AT HOME WITH CULLENS
Wrong? Oh, not much. Just that the last person to prepare dinner for your son wearing that apron— with, by the way, nothing but boy shorts on underneath—was later fucked from behind across the dining room table, and later eaten out for his dessert.
“Oh, I um…I’m just super hungry, that’s all.”
Esme looks at me suspiciously and I suddenly have this uncomfortable image of Jerry Springer barking out accusations disguised as “questions” as I’m hooked up to a lie detector and the audience is booing and yelling dirty names at me as the results are broadcast worldwide.
Does she know??
“Whatever you’re cooking smells amazing, Mom,” Edward hops in, no doubt attempting to take some of the attention off his mortified girlfriend. “Isabella and I are just going to run back and change real quick—you want to change, don’t you, sweetheart?”
“Oh…that would be great. Yes, let’s change.” Stop babbling, idiot.
We pass through the living room and into the back hallway, where I reluctantly let go of Edward’s hand at the guest room door before slipping inside. I turn back when I hear the soft click of the lock behind me, startling when I realize that Edward has followed me inside.
My hand flies to my heart. “Shit!”
“You told me I was welcome anytime. Are you revoking my invitation already?”
“No. You just scared me.”
“Sorry,” he soothes, rushing to my side and placing his hands on my shoulders. “It seemed like you were freaked out back there, and I wanted to make sure you’re okay.”
“Oh my God, Edward. Your mother…when she turned around…in that apron…I literally thought I might pass out from embarrassment.”
“I’m so sorry. It seemed harmless to leave it out there. It’s actually from one of those high-end cooking catalogs.”
“Which would be fine if your slutty girlfriend hadn’t worn it with nothing underneath!” My voice rises with renewed humiliation.
Edward’s expression crumples, and I feel lousy for causing it. “I’m sorry you feel that way about it,” he says miserably, dropping his hands and stepping back.
“I’m sorry, too,” I respond, all the anger draining out of my tone. I walk toward him and he automatically opens his arms and pulls me in. “I just don’t want your parents to think I’m a dirty whore.”
“Nobody thinks that, Isabella. Nobody but you, apparently.”
The hurt in his words causes me to look up at his anguished face. “I don’t, usually. I promise. I mean, not when we’re alone. But sometimes…? Thinking about the stuff we do, the things I want to do with you?” My voice cracks, and I whisper the rest. “The shame just hits me hard.”
Fuck. Fuck. FUCK!
“Okay, okay,” I answer, rocking her gently and squeezing her probably too tightly. “You have to tell me this stuff, Isabella. I can go easier on the humiliation if it’s—”
“No!” she responds vehemently.
What the…? “No? You just said you were feeling ashamed, outside of the scenes. Honey, that is not good.”
She sniffles into my shirt one last time before pulling her head up. Aw shit, she’s blotchy and tear-stained. “I don’t want you to change what you’re doing.” She reddens again and looks away. Yeah, it’s really not easy to ask to be humiliated. “I just have to learn to deal with this other piece. I mean, deep down, I know there’s nothing wrong with it, but…you know…”
I cup her cheek with my hand. “I do. I know.”
Her lips form a brave smile. “So you won’t water down the next scene?”
I swoop in with my lips and give her a most reassuring kiss. “Be careful what you wish for, baby.”
“Great, now I have to change my panties, too,” she retorts, pushing me toward the door. “Go on and get out of here before I’m forced to tear your clothes off.”
“Really? I’m supposed to leave now?” I complain, grabbing the doorknob . “Okay, fine. But don’t walk back out there with a guilty conscience. Mom can smell fear.”
As I cross the hallway and find myself a decent pair of jeans to change into, I recall some of the you-can’t-fool-Mom moments from my childhood. The faked tooth-brushing or bath-taking only to be discovered. The note I’d failed to bring home from Mrs. Radisson in third grade, not realizing she’d also left a message on our home voice mail. The detentions, the pot, the girls smuggled into my bedroom…she figured me out every damn time. In fact, I totally credit her uncanny ferreting skills for my impressive proficiency with carrying out pranks relatively undetected later in life.
But it really won’t do if Mom figures out this one, not if it makes my girl uncomfortable. I recalibrate my mental compass for the remainder of their visit, farther away from “teasing innuendo” and squarely on “loyal boyfriend.” So much for making a big deal about who sits in the chair of pleasure.
When I enter the kitchen several minutes later, Isabella seems much more relaxed behind the counter, chopping salad vegetables and chatting with my father.
“How was your presentation, Isabella?” I hear him ask with great interest.
“It went very well, thanks. I feel like we’re in really good shape for our meeting in Seattle next week.”
“Oh,” Mom chimes in. “You’re traveling to the west coast?”
“Yes, I’ll be gone Monday through Thursday.”
Mom catches my eye, then goes back to stirring the homemade applesauce. “Well, I’m sure you kids will find some way to keep in touch, texting or face chatting or twittering.”
Dad gives me an apprehensive look, his eyes shifting to Mom’s back and calculating my chances of pulling off the heist. I quickly raise a finger to my lips. Our little secret.
I nearly moan out loud and give myself away as my teeth sink into the soft buttery texture and the warm chocolate hits my taste buds. When I open my eyes again, Isabella is staring at me and grinning, shaking her head at my antics, as usual. I lean forward over the counter, placing the cookie between her lips and just as she’s taking her first bite, Mom spins around and catches us red-handed.
“Oh, Edward! Honestly!” She places her hands on her hips and attempts to look fierce, but the twinkle in her eye tells a different story. Besides, I’m not the one with the cookie in my mouth.
Isabella quickly swallows, as if destroying the evidence will negate the crime. “Best chocolate chip cookie ever, Esme,” she adds hastily.
I sense the moment Mom gives up, dropping her arms by her sides and shaking her head. “As if there were ever any question about the two of you being meant for each other.”
“So, Isabella, do you have any brothers or sisters?”
“Nope, just me.”
“Isn’t that interesting? Two ‘onelies’ getting together… I wonder what the birth order experts would make of that.”
“Oh,” says Carlisle, “I don’t think you want to know what the sociologists have to say on that topic.”
Edward sets down his fork and knife, an amused smile on his face. “Sure we do.”
Esme shoots Carlisle a wifely set of daggers and he swallows heavily before continuing. “Supposedly, the only child paired with another only child is the least successful romantically. The theory is that as an only, you’re a bit overindulged, shall we say—present company excluded, naturally.”
“Naturally,” Edward repeats.
“Also, without any siblings of the opposite sex to practice interacting, both onelies are thought to be rather clueless as to what the other gender needs.”
If I could melt into liquid form and slide under the table right now, I would absolutely do it.
“Yeah, Dad, I don’t think that’s really a problem for us.” Edward picks up his utensils and resumes eating. I do not move my eyes from the scalloped potatoes on my plate, as the soft clink of cutlery fills the void. My stomach is churning, and it’s not helped by the fact that Edward’s father is sitting in the orgasm chair contemplating whether his son’s girlfriend knows what he needs.
“So, how’s my Boom?” Edward asks out of thin air, and it takes me a moment to realize he’s speaking of his dog.
Kinky, kinky, go away…cum again some other day.
Carlisle translates for me. “Boom, short for Boomer, short for Boomerang Aloyssius Johnson Cullen, the yellow Labrador wonder dog, direct descendant of the line of the show dog Caramel Corn.”
“Yes, he’s dead serious right now,” Edward informs me before taking in a bite of his pork chop.
“He’s doing well. We left him with the neighbors for the weekend, so he’ll have plenty of butts to sniff.”
“The Knotts? That place is a freaking zoo! Two slobbery black Labs, a schnauzer, and three stray tomcats,” Edward explains, shaking his head with disgust. “That puppy’s gonna need a shower when you get home.”
Carlisle grins. “The eleven-year-old puppy.”
Esme connects the dots to our previous conversation. “Hmm, speaking of lineage, I guess neither one of you has other siblings to carry on the bloodlines.”
Edward’s head whips up from his plate as he takes in my reaction.
“Esme,” I vaguely hear Carlisle scold her as my world comes to a screeching halt on its axis.
It suddenly occurs to me that Edward and I have never broached this topic, and I have absolutely no frame of reference for his feelings about having children of his own.
His eyes apologize across the table for his mother’s indelicacy, and all I want to do right now is pull Edward into one of our bedrooms again and curl up with him on the bed and talk. Well, that’s not really all, but it’s the predominant emotion.
“Yes, Mom. Your deduction would be correct,” Edward answers tightly, not taking his eyes off me. I hate that I feel the pinch of tears.
“Oh, dear me,” Esme says. “I’ve been an insensitive boob. Can you forgive me my gaffe, please? I didn’t mean that to come out the way it did.”
Esme looks around the table desperately, and I’m the first to answer. “No harm done, Esme. You just caught me by surprise. You’ll have to forgive me if I beg off.”
“Of course, of course. Ugh, Carlisle, quick! Change the subject for me.”
Everyone chuckles, even Carlisle.
“Let’s see, okay, here’s a question. Your experiment into opera was obviously highly successful. Do you have plans for your next foray into the unknown together?”
I have definite plans, I gloat inwardly, struggling to maintain a straight face. Poor Isabella, she doesn’t need me making lewd references to our next scene right now.
“Actually, I do have an idea,” my girlfriend answers with a sly grin, surprising the hell out of me.
“Is that right?” I challenge her playfully. “And how long have you been harboring this little secret?”
“About twenty seconds now,” she smiles. “That’s about the average life span of any secret from you.”
“Good to know,” I answer, momentarily forgetting there are other people in the room. Or the world, for that matter.
“Is it something you care to share?” Dad asks gently, shooting a judgy look toward Mom. See? This is how civilized folk do it.
“Sure,” Isabella answers. “Are you ready for it, Edward?” Her smile could break her face right now, it’s just that big.
“Hit me, baby,” I answer.
“I’ve always wanted to try my hand at painting. And I think we could have a blast doing it together.”
“You mean, oil painting, like that crazy-haired guy on WNET with the irritatingly soothing voice? ‘Oh, I think I see a little tree right here…ah yes, he has a skinny trunk and some very happy branches.’” Edward sounds so much like Bob Ross, I have to wonder how many hours he spent in front of The Joy of Painting as a kid.
I giggle and add, “Either that or watercolors. Or we can try both and see which one we like better.”
“Just don’t ever try to make Edward do a paint-by-numbers kit. He’s hopeless at staying in the lines.”
“Thank you, Mother Sell-out. You always said you liked my original creations. Anyway, I think Isabella has pretty much figured that out about me by now.”
“So, what do you think, Edward? Are you game?” Isabella asks, her bright eyes dancing with the idea.
“Sounds great. Plus, I could use some art on these blank walls.”
Esme starts to laugh and quickly covers her mouth.
“I was just remembering an incident in kindergarten with a certain red-haired girl and two gallons of finger-paint.”
“Oh, God, don’t remind me,” laments Carlisle.
“What? What did you do, Edward?” Isabella asks, wide smile of anticipation on her face.
“It was a science experiment!” I protest.
“I’m pretty sure it was already a well-established fact by that point that yellow and blue together make green,” Carlisle says.
“At Montessori, we were encouraged to challenge assumptions and explore our curiosity.”
“Why we ever sent you to that school is beyond me,” Dad whines. “As if your curiosity ever needed to be encouraged…”
“Wait, so what happened?” Isabella presses.
“Oh, I may have cajoled Lindsay Finnerty into taking off her shirt so I could see if the colors would mix the same way on human skin. She had the whitest skin of any person I’d ever seen before. Seriously, it was the color of plaster.”
“Not after that!” Esme cuts in.
Carlisle adds, “The girl’s skin was green for three months, she required ‘psychiatric evaluation’ and we had to pay for the carpeting to be replaced in room three—”
“That part was ridiculous,” I complain. “It was a kindergarten class. Shit gets dirty.”
“Oh my god.” Isabella shakes her head while taking in everyone’s comments.
“You don’t know the worst part yet,” I tell her. “Lindsay wouldn’t leave me alone after that. She hounded me right on through second grade, chasing me around the playground, always rushing to sit next to me at lunch…it was miserable.”
“I had no idea your childhood was so rough,” Bella teases, drawing riotous laughter from my parents.
“Dinner was delicious, Esme. Thank you so much for treating us to a home-cooked meal. You’re going to have to share your applesauce recipe so I can make it for Edward again.”
“It’s pretty easy. Just cook down Cortland apples and add honey and a wee bit of apple juice for consistency.”
“I think I can manage that.” I look across the room to where Edward and his dad are playing chess, and I note the ever-present chocolate chip cookie hanging out the side of Edward’s mouth while he makes his move. “I guess I’ll need your cookie recipe as well. Mine just aren’t as fluffy.”
“It’s the unsalted butter, room temp. Yeah, I love making those cookies for him; they just make him so darn happy.”
“The boy does love his chocolate chips,” I agree, enjoying a secret, deep-down jolt of delight.
“So tell me, Isabella,” Esme starts, rinsing the soapy pan and handing it to me to dry, “is my son behaving himself? Because I raised him to be a gentleman, and if he’s falling short in any way, I want you to let me know and I will have his father give him a talking-to.”
“He’s okay, Esme.” I try to keep it light, because she’s kind of making me feel all kinds of mushy right now. “Besides, if he steps out of line, I’ve got my own father to give him a nice, friendly kick in the pants.”
“That’s right. Your father is on the scene, so to speak.”
“So to speak, yes.”
“And how did your dinner go with them the other night?”
“Oh…Edward wowed ‘em.”
Esme smiles. “He is a pleaser, my boy.”
“That’s what he keeps telling me.”
Esme’s rich laughter fills the kitchen. “I think you’ve pretty much got that boy all figured out, haven’t you?”
“Not even close, Esme,” I admit. “But it sure is fun trying!”
“Edward told us you met through the company Secret Santa holiday exchange?”
“Yes.” Crap, we should’ve probably discussed this.
“How does that work?”
“Well, there was a three-week period before the company ball on December 23rd where everyone was giving and receiving gifts. And then, at the ball, your Santa finds you and there’s a big reveal.” Basically. Unless your Santa makes it into a game of hide and seek.
“So you met Edward at the ball?”
Yes, this is going to be our story. “Yes.”
“So what did he give you for a gift?”
“Oh, he was very generous. He got me a beautiful fountain pen with a feather tip, for starters.”
“My, my, how classy.”
“Yes. And then, he gave me a game of Boggle.”
“Edward’s always loved Boggle, but isn’t it kind of a strange gift for someone you don’t know?”
Suddenly, I’m right back there at that little round table in my office and Edward is flipping that timer in his long, elegant fingers, mesmerizing me with his captivating green eyes. That first time he flips over the timer, I do nothing but stare, remembering Millionaire Master and the feather and the challenge—
“I don’t know. I guess he thought I would like it.”
“And was he right?”
“Yes. In fact, sometimes, Edward and I play at lunch time.”
“Yes. He’ll come up to my office with a couple sandwiches, at least he used to. We haven’t had much time to play for a while now, with my big account and Edward’s new project.”
“Right. He told us all about that. Edward is so wonderful at training people; I’m sure he’ll be fantastic at that. Have you ever had the chance to experience that side of him?”
Why yes, Mother Cullen. As a matter of fact, he was doing some anal training with me just the other day.
“Um…he has helped me with some computer issues here and there.”
“Tell me more about the Secret Santa thing. So, he gave you the pen and the game…?”
“Yes, and this gorgeous green scarf.”
“Wow, is everyone that extravagant?”
“Not hardly,” I chuckle. “I think Edward was trying to impress me.”
“Smart boy,” she says.
“Checkmate,” Edward announces, standing up and stretching his long legs. Carlisle remains seated, chin in hand, staring forlornly at the board.
“Speaking of smart,” Esme gushes.
“What are you ladies talking about over there?” Edward asks, sauntering over and leaning on the counter.
“I was just telling your mother about how we met.”
“Oh, the computer glitch?” he offers.
“Computer? I thought it was the Secret Santa game,” Esme responds, confused.
“Oh, yeah,” Edward backtracks, realizing he’s muffed my ruse. “Wait, that must’ve been after the ball.”
Esme sets down the pot in the sink and unties the apron. “Are you two trying to tell me that you don’t remember the exact moment you first laid eyes upon each other? Because I call bullshit.”
Dad senses the agitation across the room and rises to join the party. Or the lynching, as the case may be.
“You’re right, Esme. More accurately, Edward’s right. We actually met the first day of the Santa game when Edward was called upstairs to fix my computer. It was acting funky, if I recall…” she says, leaving off the part about how I made it act that way on purpose so I could meet her.
“And I took one look at Isabella, and that was pretty much it for me,” I add, remembering her understandable paranoia when I attempted to touch her laptop.
“Right back at ya,” she says, gazing lovingly over the counter.
“So what’s all this talk about the ball and the gifts?” Mom asks.
I tip my hand to Isabella, who was actually doing just fine with her story before I came and messed everything up. She continues, “Edward and I were friends by that point, but I didn’t realize that he was my Secret Santa. So when I said we met at the ball, that’s what I meant.”
“You have to tell her how we found each other,” I prod, knowing Mom will enjoy my romantic gesture.
“Oh yes. My final gift was a single onyx stud, and I was told that my Santa would be wearing the matching set. Once I found that man, I was to ask him to dance the Ladies’ Choice waltz.”
“Stud.” Dad chuckles. “Nice one.”
“Oh,” Mom says with a dreamy sigh. “A waltz.”
“Aren’t there something like five hundred men working at Swan?” Dad asks.
“Yes,” Isabella answers. “But only one of them is Edward.”
“And…?” Mom prods.
“So, Edward gets in my face—”
“What? You did!”
I make sure that my pouting is noticed by everyone. “Fine.”
“He gets in my face and says, ‘Dance with me, Isabella.’ and I say, ‘I can’t. I’m looking for a…’ and he says, ‘Missing stud?’ And that’s when it hits me. He’s my stud.”
“Oh my goodness, this is right out of Cinderella. Then what?” Mom asks breathlessly.
“Then, I took that little square I was crushing in my sweaty palm and I slid it through the empty buttonhole on his shirt,” Isabella says, turning bright red again. I reach across the counter and grab her hand because I can’t stand not to be touching her right now. “And all I could think was, ‘Glass slipper, meet foot.’”
“A perfect fit,” Mom states, a tear starting down her cheek.
Dad’s grin could not be any bigger as he watches the story play out. “That’s my boy.”
“What a story,” Mom marvels. “This all took place the night before Christmas Eve? No wonder you were in such a great mood when you came home. You already knew, didn’t you?”
I squeeze Isabella’s hand and gesture for her to come stand with me without a slab of granite between us. As soon as she’s within reach, I pull her back against my front and lock my arms around her waist, burying my nose in the crook of her neck and breathing her in.
Did I know she was the only one for me that first night?
“I was so nervous that night, I was beside myself. I’d been keeping this secret for weeks.” Not to mention the whole Black Velvet thing. “What if she hated me for it? We were friends by that point. I was really afraid of losing all that.”
“Were you mad?” Dad asks her.
“Oddly, no. I was mostly just relieved because I’d already fallen pretty hard for Edward, but this Secret Santa guy was starting to intrigue me, too.”
Well played, Isabella. I give her a tight squeeze and start plotting the fastest way of getting rid of my parents.
Shucking off my jeans, I ignore the accusatory glare of my computer screen. I’m behind on my journal responses, not to mention my story. But right now, there’s a warm man waiting for me in the next room, and he doesn’t like to be kept waiting. Bros before prose, I giggle to myself.
I pull on a tiny white cami and the bright red boy shorts. For old time’s sake. And because it will rev Edward’s motor.
“I feel a little guilty we rushed them off without coffee or anything,” I say, climbing up onto the king bed.
“They can have coffee in the hotel if they want,” Edward answers, lacking remorse. “Holy hell, Isabella, are those the dinner slave panties?”
“Get your fine ass up here,” he orders, lifting the corner of the sheet and sliding down on his side to meet me.
I sink into the dip of the mattress he’s occupying and press my cheek to his chest. The soft flutter of the sheet tickles me with a cool breeze, and Edward smoothes away the goose bumps with his warm hands. I return the favor by rubbing my freezing cold feet all over his shins.
“Don’t be too surprised to find yourself on the wrong end of an ice cube one day soon,” he warns, sending a chill up my spine.
Edward’s hands travel inside the tight-fitting panties and he works over my ass cheeks with eager fingers, squeezing and kneading and occasionally brushing a random thumb across the front. His length is hard and heavy in my hand.
My face is planted in his neck, his skin absorbing my moans. His lips are at my ear, and I can feel the tickle of his breath as he whispers, “What do you need tonight, baby?”
As much as I love me a take-charge Edward, this sweet, sexy gesture overwhelms me. Can I ask for what I need? After everything we’ve experienced, why is this so difficult and so powerfully erotic?
I hop up and crawl around on the bed until my knees are on either side of his head and my hands are next to his hips.
“Fuck, baby. Yesss,” he hisses, sliding his thumbs up under the bottom of my shorts and spreading my cheeks apart. He pulls me down to his mouth and breathes warm air over my slit, gnawing at the panties and teasing me with his thumbs. Edward’s legs are propped up, giving my head a perfect resting spot near his raised knee. From this vantage point, I admire the view: his impressive cock resting lazily against his leg, a player dressed for the game, waiting patiently on the bench to be called into service. I want to take it into my mouth, and I will, soon—just, not yet.
His mouth is like a steam iron, providing a steady stream of warm mist over the thin sliver of material. Those teasing thumbs slip under the fabric, and I press against them shamelessly. More, more, I’ll do anything for more.
I’m teetering right on that edge when he pulls aside the fabric and replaces his fingers with his tongue. I’m pulled from the deep end, back to where I can reach the bottom, and I’m swimming, panting, moaning, needing.
His tongue never stops, but now he’s pressing that spot in the back and his tongue feels so damn good but it’s still not enough. Suddenly, the tongue is gone and there are fingers everywhere, inside and outside, knuckles hitting that expanse of skin between front and back and twisting and curling and pressure and Edward’s beautiful voice saying, “Take what you need from me, baby.”
And I’m so, so gone.
It’s amazing to me that every orgasm feels so different. They must be like snowflakes, though it would be harder to prove scientifically. With a low chuckle, I realize my scientific exploration has not come all that far since kindergarten. What can I say?
I tap Isabella on the hip. “Mmm?”
“You nodding off down there? Why don’t you come back up here with me. You’re not going to sleep very well upside-down.”
“I wasn’t asleep,” she complains groggily, shifting nonetheless and tucking her sweet, warm back inside the curve of my chest. I pull the blankets up over both of us and drape my arm over her hip. She pulls my hand forward and intertwines our fingers together. Several minutes pass and I am startled when she speaks into the night, though it’s barely more than a whisper.
She giggles. “Nope. About that weirdness at dinner…with your mom?”
I tense, still angry with my mother for forcing the issue. “Isabella, we don’t have to talk about this now.”
She shifts backward, closer, and tips her face toward the ceiling. “Do you not want to?”
“If you do. I’m just really sorry how it came up. That was wrong.”
“Okay, yeah, it was pretty awkward, but the fact is, we’ve never talked about children before.”
I realize this is one of the few times I have absolutely no idea what she’s going to say next. Zero instinct, no premonition, and no physical cues I’m able to discern in the dark. “Isabella, whatever you’re going to say, it’s not going to change the way I feel about you.”
She twists our hands nervously and I try to offer comfort by nuzzling my face into her neck. Say it already. Get out the damn knife and slice me open.
“I just don’t know how I feel about having children,” she admits. “Maybe it’s like your dad said, and I’m a typical only child set in my ways or spoiled or something, but up until recently, I just never felt that urge to reproduce myself on this planet. I never played with dolls growing up, I don’t fantasize about baby smells, and I’m not jealous when I see pregnant women pushing strollers through the streets of Manhattan. I guess the bottom line is, I’ve never gotten in touch with my maternal instincts, and to tell you the truth, I'm not entirely sure I have any.”
I’m holding my breath, biting my lip, waiting.
“And frankly, now that we’re together and doing all this crazy, wonderful stuff? I just can’t picture how a baby would fit into this whole scenario.”
It’s very true that babies and the children they grow up to be are a challenge to the lifestyle, but not an insurmountable one. Besides, all parents have to work around the obstacle of children, regardless of how, when, and where they express their intimacy with one another. Most just don’t have to worry about how they’ll nurse a baby while chained to the floor.
“But then, when I think about a future with you, which seems so natural to do…”
My heart soars right out of our bed and shoots through the ceiling and all the floors above us and straight through the roof.
“…And I think about what an adorable little devil you must’ve been as a little boy, I think, How can we not do this thing together? And I want that sweet baby, because it's a living, breathing piece of you and us and Edward, please say something.”
I take a deep breath and measure my words. “I’m relieved that you didn’t just tell me you definitely don’t want kids. And I admit that bringing the miracle of a baby Bella into this world—or even an Edward, Junior, God help us—makes me crazy happy, if that’s what we both decide we want. Down the road.”
“Way, way down the road.”
“Sleep, my sweet Isabella.”