‘What are you doing?’ Lazarus asked raising an eyebrow as Melissa unzipped her dress. Again. She turned to him and smiled, before turning her gaze back to the roof of the cave.
‘Hmm,’ he moved towards her, and smiled, putting his face in her eye line. ‘Well since you’re now refusing to talk, and I’m the only one that can voice my opinion on matters, I vote we go back to my apartment. And as I’m the only one voting, as it were, the majority rules: we go home.’ He grinned and picked her up, slinging her around his shoulders in a fireman’s lift. He laughed and then put her down. She looked at him oddly as he picked her up again, this time bridal style. ‘It hurt the other way,’ he shrugged. She narrowed her eyes as he carried her out of the cave, but then laughed. She nodded and leant her head gently against his chest.
He kissed the top of her head as he walked, ignoring the pain in his ribs. As he reached the streets, he noticed there were more people around than usual. Must be Friday, he thought as he held Melissa tighter against him. One of the people milling around outside the pub with his cigarette in one hand, beer in the other turned and saw Melissa and Lazarus. The man took in that Lazarus was half naked and Melissa’s half unzipped dress and wolf whistled shouting something at them. Lazarus ignored the crude comment. Melissa turned her head to look at the man and to Lazarus’ surprise, she stuck her tongue out. He laughed as she twisted back, returning her head to its place on his chest.
They reached the apartment without further interruptions. He put her down, standing her on her feet in the entrance hall, though, leaning back against the wall, half grimacing, half smiling.
‘Let’s take the lift, yeah?’ he laughed breathlessly. Melissa simply nodded, sticking to her wordless vow to hold her tongue. ‘Are you ever going to talk to me again?’ Lazarus asked as he jabbed the button to call the elevator. She shrugged and kissed his cheek. The doors of the elevator dinged open, the noise covering Lazarus’ sigh. They got in and Lazarus leant back against the rear wall, holding Melissa against him so that she faced the doors. His hands linked around her waist, and he bent so his chin was resting gently on the top of her head. She smiled.
They reached his door and he unlocked it, throwing it open to reveal his things, exactly where he had left them. Even so, it felt unfamiliar. They had spent too long away from it. Lazarus sat carefully on the sofa, pulling Melissa down with him.
‘Gonna speak now?’ he asked. She looked at him, gazing into his eyes, opening her mouth as if about to speak. She shook her head softly. ‘Oh god! I’m sorry I told you to shut up! I didn’t mean it, I was joking!’ he exclaimed. She laughed quietly and put a finger to her lips, signalling her continued silence. ‘Hmm. Let’s go to bed then.’ He picked her up again and lifted her into his bed. He took his jeans off, swapping them for jogging trousers before climbing in next to her, taking care not to lie on his sore side. “I like white roses...” Melissa’s dreamy voice reverberated in his head and he fell asleep remembering her words.
Melissa didn’t fall asleep so quickly. She stared at his sleeping face for a while, a small smile on her lips.
‘I love you,’ she whispered with a quiet giggle. She lay on her back, staring at the ceiling, her mind turning over, wondering what they were going to do now. What was going to happen? Eventually though, sleep claimed her and her eyes slid closed.
When she woke up the next evening, Lazarus was not next to her. Her first reaction was mild panic before she reminded herself that Lazarus was probably just at the shops or... or something. Her lips pulled down in worry and she decided to go looking for him. She pulled on her clothes and got as far as the bedroom door before hearing his key in the door. She paused as he shut the door behind him. She heard him drop his door keys on the kitchen counter.
‘Where have you been?’ she cried leaving the doorway to face him. ‘You worried me...’ she trailed off, noticing he was holding something behind his back.
‘Got you talking though.’ He grinned.
‘That’s not the point!’ she said, scowling at him. She made to move closer to him but he stopped her, holding up his hand. She paused, hesitating at the look in his eyes.
‘I should have done this before.’ He muttered, moving what he had hidden behind his back into view. In one hand he held a bouquet of white roses, and in the other was a small box. He handed her the roses and dropped to one knee, opening the box. Something small inside of the box glinted at her in the evening light.
‘Melissa... Will you marry me?’ Inside the box was a simple silver band with a small diamond refracting light around them.