Shortly before six, the doorbell rang. Grace squealed, making all of us jump. “Can I open the door, Momma?” she asked, bouncing on the couch.
“Ask who it is first,” I said. “John, are you okay?”
“Yeah,” he replied, cuddling closer to me. “I’m sorry for before. I’ll be good for Mr. Edward.”
“Good boy,” I smiled, kissing John’s forehead.
“Who is it?” Grace sang, bouncing on her toes.
“It’s Edward,” he sang back, in the same sing-song tone. Grace giggled, looking to me if she could open the door. I nodded and she wrenched it open. He was standing on the doorstep, looking like a model in a pair of dark jeans and a green plaid button-down shirt. He held a Thriftway bag in his right hand and Jake’s jacket in the other. “Hi, Grace!”
“Hi, Mr. Edward,” she smiled, pulling on his hand. He walked in with her. “What’s that?”
“It’s ice cream for dessert. My mom taught me that you should never come over to someone’s house without something to share,” he said. “Do you like vanilla?”
“It’s my favorite!” she squealed.
“Okay, Grace. Turn down the pig,” I chuckled. “No more squealing.”
“Sorry, Momma,” she said, but her grin was permanently screwed onto her face. She swiped the ice cream from Edward’s hand, skipping to the kitchen to put it into the freezer.
John was suctioned to my side. Edward arched a brow but gave him a friendly smile. “How are you doing, John?”
“Okay,” he answered.
“I hear you’re taking horseback riding lessons with Frank. When do you start?” he asked, placing Jake’s
jacket on the couch.
“Um, after Easter. I’m excited to try it,” John said quietly. He gave Edward a tiny grin before darting off to find his sister.
“Sorry about that,” I blushed. “I told them that we were dating and John’s a bit uncomfortable with the whole idea.”
“Is that why you asked me to hold off on the affectionate gestures?” he asked.
“Part of it. The other part is that they’re not used to seeing them,” I replied, pointing toward the kitchen. Looking back at him, I gave him a nervous grin. “You look very handsome, Edward.”
“Thank you,” he blushed, picking up my hand and kissing my knuckles. “You look gorgeous, as always.”
“Not really, but thank you,” I chuckled, leading him into the kitchen. The kids had set the table. “Thanks guys! Looks great!”
“I’m hungry,” John shrugged.
“You’re always hungry, John,” Grace giggled, putting glasses by each place setting.
“I’m hungry, too. I didn’t eat much lunch because I know your mom is an amazing cook,” Edward smiled, sitting down at the counter.
“She’s the best, Mr. Edward. She makes all of our favorites,” Grace said, climbing up next to him and fluttering her eyelashes. Oh, Lord. “Even better than Grandma. She burns things and Grandpa, all he cooks is fish.”
“You like fish,” I chuckled, taking the lasagna out of the oven and tossing in the garlic bread.
“Fish sticks,” Grace argued. “Grandpa makes it and it still looks like fish.”