Ah, hell. Tears spring to her eyes. I hate when she cries. But I think—I hope—these are happy tears. “Oh, Gabe.”
“I’m serious, Luce. I’m in love with you. It about killed me when you told me you’d been lying all that time but then I started to feel bad. Like maybe…I’m the reason you got caught up in the lies. And I hated that. Then like an asshole I don’t use a condom and we get scared that you’re pregnant and then I abandon you by telling you I wasn’t ready for all of it and I’m just…I feel like the biggest dick in the universe.”
She kisses me before I can continue on, her tongue sweeping into my mouth, her hands letting go of mine so she can loop her arms around my neck. She kisses me long and deep until we both finally come up for air minutes later to find a group of about twenty people standing at the top of the stairs gaping at us.
“Uh, I think we need to go,” I tell Lucy as she disentangles herself from me.
“Next class starts in ten minutes,” one of the guys who is still watching us says.
I’m laughing to myself as I take Lucy’s backpack from her and guide her out of the classroom, my hand resting at the small of her back as I push open the heavy door with my other hand. “Well, that was just great,” I mutter once we’re out of the building and walking toward the quad.
“They were staring at us,” she whispers, making me start laughing in earnest. “Like they’ve never seen someone kiss before.”
“Maybe they haven’t.” I slip my arm around her waist and pull her in close to my side. “Maybe they have no idea what a couple in love looks like.”
“Well, now they know,” she says in that prim little voice that I find so incredibly sexy.
Shit. Just like that I’m hard for her. It’s been too damn long. I’m dying to get her naked and beneath me.
“Let’s get the hell out of here so I can take you to bed,” I suggest.
Her cheeks go pink. “Gabriel.”
“Luciana,” I mock right back at her. “You know you want it.”
She smiles, rears up on tiptoe and kisses me on the cheek. “I do.”
“I love you,” I tell her again because she hasn’t said it yet and I need to hear the words.
She stops walking and so do I. Staring up at me with love and adoration in her dark eyes, she reaches for my face and cups my cheeks, her fingers gentle on my skin. “I love you, too. So much.”
My heart feels like it expands to twice its size at her sincere declaration. Lucy fucking loves me.
I’m the luckiest man in the world.
“Oh my God, you’re adorable,” Gabe says as he stops in the doorway to stare at me.
I do a twirl, showing off my entire costume. His gaze is ravenous when it meets mine and I wait eagerly for his approach. “You like it?”
“I fucking love it.” He enters the room and scoops me up in his arms, giving me a kiss that I feel right down to the tips of my toes.
Will that ever grow old? I don’t think so.
“You look pretty good yourself,” I murmur as I pull away from him. Our themed Halloween costumes were his idea. I had no clue he was such a gamer nerd but he admitted that when he was eight to ten years old, his absolute favorite TV show and video games were Pokemon.
So he’s Ash Ketchum and I’m his sexy Pikachu.
I made my costume by finding a yellow leotard and matching skirt by absolute chance at the thrift shop. I made ears and a tail with felt I bought at a craft store and drew big red dots on my cheeks. I helped Gabe with his blue vest by tearing the sleeves off a jacket I also found at the thrift store. He’s wearing a black T-shirt and jeans and he’s the one who provided the hat just like Ash wore plus a poke ball.
“I could never give them up,” he admitted when he showed them to me. “I’ve owned them since I was nine. Got ‘em both for Christmas—best freaking Christmas ever, I might add. So I had Sydney dig them out of my old room and ship them to me.”
My heart overflowed with love at the thought of a young Gabe holding on to his Pokemon stuff. Could he be any cuter? Luckily the hat still fit him and with his hair sticking out from underneath it, he makes the perfect Ash Ketchum.
“Shep and Tristan are going to give me endless shit, along with everyone else,” he mutters minutes later when we’re driving over to Shep’s house. He and Jade are having a costume party tonight and tons of people are going to be there, including his frat brothers. I never even knew he was in a fraternity until he told me a few weeks ago.
He’s such the typical rich, spoiled college boy. But he’s all mine. And I love him so much it hurts.
“Who cares? They’ll be jealous they didn’t think of it,” I say, making him smile.
The first person we see when we arrive is Tristan—dressed like a pimp. The typical purple and gold lame pantsuit I’ve seen so often every year at Halloween, along with the crazy wide brim hat trimmed in purple feathers. He looks ridiculous. But all the girls flock to him, as usual.
“Of course he’s a pimp,” Gabe says with a shake of his head, making me laugh.
Audrey is there too, dressed in a skimpy costume. I think she’s supposed to be a maid? I don’t know. She’s hanging on Tristan’s arm, though I know he doesn’t really care about her. At least she’s given up on chasing after Gabe. I’ve accepted that she’ll always be around and I’m not a fan, but at least she keeps her distance from my man.
I really love that I can claim Gabe as my man.
I nearly squeal with excitement when I spot Shep and Jade. He’s Batman and she’s Robin. They’re cute but look tough with their black masks covering their faces. Jade runs up and gives me a big hug when she spots us, practically wrapping her green tights-covered legs around mine.
“Your costume is so adorable!” she exclaims, using the same word Gabe did when he first saw me.
“Thanks. I made it myself.” I preen for her, doing a little twirl.
“I can imagine ten-year old Gabe wearing that hat,” she says and when I told her it was actually nine-year old Gabe who got that very hat, she starts to laugh.
Gabe and I separate fast but I don’t mind. I’ve made friends. He has tons of friends and they all want a piece of him, which I understand. That I’m lucky enough to have a piece of him—to have many pieces of him, still blows my mind.
The party is in full swing, the house is so crowded with people and I’m sweating like crazy. I have two margaritas in me when Gabe suddenly appears, takes my hand and pulls me outside. “I want to talk to you.”
I stand up straight at the seriousness in his tone. I’m buzzing from the tequila so I hope I don’t make an ass of myself. What in the world could he want to talk about now? “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong. I just realized something.” He grabs hold of my bare shoulders and stares down at me. “I want you to live with me.”
My mouth drops open. Wait…what? “Are you serious?”
“When you told me Gina was leaving to transfer to the same university her boyfriend goes to, it dawned on me. You’re worried about finding another roommate when you don’t need to worry at all. Just move in with me,” he explains, sounding so very logical.