Lizbeth woke up beside Sawyer in his old bedroom. Rock posters all over the walls, even on the ceiling. The soft morning light was getting through the slats of the window shades, making her squint her eyes.
She rolled on the bed and nuzzled her nose to his chest, way too comfortable in his arms to get out of bed.
“Good morning,” he mumbled in a sleepy voice as he kissed the top of her head.
“Morning,” she smiled against his strong pecs.
“Did you sleep well?”
“Whenever I sleep with you, it’s like I lose consciousness” She softly giggled.
“You better not!” He chuckled. The vibration of his body sent shivers through all her nerves, and that’s when she noticed his morning glory. Reaching between them, she rubbed her hand over the fabric of his boxers, making him groan.
“What are you doing?” His voice sounded raspy and deep.
“What does it look like to you?” she asked as she kept touching him.
“I didn’t stop myself from fucking you last night so you torture me in the morning like this…” he hissed as if he was in pain.
“Why did you stop yourself?” She looked at him, confused.
“Well… Seeing how nervous you were yesterday I didn’t think you wanted to look them in the face after doing the most indecent things two rooms away from them.” He chuckled.
“Oh! Shit!” She immediately stopped what she was doing. “Such a cockblocker!” She snorted, making him laugh. She was so cozy and so warm inside that bed, she didn’t think about anything else around her.
“Don’t worry, we’ll have our time tonight,” he said as he kissed her nose.
“Promise?” She mischievously smiled at him.
“You won’t be able to walk tomorrow, I promise.”
“Good.” She laughed.
They got up and took turns to go to the bathroom. Then, they dressed and went downstairs. Noah was the first to greet them. That dog sure was a light wherever she was.
“Morning!” Elain said with a singing voice when she saw them walking into the living room.
“Good morning, everyone!” Sawyer and Lizbeth said in unison. The whole family was already there. Lizbeth grabbed Sawyer’s wrist and checked the hour in his watch. It’s kinda early. She thought when the long needle moved, striking a quarter to nine.
“Daddy!” The little girl squealed, jumping to his arms.
“Hey, Baby girl!” He chuckled. “You’re already up?” he asked as he tickled her.
“Yeah!” She giggled, contorting her little body as a response to the tickles.
“Did you sleep well?” She just nodded. He kissed her nose and put her back on the floor.
“What about you, Little man?” he asked Adam as he put his fist in the air for him to bump it.
“I’m good!” He laughed as Sawyer ruffled his hair. A white cloud of flour swirled around him as he did.
What the—? He smiled at him. “It smells really good. What’s granny preparing this time?” He wondered as he closed the door behind him.
“We’re baking some cookies,” he proudly stated.
“We?” Sawyer raised an amusing eyebrow.
“Yeah. We was helping granny,” Sophia confirmed.
Adam slightly blushed. “Wanna try them?”
“You too, Liz!” he insisted.
“Sure.” She smiled.
They walked through the living room, talking about random stuff as they made their way to the kitchen.
The sweet cookie dough blended with chocolate intensified as they approached. Lizbeth’s mouth watered and his stomach lightly growled. She wasn’t hungry at all, but her taste buds reacted to that amazing smell.
"Hai dormito bene?" [Did you sleep well?] His mother asked.
“Yeah.” He asked her as he leaned to kiss her cheek.
“These two cupcakes are the best bakers in the world.” Diana happily giggled.
“I can see that.” Sawyer chuckled as he glanced at the counter-- there was a good batch of cookies over it.
“They’ve been really helpful.” She smiled. “The only thing I’ve done it’s put the cookies in the oven and get them out.”
“Now I know why the kitchen looks like it’s snowed in here.” He chuckled.
“Stop worrying about the small details and try them,” she told them. “They’ve made them especially for you and this woman.” Her words made Lizbeth slightly blush
Sawyer softly laughed as he grabbed a chocolate chip and put it in his mouth. Lizbeth did the same. The kids were looking at them with their round eyes open wide, eager to know what he thought of their baking skills. They even seemed a bit anxious, which made them even cuter than they already were. “This is amazing, guys!” Sawyer told them with a grin.
“Really?” Adam asked, hope glimmering in his intense blue irises.
“Yeah. They’re even better than granny’s.” He winked at him.
“You lying!” Sophia pointed at him.
“I’m not!” He raised his hands in an apologetic gesture with a silly grin on his face. “I promise they’re better. Have you tried them yet?” he asked her, laughing.
“No…” She mumbled.
“Here,” Lizbeth said as she offered her one. “And one for you too, Buddy.”
They looked at the kids as they bit on their hand made pastries. Their faces immediately lit with joy. “This is really good!” Adam exclaimed, amazed. “Wow!” He exclaimed, opening his eyes wide.
“Oh!” Sophia looked at the cookie in her hand with a surprised expression. Her chubby and slightly pink cheeks tensed when she smiled. “This is so cool!” She giggled. “But granny’s still the besties!” She ran to hug her. The adults in the kitchen laughed at the sweet gesture.
Lizbeth put a few cookies and a plate and then they walked to the living room again. Sawyer sat beside Lizbeth on the couch, glancing at the kids. They were already playing, Sawyer slightly smiled. He seemed so pleased, Lizbeth couldn’t help it but smile.
The warm light of the November sun slipped through the curtains as the freshly made cookies and coffee smell swirled around the space.
After coming back from a delicious evening and morning at Sawyer’s parents. Lizbeth went straight to her apartment to prepare for the date.
Sawyer told her he had made a reservation at a French restaurant, and after that, they would be going to a chill-out nightclub a friend had recommended to him.
She picked a pencil skirt and turtleneck dress with lace long sleeves she hadn’t worn in a while. She combined it with nude high heels and a matching purse. Her makeup was fresh and natural because she had never been a fan of looking like an over-rouged adulteress.
“Hello, Babe,” she said crossing her arms over her chest and leaning on her door frame when he rang her bell. She looked him up and down. Sawyer was wearing black suit pants and a light grey t-shirt, he always looked so handsome.
“Hello, Kit— Wow!” He smiled. He blatantly scanned her body, biting on his bottom lip. “We should get going or you’re not walking out of this apartment today,” he noted, holding his hand out to her.
“Sure.” She giggled and locked the door behind her.
As they stepped out of the building, Lizbeth froze and squeezed his hand. “Sawyer, that car is here again.”
“What the fuck?” He frowned and his body tensed. “Stay here, I’m going to talk to them, just to make sure there’s not some creep.”
Sawyer strode towards the car, obviously angry, but as he got closer whoever was in it decided to drive away. That’s not good. Lizbeth changed her weight from one foot to the other as she waited for him to come back.
Immediately after that, he took his phone out of his trousers and brought it to his ear. When he hung up, he approached her again. “I just called the police to let them know about this.”
“What did they say?”
“What Jim told us, that they’re writing it down, but unless it’s more obvious or the threat gets real, they can’t do anything,” he huffed and ran a hand through his hair. “Anyway, don’t let them ruin our date, okay?” He gently caressed her cheek.
Lizbeth simply nodded, still feeling a knot in her stomach. Sawyer helped her to get inside the car and then walked around it to jump on the driver’s seat. He turned on the engine and before driving away, he leaned and kissed Lizbeth. “You’re gorgeous tonight,” he whispered against her lips.
“You don’t look so bad yourself either.”
He chuckled. “Okay, let’s go.”
The trip to the restaurant didn’t last longer than twenty minutes. When they got there, Sawyer gave the keys to the parking attendant, giving Lizbeth the first hint of what kind of restaurant that was.
Sawyer got out of the car and walked to the passenger side to help her down. “Thanks,” she said. He just nodded. Then, hand in hand they walked inside the building and took the elevator to the sixteenth and last floor.
At the entrance of the restaurant, a man asked for their reservation name and when he found it, he called a waiter to lead them to their table.
It looked good from the outside, but it was even better on the inside. It looked pretty fancy-- and as she thought, expensive. “Sawyer, isn’t this a bit too much?” Lizbeth asked, concerned.
“Can’t I spoil my woman a little?” He quipped.
“But how are we gonna pay this?”
“I’m buying, so stop worrying so much. Just enjoy.” He tightened his hand around her.
“Okay.” She smiled.
The place was beautifully decorated, dimly lit with soft music playing in the background. The walls had an exquisite woodwork on them. They were completely painted in midnight blue.
High ceilings with chandeliers hanging from it and a wooden floor with three different shades of brown. Round tables adorned with white tablecloths and chairs upholstered in a dark blue fabric.
They walked through the room in silence. The waiter stopped in front of their table, motioning them to take a seat. Lizbeth was shocked. They were right beside the glass wall from where they had a breathtaking view of the city and the river.
“How did you get this table?” she whispered in a high pitched voice.
“A friend of a friend works here,” he softly laughed.
“What do you want to drink?”
“A pinot glass of wine for me. What do you want Liz?”
“Uh… How about the Sauvignon blanc?”
“Excellent choice. I’ll be right back with your glasses and give you some time to think about what you’ll order for dinner.”
“Thanks,” Sawyer said.
“My god… I’ve never tried any of these… I don’t know what to pick,” Lizbeth mentioned.
Sawyer chuckled. “My friend said we’ve gotta order the cheese fondue as an appetizer.”
“That sounds good to me.”
“He also mentioned something about some onion and anchovy tarts…” he mumbled as his eyes moved, searching for it. “Oh! Here. The pissaladières,” he furrowed his eyebrows and laughed. “I don’t even know how to pronounce that.”
“What about the black olive tapenade?” Lizbeth asked.
“Sounds good too. We can order both and share.”
“Okay,” she smiled at him. She had seen him in a lot of different situations, but that was a first. He was very thoughtful.
“And what do you want for the main course?”
“What?” Lizbeth asked, looking at the menu again. “We’re gonna get rolling out of here.”
He laughed. “Don’t worry about it… I’ll make you burn those calories tonight.” He winked at her, making her laugh.
“Well played.” She smiled and shook her head.
“Hmm… I think I’ll have roasted salmon, I don’t feel like eating meat tonight,” she said pensively. He cleared his throat and wickedly smiled at her. She laughed at the dirty joke. “Right.” She rolled her eyes trying to hide the sudden arousal that invaded her body. “What are you ordering?”
“I’ll have the filet mignon.”
The waiter came back and filled their glasses of wine in front of them. He took their order and right after, he left.
Sawyer and Lizbeth were playing with their fingers on the table. She was looking out of the window, stunned by the flickering lights of the city. “This is amazing, Sawyer.”
“Glad, you like it.”
“I didn’t know you were so romantic. It doesn’t suit you at all,” she softly laughed, looking at their hands.
“And I’m not, I’m just doing this to get laid,” he teased.
“Of course, you are.” She rolled her eyes, grinning. He chuckled.
“Okay, tell me something about you that I don’t know.”
She tilted her head and raised an eyebrow. “What?”
“After so many years, I bet there are lots of things I don’t know about you, so tell me your darkest secrets,” he wiggled his eyebrows.
She immediately tensed and then nervously laughed. She was usually very open with him, and they’d known each other for a while but she wasn’t sure that was the best moment to tell him, so she just blurted out the first thing that came to her mind. “Hmm… I hate cockroaches. No, I’m scared to death of those things.”
“The fuck was that?” He laughed. “Those small things? What have they done to you?”
“Nothing. They’re just disgusting. With those brown bodies and those wings... “ She shivered. “The thought of one of those landing on my head. Ugh! Disgusting.” He laughed again. She loved that sound, it was music to her ears.
“What about you?”
“Except for Adam and Sophia, I never liked kids.”
“Are you serious?” She was surprised. It was hard to believe after seeing him with kids. He was great with them. Adam and Sophia adored him, and Jasper and Julian thought of him as their cool uncle.
“I always felt so awkward around them, never knew how to talk to them.” He shrugged.
“And now?” She wondered what he felt like.
“I don't know why I was so scared of them," he laughed. "I cain't live without my kids now.”She nodded, smiling at him. “Are you okay with that?”
“With what? With the kids?”
“Yeah… I mean, one of the reasons you broke up with Nicolas was that you didn’t want to have kids yet, right?”
“Kind of…” She considered telling him, but she chickened out. “We were falling apart because of lots of little things put together, you know?” He just nodded to show her he wanted her to keep talking. “I hated his snob stick-up-their-ass family, for example.”
Lizbeth was about to say something else when the waiter approached them with their food. “Thanks,” Sawyer politely said.
“What were you going to say?” Sawyer asked as he left.
“Things between us weren’t working long before we finally broke up. The kids’ thing was just the last straw.”
“I see... I’d say that I’m sorry, but I’m not. I’m actually glad you kicked his ass, ’cause now you’re all mine.” He cheekily grinned.
She laughed. “I’m glad too.” She paused for a second. “You know… We didn’t have sex for the last four months.”
Sawyer coughed as he was drinking from his glass. “What?” He asked with a confused expression on his face.
“What you just heard.”
“Is he impotent, gay, or something? I mean, I don’t think I could have you beside me every night and not touch you at all for such a long time.”
“He’s not gay and doesn’t have any condition that I know of. He just didn’t feel attracted to me and I wasn’t really in the mood to seek his attention. Besides, since he wanted to have kids it all felt measured, clinical… I don’t know.”
“Completely nuts, that’s what he is.” She chuckled. “I’m serious! Also, a coward, if he didn’t want to be with you anymore he should have said so earlier.”
“I didn’t say anything either. I think we were just going with the flow.” She shrugged.
“Yeah, I kind of get that… Anyway, you’re with me now, so don’t worry about that. Before you get to that point again, you’ll beg me to stop doing you every fucking day.” He looked at her with lustful eyes as he tightened the grip on her hand.
“Doubt that…” She bit the inside of her cheek, feeling the spot between her legs getting wet when he kissed her hand, staring deep into her eyes with that same look he had when he tied her to his bed one night.
The evening went on smoothly. They talked and laughed over dinner. She loved having him all for herself. He wasn’t the talkative type, but he was a great listener and she loved his reactions. From the sound of his voice to the way his eyes squinted when he laughed. He was so handsome.
Dinner was perfect, everything tasted delicious. They were having a good time and by the time dessert came, she could barely eat anything else.
As they waited for the bill, Lizbeth looked out of the glass wall. Watching the city from that altitude with the frenetic dance of lights, made her feel so small and so big at the same time, it was electrifying.
She looked back at Sawyer, his eyes full of fondness were fixed on her.
A warm sensation spread in her chest. She had been feeling lonely for a few years, but he made her feel so important and essential in his life.
All the pain he caused her when they were younger, the misunderstandings, the ups and downs, and their break seemed like a bad dream now, so far in time. And as much scared as she was to admit it, deep down she knew he was the one for her. “What?” She asked him. The intensity of his gaze made her feel a bit uneasy.
“Nothing.” He smiled at her. “I just can’t believe it took us so long to get here...”
“I know…” She felt her eyes watering. She had to tell him, she wasn’t being fair with him. Maybe he wanted to have more kids, have his own kids, and with her, that was scarcely possible. She bit her bottom lip. “Sawyer, there’s something I want to talk to you about…”
He looked at her equally confused and scared, but the waiter interrupted whatever he was going to say. “Your bill.”
“Sure,” Sawyer said as he inspected it. He moved on his chair to get the wallet from his pocket, opened it, and gave the waiter his card. When the payment was accepted, he gave it back to Sawyer and after lightly bowing his head he left. “What were you saying?”
She cleared her throat. “You know how I broke up my engagement, partly because I didn’t want to have kids right now?”
“Yeah…” He slightly frowned.
She looked to the table, too afraid of his reaction, and with a quivering voice she finally let it out, “ I can’t have kids.”
Her heart sunk in her chest. Whenever she said it out loud it felt so much real, and painful.