"What's all this for?" I whine as Ava drags me upstairs.
"Nothing to worry about. Just carrying out my duties as a sister," she tells me, sort of pushing me into Hadley's room. I stumble in and plonk down on the bed thoughtlessly, watching as Ava lowers herself to the floor and leans on the door.
"Let me just get comfy."
"Sorry, d'you want the bed?" I offer, only to receive a smile.
"I'm sat here to make sure you can't escape." Oh, good.
"I won't try to escape," I promise.
"Good. Alright, first things first. It's obvious from yesterday that you guys are sleeping with each other so... You've probably heard this a thousand times by now but are you using protection?"
"No," I sigh slightly, figuring there's no point in trying to lie my way out of this. She chuckles a little.
"I just wanted to know. I'm hardly one to talk about using protection anyway," she smiles a little. Suddenly, she covers her mouth in shock, like she just realised what she said. I smile warmly.
"It's alright, Ava, I already guessed. Took me about five minutes," I wink. She smiles.
"Anyway, this isn't about me. It's painfully obvious you guys love each other but, and I hate to say this, what's gonna happen to the poor kid if you guys split?" I frown slightly. I hadn't considered it. "I'm just saying," she adds.
"I hadn't... It's not crossed my mind, to be honest..."
"It's okay. Brings me onto my next question, actually"
"Commitment. Big commitments." I chuckle.
"It's only been three months. Ish." I mean, me and Alex were together for seven years and we never considered anything like getting married. Oh, stop pretending like you weren't considering buying a ring for him for Christmas, Max. Idiot.
"I just want to know how committed you are. I know it probably seems like I'm getting ahead of myself here..." she laughs a little nervously.
"If it puts your mind at rest, we already decided we want to spend the rest of our lives together," I feel my cheeks starting to heat up, but I continue on, like some hapless idiot who needs to learn when to keep his big fat Londoner mouth shut, "and I was seriously considering making that more official today, but it's only been three months, y'know? And please make me shut up." By this point, I'm probably glowing red, but Ava has this big smile on her face.
"You were what?"
"What what? I don't know. Can I go now?"
"Nuh uh, you can tell me more about making things more official." Oh, GOD. Why do I do these things to myself?
I mumble the answer, but apparently that's not good enough. "Speak up, kid." I whine inwardly and talk louder.
"I was gonna propose. Today. But I chickened out, okay?" I huff out a sigh and fix my eyes on the floor, though I don't miss the smile on her face.
"He would've said yes."
"I know. I wasn't scared of rejection, I just thought it was a bit... soon."
"Well, if he's the one it shouldn't matter."
"Well blame Alex then," I mutter kind of sullenly.
"Oh, god," I groan, flopping back on the bed and frowning at the ceiling. With a sigh, I attempt to somehow explain this without making it sound like I'm going to hang around waiting seven years for Hadley to cheat on me before proposing. "I thought that Alex was ‘the one' about three years ago. I mean, we never really discussed it or anything, but seven years is a long time to just be going out, y'know? I don't know how to explain it, because to be honest, even I wasn't entirely certain what was going through my head when I chickened out." Next thing I know is she's sat on the bed next to me. I look up at her.
"Just ask him when it feels right." Good plan. One problem.
"...All the shops are shut." She laughs a little, rolling her eyes.
"And when you accept Ryan's proposal," I grin, making her chuckle.
"I'm having his kid, isn't that enough?"
"Depends why you keep saying no," I smile sweetly at her.
"I don't know why I keep turning him down." I hum slightly and push myself back up.
"Just don't let him give up hope," I smile, "and don't worry. I haven't ruined the big surprise for everyone. When're you gonna tell them?"
"You're as bad as Ryan. I was gonna leave it til after Christmas," she says with a chuckle.
"Telling your mum she's gonna finally be a grandma would probably make her day, to be honest," I tell her. I mean, considering one son is almost definitely never making babies, and I've stolen the other, Ava's the only one left to give her grandkids. Personally, I would've thought that would make a pretty good Christmas present for her.
"I know. I just want Christmas out of the way first." I hum, figuring that's probably a good idea, actually. She smiles again. "I should probably let you get back to him, huh?"
"Depends if you think I'm done embarrassing myself for today." She laughs. Yeah, you can laugh, Aussie, but my cheeks still feel hot, and I dislike that.
"You've done enough for now."
"Congratulations, by the way," I smile, giving her a quick hug.
"Thanks," she says hugging back.
"Shall we go back to the insane people now?"