the time spent around the table after lunch or dinner,
talking to the people you shared the meal with;
time to digest and savor both food and friendship.
"It's one of the few red foods I like," I rushed out as I heard the beeper began to pick up its pace.
"Apples," Kingsley yelled. I roughly smacked the button on the side of the catch phrase card holder and tossed it to Cooper.
"Okay," Cooper said quickly with a nod as he started to gesture wildly with his right hand. "It's a thing that you use to paint on."
"An easel," Benjamin responded quickly as Kingsley groaned and ripped the machine out of Cooper's hands.
"It's a thing that happens to a fish when it dies," Kingsley spat out as she looked at me frantically. I shook my head as I furrowed my eyebrows and shrugged my shoulders.
"It goes belly up," I questioned, unsure.
"The last two."
Kingsley roughly tossed it towards Benjamin and he quickly tried to flip it over after hitting the button but the buzzer sounded. Both Kingsley and I jumped out of our seats and slammed into each other as we hugged one another and squealed.
Turning to the boys, we each put a hand on our hip as we smiled triumphantly but the boys weren't so pleased. I laughed as I fell back down on the seat next to Cooper and laid my head on his shoulder.
"Sorry, baby but maybe this will teach you to not challenge us next time," I teased which caused him to try and shrug me off. I laughed as I wrapped my arms around his torso and looked up at him through my eyelashes, trying to look innocent but he just rolled his eyes as a smile stayed on his lips.
"I have another game we can play," Kingsley said as she made her way into the kitchen to grab a bowl of popcorn out of the microwave that we had made about half an hour ago.
"No more games where we're on the clock," Benjamin groaned as he threw his head back against the cushion of the couch.
"It's not," Kingsley said lazily as she came back into the living room and put the bowl on the counter. "We've all been together for about two weeks now so things would be fair. Why not see which couple knows each other best? And then we can see which friendship pair knows the most."
"We heard you two arguing about who knew their significant other better so we figured we could help you boys settle the score," I told them with a shrug. Cooper and Benjamin both looked at each other before they narrowed their eyes in on one another.
"Bring it," Benjamin said with a cockiness to his voice. Cooper moved to sit next to me and slung an arm around my shoulders.
"Oh I will because there's no way you know King better than I know Elli," Cooper stated confidently which made me roll my eyes.
Kingsley came walking back into the living room with a pad of paper and a pen and sat in the chair to face the three of us.
"El and I already answered these questions that we both came up with so they're all things we are comfortable talking about and also some little random facts. You boys ready?"
Cooper and Benjamin both nodded eagerly so I stood and sat on the arm of the chair Kingsley was in to look over her shoulder. Kingsley grinned up at me before flipping the top page over where all the questions were and our answers.
"Okay Benji," Kingsley said as she smiled at him. "You first. What bone did I break in the fifth grade?"
"Your collarbone," Benjamin replied quickly as he turned to smile at Cooper. Cooper rolled his eyes and leaned back into the couch, unimpressed.
"That's right," Kingsley cooed as she tilted the pad toward me and put a dash down to keep score.
"Okay, baby," I said to get his attention on me. "I had a dog that died when I was seven years old. What breed was he and what was his name?"
"A husky named Wyatt," Cooper told me which made me smile but he turned to Benjamin and kept talking. "His left eye was brown and his right one was an icy blue. He had extremely fluffy white and brown fur but when he was brought to the groomers they brushed him and he was never that fluffy again."
I rolled my eyes but smiled as he turned his attention back to me and winked. I shook my head before writing a dash down on the paper under Cooper's name as Kingsley looked for her next question.
"Show off," she mumbled which caused me to laugh. "What are the three things I must have on my burger?"
Benjamin hesitated which made Cooper smile coyly before he finally said, "Tomatoes, lettuce, and bacon?"
"Nope," I informed him before Kingsley could speak. "It's an egg, bacon and tomatoes."
Benjamin frowned as he slowly looked over at Kingsley and gave her an apologetic smile but she didn't seem upset at all.
"There's plenty of more questions, babe," she said as she smiled his way which made him visibly relax.
"Okay," I said as I reached for the pad and looked at the next question. "I played three sports as a kid and one through high school, what were they?"
"Soccer, softball and hockey," Cooper said with a smile. "Softball is what you played in high school."
"So that's why she's so damn competitive," Benjamin pointed out with a laugh as he folded his arms over his chest. "I thought you just paid close attention to baseball."
"Played it myself," I said with a smile.
This went on for about another hour with Cooper winning by three questions. He walked over to me and cupped my face in his hands before kissing me slowly. Pulling back slightly, he placed a quick kiss on my nose before looking back at Benjamin.
"It's almost midnight, we should probably head out," he told him which made Benjamin nod as he stood from the couch. We followed the boys over to the door and said our goodbyes. As Cooper hugged me, he placed a soft kiss to my neck before whispering in my ear.
"I'm taking you out on a date tomorrow," he informed me which made me arch a brow. "Wear something comfortable that's easy to move around in."
I nodded as he placed a quick kiss to my lips before he followed Benjamin out the door. Closing and locking it behind them, I turned to Kingsley who was picking things up in the living room. I walked over to help her and smiled softly as she sighed and fell back on the couch.
"I haven't told him about my father yet," she said softly which caused me to freeze as a lump formed in my throat. Swallowing it down quickly, I sat down next to her and put an arm around her shoulders.
"Cooper doesn't know about my family either, for the record," I told her as I rubbed small circles on her back. "In fact I don't even know about his."
"Well, I know about Benjamin's," Kingsley mumbled as she moved to place her head in my lap. "I just feel guilty is all."
"I'm sure he understands, honey," I informed her as I now ran a hand through her hair. "A lot happened there."
My throat began to close up and the knot in my chest tightened more than before but thankfully Kingsley didn't say anymore and soon enough she was fast asleep. I sighed and ran a hand roughly through my hair as I tried to fight back the tears.