I see you returned the bracelet. I got an email for the credit to my account and you aren't wearing it so I supposed this is a lesson learned.
The lesson being not to buy expensive jewelry for other people's wives?
No, I should have gotten it engraved. Then you wouldn't have been able to return it.
I think I have enough monogrammed things.
An army, if I recall correctly.
I do actually. He's not being generous. Most of the boys have a B tattooed somewhere. It's like playing Where's Waldo? (Maybe that's Where's Bridget?) when I find it tucked into the design on inked sleeves or worn brazenly on the chest like a shield. Gage wears his coyly, in his knuckle tattoos that, when held together, spells B-I-G-B-R O-T-H-E-R which is sweet (he is Schuyler's older brother) but also hilarious because his left hand, when held alone, says OTHER. I always tell him he didn't think it through, though he says it's fine. (The boys call him their 'other' brother, a nod to Neil Gaiman's Other Mother character in Coraline.)
The Devil sighs and puts his hand out for mine, lifting it up and putting it in his coat pocket, still holding it, so I'll be warm. I didn't think I would need gloves for this early Remembrance Day ceremony but it's freezing. My ears are red from the cold and he squeezes my fingers and says we'll go get breakfast once this is over. He was invited to this, one of a long list of local business people. I'm the assistant today, the plus-one. And yet he doesn't seem to care that people near to us are openly staring at the fact that he is holding his assistant's hand. He will pass it off as his freezing sister-in-law. What a great excuse.
When the silence ends he lets my hand go and we head to a favorite brunch place. It's exceedingly busy yet they find a table for two in the back, probably paid for with a fifty or maybe even more, I ignore these things and wait in line unless he is here. The table is quiet and sunny but not glaring and he quickly orders plates for each of us and hot coffee. Not just coffee but hot coffee as if there is a difference.
While I wonder what he ordered for me, he wonders how I plan to keep him close exactly. How long I'll hold out on him. How long I might use him by stringing him along telling him he isn't banished from my heart exactly until I figure out my next move or simply wait him out.
Henry will be eighteen in a little over 1300 days.
Maybe I can wait that long. Or, you know, maybe not.
The food arrives just as he's reading my mind, his face fighting to remain neutral in expression. He ordered matching Monte Cristos and fruit. God, sometimes he gets everything right though. Feed Bridget and she's yours.
At least until the next meal.