Sydney flips the covers back, patting the empty side next to her. “Join me?”
“Gladly.” I practically collapse onto the mattress, closing my eyes as she pulls the blankets over me. I can hear her lean over, the click of the lamp as she shuts it off, shrouding the room in darkness.
I crack open my eyes to find her watching me, a silly smile still on her face. “See? Lamps are nice.”
“You with the lamp thing again,” I grumble, reaching out to grab her and pull her toward me. She comes willingly, snuggling close with her head on my shoulder, and she sighs.
I sigh too. I’ve never felt so content.
“Tell me about your mom,” she whispers.
I give her the rundown. About the accident, how I stayed at the hospital all day until her boyfriend showed up. What a nice guy he is, and how he’s not actually her boyfriend but her fiancé. I spilled my guts, telling Sydney everything, and when I finish she lifts her head, smiling drowsily at me.
“You’re a good son.”
“I guess. Not good enough for her to tell me about her fiancé, though.” That still bothers me. I want my mom to be honest with me and not have any secrets between us.
“You’re busy. She’s busy.” Sydney frowns. “Maybe she was worried about how you’d react.”
Maybe. I don’t know. I guess I kept my mom on a pedestal for so long, it’s hard for me to deal when she makes a mistake. “Not sure why, but whatever. It makes me feel bad. I don’t want us keeping secrets from each other, and I told her that.” I meet Sydney’s gaze. “I don’t want us to have any secrets either.”
“Did you tell her about me?”
“Did you tell her the entire story?” She lifts a delicate brow.
“No.” Shit. I’m talking out both sides of my mouth here. I tell my mom no more secrets, yet I keep the truth from her. But I couldn’t bring myself to tell my mother everything. What if she thought differently of Sydney because of our situation? I couldn’t have it. “Why worry her or make her wonder what we’re doing can’t work?” I hold my breath, waiting for her answer.
“You’re keeping a secret from her though.”
A ragged sigh escapes me. Busted. “I know.” I pause. “Do you want me to tell her the truth?”
“You probably should.” She hesitates. “Eventually. It’s the right thing to do.”
Yeah. She’s right.
“Do you want what’s happening between us to work?” Now Sydney sounds nervous. Really nervous.
I need to reassure her.
Reaching out, I touch her face, then trace her lips. “Yeah.”
Her smile grows. “Me too.”
“Forget the fake shit.” I’ve always been wary of relationships, always keeping it casual, playing it safe.
Until Sydney. Forget casual. She makes me feel safe.
She makes me feel so much, it’s hard to describe.
“I agree,” she says. “This is for real.”
“For realz?” It’s my turn to tease and I can’t help myself, I start chuckling.
“For realzies.” She rears up and kisses me on the lips, a soft, sweet kiss that tells me exactly how she feels about me. “We should take those sweats off.”
“I’m wearing nothing underneath them,” I warn her.
“Even better,” she whispers just before I kiss her again. “Are you wanting to collect on that full body massage now?”
“I don’t think so. Not tonight.” Another kiss, this one with tongue. “I’ll save that for another time. But I am wanting to collect something from you.”
“What exactly are you looking for?” she asks.
“You.” I kiss her. “Naked.” Kiss her again. “Beneath me.” One more kiss, with lots of tongue this time, until we’re both breathless and panting and her shirt is shoved up over her breasts and I’m cupping them in my hands. “Me inside you.”
“That sounds good,” she whispers.
“No,” I tell her just before I start to kiss her all over again. “That sounds fucking perfect.”
“I still can’t believe you agreed to have all of these people over on Christmas Eve,” I tell Fable with a slight shake of my head. We’re standing in the formal dining room, the long table covered with a variety of delicious food that smells amazing, despite the fact that I’ve eaten enough to cover my calorie intake for the next five days. Or more like five years.
Oh well, who’s counting?
The Callahan house is jam packed with people, there’s Christmas music playing in the background and Autumn and Jacob are running all over the house like savages, the both of them beyond excited at the prospect that Santa Claus is coming tonight.
“Well, you’ve been by my side helping me with all the planning so no big deal, right?” Fable smiles and rubs her belly, her face glowing. This pregnancy has agreed with her and luckily enough has given her no complications. She looks beautiful in a flowing red dress, and she’s still tiny save for the slope of her belly. “Now go mingle. I’m going to go talk to your brother.”
My mouth drops open. Gabe and his girlfriend Lucy came to the party, and for some reason, Fable and Gabe have really hit it off. “Seriously?” I guess I shouldn’t be shocked. Gabe can be quite charming when he wants to be.