A final kiss lands on my forehead and I am passed back into waiting arms. I have not opened my eyes but I feel the rough stubble of a familiar jaw and the loose curls against my ear. I say Ben's name and I hear him as he stops and asks me what I need. I ask him to stay. He crosses the room back to me, taking my face in his hands again as I am turned out for another kiss. I could kiss him all day. I may have before but he had other plans for right now so he turns me back to the warm waiting arms where I will stay until he comes back.
When I come outside I am met by Caleb, standing in the driveway beside a car I don't recognize. He is wearing all white and the trunk is open. I hear Sophie call out something about a few more minutes and he winces visibly. I frown. She is clearly putting up with me in a grand and desperate attempt to extract some of the riches from Caleb's
I thought you said there wouldn't be a next time?
That holds. I slept on the couch again. But you don't play tennis, which I love, and she was in town and invited me so rather than wait around for you to roll out of bed or give me an answer to my proposal I'm going to keep living.
Should you be playing tennis? I mean, don't you need to take it easy?
No, I need to have fun. And I found a willing participant.
Then make her a proposal, why don't you?
Sophie comes out just then. Also dressed in white. So pulled together I unconsciously try and tuck my bangs (too long AGAIN) behind my ears and just fail and look pulled apart. Which is fitting, really, after two days in bed drinking gin and eating pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had a micro-vacation and it shows. I'm a mess. The house is a mess. God only knows what the other house looks like.
I smile. I don't even want to greet her. Also I have not brushed my teeth.
We ready? She flashes a different smile at Caleb and he gives her a withering glance. Yes, just a moment. I'll set the alarm.
She hurries off to the car and gets in the drivers seat (mystery solved) and turns her politeness into a scowl I see clearly despite the window tint. Caleb comes bounding down the steps and walks straight over to me, grabbing my elbows and landing a kiss on my temple, which is beginning to erode. My head is going to be lopsided soon unless they start trading off sides instead of always on the right. He ducks his face down against my ear and says It's a good thing I like tennis so much.
I whisper back that he can always go and pug for singles at the club and he laughs. You don't show up at a place like that without someone significant on your arm.
Some faceless attractive lawyer from out of province.
The lipreader in the car takes note of this and blares the horn a couple of times, waking up my entire household.
She will have no fans left here now. My work is done. :)