Sunday, December 8, 2019

Christmas Coda 55

“That’s a seriously serious expression.” I said.

This was our second waking. Round about seven we’d made love, talked, and eventually drifted back to sleep. It had been a hell of a week. But good things come to he who waits.

The best things, sometimes.

I added, “Especially for a guy with confetti in his hair.”

Jake, who had been staring, unblinking, at the slanted bedroom ceiling, turned his head on the pillow and studied me. His mouth quirked. “I’m a serious guy.”

“You are. True.”

“You’re a pretty serious guy yourself.”

“Mm. I have my moments.” I scooted over so I could wrap my arm around him, could rest my head on his chest. You wouldn’t think hard muscle and sinewy planes would make a comfortable pillow, but in fact, it was the best pillow on the planet.

My movement gusted warm, pajama-clad male scent from beneath the sheet and blankets. Scout rose with a reproachful look and shook himself before resettling next to my shins. I closed my eyes and listened to the calm, steady thump of Jake’s heart beneath my ear.

“Everything okay?” I murmured.

“Yeah.” His breath ghosted against my face as he said, “Just running over my list of New Year’s resolutions.”

“Are there a lot of them?”

“Not so many.”

“That’s interesting. I never thought of you as a New Year’s Resolutions kind of guy.”

“Oh hell yeah,” he said on a sigh that sounded surprisingly weary. “I was always big on resolutions.”
My eyes popped open, I raised my head, started to ask, but he preempted me. “What about you? Are you a New Year’s Resolutions kind of guy?”

“I didn’t used to be, no.” That was the truth. I had always figured resolutions were for people who could plan on a nice long—anyway, the bad old days, and no point looking back when there actually was so much road ahead.

Even so, I hadn’t even considered making a New Year’s Resolution. I had made promises to Jake, of course. Promises to take time off, promises to take Scout to obedience training, promises to be a better boyfriend—er, fiancé, now. That kind of thing. Not really the same. Not what Jake was talking about.

Or rather, what Jake didn’t want to talk about.

“I think we should elope,” I said, and I wasn’t kidding.

“Oh no,” he said at once--and vehemently. “No way. No. Way.”

“What? Why not? You already did the big Catholic wedding thing and I sure as hell don’t want to go through—”

“Absolutely not.”

I sat up—to the disgust of both Scout and Tomkins, who had been curled atop the snowy bank of pillows behind our heads. “Wait a minute,” I said mildly. “Don’t I get a say in this?”

Jake sat up too. Our knees brushing beneath the blankets as we faced each other. “You get a say in every other part. In fact, you get final say on everything. Except this.” A muscle tugged at the corner of his mouth. He reached over to pick a crinkled thread of blue and red and white paper from my hair. Jake’s nephews, Cody and—oops, no, Cory and Rory—had been firing those party poppers at us as we’d said our goodnights. Possibly channeling some of the family undercurrents?

“Yeah, but this is kind of the big decision.”

“That’s right, and your mother already made it.”

“My…!” I snorted. “Don’t tell me you’re afraid of my mother.”

“Of course, I’m afraid of your mother. Any sane man would be afraid of your mother.” His tawny gaze held mine. “But that’s not the only reason. Or the main reason.”

“Uh huh. So what’s the main reason?”

He drew a long, controlled breath. “It’s not about—for me, it’s not about the social occasion or our families or the eyes of the law or any of that.”

We weren’t kidding around anymore, but then we probably hadn’t been to start with.

I said quietly, “I know that.”

“But it’s important to me and I believe it’s important to you for me to be able—willing, willing with all my heart—to stand beside you and pledge before…man and God and, yes, your mother, to love and honor and…cherish you every day of our lives.”

I blinked back the sudden, silly tears. “It’s not a test. You don’t have to prove—”

He cut me off with a low, “I know that. I know you’re not asking and possibly don’t even want it if it comes with a bow tie, but I think it’s important for us and for the kind of marriage we want. Am I wrong?”

My face did that quivery thing that happens when you’re trying not to show you’re close to crying. I shook my head, leaned into him, whispered, “You’re not wrong.”

He bent his head, kissed the tears leaking out beneath my eyelashes.

We held each other for what felt like a long time.   


  1. This was absolutely lovely, oh boys. They're just so wonderfully soft and sweet with each other and I love it! I love how dedicated Jake is to this and just....oh but my heart! XD

    1. Yeah, they worked hard to reach this place. No lie.

  2. Perfect. What a wonderful way to start the morning. Dabs a tear...

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  4. OMG!! I didn't even dare to hope for an Adrien & Jake coda. This is lovely, thank you so much, Josh!!

  5. Oh my, Jake! Adrien ain't the only one crying.

  6. Perfect. My eyes are stinging.

  7. Tears before breakfast. Before coffee even.

    Just when I thought I couldn't love Jake any harder!
    *bawls into their cof....scrampers off to get coffee*

  8. They are just so good together. I want to be at that wedding! (no pressure or anything. lol)What a beautiful,real,coda. Thank you, Josh, for the love. Perfect.

  9. Ohhhh. This was so lovely. So them.Thank you.

  10. Thank you Josh for allowing us a peek at our boys at such a touching moment. Guess that's why they are my comfort read, because I know what they have is true. Hugs CJ

  11. Beautiful and very moving. I think I have something in my eyes...

  12. My boys... You see, Jake and Adrien were my first M/M romance... they will always be so special in my heart!

  13. Reading about A & J never gets old, Josh. You and they are the best! Thank you.

  14. Awwww… *ò* That was wonderful!

  15. ♡♡♡!

    Sam Spayed PI

  16. For me, there can never be enough Adrien and Jake so thank you very much for giving us little gifts such as this. Much like the Grinch, my heart grew several sizes. Precious and perfect. <3

  17. Jake of my heart. *sigh* Thanks for the snippet. xoxo

  18. Lovely. Thank you!

  19. I love this, they are my favorite couple...thank you!

  20. I used to want to slap Jake soooo badly. Like irght on the nose. Maybe even break it. Could have been funny and good for my nerves :P
    But he was so sweet in the end. And now... Ok, I love you Jake <3
    Thank oyu Josh for all the sweeteness <3

  21. After a long time of 'eaten'' comments I try again to leave one, because this is just wonderful. What a great way to start a week! Thank you so much, dear Josh! Antonella

  22. After a long time of ''eaten'' comments I try again to leave one, because this is just wonderful. What a great way to start a week! Thank you so much, dear Josh! Antonella

  23. Adrien and Jake! Love this so much! Thank you, Josh. <3

  24. I loved that so much! Thank you, thank you, Josh! <3 Richelle

  25. Lovely! I wish Jake would go back to working as a detective, he seems to have gotten himself more in order now.