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    Mrsgnomie
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Jay's Loelife - 31. Are you proposing to me?

chapter
thirty-one
loe

 

The breeze isn’t enough to ease the sting of the sun against my skin. I’d rather be in the snow, cruising the slopes but here I am instead, lounging by the pool, earbuds in, music blasting loud enough that I can momentarily pretend I’m not sharing the next two weeks with two dozen people.

At what point does it turn from a normal vacation to a seriously fucked up National Lampoon Vacation? Asking for a friend.

Something passes in front of the sun, giving me temporary relief from both its brightness and its heat before three-hundred pounds of wetness stretches itself on top of me.

“What the fuck?” I say. “You’re freezing.”

“Shhh.” Jay presses his fingers to my lips. “Aidan is in hearing range.”

“Then don’t lay on me after getting out of the pool you bast—” Jay covers my mouth before I can finish calling him a bastard mere seconds before another, much smaller person crawls on top of the dog pile. “Urgggg,” I groan for Aidan’s benefit. “I can’t breathe! Help me!

I open my eyes as Aidan giggles from where he’s perched himself on Jay’s back, peeking over his shoulders. His hair is wet and dripping on my face. “We got you!”

“You sure did. I was almost asleep until you guys piled on top of me.”

“It’s time for swimmin’ lessons. You pwomised, ‘member?!”

“I thought you had a swim coach back home? Why do you need my help again?”

Almost on cue, Jay and Aidan start pouting. I can hardly say no to one set of blue puppy dog eyes. I’m no match for the two of them together. If you ask me, they should be split up indefinitely.

“Okay, okay, okay.” I give up. There’s no point in fighting it. “I’ll take you swimming but only if your hands are less than a level three prune.”

Aidan shoves his hand a little too close to my face. “See, it’s not! Only wevel one!” He then scurries off the top of the heap and heads to the pool. He stops and turns back to me, waving frantically. “C’mon Uncle Lowen! C’mon!”

Jay gives me the most precious you-melt-me kind of look because I’m such a fucking sap for the kids. With a kiss that’s too gooey for my liking, Jay pushes off and sits with his friends on the other side of the yard. I let Aidan drag me to the pool where we focus on back strokes. The kid is a natural swimmer and if he keeps it up, he’ll go a long way. Varsity in highschool, college scholarships, etc.

After several laps, Matt stands by the edge with a serious looking Carson on his hip. The kid is tiny. He just turned one a little over a month ago but he’s about the same size as Corey’s six-month old daughter, Mya.

I stick my hands out. I don’t know how I became the baby whisperer, but it’s me that gets to do all the baby guru-ing. I blame MJ. Ever since I became the lady oven liaison and unofficial IVF/surrogacy expert, everyone thinks my knowledge translates to everything kid related. I wish I didn’t have such a knack for this shit, maybe then they’d leave me alone.

C-Mug isn’t sure about the water so he clings to my chest, his skinny little arms tight around my neck. He doesn’t like when I blow on his face and then dunk him under water but he doesn’t hate it enough to cry for his dad either. He still stares at me, a look we now know it’s how he shows affection. I am one of the few people he will let hold him. Lucky me.

Except I’m serious. C-mug is my sidekick. Love that dude.

I float the Mugget around on his back, letting him drift around the pool with my hand under the small of his back for guidance and support.

Corey arrives with Ms. Mya. “Someone is feeling left out.”

I shake my head. She isn’t feeling left out at all, Corey just likes to watch me suffer. I take Mya anyway because she’s pretty cool for a girl. I swim around with a baby in each arm. It doesn’t take long for Carson to lose interest. He’s not as into swimming as Aidan is. Seamus squats by the pool's edge and lifts his little mini me out. Safe in his dad’s arms, Carson doesn’t even glance back. Traitor.

Before I can swim to safety, Isaac comes over with his little guy, Wyatt.

I raise my brow. “Seriously?”

He laughs. “Gotta keep it fair.”

It’s hard to be irritated when Wyatt and Mya are giggling the entire time. Splashing the water is the funniest thing ever, as is water hitting your face. They’re so damn cute. We call them the twins because they were born on the same day even though they look nothing alike. Mya has light brown hair and brown eyes like her dad and Wyatt has platinum blonde and brown eyes, like…well, the brown eyes come from both his parents but the towhead must be the mailman.

“Are you ready?” Jay’s sitting at the edge of the pool with his legs dangling in the water. He motions for me to give him one of the kiddos. As we near the ledge, Mya squeaks and puts her arms up. She is straight up obsessed with Jay. If she’s not with her parents, she’s in Jay’s arms.

He preens at the attention. Always does when the kids want him. Of course he can’t be normal. Nope. He has to sway and dance his way back to Corey and Lily. Even then, he doesn’t give her up right away. Those precious giggles prove too much. Jay waltzes around the yard, making Mya Papaya squeal with delight while I climb the pool ladder one-handed with Wyatt balanced in the other.

Isaac takes his little blonde anomaly. “You guys better get going.”

“Nothings happening tonight. Just dinner.”

“Yeah, but it’s the prelude.”

“Hasn’t the last five years been a prelude?” I ask.

Isaac ignores me and pushes me away. Okay, okay. When Jay glances my way, I gesture for him to wrap it up. Reluctantly, and with great despondency, he mopes back to Corey and begrudgingly gives him back his daughter.

Jay turns to me. “We were having fun,” he pouts, sticking out his lower lip.

“And you’ve had fun with her every day this last week and you’ll continue having fun with her for the next week. But tonight, tonight I want to wine and dine you.”

Jay’s dark cloud vanishes and he’s filled with sunshine once again. “I like the sound of that.”

I shove him towards the house. “Get ready.”

This week has been awesome. It’s a great group of people who know how to have fun while respecting privacy and boundaries. Still, I need time away. Jay knows this. After we shower and dress, he takes my hand and leads me the long way around, out the back door and through the garden.

“I told the guys we’re moving.”

I look at Jay and smile. It’s about time. His house closed in December and mine…well, mine won’t close. I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t sell such a big part of my life. Lucky for me, Jay was understanding as always. We need a place to stay when we’re in Washington. That’s what Jay says. I’ll take it for now.

“Are they excited?”

“Of course they were. We’re back together. This is what they’ve wanted.”

“And Seamus?”

Jay looks at me, his eyes soft and knowing. I don’t give a fuck if Seamus likes me but he is Jay’s bestfriend. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t matter.

After we’re seated and drinks are ordered, Jay hooks his foot around mine. “Seamus was surprised to find out you were the one who suggested moving to Denver. He definitely thought I’d be dragging you kicking and screaming. He was smiling, so I think he’s pleased.”

I scoff. “He just wants free babysitters.”

“Definitely.” Jay laughs. A minute later, he rests his chin on his knuckles. “I just want you to know the last six months have been some of the best of my life. I’ve enjoyed my life up to this point, but seeing what the next phase of my life holds makes me happy. Very happy. ”

I can’t say ‘ditto’ without coming off like a complete moron. I’m not great with the words, so I order his dinner for him instead. When we’re done eating, I take him to the beach and we walk along the water. Then I drag him back to the house. We sneak in through the back, tiptoeing upstairs like teenagers. I kiss him, undress him, and ravish every part of him because I can’t stop myself.

In the beginning, it took less than six months for me to love Jay. I thought that was the end of it. Love is love. It’s a one dimensional thing, right? You either love or you don’t. That’s not the case. It can’t be. After Denver, something changed. The last five months have been utterly insane. I’m in love with him in a way I never thought possible. It’s like a trapped door opened inside me, revealing a depth I never thought possible. It feels like obsession, only worse. I think. I don’t know. I’ve never been obsessed with anyone. I’ve also never loved anyone. It’s terrifying and exhilarating.

Jay’s face down. He hasn’t moved an inch since I rolled off of him two hours ago. Only now he’s snoring instead of moaning. I run my thumb over his skin and try to stop myself from rolling on top of him again. Like I said, it’s an obsession.

****

He’s up bright and early.

“I promised the kids we’d go to the beach,” he tells me as he throws on a pair of shorts and a white shirt.

I roll my eyes and pull the covers up to my neck. It’s vacation. “I’m sure the twins will be upset if you don’t go.”

“Aidan will be.”

“But all the kids have to go?”

He sits on the edge of the bed and grins, the joyful glow is bright like the morning sun. “You know when sea turtles hatch and the beach is littered with them? That’s what it will be like with the kids. So cute.”

He’s right. It’s pretty cute. Not quite like the hatching of the sea turtles, but the kids do look adorable in their little sun hats and long sleeve water shirts. Aidan has sunglasses and an extra layer ‘sumqueem’ on his face. Carson, being the fair skinned child he is, is sitting under the shade of a giant beach play tent Seamus brought.

While Jay leads Aidan to the water’s edge, I squat in front of Carson and glance at Seamus. “Mind if I take him out there?”

“Only if you watch him at some point so Matt and I can have some quiet time. Will said he would, but—

I roll my eyes. That will never work. “Carson will scream all night until you get back. We’ll take them. It’s no biggie.”

Carson and I join Jay and Aidan, who have already been joined by Corey, Mya, Isaac, and Wyatt. The second I set Carson’s feet in the wet sand, he starts whining. He arches his back and lifts his feet out of the water, forcing me to hold him in the air. Mya and Wyatt must have done the same thing because Isaac and Corey are sitting in the sand with the kids on their laps. With a sigh, I join them. The three of us sit and chat while the water laps around us. Sometimes, the water comes with more force, covering our laps and getting the kids wet. Carson is quick to crawl up my body to safety.

Jay and Aidan run back and forth, chasing the waves out to sea, then they turn and run to the safety of shore.

Lars and Court couldn’t come. Not this year. Courtney couldn’t get approval from her OBGYN. Traveling six-months pregnant isn’t a big deal but they’re expecting twins (kill me) and it hasn’t been a smooth ride. Next year will be even better. Two more babies. Maybe more. Lord knows the water in Seattle has drifted to Denver.

I’m convinced it’s following me like a riptide. I’m not worried, though. I’m fast and strong. It won’t pull me under.

****

With all aspects of Seamus’ legal battles finalized and the coffee business transferred into his name, I decide a little celebration is in order. Nothing too big, just some good food, good drinks, and a good time. Then everyone who supported us the last two years can celebrate with us.

I make toffee nugget martinis, peach sour whiskey bombs, and Mexican coffees with a twist for the camera and for the crowd.

At one point, I see Aidan carrying his little brother like the boneless cat in the old Peanuts cartoon. I wave at Seamus from across the way and point to his kids. As cute as it is, Aidan’s grip on his brother is losing steam. Seamus laughs as he runs after the pair, saving Carson before Aidan drops him. I smile at Aidan’s furrowed brows and then laugh as he stomps after his dad.

It’s a good night. A really good night.

Jay talks animatedly with Will and Scott while I watch from a distance. I think he’s answering their questions and sharing the plans we have.

There’s a tap on my shoulder. I turn around and see Matt and a smiling but tired looking Carson.

“Are you busy or could you take him? We want to sneak away while we can.”

I happily take Carson. “Remember, tomorrow morning.”

Matt smiles. “It’s all ready to go.” He kisses Carson’s head then jogs to Seamus, grabs his hand, and quickly drags him away.

I bounce C-Mug on my hip to distract his lip from quivering as he watches his dads leave. “Sometimes adults need alone time. You’ll understand someday. Lucky for you, they’ll be knocking on our door first thing in the morning because they’ll miss you terribly.”

****

Jay’s favorite pastime is playing house. He loves making sure the kids are fed and diapers are changed. There is no better bath time than when Jay’s leading it. I will tell you this much, my content has changed drastically over the years. I wasn’t sure what my followers would say when I started including more kids and less selfies but they love it. Aidan and Carson are kind of famous. They have their own hashtags: #aidopotato #littlecarsontot which has slowly morphed to #cmug. Mya has her own cult following, as the only girl, #myapapaya. After a cute video of me flying Wyatt around like he was an airplane, he earned his badge of honor with #wyattthepilot.

When it’s time for bed, Aidan is begging to sleep with us. He has his hands in front of his face like a prayer but he’s jumping up and down like he’s at a trampoline park. “I twiple pwomise I won’t pee on you!”

I glare at Jay and curse the day he told Aidan about that. The kid thinks it’s the funniest thing ever. And since Aidan’s sleeping with us, Carson has to, too.

Do they make a super king bed?

****

I look at Jay and he looks at me. Despite the exhaustion, we smile. Aidan’s spread out like a starfish between us and Carson is laid across my chest. I tap Jay’s arm and motion for him to go. Save yourself. It’s not too late for him to catch a couple hours in the spare room.

“You sure?” he whispers. “I can stay.”

“It’s fine, go.”

He mouths ‘thank you’ as he slides out of bed, grabs his pillow, and then disappears. With the extra space, I roll Aidan over and then lay Carson next to me instead of on me. With a little breathing room, I fall asleep until Jay comes in a few hours later looking completely refreshed.

“I’m going to grab some coffee. Want one?”

I shoot out of bed before he can leave. “No, I’m fine. How about you stay here and I'll get you coffee?”

His lip curls at my sudden panic. “If you want me to stay with the kids, just say so.”

“I just meant that I want to get you coffee.”

He watches me curiously for a moment then shakes his head. “It’s fine. We can go down together.”

The kids are still sleeping so I slip out of bed and snuggle with Jay on the sofa next to the kitchenette. It’s not much, but it has a good view. An hour later, Aidan comes out holding the hand of his very wobbly and super new to walking brother. They’re not only wearing matching pj’s but matching sleep-mussed hair and tired eyes.

Once Carson is relieved of his soggy night diaper, we snuggle in a pile on the sofa until it’s time to meet everyone for morning coffee. I can’t be late for that.

Everyone is waiting, expectantly. Oblivious, Jay takes the boys and they sit by Seamus, Will, and Scott.

I casually slide in next to Corey, Isaac, and Cole. “Everything ready?”

Corey covers his mouth with his hand. “Everything is set up and ready when you are.”

I nod and stroll across the living room to Jay. “Do you want a red velvet latte?”

Jay looks at me funny. Usually if I make special drinks, I do it as a segment and I make them for everyone.

“Do you want one or not?”

“Suure?” he says slowly and with much skepticism. “I’d love one?”

I nod and head to the kitchen, where Matt is putting the last of the ingredients onto the kitchen island for me.

He winks. “Good luck.” Then he’s gone.

I make the drink, then arrange it on a tray with a linen napkin and a couple of chocolate candies sprinkled about.

Jay is watching suspiciously as I bring just the one coffee out. He slowly takes his drink, looking at it like it’s poisoned. “Are you proposing to me?” he jokes.

He’s played into my plan perfectly. I can hardly stop myself from looking at the guys, who are recording the whole thing from different angles.

Right on cue, I drop the ring from my palm to my shaky fingers and get down on one knee. “Are you saying yes?”

Jay freezes. His eyes search mine, trying to figure out if I’m joking or not. I think the knee and the ring give it away but I can understand his hesitancy, he’s expecting a few more years still.

When he doesn’t move, I grab his hand and slip the gold band on his finger. I could’ve gone with something more flashy but Jay is a classic kind of guy. I think this suits him.

“Holy shit,” he whispers. “Holy shit!” He jumps up and lets out a loud whoop then grabs the two nearest children and puts them on his shoulders and starts running around shouting, “I’m getting married!

I get off the floor and take a seat. Those who aren’t watching Jay with a smile are watching me like I should be doing something.

I look at Jay as he runs around, then shrug. “This is probably going to take a while.” And it does. He runs around for ten minutes, randomly picking up giggling kids and babies, before he finally circles back to me, flushed and breathing hard.

He gives Mya back to her parents, grabs my hands, and pulls me away. He can’t stop smiling. “This is real?”

“I couldn’t wait another day,” I tell him. “Everything changed when I realized what was holding me back. That’s when I decided to buy the ring.”

“When?”

I grin. “In Denver.”

I guess that’s the right response. Jay grabs my face and kisses me. “I’m so glad we watched the kids last night because I’m going to run you into the ground tonight.”

A shiver rolls down my spine like a straight shot of tequila. “Promises, promises.”

Jay’s hands squeeze my ass and his lips trail neck feverishly. “Not a promise,” he says between kisses. “It’s a guarantee.” With the strength of a newly-retired two-time champion defenseman, he slams me against the wall and dominates my mouth with his. It’s bruising and hot as fuck. I don’t think he’s ever been so revved up.

“I’m going to propose all the damn time if this is what happens.”

He stops kissing me and with one hand, he holds my face, his thumb on one cheek and his fingers on the other. The way he looks at me takes my breath away. I’m looking at my future. It used to terrify me but now it excites me. I can’t wait for it. I want it. I wish we were halfway there already except I never want my life with Jay to end.

“You just made me the happiest man alive,” he says.

But it’s me who’s the happiest man alive. It’s stupid and cliché to say something like he saved me but I get why people do, and Jay definitely did. I thought I was happy before I met him. I had a good life and everything I could ever want. I didn’t know how deprived of air I was. I was so used to barely breathing. When Jay opened the door, he opened my eyes. It really wasn’t until he almost left me that I finally took the breath he’d been offering for so long. Now I’m greedy for it.

“I love it when you look at me like that,” he says.

“Like what?”

He brings my face close and kisses my lips gently. “Like I was right all along.”

I laugh. “Fuck you.”

He smiles and the room gets a little brighter. “I called it, all those years ago, I knew. I told you this was going to happen. You fought me, but I knew I was going to marry you.”

No point in denying it at this point, he has the hardware to prove it. “You knew.”

“And now you know.”

“I do.”

He looks shocked. “You’re not supposed to say that yet, not until we’re standing in front of our friends and family. Don’t you know how this stuff works?”

“I hate you,” I tell him. “Give me the ring back.”

He holds his hand against his chest protectively. “No take-backs.”

I grab his hand, but instead of taking the ring, I examine his hand. The way it makes me feel is foreign as fuck. I did that, I put that ring on his finger.

“Do you like it?” I ask him. We never did talk about rings or anything like that. “I did my best.”

He turns his hand over and studies the gold band. “It’s better than I ever imagined.”

****

I feel bad for stealing Seamus’ thunder. Even though the trip has evolved over the last few years, it always lands on his birthday. This year is the added celebration of the legal battle. But now everyone is celebrating Jay…well, me and Jay, but mostly Jay.

And boy, is Jay on cloud nine. He’s larger than life. I don’t think there is a thing in the entire world that can bring him down. Every time I look at him, I smile. From my spot in the kitchen, I have the perfect view of all that happiness as the entire group congratulates him.

“Jay sure is happy.”

Fuck!” The cup in my hand bounces twice on the counter, spilling its contents everywhere before rolling onto the floor.

Seamus chuckles. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

I grab the rag and clean the mess up. “I thought everyone was outside.” As I get my heart under control, I refill the cup with ice and start over with the current drink of the week: one can of Fresca, one tropical peach Body Armor, and one packet of raspberry-flavored True Lemon.

Seamus walks to the window and looks outside. I don’t know if he’s thirsty, but I make an extra drink in case. As I finish up, I look at him. He hasn’t said a word, just stared out the window. I walk around the kitchen and hand him his drink.

He blinks, then smiles and lifts it toward me. “A congratulations is in order.”

Olive branch acknowledged. Olive branch accepted.

I clink my cup with his.

Seamus takes a drink, savoring the flavor, then smiles. “I never know what I’m going to get with your concoctions, but this is good.”

“You win some and you lose some.”

I stand awkwardly. I should take the drink to Jay but I feel like Seamus came in here for a reason, so I should stay.

But he’s not saying anything.

I struggle through another minute of painful silence before breaking. “Are you here to warn me off of him or threaten a beatdown? Because I have no intentions of doing anything to jeopardize what Jay and I have so you don’t have to worry.”

He looks at me and his eyes are crinkled. “I know.”

“It’s just, I know I’m not your favorite person.”

His brows furrow. “What are you talking about?”

I scoff. “It’s kind of obvious.”

Seamus pauses, opens his mouth, then closes it. “I followed you on social media before I knew Jay was pursuing you. I was honestly impressed by you and all the things you could do, plus you were hot. When I found out you were the Loren he was ga-ga over, I panicked. You had heartbreaker written all over you and Jay was already half in love. In my eyes, it was a recipe for disaster.”

“And once we were dating? It didn’t feel like you warmed up all that quick.”

“What can I say, I had my guard up. It was hard knowing you could break Jay into pieces by barely moving your pinky.”

“And now?” I ask. “What's to say I won’t do it now?”

“Any of us could hurt the ones we love. But I’ve seen the happiness you bring him and it seems like a fair trade. Plus,” he says with a casual shrug. “If you hurt him, I’ll kill you.”

I throw my head back and laugh. “Fair enough.”

Seamus grins and I can totally see why Matt likes him. It’s a good look on him. He nods outside where everyone is gathered in a circle laughing. “Let's see what they’re gossiping about.”

****

“When I asked Loren if he wanted to hold Mya, he said ‘oh, no, that's okay. Thanks anyway’, and I said, ‘Dude, it’s a baby, not a cup of coffee that you politely refuse’, then I set her in Loe’s arms before he could get away.” Corey recounts my first visit with Ms. Mya after she was born. She was too tiny for her own good. “Ever see those cats that fall over when you dress them in a sweater?” he continues the terrible retelling. “That’s what Loren looked like.”

“I don’t think he even held Carson until he was six-months old,” Matt adds, not really contributing anything useful if you ask me.

“I don’t like little babies,” I mumble. “I hardly tolerate big babies.” It’s a lie…about the bigger ones. They’re chill enough.

“Then why are you with Jay?” Matt asks. “He’s the biggest baby I’ve ever seen.”

Jay’s mouth drops. “Hey! This is my engagement. You have to be nice to me.”

I pull Jay into my lap and pat him on the back. “There, there.”

He growls. “That’s not helping.”

I glance at my watch. It’s kind of late and Jay promised to run me into the ground tonight. I push Jay off and stand up. “It’s past someone's bedtime,” I say, making Matt smile victoriously and Jay roll his eyes.

We leave to the serenading sounds of cat calls and suggestive teasing…and a ‘no buddy, you can’t follow them to their room tonight’.”

Jay blushes at the last comment.

Halfway to the room, I tug impatiently. The bastard is lumbering along like we’re on our way to grab a snack of rice cakes and peanut butter from the summer camp cafeteria. Hell, he might even move faster if that was the case.

The door isn’t even shut behind us and I’m peeling off my clothes. I start unbuttoning his funky tropical shirt that looks stupid good on him. I tug it down his shoulders so I can toss that baby across the room when Jay lays his hands over mine.

He gives me a forced smile. “I want to talk.”

“You wanna talk dirty?” I ask, waggling my brows. “Sounds hot.”

Jay laughs and pushes me towards the bedroom. “I’m serious.”

I stop tugging on his shirt and try to gauge what’s going on. He was smiling when we got to the suite but now he looks a little stressed, which has me a little stressed.

“Okay…" I drop my hands to my sides. "You got me in the bedroom and now my boner is completely gone so…what's up?”

He puts his hands on my shoulders like he’s calming a spooked horse, which I resent. “I just want to talk.”

“Well, we came up here so you could ‘rail me good’ and now you’re looking like that might not happen.”

“That’s kind of what I want to talk to you about.” He nudges me towards the bed. I follow, reluctantly. He corrals me where he wants me, which is on my back with him on his side next to me. His eyes follow his fingers as he traces them over my arm muscles. I really don’t know what the fuck is coming but Jay looks like he’s about to vomit which has my stomach twisting like a hoodie string in the spin cycle.

His hand stops moving. “I-don’t-want-to-have-sex-until-we’re-married,” he says in one breath.

I blink. I think. I might not blink, I can’t be sure. Nothing is real.

What?” This time I know I blinked.

“I’ve never been interested in waiting until marriage or anything like that, but I always thought abstaining while engaged would be kind of sweet, like a grand gesture of sorts. I never brought it up because I never thought we’d get married, but here we are.”

My jaw drops. “I think I’d rather get unengaged...”

Jay laughs. When I don’t join in, his smile falters and he pulls his ringed hand away from me. With his hand hidden behind his back, he leans down and gently nudges my neck with his nose. “We only have one honeymoon and I think it would be a sexy build up if we couldn’t touch each other until then.”

My breath hitches. “I think it sounds like torture.”

“It will be, but it will be awesome, too. Just imagine what it will be like to finally have me on my knees in front of you, as your husband, taking you in my mouth.”

“I imagine it will not be all that romantic because I will cum all over your face before you even touch me.”

“C’mon,” he pleads. “Tell me you get where I’m coming from?”

I let out an exasperated breath. “I get it. You want some romantic bullshit.”

“Yes,” he deadpans. ”You know how much I love all that romantic bullshit.”

I close my eyes and give myself a moment to come to terms with what’s about to happen. I’m obviously going to say yes because it’s Jay and he’s so fucking earnest and pure as shit. I think it might even be worth it to see his reaction on our wedding night.

“What if we’re engaged for like, two years?”

He laughs. “I don’t think that would happen.”

“Yeah, probably not.” He’d likely get married next week if he could. I open my eyes. “When you say abstaining, what exactly do you mean?”

“No sex—of any kind.”

“Nothing?”

“Nothing.”

“And you don’t think you’ll cave?”

“I know I won’t,” he says with conviction. I believe him. Jay has a crazy kind of willpower.

I frown. “I’m kind of offended.”

“I didn’t say it wouldn’t be hard. It’s going to be the most difficult thing ever, but I waited a long time for you and I can abstain for a few months if it means making our wedding day and our honeymoon that much more special.”

“So…you’re not going to rail me tonight? Like you guaranteed?”

He has the decency to look a little guilty that we’re not getting down.

I roll out of bed and get dressed. Jay sits up. “What are you doing?”

“I need reinforcements.”

I’m pretty sure Jay thinks I'm on my way to get alcohol. I’m not. I need something stronger. A lot stronger.

Walk back to the group. “Jay wants to be a born-again virgin on our wedding night,” I tell everyone. Because why the hell not? No secrets here.

I grab Mya’s, Wyatt’s, and Carson’s diaper bags and sling them across my chest like a pack mule heading to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, then steal the kids from their parents. With an armful of babies, I whistle for Aidan.

He comes galloping over like a horse from pasture. If I had an apple, he’d eat it right out of my hand. I look at the slack-jawed parents. “Might as well put this new celibacy to good use. Y'all should enjoy your night. I know I won’t.”

Jay tries not to laugh when I get back to the room with the cast of Kindergarten Cop. He takes Mya and Carson so I can offload the diaper bags. “Dramatic much?”

“Har har har,” I laugh humorlessly. Then I give him a are-you-fucking-serious look because he’s the one that wants to put my dick in abstinence jail for who knows how long. The only get out of jail free card is marriage. Do not pass Go, do not collect two-hundred dollars. I’m not complaining.

Okay, I’m kind of complaining.

I used to do whoever I wanted whenever I wanted. Now I’m some goddamn sap begging for a goodnight kiss on the front porch. The worst part? I’ll fucking do it because it’s Jay Petermeyer, and if he wants to be treated like a gentleman, then I’m going to treat him like a fucking gentleman.

Then I pray for the shortest engagement ever.

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Copyright © 2022 Mrsgnomie; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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