TWO YEARS LATER.
I shut the door behind me and leaned against it. “I’m sorry about my parents,” I said, cringing at the memory of the conversation we had just had at the dinner table. Seeing as we’d been dating for so long, my parents thought it was okay to ask us about marriage. Just because my culture thought marriage was the be all and end all, it didn’t mean we had necessarily talked about stuff like that and everything was going so good with us, I didn’t want it to become awkward because of this. If I had known this was going to happen, I wouldn’t have come all the way to Greece with him.
Thankfully, he laughed and patted the spot beside him. “Come here.”
I crawled on the bed till I was lying next to him on my side. He put my arm around his shoulders and sidled closer, cozying into me. “It’s okay. You can’t blame them. They’re parents and gay marriage is legal now,” he said.
“Leave it up to them and we’ll be standing on the altar in the nearest church by tomorrow,” I said.
“Church?” He wrinkled his nose in disgust. “Picture this. Outdoor wedding in the winter in Vermont.”
I could picture it. I could see the snowflakes slowly dropping down around my gorgeous groom, bare white trees around us. “I’ll give you a better one. In the middle of a cruise on Lake George.”
“At night. And lots of flowers. I love flowers,” he declared.
“Adirondack mountains in the background and fairy lights strung over the deck.”
“Mm, look who’s such a romantic all of a sudden,” he smiled teasingly, his chocolate brown eyes sparkling mischievously.
“Oh baby, you don’t know the half of it.” I poked his waist, making him jerk to the side in reflex and I reeled him back to snuggle him close to me. “I’d fill the cruise with every goddamn flower found in the States. Even the floor would be covered with colorful petals.”
“And when you say ‘I do’, there will be fireworks,” he said, trailing his fingers over my forearm.
“How would that work? Will you walk down the aisle?” I asked.
“If I do, I want a pretty veil,” he joked. “Or the archway could be in the middle so we both have to walk down our respective aisles together and meet in the centre.”
“An archway made of flowers,” I said like it had just struck me.
He chuckled adoringly. “See, this is why I love you,” he said and craned his neck back to give me a sweet peck.
“And we could book one of those mountainside lodges for our wedding night,” I said, adjusting both of us in the same position so I was spooning him. Our arms were stretched to one side in front of us and I threaded my fingers through his from the back, tapping them randomly like I was playing a piano.
“And I can make wild love to you right in the middle of wilderness,” he said.
What had started out as a joke was starting to make a lot of sense. The more we talked about it, the more scenarios we imagined, the more excited we got. The picture we had painted was as close to perfection as it got, and the thing was, it wasn’t even a far fetched idea. We could make it happen. I had never given it much thought before, mostly because when you grow up in a time where homosexuality used to be illegal till a certain point, you kind of accept it as an unviable part of your future. But this could happen now.
“Emmett,” I said quietly. “Do you wanna get married?”
He turned in my arms, searching my face to see how serious I was. “Yes,” he said after a minute.
I grabbed his waist and pulled him on top of me and we were laughing and kissing, the thrill of this new step in our relationship making us delirious.
“Are you sure?” he said when we came up for air. “I mean, it’s not like it would change anything, right?”
“Yeah. I guess. We already live together. We have a joint bank account, for god’s sake. The only difference will be a ring on your finger. And some legal documents to prove you’re completely mine,” I said.
He rubbed his thumb in circles over my cheek and sat up, straddling my chest. “We’ll have to go ring shopping,” he said in a hushed voice like it was a new piece of gossip.
I brought his hand to my lips and kissed every knuckle one by one. “So this is it? We’re engaged?”
“No, wait.” He jumped and stood up. I raised myself up on my elbows to watch him search my childhood bedroom for something I had no idea about. If he thought my yearbook was going to jump out and embarrass itself, he was wrong.
There were a couple of ribbons on the bookshelf in front of a photo frame. I didn’t even remember what they were for or why I had put them there, if I had. He picked up a blue one and climbed back in bed. Taking my ring finger, he tied a loop of the ribbon around it. “There. Now we’re engaged.”
“This is so beautiful, baby. Where did you get it from?” I crooned, trying and failing not to laugh at his cheekiness.
“From the moon,” he said seriously.
I held up my finger to the lamp, gazing at it with a cocked head. “Am I engaged or in a cancer awareness march? No one knows.”
“I tie my love around your finger and this is what I get in return? Sarcasm?” He clucked his tongue in a disappointing manner.
An idea struck me. I asked him to wait and went to rummage through my closet. It was filled with T-shirts of the bands and movies I was into at that time. That was practically all I wore as a teenager. But somewhere in a box full of stupid collectibles, I knew there was a silver ring. “Aha!” I shouted in triumph when I found it.
“You’ve been hiding a ring all along?” he said amusedly.
“I knew I would find you someday.” I melodramatically went down on one knee and put the ring on his finger. “Marry me, sweetheart.”
He twisted the ring around, staring the engravings on it with narrowed eyes. “Is this a promise ring?”
I shrugged. “I was in high school. Don’t judge me.”
“Did you actually just propose to me with a promise ring some random guy gave you?”
“It was actually a random girl. Freshman year, I guess. I hadn’t come out by then.”
“Eh, then I’ll take it. Poor girl didn’t know what promises are made of.”
I grinned, pulling him to me. He laid his head on my shoulder and melted into my body, his arms circling my waist loosely. I was stroking his hair when he pushed me back on the bed till I had fallen against the pillow and he was on top of me. I kissed him, plunging and he plunged his tongue through my lips, his tongue exploring my entire mouth. He seemed to be devouring me, like he couldn’t get enough.
“Hmm?” he hummed in my mouth.
I cupped his cheek and pushed him back a little. “Alexa wasn’t lying earlier. The walls really are very thin. She’s sleeping in the next room and you know we’re highly vocal.”
“I can fix that,” he said.
“How?” I was wondering if there was a jar of cement around there that I had missed.
In response, he rolled over and shouted to the wall, “Yo, Alexa!”
My sister responded promptly, “What?” It was a déjà vu moment for me. We used to talk through the wall all the time when we were kids. Our parents had their room on the floor above so we could curse all we want and they never heard us.
“We’re engaged,” said Emmett.
There was a slight pause before she said, “Seriously?”
”Wow. That’s amazing. Congratulations!”
“Thank you. I’m gonna make your brother scream now so you might wanna plug your ears.”
I punched Emmett’s arm, a blush covering my cheeks. “That’s my sister, you jackass,” I furiously whispered.
“Thanks for the warning,” she said.
Emmett raised his eyebrows pointedly as if to say, ‘Problem solved’. He pushed his fingers through my hair, tangling them somewhere in the net of curls and leaned in to possess my lips. I wrapped my legs around him, my ankles digging into the curve of his ass, and slipped my tongue in his mouth. His fingers toyed with the waistband of my boxers, lightly brushing over my skin, causing goosebumps to rise all over me.
”Don’t be a tease,” I growled, smacking his butt.
“Hey, domestic abuse is punishable by law,” he said, biting my bottom lip. “I can report you.”
I spanked him once more, harder than the last time, making him gasp deliciously. “What are you going to say? My boyfriend spanks me too hard?” I mocked him playfully.
“If I wait long enough, I can be the guy who gets assaulted by his husband,” he said.
“That is a weird combination of creepy and cute,” I said.
“Weird, creepy, cute. You just defined me in one line, baby,” he grinned.
I trailed my lips from his temple to his jaw, peppering soft kisses all over his face in between. “I love you, my cute weirdo.”
He smiled softly at me. “I love you too, Dreamy.”
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