Chapter Twenty-Three

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Hank shows us around the apartment again even though I've already seen it. Blue gets annoyed and demands we sign the lease already, but I calm him down with a small kiss. I want to fall in love with every detail all over again. Plus, we need to know about important information, like how the thermostat works, upfront and long-term costs, lease terms, and a lot of tinier details Blue is too excited to look over. I get his excitement, I can barely contain myself, but we need to make sure this place is the right one for us, no matter how charming everything looks.

When it's time to check out the lease, I thoroughly read through it, much to Blue's dismay. He just wants to sign and make this our first official home. His words and enthusiasm make my stomach twirl. I finish reading over everything, discussing little thing with Hank, before we settle on a compromised agreement.

Finally, Blue quickly skims through the lease agreements and outline before signing his name at the extremely long paper before pushing it toward me. I look it over one last time before working up the courage to sign my name as well. But then I realize something. Pen in hand, poised over the place I'm supposed to sign, I look over at Blue.

"I buy the groceries and pay the bills," I tell him.

"No way. You don't have to pay for anything; I've got a lot saved up and the band is booking bigger and better-paying gigs," he says but I don't care. He's already agreed to pay the down payment, I have to chip in somehow; I won't let him pay my way for me, I can take care of myself.

"I have to help out somehow. I won't just sit around and let you pay for everything."

"Do we really have to discuss this right now?" He hisses in annoyance, glancing at Hank over his shoulder. For his part, Hank is looking everywhere but us in an attempt to give us space, but I know he can hear us loud and clear, the apartment is large and echoes. And he's two feet away.

"Yes, of course, we're about to sign this lease. This is official after I sign my name," I remind him. "And it turns out the dancing company, Dancing Shoes, was so impressed by me they want to pay me. It won't be groundbreaking earnings, but it's enough to get us by food wise."

"Then that's all you're paying—groceries."

"Let me pay the electricity too."

"Electricity is already included in the rent," he muses with a smug smirk.

"Then I'll pay groceries and cable." I am not budging on this; I won't sit back and let him pay for everything.

He twists up his face and rolls his eyes, but ends up mumbling, "Whatever. Just sign the damn paper already."

I kiss his cheek, ignoring his sour attitude. "I'm already loving living with you," I say and his eyes glow. Smiling, I happily sign my name on all lines necessary. My heart is pounding when I set the pen down on the counter and Hank swoops in to check over everything. This is really happening; we are really moving in together. I'm a freshman in college moving in with my first boyfriend. That doesn't sound too mental.

"All right, everything looks good to me. Here are your keys." Hank hands Blue and me sets of keys, thanks us for considering him, and wishes us luck on his way out. The door clicks behind him, cementing our new reality. This is our apartment. I live here. With Blue Montgomery. I couldn't be more nervous, excited, and light-headed.

"Welcome home, ballerina," Blue says after a moment of comfortable silence.

I let out a nervous laugh and walk into his open arms.

"This doesn't feel real. We're living together now, in an apartment, shown to us by a man named Hank." My eyes pan around the kitchen and scan the living room.

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