If anyone's interested, there's the playlist I listened to while writing this fic in the description (to help you get in the mood~)
You remembered with clarity the day you first met Francis Bonnefoy. You pondered about it as you stood waiting for the city bus to arrive. It had been three years ago, on the day of your secondary school graduation, that you had met. Your best friend, Arthur Kirkland, had come to celebrate with you and had brought along a certain Frenchman, who was staying at Arthur's place for work-related reasons.
The blond-haired, blue-eyed man had produced a small red rose for you, and you blushed when his soft hands grazed your hair to place it there. You spent the rest of that evening with Arthur and Francis – the latter man flattered you all evening, and despite yourself, you were hanging onto his every word. No other guy had ever shown as much interest in you before, and it felt good to have his attention. By the end of the evening – no matter how much you had resisted – you had fallen for Francis. But, any fantasies you had involving him were shattered when Arthur later informed you all about him.
“He's a womanizer, a bloody fop. Don't trust a word he says, _____. And most certainly don't find yourself alone with him.”
Arthur was right: as you got to know the man better you discovered he was constantly surrounded by women, offering them roses and flattering words, just as he had with you. He was a flirt, and you decided he would only mean heartbreak for you. After seeing his true colours you decided you wouldn't have anything to do with him.
Francis had other ideas in mind. He seemed to go out of his way to try and woo you, and when you refused him he pestered you until you were at your wit's end and agreed to whatever he wanted. Tonight, as it happened, he had coerced you into attending the French opera, and you just couldn't resist. You didn't speak much French and couldn't understand the opera at all. You kept shushing Francis throughout the performance because he wouldn't stop talking to you; you stopped, however, after you realized he was whispering English translations in your ear.
After the opera, you had planned on taking the city bus straight home. However, as you waited for the bus Francis linked his arm through yours, as if you two were a happy couple.
“Where are you going, mon amour~?” he asked in his usual heavy French accent.
“Home.” You tried to shove him away. “Oh yeah, thanks for inviting me to the opera, by the way.”
“Home?” he asked, as if you had uttered a foul word. “But ze night eez young, mon amie! At least let me drive you 'ome in my car, non?”
“Your rental car,” you reminded. “And I am not getting into a car with you, frog.”
“Ahh, but ze next bus does not arrive for anozzer forty minutes. Are you really going to wait zat long?”
Dammit, you thought. Probably should have checked that out before coming here.
“Fine, Francis, you leave me no other choice. But you're not coming into my house.”
“Honhonhon! But you must allow me to prepare a magnificent dinner for you. I am sure you could use a break from Arthur's cooking.”
You almost gagged thinking of Arthur's scones, which you had unfortunately eaten many times. However, the sound of your growling stomach did not escape the blue-eyed Frenchman's notice. You caved. “Fine, a quick meal, then.”
The man flicked his blond hair dramatically and laughed before leading you to his shiny (fave colour) car, his hand on the small of your back. You swatted his hand away as he opened the passenger door for you.
“After you, mademoiselle~”
“Yeah, yeah,” you mumbled, but couldn't help yourself from blushing. His touch made you feel uncomfortable. And not in a bad way, you admitted to yourself with chagrin. You noticed after you were both inside the car, that the confined space made the scent of Francis' cologne much stronger; the scent tickled and warmed your nose as you breathed it in, going straight to your head. What was that scent? Musky, with a hint of...spice? Francis rested his left arm close to yours – just barely touching! – for you to be very much aware of its close proximity.
“Tsk, I 'ate driving in England,” he mumbled.
You were still thinking of the man's cologne, but your thoughts were interrupted when you realized you weren't driving in the direction of your house. Francis had been to your house several times, so directions were unnecessary.
“To ze grocery store, of course. I am going to prepare you a wonderful meal, oui?”
Francis ordered you to wait in the car while he shopped. (“It eez a surprise! I promise I will be quick.”) Alone with your thoughts, you noticed your hands had balled into fists. This was the first time Francis would be alone with you at your house, considering that the other times Arthur had been present. Arthur's words rang in your head: Don't find yourself alone with him...
As Francis placed the grocery bags in the back of his car, large rain drops began to fall on the windshield in front of you. “Maybe it will let up by the time we get to my house,” you said.
You noticed Francis' hands were restless. The entire drive to your house they alternated from tightly gripping the steering wheel, to twisting the knobs of the car radio, to fiddling with the mirror, to back on the steering wheel. This kind of restlessness was not like Francis.
His eyes were hidden from you by his wavy blond locks. You felt an overwhelming urge to reach out and brush his hair away so you could catch a glimpse of his blue eyes. You resisted the urge by balling your hands into fists again. It continued to spit rain out.
Once you arrived at your house, Francis grabbed the grocery bags. “Hurry inside, mon amour, you don't want to ruin your beautiful dress!” he said and you noticed his eyes drift down to your bare legs.
“Eyes on my face, frog.”
“I will stare at your beautiful face eef zat eez what you prefer~”
You scoffed loudly as you unlocked the front door and hurried inside, just as the rain began to pour in earnest. “Huh. I don't remember a storm in tonight's forecast.”
“Sometimes zese storms come out of nowhere, no?” he replied as he placed the groceries on your kitchen table. You hung your jacket on a peg and then motioned for Francis to give you his white suit jacket to hang. He shrugged out of it, giving you a whiff of his cologne. “Honhonhon trying to get me out of my clothes already~?”
You punched him in the stomach. “Are you going to make me that dinner or what?”
Francis ignored your question and flopped down on his back on your couch. He rubbed his stomach and pouted. “Zat hurt, mon amour.”
You sighed. “Will you stop calling me that?”
“What, 'mon amour'?”
“Yes,” you snapped.
“Well, zen what would you prefer? Mon ange? Ma petite? Ma fleur...?”
You could feel your cheeks warming, and your eyebrow twitched as the Frenchman continued offering up names to call you. Finally, you said, louder than you had intended, “Never mind! Mon amour is fine!” You huffed and began walking up the stairs to your bedroom. “I'm going to go change into something more comfortable –”
Francis was instantly on his feet. “Mind eef I join you~?”
You replied by slamming your bedroom door loudly. You made sure to lock it, too. You were worried Francis was getting a bit too frisky, so you decided to change into something that you thought wouldn't encourage him. As you changed into sweatpants and a (fave colour) t-shirt, however, you couldn't help but want to look your best in front of the Frenchman. You sighed as you walked across the hall to your bathroom to wash your makeup off. After drying your face with a towel, you stole one last quick look in the mirror and decided to tie your hair back in a loose (h/l) ponytail.
You returned to the living room and upon spotting Francis you folded your arms across your chest and began tapping your foot in annoyance. You noticed he had helped himself to the bottle of wine that had been stowed away in one of your kitchen cupboards.
When Francis noticed you standing nearby he glanced up and took in your appearance. When his blue eyes met yours he smiled. “Zere's ze girl I know. You look très belle in fancy dresses, but zey do not suit you as well, mon amour.”
You weren't sure if that was a compliment or if you were meant to feel insulted. Unsure, you replied with a dumb, “Yeah...”
Francis smiled and handed you a glass of wine. “Ahh, you are so cute when you don't know what to say.”
Drinking wine with Francis, you thought. Now that's dangerous. You blushed and took a few small sips. You were spared having to reply to his comment when you heard a loud pelting against the living room window. You got up, still holding your glass, and moved the curtain aside to look out into the darkness.
“It's really starting to pour out,” you said, mentally slapping yourself when you realized how obvious your statement was.
You heard Francis get up from the couch and move behind you to glance out the window over your shoulder. Since he was no longer wearing his jacket the cologne off his neck was more prominent; you hoped he wouldn't notice you relishing in the musky scent as you breathed in deeply. “Oui, eet eez, 'ow you say...raining cats and dogs.” You felt his warm breath on the back of your neck and you couldn't contain the shiver that rose up your spine. Apparently your reaction didn't go unnoticed, because a devilish grin crept across Francis' face. You stared back out the window as if it was the most interesting thing in the world to you, watching the lightning that flashed every few seconds. Until Francis blew on your neck. A gasp escaped your lips and you quickly clamped a hand over the spot he blew on, and glared back at him. Goosebumps formed on your arms and you tried to ignore him, hoping he would get the picture and back away. Apparently Francis didn't like being ignored because he tugged on your (h/l) ponytail.
Frustrated, you spun around to face him. “Will you knock it off –?” you began, but lost your balance in an attempt to keep your wine from spilling. Francis took this opportunity to wrap his arms around your waist and steady you.
“Careful, mon papillon,” he whispered.
“I'm fine,” you said hastily and tried to twist away from him, but his arms wouldn't relent their hold.
“What eez ze matter?” he teased, grinning down at you. “You look tense. Shall I give you a massage~?”
“No,” you said and shoved his face away, for it was much too close to yours. You sat back down on the couch with a huff. “I can do without, thank you very much.” You suddenly felt very jittery. You were acting like a hormone-driven schoolgirl, for goodness' sake! Curse Francis and the way he made your heart race!
“Suit yourself....” He shrugged and rubbed his chin where you had shoved him.
You tapped your nails against your wine glass in an attempt to conceal your trembling fingers. “So are you going to make me dinner, or what?” You wanted him to leave before the storm got any worse.
“Zere's no need to rush sings.” His voice sounded deeper than usual, which threw you off guard. He pressed the wine glass to his lips, causing you to gulp as you watched him sip the sweet wine. Then he sat back down next to you on the couch, crossing one leg over the other. He was sitting close enough to you that you could feel his warm arm against yours.
Keep your head on straight, you told yourself. This is Francis we're talking about. He's a no-good, dangerous heart breaker, and he only wants one thing –
Francis interrupted your thoughts with concern in his voice. “You really do look tense. Are you okay, ma petite?” He placed his hand over yours and you allowed it to remain there longer than was necessary, to indulge in its warmth. Then you pulled away. Francis frowned. “Why do you always shy away from me, mon amour?”
Remember the way you've seen him treat other women, your mind said. If you allowed yourself to be with him intimately he would just dump you afterwards and move on to the next girl. You bit your lip.
“Mon amour?” A crash of thunder broke the silence between you. You hadn't realized you'd been lost in your thoughts, and before you could think of something to say, Francis slapped his hands on his knees and stood from the couch. “Very well, I suppose I will start zat dinner now, no?”
As he started walking away from the couch you reached out and grabbed the back of his black dress shirt on impulse.
“Mon amour?” He looked back at you with concern.
You quickly let go of his shirt. You couldn't meet his questioning gaze. “I –”
A loud crash of thunder interrupted the moment, and you both jumped. Suddenly darkness fell around you as the power went out.
“Oh darn,” you said and felt like smacking yourself for saying something so dumb. You hoped he wouldn't ask why you'd grabbed his shirt. Even you didn't know why.
“Eet eez not a problem,” he said hastily. “Where are ze candles, mon amour?”
“Candles? Umm, upstairs.”
“Right, upstairs...” You heard Francis take a few steps away, and then, “Mon dieu! I can't see a sing.”
You laughed and got up from the couch. “Here, this way.” You reached out for him in the dark and grabbed his hand, leading him up the carpeted stairs. You had hoped the darkness would give you a chance to cool off and compose yourself...but your reduced eyesight made Francis' cologne only more intoxicating, and Francis managed to curl his fingers so they were now clasped through yours, your hands palm to palm.
At the top of the stairs you reluctantly let go of Francis' warm hand, and opened the hall closet, where you kept the candles. You handed some to Francis – your heart missed a beat when his fingers grazed yours – and told him to light some in the bathroom with matches. You then lit some candles around your bedroom, and proceeded downstairs to light a few in the living room and foyer.
“Sorry about the lights,” you said as Francis found his way back downstairs. “With the power out, I guess you won't be able to make me that dinner now.”
“Au contraire,” he declared, a glint in his eyes. “I promised you a magnificent dinner, and a magnificent dinner you will 'ave!”
“Ah-ah-ah, eet eez a surprise. No peeking in ze kitchen.” He winked and your eyes were drawn to him rolling up each shirt sleeve, baring his firm arms. He then disappeared from your sight.
You sighed and sat down on the couch. You could hear the man humming in the kitchen, and the sounds of moving dishes reached your ears. You needed to calm yourself, and fast. This was heading in a direction you didn't want it to, and you were about ready to lose your resolve. Your eye was drawn to the jackets hanging in the foyer. That's it! you thought to yourself. One more smell of Francis' cologne and you were sure you'd be able to regain enough composure for the night.
You got up from the couch and listened for Francis' humming. The house was dark, and if you stood by the jackets he won't be able to see you from that angle. You hurried over to the closet and buried your nose in his jacket, taking a deep breath. You smiled as you breathed in Francis' musky scent.
“Voilà! My magnificent dinner of peanut butter and (fave fruit/berry) jelly sandwiches.” (a/n: I apologize to anyone with nut allergies.) Your heart froze in horror as Francis walked toward you while carrying two plates. You let go of his jacket, and he stared at you with raised eyebrows. “Mon amour, what are you doing?”
“Nothing! Just checking on the...jackets.” You patted his jacket as if to confirm your case.
Francis smiled devilishly at you and he put the plates down on the foyer table. “Honhonhon are you sure zat's what you were doing?” He took a step toward you.
You crossed your arms and blushed. “Are you calling me a liar, Monsieur Bonnefoy?”
“Per'aps,” he said and took another step closer. “You like ze way I smell, mon amie?”
“Of course not.” You scoffed and reached past him for your plate, then scurried back toward the couch, uncomfortable with his close proximity.
“Come now, zere eez nothing to be ashamed of,” he said and whirled you around. You shrieked, even though he was being gentle. He wrapped his arms around you so your face was buried in his chest. He chuckled. “Besides...I picked out zis eau de cologne because I sought you would like eet~”
You couldn't believe what you were hearing, and brought your arms up between your chests to push him away. You stumbled backward onto the living room table, knocking over a candle glass in the process. You quickly righted the glass, but not before some hot wax spilled onto the table.
“Ah, mon amour! You are not burned, are you?” He held your hand gently and inspected it.
“Nope. I'm fine, totally fine.” Which was a lie, of course. Your heart felt like it was going to explode after being held by Francis like that. You hurried away into the kitchen and dampened a dishcloth. You took a deep breath to try and steady your rapid heartbeat. When you returned to the living room, Francis was sitting on the couch munching on his sandwich. You wiped up the red candle wax and left the dishcloth on the table, faintly aware of the howling wind outside.
“You know,” Francis said, “in France, we use candle wax as a facial exfoliant.”
“Really?” you asked. “Can you show me?”
“But of course!” He finished his sandwich and poured some wax onto his plate. “We just 'ave to wait for eet to cool a bit...zere, zat's perfect.”
He smeared the red wax across both your cheekbones. You had to admit, the warm wax felt great on your skin. Francis looked deeply into your eyes for a moment, then snorted and began laughing loudly. He wiped a tear from his eye. “I am sorry, ma petite, I could not resist. You are so gullible!”
“Francis, you jerk!” you cried and reached for the damp facecloth.
“Here, allow me.” He brushed the cloth gently across your skin and wiped all the wax away. Then he cupped your face in his hands and kissed both cheeks where the wax had been. “Zere. No 'arm done, mon amour.” His words hung in the air between you, suddenly much more serious now that you and Francis had shared an intimate moment. Your face must have reddened because Francis looked nervous, and he removed his hands. “I am sorry! I did not mean to intrude on your comfort zone.” You stared at him in disbelief. Then what had he been doing all evening? He placed a hand to his forehead and stood. “Per'aps eet would be best eef I left.”
Words suddenly slipped from your mouth. “I don't want you looking at other girls, Francis.”
He froze and glanced back down at you, his eyebrows furrowed. “Quoi?”
“I want you to look only at me.” You blushed, feeling stupid. You expected Francis to laugh in his usual obnoxious manner or poke fun at you.
When he looked at you, his face was dead serious. “Why do you ask for somesing like zat, ma petite?”
“Because I love you, dammit,” you blurted. The words had barely passed your lips before you realized what you had said. You bit down on your lower lip. Hard. You wished you could die, right there. Disappear. You buried your face in the armrest of the couch, and you covered your head with your arms. You didn't want to see Francis' gloating smirk. You were sure he was going to walk straight out your front door and leave because you were acting childish.
You heard a soft chuckle. “Mon amour, look at me.”
“No,” you said, your voice muffled by the couch. Your arms were locked in an iron grip over your head, but the Frenchman tried to pry them away from your face anyway.
“Don't you want to 'ear what I 'ave to say?” He had crouched down so his face was level with yours. When he was silent for a long moment you moved your arms away and peeked at him. His soft eyes found yours, and he smiled. “You don't 'ave to worry, ma chérie. My eyes 'ave only ever been on you, silly.” You felt your face flush as he covered your hands with his. “And my 'eart, eet beats only for you. See?” He tugged on a hand and brought it to his chest. You could feel his rapid heartbeat under his shirt, and noticed it matched the pace of your own. “See 'ow you make my 'eart race?” He raised your arm and pressed his lips to the back of your hand. Then his face inched closer to yours and you could feel his warm breath on your cheeks.
Suddenly he was on his feet, and he cleared his throat. “I suppose I will be going, now.”
“Huh?” You blinked, and before you knew it Francis was already in the foyer, trying to don his jacket. Your cheeks reddened from embarrassment. Was he trying to make a fool out of you? “Where do you think you're going?”
“Eet eez getting late, mon amour, and I 'ave a meeting tomorrow morning.”
“You can't leave.”
“Ah, but I most certainly can.”
“B-because,” you sputtered, “you've been drinking! Friends don't let friends drink and drive.”
He reached for his car keys, which he had left on the foyer table. He snorted. “I only 'ad one glass!”
You snatched the keys before he could grab them. “Aha! Your reaction time is slowed.”
Francis facepalmed, then held out his hand. “My car keys, mon amour?”
“No way are you leaving. Look at it storming out there! It's pouring rain, and the wind tore down tree branches. They could be obstructing the road, or worse, one could fall on your car –”
“Now you're being silly.”
“You can spend the night here.”
Danger flashed across his blue eyes. “Zat eez a bad idea, mon amour.”
“Besides, you're not supposed to walk out the door when someone's just said they love you.” You stood awkwardly in front of him, but couldn't look him in the eye. You held the keys behind you so they were out of his reach. When he didn't reply you glanced away, hurt.
He took a step toward you, and then his arms were suddenly wrapped around you. “You 'ave ze wrong impression! Was my racing 'eart not proof enough of ze way you make me feel?” Startled, you glanced up at him. He took this opportunity to reach behind you with his arm. “Give me my keys!”
“Francis, you're a jerk and you don't care about me at all!”
You wriggled your way out of his grip, but didn't get far before he unintentionally bumped into you while reaching for the keys, and you both toppled to the floor.
“Ouch,” you said and rubbed your head.
You tried to laugh it off, but Francis had grown quiet above you and was now staring at you. He cradled your head in his hands, and his blue eyes reflected the flickering candlelight as they fixed down on yours. You had never quite noticed before the exact shade of his eyes: like clear mountain skies.
You could hear the rain pelting against the roof, and your heart raced as your body became very much aware of its close proximity to the man. Your faces were close enough that you could count his eyelashes. He said, breathlessly, “You are mistaken. I care very deeply about you. How could you not tell, mon amour?” He stroked your cheek with his thumb. Your cheeks grew warm, and you felt uncomfortable under his scrutinizing gaze. His voice dropped to a whisper and his eyes darted to your lips. “Zis eez ze point of no return. I tried very 'ard to get away while I still could. But I cannot 'old back any longer, mon amour.”
Your heart began pounding as his face inched closer to yours. His warm breath tickled your cheeks, and you clamped your eyes shut. You interjected, “Why do you keep calling me that? I have a name. You never say my name.”
His face hovered above yours, and his voice trembled as he spoke. “I am afraid zat eef I speak your name, you will 'ear in my voice just 'ow much I love you.” He gulped. “ Je t'aime, _____.” A moment more and his lips were pressed against yours in a light caress. It was barely a brush against your lips, a hint of a kiss. You faintly tasted the sweet (fave fruit/berry) jam on his lips. You saw white lights behind your closed eyelids, and pressed your lips back to his. You gripped the front of his shirt with trembling hands. He broke away from the kiss as if he was in pain. He let out a shaky breath. “Mon amour, mon amour. I 'ave been waiting to do zat for a long time.” You lay stunned beneath him and watched his cheeks turn pink. “_____, please say somesing.”
“You're squishing me,” you grunted, your cheeks feeling rosy.
Francis exclaimed in surprise, but before he could back away you gripped his shirt collar and dragged his lips back down to yours. You felt him take a sharp intake of breath, and then he pressed his lips to yours hungrily. His hands returned to cup your face, and he tilted your chin for better access to your mouth. The stubble on his chin tickled, causing you to gasp. Francis was taken aback by your surprise and the kiss deepened for a split moment before he placed his hands on the floor on either side of your face and broke away from your mouth. His chest heaved as he breathed heavily. He brushed his cheek against yours before groaning and whispering in your ear, “Why do you do zis to me, mon amour?”
His words felt like silk against your skin. “Umm...I don't know?” You couldn't think clearly. Your head felt like it was spinning.
Francis chuckled and sat up. You followed suit and propped up on your elbows. Francis was looking at you, but you glanced away. “Francis...why exactly do you love me?”
“I mean, I'm not pretty or anything...”
Francis sighed and reached for your hand. “Au contraire. I love you, because you are –” he pressed his lips to your hand, “gentille...” he kissed your wrist, “intelligente...” he planted gentle kisses further up your arm, a kiss for each compliment, “élégante...mignonne...fougueuse...drôle...” he paused to gaze into your eyes, “et...très jolie.” He moved closer to press a kiss to your lips. “And don't let anyone tell you ozzerwise. D'accord?”
You felt your eyes sting at his words. No one had ever said anything so nice to you before. You took his hand and placed it over your heart so he could feel its beat.
“Mon amour, your 'eart eez pounding.”
You nodded. “That's what you do to me, Francis.”
He took this fine opportunity to grope your breast. You gasped and immediately slapped his hand away. He chuckled. “I am sorry, mon amour, I could not resist.” His gaze suddenly turned serious as he stared at you with half-lidded eyes. You moved closer to him. You were drunk off his kisses. Hooked. You needed more. He stopped you before your lips met. “Tell me to go, mon amour. Eef you tell me to leave, I will. I sink we both know where zis is 'eaded.”
You sighed and your lips brushed against his as you spoke. “Stay.”
mon amour = my love
mon amie = my friend
non = no
mademoiselle = Miss
oui = yes
possiblement = possibly
mon ange = my angel
ma petite = my little (girl)
ma fleur = my flower
très belle = very pretty/beautiful
mon papillon = my butterfly
mon dieu = my god/good lord
au contraire = on the contrary
voilà = an expression meaning “there you go” or “there you have it”
monsieur = Mr
eau de cologne = cologne
quoi = what
ma chérie = my dear/darling
je t'aime = I love you
pardon = pardon
gentille = kind
intelligente = smart
élegante = elegant/stylish
mignonne = cute
fougeuse = fiery
drole = funny
très jolie = very pretty
d'accord = okay