“I’m going to die of laughter and when the police finally get here I’ll still be wearing these hideous underwear. Why didn’t you just take them all off at once?”
“You can’t expect me to think when all my blood is in my dick!”
“I told you this wasn’t sexy. Admit that I was right and I’ll just go in and take them off. Admit that I’m smarter than you.”
“Oh, you’re definitely smarter than I am, and they’re definitely sexy,” he said. “I really don’t see a way I lose in this scenario.” He lifted my shirt off and over my head and took my breasts in his hands.
“We’re never going to be packed at this rate,” I said, watching as he took one nipple into his mouth, and then the other.
“I’d say I wished we would have hired someone, but this has been fun. Today . . .” He kissed my breast again and then looked up at my face. “Today has been pretty great.”
“And you’re not worried at all about losing this? When we move?”
Will shook his head, placing an elbow on either side of my head and looking down at me. “Absolutely not. It’s always fun with you. Remember San Diego for Ben and Chloe’s wedding?”
“You mean when we barely left the room?”
Will grinned. “Exactly. You’re going to kick ass at Harvard and be the most amazing professor they’ve ever had. I’m going to figure it out with Max, maybe even open a second office, and we’ll make things work. Just like we always do, Plum.”
I gripped his hip, pressing into the H he had tattooed there, and realized he was right.
This? Was a constant. We could move halfway around the world and nothing would change.
We were going to be just fine.
Max and Jensen patted the table with their hands, a rumbling drum roll.
“How was the honeymoon?” Sara asked, and everyone groaned.
“I don’t care about the rudding honeymoon!” Max play-yelled. “I hear enough about their sex life on a normal day. Tell me where you’re moving.”
“I can’t take it,” Chloe said, gripping the sides of her chair. “I swear to God I am going to lose my shit in a violent way if you’re even thinking of moving to the West Coast.”
“We’ve decided,” Hanna said to the table, “and we are moving to . . .”
She looked over at me, and in unison we proclaimed, “Cambridge!”
A chorus of cheers rang out, with everyone congratulating us both, congratulating Hanna on landing Harvard. We raised our arms in a toast, glasses clinking loudly.
“Boston?” Chloe said when she returned her wineglass to the table. “That’s like two hundred miles.”
“Are you happy or annoyed?” I asked her. “I can’t really tell.”
“I’m . . . not sure, either,” Chloe admitted, brow furrowed. “I was preparing myself for something really traumatic.” She squinted across the table at us. “Boston is sort of an annoying distance. It’s too far to drive regularly, but feels silly flying. Plus, it’s Boston.”
“Not to me,” I told them. “I’ll be down here three days a week.”
Sara passed me the baby, searching her purse for something a little quieter for Anna to play with than the spoon she was currently banging against the table. I turned her to face me, puckering my lips for a kiss.
Anna reached forward, grabbing my mouth in her chubby fist.
“Are you staying up there for the holidays?” Sara asked. She returned with a rattling plastic thing before noticing Anna’s death grip on my face, which, no surprise, Max was happily witnessing. “Oh, jeez, Will, that must hurt!”
Sara urged her daughter to swap my mouth for the toy, and Annabel promptly used it as a hammer against my forehead.
“Oi!” Max yelped, finally leaning forward to steady her hand. “Ouchie, lovey, be soft. That hurts Uncle Will.”
“It’s okay,” I told Sara, leaning in and kissing Anna’s cheek. “She should learn these moves. She’s one now; you never know when she’ll get into a fight in the alley behind the daycare.” I kissed her little nose. “And it depends on what Hanna’s folks want to do around the holidays,” I said. I glanced at Hanna, who just shrugged.
“Chloe and I will host,” Bennett interjected. “Dad and Mom are headed to New Zealand for the month, so we’ll have it at our place. And I don’t want Sara having to do anything strenuous with a one-month old.”
We all stared quizzically at Bennett for a beat before deciding in unison to not question his sudden sentimentality.
She groaned. “I know. Just get her out of me already.”
“Yesterday,” Sara whined, sweetly. “They say the second one usually comes early. They lie.”
“You know what usually helps with inducing labor . . .” Chloe sang and Sara glared at her.
“We tried that.” She held up her hand, ticking off on her fingers: “We tried sex, and spicy food, and walking. I swear the only thing left is a scalpel.”
Max winced bodily beside her and Hanna leaned closer to her other side, putting her arm around Sara’s shoulders.
I listened as my wife laid out the details of Harvard’s hiring package, and leaned back in the chair, making faces at my goddaughter. Relief coursed through me like a drug and I couldn’t help but feel the tightness of emotion rise in my throat. We’d built a life here, and I didn’t want to lose these friends. I didn’t want to be too far from the people we loved.