to hold out under him much longer.
“Joel. Joel— fuck.” His lips wrap around your clit, sucking gently while his fingers curl inside you in a spot that has you seeing stars. “Oh, god—“
He doesn’t say anything when you cum, just groans into your pussy as he guides you through it. He sets pace and intensity, both of which are hard and almost unbearable, and he only drags himself away when you beg him to. Your legs shake, his hands smoothing over your thighs as his mouth presses wet kisses up your skin, over your stomach and chest, finally reaching your mouth with an overwhelming force.
You hum, tasting the combination of you and him together on his tongue, taking everything he needs to give you. He shuffles up, and you feel his cock pressing hard against your thigh, still straining in his jeans. You let him kiss you lazily, let him explore you this way while your hands busy themselves between your bodies, unzipping his jeans. When your palm brushes over his length still covered by his boxers, he hisses and his eyebrows furrow, like the pleasure is almost painful. You do it again and he shudders, pressing his forehead to yours.
“You’re so soft.” He murmurs past your ear when you slip your hand under the waistband. When your fingers wrap around him, you stay true to his word and stay light with your touch, not wanting him to finish just yet. You want to make it good for him— draw it out. Pay him back for everything he gave to you; not just tonight, but every night. “So fucking soft. Sweet.”
“You like that?” You ask innocently, stroking him again. Your thumb brushes over his tip and he shudders again, nearly shivering. “I can be gentle. Want you inside me, though.”
“Whatever you want. Fuck— anything you want to do to me. Please, baby. Not gonna last long if you keep doing that.” A single please was enough to grant him a thousand wishes, but you’ll settle for giving him just one.
He helps rid himself of the rest of his clothes, no insecurity in sight with the lower half of his body. There was no need to be… he was big. It made sense— he was a big guy, but it wasn’t just that. He was just… perfect.
“Eyes on me.” He says, pulling your gaze away from where your bodies are about to meet. “I want to see your face when I…”
He trails off when his tip lines up with your entrance. You bite your lip in anticipation, feeling the soaked pleasure coating him as he finally slides himself further and further. You both sigh, like a weight is being lifted from both of you. As if this was the way you were both meant to be.
He bottoms out, head buried in the crook of your neck as he chokes out your name. You feel full— the weight and stretch holding you to the bed, your arms strung lazily around his neck. Your fingers wander down his spine, keeping that soft lilt to your touch that he seems to thrive under. For all his hardness and strength, it’s the lightest touches that seem to crumble him the most.
“Fuck, baby. Feel so good around me.” Joel never speaks for the fun of it, but he says these things like he needs to. Strained and focused, like it’s a compulsion to tell you how good it feels. “Needed to fuck you for so long. You gonna let me make you feel good, aren’t you?”
“Yes, Joel. Please, I need— need you to move.” You whine like a spoilt child, and you are now that you’ve had a taste. He laughs once, a breathless sound, and then pulls out nearly all the way, only to slide back in with that same trained pace.
“Good girl.” He groans, and then picks up the pace.
It’s devastating. It’s the only way to describe it. He fucks you hard and slow, slowly etching himself into parts of your being you aren’t entirely sure he didn’t just create himself. Like he’s forged apart of you just for him, something low and hot, and he hits it with every, perfectly timed thrust. The bed rocks under him, but he doesn’t seem to care. Its creaks and groans are drowned out by his words and both of your moans.
You are incoherent— overcome by pleasure that shocks even the nerves in your fingers and toes, but it seems to have the opposite effect on Joel. He doesn’t fucking shut up— and it’s about the hottest thing you’ve ever experienced.
“So fucking tight around me.”
“God, you feel good.”
“You are so beautiful.”
“Gonna fuck you for days.” Is the last one you hear before his groans turn to borderline whimpers, his pace stuttering as you feel the coil in your stomach tighten and snap all at once. “Oh, fuck that’s it. Cum again for me. Jesus Christ—“
“Joel.” You can only whisper now— voice so strained that nothing could come out but his name. Your eyes roll back and you feel him fuck into you one or two more times, and then he pulls out and replaces himself with his hand. You ride out your pleasure on his skilled fingers, another wave of heat numbing you when you feel him spill onto your stomach, your back arching off the bed.
The room is suddenly dead quiet, nothing but panting breaths filling the silent house. He is still hanging over you, you can feel both of his forearms next to your head as he leans down to kiss you again. The warmth of his body is lifted just enough for him to use something soft to clean you off, and then he collapses beside you, tugging you onto his chest.
He runs his hand through your hair, stopping at your jaw to tilt you up. He kisses you again, the lack of oxygen making you giddy and dizzy, and you break the kiss only because your smiling so wide.
“What’s so funny?” He says, trying to be serious, but even in the dark you can see his matching grin.
“Just happy. Can I be happy?” It’s meant to be light hearted, but you feel him stop for a second, and then he tugs you a little closer.
“Yeah. Yeah, you can be.” He tucks you under his chin, sighing deeply as the rest of your body turns into him and tangles itself with him. “I am.”
You open your eyes a final time, seeing the pitch black dark outside. If it was light, you’d be able to see the stable from here, but it’s black out there. Usually it would make you uneasy, but tucked up under Joel’s safe arms, there’s nothing in the world that could make you feel more at peace.