“That . . . is . . . fortunate,” he said through a pained smile.
She took a step closer. “I think I worried that when we—” Becky began, her eyes suspiciously shiny, and I cut her off.
“Mates, I’m famished!” I exclaimed. “All the hot newlywed sex and whatnot. Where are we headed for dinner?”
Of course Jensen blushed when I said sex.
“I feel like I missed something really interesting back there,” Ruby said, leading the way on our walk to dinner.
“Will dropped the Hiroshima of awkward,” Niall explained, “and Pippa followed up with Nagasaki.”
I smacked his shoulder. “This is incredibly hard on me, pretending to be your wife.”
“Too much hot newlywed sex?” he deadpanned. Niall choked on a cough. “Oh, and apparently Cam is going to sell us our dream home in Beacon Hill. Thanks for that, Will.”
Will grinned back at us. “Welcome!”
I bit back a laugh. “What am I supposed to do in the face of your ex-wife who keeps tearing up every time she’s near you guys?” I said. “It’s been five hours and I already feel like we’re dysfunctional.”
Will looked back at us again, wide-eyed. “Maybe she’s pregnant?”
“Maybe she realized she lost the best thing that ever happened to her?” Hanna asked in a protective growl.
“Okay, okay, that’s enough,” Jensen said, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his hands.
Hanna pointed across the street and we followed her toward the small farm-to-table restaurant where we had reservations for dinner—alone, without Becky and Cam or Ellen and Tom.
“God,” I groaned. “What am I going to do at karaoke tonight? Do we have to go?”
“Well, we wouldn’t if you hadn’t accepted,” Jensen said, laughing.
“This is amazing,” Will said, and giggled, still tipsy. “ ‘Come on this trip with us, Jens! You’ll be paired up with your crazy flight mate and then we’ll run into your beast of an ex-wife for the first time in a decade, and we’ll all pretend you’re hot and heavy, married to a stranger.’ ”
Jensen looked over at me. “You’re not a stranger.”
“Right, because I gave you my entire life story.”
He grinned. “Starting with the turkey baster.”
The rest of the group went quiet in confusion.
Jensen ignored them. “You know what this night needs?” He asked us all rhetorically, but looked directly at me.
“The way this trip is going, I can’t imagine where you’re headed with this,” Hanna said.
He shook his head and in a quiet little growl said, “A lot of wine.”
Maybe it was the run-in with Becky that had everyone a little slap-happy, but having a lot of wine wasn’t an issue. The moment we sat down, Will ordered two bottles—a red and a white—and some appetizers and told the waiter it was Jensen’s birthday.
Jensen got a straw hat and a plastic bib for the two-pound crab they brought out, and after we polished off the two bottles, it seemed appropriate to order two more. Hanna reasoned—quite rationally, I felt—that there were only six four-ounce servings in a bottle of wine, which meant we’d each only had two glasses.
“A pretty rubbish showing if we’re lighting it up tonight,” Niall said as he waved down the waiter.
Two more bottles in and Will’s cheeks were rosy, Hanna was snort-laughing indelicately, and Jensen had his arm around the back of my chair in a familiar, casual lean.
We ordered dessert wine when they brought out the crème brûlée and lava cake.
We ordered after-dinner cocktails when we finished dessert.
And then we remembered we still had karaoke with Becky and Cam at a dive bar in town.
Ruby waved a finger in the air. “We don’t have to go,” she said, blinking tipsily over at me and Jensen. “If this is awkward for you guys.”
I laughed. “It’s not awkward for me. We’re not actually married.”
“I think she means the tone-deaf thing,” Jensen said, his voice suddenly very warm and very soft in my ear.
“That’s really only a problem for everyone else in the bar,” I told the table, and then I turned to him, so close I could just lean in a little and kiss him. It was, in fact, hard to resist. He smelled like chocolate and had the smallest bit of stubble lining his jaw. “And I’ll have you know, I do very good Violent Femmes karaoke.”
His mouth tilted in a half smile. “You could eat some glass and gargle some whiskey and then do Tom Waits.”
“My vote is duet,” Will nearly shouted from across the table. Hanna gently shushed him as a few of our fellow diners glanced in our direction.
“I tell you what,” Jensen said, reaching up to scratch his eyebrow. “You sing me a little song right here at the table, and I’ll do a duet with you.”
I pulled back a little. He’d said it as a joke, as though this were something I would never do. “I’m not going to sing in a restaurant,” I told him.
“If you do, I’ll sing with you in the bar.”
I did the math in my head, trying to calculate how much he’d had to drink. He was being quite adorable. “You’re crazy.” I shook my head and felt Ruby’s eyes on me before she leaned to the side to whisper something to Niall.