When I found out that Ava was finally gonna tie the knot, me and Cay went to celebrate. It was practically a miracle. Cay had gone to spy on Ava and seen her making wedding plans with Ryan, looking pretty loved up apparently. I’m sure Ryan was even more loved up. The poor guy must’ve lost count of the times he tried proposing to her by the time she said yes. If I wasn’t stuck up here, I’d have taken the guy out for a few beers or something; he deserved to celebrate more than anyone. Kudos to him for never giving up, too.
The months were slipping by now that Cay was around. Ash and William were helping too; I was getting to know my brother and Ash was around for when Cay wasn’t. I was still mindlessly jealous that Hadley had someone else, but he seemed happy enough and the kids loved Eden being around, so I wasn’t gonna start kicking up a fuss over it.
Easter came and went and we watched the kids doing what would probably be one of their last Easter egg hunts, but it was fun. Of course I spent most of it wishing I was there with Hadley, joking about how he must’ve laid all the eggs because he’s Bunny, but I wasn’t about to go back home and start bawling my eyes out over it.
I got into as many of their dreams as I could, being a mushy thing and reminding them all that I loved them and missed them and all that crap. Especially when Hadley’s relationship with Eden went to shit in the summer. I don’t think that was easy on Danny at all. I kinda worried about them, y’know.
As for me and Cay? Cayden was actually putting a lot of effort into being together, despite the fact we both had bits on the side to play with. Maybe that was his way of trying to control those whorey urges of his so that he didn’t end up cheating on me again.
And while Hadley was single again, I wasn’t worrying or jealously foaming at the mouth over the fact that someone else got to be with him and I didn’t. I think Cayden was enjoying the break.
I think the fact he threw a smartish looking shirt at me and told me we were going out when I asked him what it was for proved that he was enjoying the break.
“Where?” I asked him, putting it on.
“Details,” he winked. I pouted. I hated it when he said that. I hated it even more when he thought he’d get away with it by planting a kiss on my lips. And as I kissed back I realised I hated it because that’s exactly what would happen. I followed his lead, wondering where the hell we were going.
I looked around as we arrived at this vaguely fancy restaurant. "What's this for? You done something I won't like?" I was only half joking. He laughed.
"Yeah, I'm leaving you for your brother.” I looked up at him, giving him the wide innocent eyes. “I’m kidding.”
“I should hope so too.” He laughed and got us a table. "But seriously, what've I done to deserve this?" I asked when we were sat down.
“Wait and see,” he told me. He had me curious. I really wanted to know what this was all in aid of. He got himself some fancy drink and ordered, telling me not to worry about how much things cost. So I went ahead and ordered, doing my best to ignore the column that listed the price of everything. He waited til the food arrived to speak much more. “Know what today is?”
I thought about it but I couldn’t come up with anything significant.
"It's the day we met all those years ago," he said with a tiny laugh, looking all embarrassed as he pointed his gaze downward. I was kind of surprised. More than surprised.
"Seriously?" I leant across the table and landed a kiss on his lips. He kissed back and I didn’t sit back down properly until my legs started to ache from the angle.
"Mhm. Thought I might as well make something special of it.”
“That's... really fucking sweet of you. I'm amazed you remember. I s'pose you were nowhere near as drunk as me though,” I laughed.
"I, uh, I got you something as well," he said, making me blush.
“Now I feel bad.”
"Don't,” he told me with a smile, but I did anyway. I had no idea what day we met, but here Cayden was, not only remembering it, but treating me to an evening out. Of course I felt fucking bad.
"I'll make it up to you," I promised.
"You don't have to,” he laughed.
"I want to."
He pulled this little box out of his pocket, "So, now that I think about it, it probably wasn't the best thing to get, and I'll totally understand if you don't wear it or anything.” He had me curious again. He seemed to be good at that lately. "But it was the only thing I could think of," he let out this little laugh and passed me the box. I almost hesitated before flipping it open to see a ring inside. Holy fuck. I had no idea what to say. "I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm gonna do my best not to fuck things up this time. I know all of this is only til Hadley gets here, but, well..." I was totally speechless. Of course, Cayden looked like he was convincing himself he’d done something wrong. "I can take it back, if you want,” he said. Oh, honey, do I look like I want you to take this back?
"Is this like a sort of proposal?"
"More like a promise,” he said with this embarrassed laugh.
I grinned. "I knew you had some romance in you somewhere, Cayden Smith."
"Huh?" Oh c’mon, don’t be dense. Since when have you been romantic? Ever? I knew he had it in him, though. I slipped it out of the cushions, slipping it on.
"I love it,” I told him with a smile. “Thank you.”
“Don’t mention it.” Oh, I was gonna mention it. Lots. I got up and went over to him, sitting down in his lap. I would eat my dinner later if I had to, there was no way I was moving any time soon. We cuddled, right there in the middle of the restaurant like there was no one else around. He hummed when I nuzzled his neck, and I rested my head on his shoulder.
“I love you,” I mumbled.
“I love you too,” he kissed the top of my head.
"If I could marry both you and Hadley, I probably would," I told him, not even joking a tiny bit. I really did love them both enough.
"I don't think he'd be too happy about that,” he laughed.
“Probably not,” I agreed.
"What're you gonna do if he's married again when he dies?" Oh god. I haven’t been thinking that far ahead.
"Cry?" Cayden laughed, but once again, I wasn’t really joking. "I have no idea. You'll get John back, because there's no way he’s ever gonna want anyone else as much as he wants you, and Hadley will have whoever he's married and I will go and cry in the corner.”
"I wouldn't be so sure.”
He kissed my cheek. "You just need to have faith in him.”
"Hey, it's his choice what he does. If he remarries, he's gonna have more than eight years with them. I won't blame him if he chooses them over me if it comes to it.” Faith had nothing to do with it, not really.
"If I know my brother, and I like to think I do, he won't just pick someone else over you. Worst case scenario is that you have to share him.” I hoped he was right, y’know. Not that I would have to share Hadley, but y’know, that he wouldn’t just choose someone else over me. I let out a sort of hum, hugging myself against his skinny form a little bit tighter.
"I'll always have you, right?" I asked, feeling more than a little lost at the idea of Hadley marrying someone else. I mean, I’ll be happy for him if he does, but fuck will I be miserable for myself.
"Of course,” he kissed my cheek again.
"Even when John gets here?" I looked up at him, hoping to fuck I wouldn’t have to lose him to John again.
"As long as he doesn't mind sharing," he nodded. I was vaguely comforted by that, but honestly? Not enough to let go. Cayden was all I really had up here, even if I did have my brother and a couple friends now. I couldn’t lose him again.