THREE THINGS FEEL fucking amazing about this moment.
One, I’m drinking a really great beer.
Two, my entire family is together—with London—and Mom is making my favorite baked ziti for our going-away dinner.
Because three: last week, London and I signed a lease on a house up in Berkeley.
I glance across the room to where London stands at the kitchen sink, wearing one of Mom’s aprons over a jersey dress that shows off her perfect ass. She’s talking to Grams, rinsing a colander full of strawberries, looking like she’s been in this house a million times before.
I want to roar. Three months into our relationship and I am so fucking gone for this girl, I can barely shut up about it.
I propose nearly every day and she just laughs at me, and then distracts me with sex.
Grams’s high, shaky voice jerks me out of my moment: “When Luke was a boy he used to wake up in the morning and say his penis was strong.”
I choke on a sip of beer, gaping across the room at her. Everyone else has stopped moving, too.
Margot barks out a laugh. “I’ve been waiting for this moment.”
Grams smiles proudly. “He was talking about having an erection, of course.”
London blinks, looking over her shoulder at Grams and then me, coughing quietly. “I’m sorry?”
I rub my hand over my face. “Grams.”
Grams shoos me away with a hand. “I’ve been waiting twenty years to share that one—don’t you dare ruin this moment for me. Do you know how long I’ve held on to these gems?”
I wave my hand, giving her the all-clear.
“He had a favorite blankie he would shove down his pants while he watched Barney,” Margot adds helpfully.
“Margot,” Mom chides quietly from the stove, but she’s laughing, too.
I take another sip of my beer. “Please, do your best. I make a fool of myself for this woman daily. There’s nothing you can say to quell her adoration of me.”
I can see every member of my family straighten with this challenge, and then they watch London put the colander down on the counter and walk over, sliding her arm around my waist. “He called me by the wrong name about fifty times the first night we were together.”
Silence surrounds us for a single heartbeat and then my family bursts into laughter. With this, London has just joined their ranks and endeared herself to them forever.
I stare down at her, giving her a playfully reprimanding look while she rests her chin on my chest and her blue eyes twinkle with mischief. “I love you,” she mouths.
“You’re lucky I love you, too.”
Her eyes widen as if she’s just remembering. “We’re moving tomorrow.”
I lift my hand and gently sweep her bangs to the side. “First stop, Six Flags,” I whisper.
“Then surfing in Santa Barbara.”
“Then more roller coasters at Great America.”
“Then . . . our new place,” she says, smile slowly straightening. “And no more bartending.” I know she’s scared. I know this is huge for her. But she has jobs lined up for months, and her work really is brilliant.
“And then I start school.” I bend, kissing her nose.
London searches my eyes, seeking that reassurance I know she won’t ask for aloud anymore.
We will be okay.
I am yours.
You are mine.
We’re doing this together.
“And then you marry me?” I say.
I expect her to laugh. I expect her hand to cup my cheek and for her to kiss me in her gentle refusal but instead she blinks slowly up to my face. “They have a roller coaster in Las Vegas, you know.”