Eating for Two?

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Elody

Who would have thought with the start I got in life I'd end up here, hanging out with my favorite people? Life really can't get any better for me; I'm calling it restitution for my shitty childhood. 

Eighteen years growing up in the system, being passed around from family to family, living out of a garbage bag that I was too afraid to unpack and put into draws for fear of leaving something behind when the caseworker showed up at school to tell me that I wouldn't be going back. Worried that they didn't grab everything that was important to me. 

A black extra-large garbage bag was easy enough for the family to hand off when they were done with me.

Somedays life with August seems more like a dream than reality. Two-of-a-kind, the same and so different. I've let my walls down and I trust him with my life and my heart.

"Where are you right now?" My best friend, Portia, pulls me from my thoughts. I open my eyes and smile at her. We've been in this jacuzzi for at least a half hour, and the water is hot and steamy, my favorite type. I'm soaked through, which is exactly what I want.

"I was just thinking about how lucky I am to have you and August and all of this." I gesture around us.

She scoots closer to me. "This is pretty amazing. How did we both land rich boys who just happen to be sweethearts?" Portia's boyfriend, Clyde, happens to be best friends with my sweet and mercurial husband, August.

My eyes are stretched as far to her side as they'll go so I can look at her without moving my head. "I mean, I wouldn't call August a sweetheart; Clyde is, though."

She nudges me. "Seriously, August is his own version of sweet."

I nod and moan, sinking a little deeper into the water. "That's true. He's sweet to me, and that's what matters." He has shown me that he would do anything for me in our short time together, and I hope he feels the same way about me.

I hear the footsteps on the jacuzzi stairs, which means a splashing is coming. I sit up straight and brace myself. August and Clyde jump into the water like it's a pool and not an eight-person spa. They really are overgrown children.

"Are you ladies hungry yet?" August says, pulling me into his arms. "We've got a cook coming to prepare enough sushi to turn us into fish."

"I could eat," Portia says.

"I'm so hungry my stomach might start eating itself," I say.

Can you eat sushi when you're newly pregnant?

I don't ask aloud because I'm not completely sure that I am. The pink line was so faint it's possible that my eyes were playing tricks on me. I have an appointment with my gynecologist the day after we get home to confirm whether a little life is growing inside of me. 

It's another life event I never thought would happen to me...or even that I'd want. Families that I've met during my years as a nanny have shown me what real and unconditional love looks like, and I know a son or daughter could give that to me. 

But what about the family holidays, full of aunts and uncles and grandparents? If I had a child just for the bond of love, my little one and I would still be missing out on so much. Which is why I never considered it, until now, until August. Of course, I'm not sure how much of a big family we'd see. 

Neither of us have siblings, and his parents never really warmed up to the idea of me. But Clyde and Portia would be perfect in the role of aunt and uncle. Then there are the kids they might have, and maybe August and I wouldn't stop at one.

If I'm pregnant at all.

"Your family cabin is so perfect, Clyde. I could stay here forever. Away from everything," Portia says before she plants a huge kiss on his lips.

"We can come up here anytime you want. I love it up here, too. August and I used to spend most of our winters up here skiing and boarding."

"I've got two broken bones to prove it," August says.

I poke my bottom lip out. "Show me your boo-boos so I can kiss them better." He points to a place on his wrist and forearm and I kiss both spots.

We drag ourselves out of the water. The air is cool up in the mountains, and I'm thankful when August hands me a bathrobe. I wrap myself in the fluffy garment.

Once inside, Portia and I rush off to change into comfy clothes. I select a dark, rust-colored romper and she picks a peach slip dress. The chef's already setting up his work area. We join the guys on the sofa closest to the lit fireplace to warm up.

When I take the empty spot nearest my husband, he pulls me as close as possible until there is no space left between us.

"I can't begin to tell you how much I love you," he whispers into my ear. His warm breath against my skin sends chills through my body. I lay my head against his chest and smile. I hit the relationship jackpot with this man.

I let my head fall against his chest, and I sigh one of those 'everything is perfect in my world' sighs. "Guess what?"

"Chicken butt," he teases, and I playfully smack his leg. I love this fun and silly side of my man. He may be six years younger than me, but most of the time, it seems the other way around.

"Not chicken butt. I was going to say I never get tired of hearing it. Oh, and that I love you, and I love it here."

"Enough to buy one of our own?"

His question causes me to spin around to face him. "Seriously?" I can't see my face, but I know my smile is wide and toothy.

"Yeah. There's a cabin five minutes away from this one that just went on the market, and it's ours if you want it."

The laughter that erupts from me is still foreign to my ears. It's the sound of true joy. I grab him by the T-shirt and pull him to me.

"Let's do it! There better be a jacuzzi!"

He joins me by laughing—at my reaction, I'm sure.

"Don't move," he says before sliding out from under me and crossing the room. I stare after my man with pride. His young patients might not like the goatee that he's grown, but I love it. It's just long enough to give a tug, and the dark hair against his fair skin make his blue eyes stand out. The facial hair also adds a manly quality to his young face.

August scoops up his phone and starts texting. He looks up at me. "Done."

I narrow my eyes at him. "What's done?"

"The cabin." He rushes back to the sofa. This time he sits next to me and smacks his lap, which is code for me to put my legs on him, so I do. "Just put an all-cash offer on it."

"I mean you could have used this one forever, man. It's practically yours," Clyde says.

They exchange one of their famous, intimate family looks. The bond is strong between the two of them.

"I appreciate that. But one day you'll have a wife and family. This cabin is a nice size, but it'll hardly be big enough for two families."

I clear my throat and steal a glance at Portia.

She's scratches behind her ear nervously.

"That was a lot of family and wife talk there," Portia jokes. "How many kids are y'all planning on having? And by 'y'all' I mean August and Clyde." She points to each of them.

The four of us erupt in laughter.

"Well, I mean me and you," Clyde says, and we lose them to whispers and light kisses.

I lean over to August. "Should we give them some privacy?"

He nods, and we jump up and join the chef at the island. He has already put out bowls of edamame, poke salad, and miso soup. We dig right in.

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