Gerry clapped and butt-hopped in his seat.
But they continued, “Ohhhhkayyyy.”
I was dying. My face was burning my hands.
“Errrrin, don’t be shyyyy. Doooo it for your friends. Ohhhh jeeeeeze, don’t be embarrassed.”
I got up from the table and walked to the kitchen with my bowl.
“Ohhhhh sure, leave the table.”
I dumped it in the sink and leaned against the counter.
His warmth surrounded me, “It’s funny.”
I looked around to face Loch, “Not in Boston. Not when the press show up and want to interview them.”
He nodded, “I’m getting the impression that you fussing about my meeting them at Thanksgiving, had nothing to with me.”
I swallowed and whispered, “I feel bad, they’re my family but it’s a train wreck. She’s hitting on younger men all the time, and he’s trying to be the younger men.”
He took my hands in his, “Princess, they live on a golf course, they have fancy stuff, and look very respectable. If I saw them on the street, I would assume they had a lot of money. This house is very expensive and impressive. Trust me, when you come meet my parents, you’ll see some shit that you’re not prepared for too. Yours are doing the whole mid-life thing…” his face darkened, ”Mine are not.”
My stomach burned. He wanted me to meet them. It was too soon. I couldn’t even imagine what they would be like. He was so full of charisma. A whole house full of people who were amazing. I imagined them all playing instruments and having sing-alongs. I had to shut it down before I made it into something too big. I shut my brain down and nodded. I could do that. I could meet his family. I could do it all. It felt right to do it. I looked up and smiled, “Let’s tell my parents no to Christmas and go see your family.”
He gave me a stunned look, “Really?”
His face lit up. He cupped my face and kissed me until I was dizzy.
We all sat in the living room with Irish coffees when my mom left. Loch got his guitar and sang for us. It was like a private show. Gerry’s foot never stopped keeping the beat, and eventually he grabbed a couple wooden spoons and drummed, using the mantle and a glass of water. It was awesome.
Dad seemed to really like them. He was in awe. I think his mid-life crisis made him want to be friends with them. Lochlan’s voice was amazing and soft in such a small space. The gravelly sound was more present. I loved him. He finished the song, and I tried to see past the stars in my eyes. I was exhausted.
“I’m going to bed, you coming?” I ask, putting my cup in the kitchen.
He glanced at my father and shook his head, “No. I’ll sleep in a guest room.”
My dad’s eyes opened wide, “Son, don’t be crazy. We’re liberals. I know you’re committed to my daughter and you already live together.”
Lochlan chuckled and suddenly his Tennessee got so thick he sounded like an episode of Duck Dynasty. “Sir, I don’t live with her like that, she won’t agree to it. I won’t disrespect your house that way.” He looked at me, “Or your daughter.”
I rolled my eyes, “Whatever. Night.”
I climbed the stairs to my room. It was supposed to be the attic of the house, but when Daddy had it built, he made them convert it into a huge loft. It was all mine. Danny got the basement and I got the attic. I looked around the room, smiling. My marching-band pictures were still on the mirror. I dragged a finger across the dust.
In the last five years, it slowly got dustier and less sparkly. Mom was clean and tidy, and slightly crazy with her OCD. Dad was busy. Busy meant frozen pizza, cleaning lady once a week, and TV as a companion. Grade twelve had been a hard year with them divorcing, but it had made things better. I couldn’t deny it.
Mom relaxed, controlling the space she had and Dad enjoyed sitting with his one hand tucked in his belt and a beer in the other. She wasn’t nagging him and it pleased them both.
I pulled on pajamas and climbed into my bed. The cool air made me miss Boston. I liked our apartment. I liked it being the two of us, well and Danny. But he was more of a pet.
I pulled the covers up, switched off my light, and closed my eyes. When I heard his footsteps, I smiled.
“You’re a looser.”
He made a sound I didn’t recognize. I opened my eyes to see a glint of something in the moonlight. It shone bright—sparkled.
I frowned, “What’s that?”
He whispered, “Be mine.”
I closed my eyes, “What are you doing? Are you proposing? ‘Cause I already told you how that makes me feel.”
He climbed onto the bed next to me, “No. I would, but your ex-boyfriend already stole the thunder on the one-month proposal. This is my idea of a guarantee. I know you won’t marry me, but wear this and be mine.”
The ring was huge. I shook my head, “I can’t accept something like that from you. Are those diamonds? Is this your first time having money?”
He laughed, “Sometimes you’re such a bad person. They’re white sapphire so you don’t say something shitty, like I can’t accept that from you, and is this your first time having money.”
I laughed softly. I looked up at his face, “I am yours. I don’t need jewelry to prove the point.”
He flicked the light on and pulled the ring out of the Tiffany’s box. He took my hand and slid it on my ring finger, but of my right hand. I looked at it and smiled. The band was a music note that wrapped around my finger. It was amazing and stunning. I looked up, “Okay.” I did love white sapphires.
His blue eyes lit up. He lay beside me, not kissing me.
“Why won’t you sleep with me?”
He looked over at me, “I don’t like to do things my mom would be ashamed of.”
I cocked an eyebrow, “Liar.”
He made a condescending face, “I mean, the stuff I would actually tell her. I’m sure she has no desire to know about the random acts of…. anyway. If she ever asked me if I disrespected you…” He gave me a sincere look, “I don’t lie to my mom. She’s a saint.”
I smiled and kissed his nose, “You’re so weird.” I was already touching the ring, rolling it back and forth. How did he know my size? How did he know, I would say all of that? How did he know me so well? I thought about the things I would have guessed about him; there weren’t many things I was sure of. Of course, I was predicable and he was chaotic, that didn’t help me. “I think you’re being dramatic. We’ve had sex and neither of us is innocent in anything.” I held my hand up, “And you gave me a ring.”
He kissed my cheek, “I have a serious question to ask you.”
I waited as a smile played with his lips.
“Is there seriously something called the Fargodome?”
I laughed and smacked him, “You suck. Stop with the Fargo hate. That movie won a lot of awards. It was well done, and yeah, so we talk funny if we relax our hold on the accent.”
He rolled on his side, “Just say it. Say oh jeeze, or yeah, or the heck do you mean, or okay. Say it.”
I cocked an eyebrow, “What’s in it for me?”
His look melted my heart, “I gave you my heart, a ring, my loyalty, and I think you even have my soul. What more do you want?”
I licked my lips.
He nodded, “Fine. I’ll make it worth your while.”
Thinking about it for a second, I nodded and put my hand out. He shook it and kissed it softly.
I cleared my throat and gave him an evil look. He grinned. I sighed and spit the whole thing out at once, “Ohhhh Jeeze, Marge. You okaayyy? Ohhh yaaaaaaa, me tooooo. What theheckdoya mean?”
He laughed hard, silent but hard. He shook his head, “Brilliant. I never knew you had it in you.”
“Me either,” I rolled my eyes and turned the light off, “My payment, sir.”
He flicked the light on, “I want to see you.”
I made the sound I made around him, “No lights.” I closed my eyes but he bit my arm. I gasped, “Ow.”
He gave me a look, “You watch what I do or no deal.”
I pleaded with my eyes, “No. That wasn’t part of it.”
He got a wicked grin, “My way or no way.” I had already humiliated myself in front of him, how was this different? I nodded before he got some crazy notion about leaving.
He pulled down my boxers, kissing my calf and massaging my leg, as he made his way up to my thigh. I sucked in when he kissed to the top of my thigh. He ran his tongue across to my slit, licking the whole way up. I clutched the sheets, forcing myself to look down on it. It was hot, seeing the passionate look in his eyes, but it was much hotter seeing his tongue flicking into me.
He sat back and kissed my other leg. He took his time, kissing and licking until his tongue was back between my legs.
He got a devilish look on his face as he inserted his finger into me. “You want this, princess?”
I was having a hard time taking a full breath. I nodded. He was slowly dragging his finger in and out of me. It was so slow, I tried to push against him, fuck his finger myself. He shook his head, “What should I do next?”
I felt the horror on my face. He dragged the finger slowly, agonizingly slowly. “You tell me what to do or I stop.”
“Faster,” I managed to get out.
He tilted his head, “Faster how? One finger or two?” He inserted a second finger. I moaned, “Two.”
His smug smile lifted, “You want me to fuck you like this?” His fingers thrust faster. I gasped, but then he changed his movement, “Or do you want me to massage the G spot?”
My eyes started to droop, “G spot.”
He ran his free hand up my torso, lifting my shirt and freeing my breasts. He slid down beside me and started to suckle, also slowly. He bit my nipple lightly, tugging it. Watching him wasn’t uncomfortable anymore, it was beautiful. His perfect lips wrapped around my nipple, kissing and sucking, made me hot. He smiled, “What’s making you so wet? The watching or the feeling?”