“What’s in five minutes?”
“Grandpa Rick and Grandma Cherie are coming to take us to see the new Star Wars movie!” Logan says, his volume still at ten.
Moments after he says that, my parents’ Mercedes pulls up next to the sidewalk. Mom hurries out before Dad can open her door and throws her arms open. Logan throws himself at her and they hug like they’ve not seen each other in a year when it’s only been a couple of days. The boys wave goodbye and then clamber into the car, disappearing down the street.
Rory drops down onto the top step and sips her cocoa. The snow falls around her face, making her look angelic.
“Next year, let’s go to a place with real snow.”
“Like where? Vail?”
“I was thinking Canada. Lake Louise. We can ice skate, ride horses in the snow, take sleigh rides, make love in front of a fireplace.”
“I like all of those ideas.”
“Great, because I booked it.” I pull a piece of paper out of my pocket and hand it to her. “This is next year’s present. Don’t expect any more,” I lie.
“Are you doing a promotional video for them, too?” She unfolds the travel itinerary.
“Nope. This is out of our savings. You’ll have to live with that.”
“You think I’m cheap, don’t you?” She nudges my shoulder.
I wrap my free arm around her and pull her close. “No. I think you grew up without a lot, and it’s hard to forget that. I think you’re awesome, and without you, I’d probably spend every dime I made.”
“I doubt that. Your bank account was more than healthy when I took it over.”
“I didn’t have much to spend it on. I was saving it up to spoil you.”
“How’d you know you loved me? Like why me?”
“Why not you?” I counter.
“Because there are other girls—prettier, richer, smarter.”
“Richer, maybe, but prettier and smarter? Never. I loved you since the day you kicked David Rodrigo in the balls when he said that women existed to make men sandwiches during health class in eighth grade.”
“That far back?” She’s shocked. I kiss her again.
“Yeah. I was a goner. I tried to ask you out, but you were never around, and it was in the eighth grade so I waited.”
“And waited,” she says.
“And waited,” I add.
“And here I am.” She grins like an imp.
“Yup.” I get to my feet and then throw her over my shoulder. “Now it’s time for payback.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
I slap her ass and carry her inside. “It means it’s time for you to suffer for all the waiting I did. I’m going to eat you out until you start orgasming, and then I’m going to stop until the urge goes away. I’ll repeat it again and again until—”
“Until I feel as anxious as you did for years?”
I throw her on the bed. “Until you admit you love me.”
Her eyes grow tender. “I do love you.”