#38 Harry potter and pizza
“You’re Dshawn’s girlfriend, right?” a soft voice asks next to me when I’m taking a breather from the loud party, leaning against the fence in the corner of the yard.
I look to the side and see that it’s 13-year-old Marcus, the oldest of the kids. He hasn’t talked to me so far, busy playing with the other kids. He looks a lot like Dshawn, but his hair is longer, giving me a pretty good idea of how my boyfriend must have looked at that age, with unruly curls and wide, searching eyes.
“Yes, I’m Shaughna.” I hold out my hand to him. “Very nice to meet you, Marcus.” A little formal, maybe, but I don’t actually hang out with kids. Ever. None of my friends have kids, most of them don’t have any siblings either, and I’m an only child myself.
Marcus doesn’t seem fazed. He just shakes my hand. “Do you live with Dshawn?” he asks.
“No,” I reply, curious why he’s asking me and not his brother. “But I spend a lot of time at his place.”
Marcus nods. “What does his apartment look like?”
“Have you never been there?” I ask, surprised by this. I know that Dshawn doesn’t see his family that often, but for them to never have seen the place where he’s been living for years now… That’s a little weird. “Why don’t you ask him if you can come over if you’re curious?”
“He doesn’t want me there,” Marcus grunts. “He doesn’t want any of us there.”
That’s not the impression I got when Dshawn told me about his family. Not at all. He just doesn’t know how to act around them. I’ve been getting that vibe all day. He plays with his brothers and sisters, but they don’t seem to know or like him any better than they do Aston, who isn’t even related to them. And he only plays with them when they ask him to, never suggesting anything himself. It’s obvious that he feels like he’s their uncle or cousin or something, just like he told me. And that makes sense. He never lived in this house, never played in this yard as a kid, and he moved out eight years ago. He didn’t grow up with his siblings. The youngest three weren’t even born when he went to college and the others were still so small…
“What’s your favorite movie?” I ask Marcus, an idea hitting me.
“Harry Potter,” he replies immediately. Then he suddenly looks around like he’s trying to see if anyone heard him. “Don’t tell anyone, they will call me a nerd,” he whispers.
“Dshawn loves those movies too,” I say with a smile. “He’s a huge nerd. Nothing wrong with that. It’s actually one of the many reasons I love him.”
Marcus just nods, not noticing the way I suddenly freeze up. What did I just say? Did I just tell Dshawn’s 13-year-old brother that I’m in love? Oh shit. I’m not ready to tell Dshawn yet, and here I am, blurting it out like it’s nothing. My breaths start coming in faster and faster, and I know I need to pull myself back from the brink of this panic attack. I can’t have one in the middle of a birthday party.
“What’s your favorite movie?” Marcus asks me, totally oblivious to the battle raging within me.
“The Lion King,” I reply, laughing out how incredulous he looks when I say that. “It’s not just a movie for kids, you know.” I keep talking, because it helps keep the panic at bay. “And the live action version is beautiful. Have you seen it?”
“I don’t watch movies for little kids,” he huffs.
“Of course,” I say, resisting the urge to roll my eyes at the young boy pretending to be an adult. “Next question: what is your favorite food?”
“Pizza,” he says. “What else?”
“I agree, pizza is the best.”
Marcus grows bored of our conversation and takes off to eat some more cake. Dshawn takes his place shortly after, putting an arm around me to pull me against him. He pushes his nose into my hair for a moment, inhaling deeply before pressing a kiss to my forehead.
“What were you and Marcus talking about so intently?” he asks curiously.
“Harry Potter and pizza,” I reply, enjoying his closeness. It’s nice to stand here together, looking over all his family playing, chatting and eating. “I think… I think you should invite Marcus over to your place sometime soon.”
“What?” Dshawn asks, shell-shocked. “W-why?”
“Because he just asked me what your place looks like and he basically told me that he thinks that you don’t want any of your siblings to come over. I think…” I look into Dshawn’s wide brown eyes, reaching up to touch his face in a soft caress. “I think that he misses you, feels rejected by you even. And from what you told me, you would like to have a better relationship with them, right? Marcus would be a good place to start.”
He looks a little unsure. “What would we even talk about? What would be do? My apartment isn’t all that exciting.”
“He likes Harry Potter movies and pizza. Just invite him over to watch a movie and make your own pizzas after. Or order pizza and eat it during the movie.”
“Pizza and a movie?” Dshawn repeats. “That’s your big plan to get me and my brother to bond?”
I shrug. “You and Aston became best friend because he returned your frisbee. It doesn’t take much to bond with someone, Dshawn. A movie and some junk food will do the trick just fine. It doesn’t have to take all day, just pick him up, show him your place, spend some time on the couch pigging out and drive him back. If you both have a nice time, there are eight movies in the franchise and I believe there is a spin-off thing about beasts or something, so you’ll have a thing to do when you hang out for a while. If you do this once a month, you won’t have to think of another activity for a year or something.”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Dshawn says in a reflex. “That’s the spin-off.”
“So not the point, you big nerd,” I tease him. “So, what do you think?”
“Maybe…” Dshawn’s eyes find Marcus on the other side of the yard, and the longing in his gaze is clear. He wants to connect with his siblings again, and I just gave him an easy way to make the first move. “Yes, I think I will do that.”
“You’ve got the day off tomorrow, right? And I’ll be working at Giovanni’s all day, so it’s not like we have any plans. Ask him if he’s free.”
“He’s 13,” Dshawn replies, rolling his eyes. “What else could he have going on?”
“Then it’s settled,” I decide. “You’re inviting him over.” Without waiting for an answer, I yell Marcus’ name through the yard a few times until he hears me and rushes back over. There is so much noise from all those energetic people here that no one even blinks an eye at the new girl shouting at her boyfriend’s younger brother. “I was just talking to Dshawn and he’s been meaning to watch all the Harry Potter movies again. I’ll be at work tomorrow, so he has to eat dinner on his own and Dshawn can’t actually cook, so he’s ordering pizza. Would you like to keep him company, so he won’t miss me too much when I’m at work? And make sure he doesn’t burn the place down or something?”
Marcus grins, but he looks a little nervous underneath the smile. “Yeah, sure.”
“Great. He’ll pick you up at five.”
“I’ll go tell mom!” Marcus rushes off to talk to Asia, who ruffles his hair and looks over and me and Dshawn with a surprised look on her face.
“You’re really embracing this whole overbearing, nosy girlfriend role, aren’t you?” Dshawn mumbles, shaking his head at me.
“I’m embracing being in your life,” I reply, the word love still on my mind. I’m not telling him yet, not now, not here, but I know that it’s true. I really love this man. “And if I can help make your life a little better, I am definitely doing that. Just look at how happy you just made Marcus.”
“You’ve been making me happy since you that morning you woke up in my bed in your dress, flashing me your bra,” Dshawn grunts into my ear while he hugs me. “I can’t wait to get back home tonight and tear off your clothes. I’m going eat you out until you beg me to stop.”
I shiver. He always does this, tell me what he’s going to do to me or what he wants to do, at totally unexpected times. It’s hot as fuck.
“Sounds like a plan,” I reply, a little breathless. “I’m already wet.”
Dshawn groans at that. “Fucking hell, we need to stop talking right now, because I can’t just drag you into the house and fuck you. It’s Nia’s 10th birthday. This is so inappropriate.”
“You started it!” I laugh, swatting his arm.
“No, you did,” he argues. “By looking the way you do.”
We tease each other for another moment, but then we move back into the hustle and bustle of the party, playing with the kids and chatting to the adults. It’s without a doubt one of the best days either of us has had in a long time, and that is saying something, because every day I spend with him is a good day.