“Jesus, Mom! Autumn just agreed to move in, and now you’re trying to scare her off.” He shakes his head then looks at me. “One thing at a time,” he says gently, reading my face.
I nod and swallow against the lump in my throat. I could see myself having his child. I can picture a little girl with his dark hair and golden eyes. She’d be a daddy’s girl and he would adore her. Her life would be so different than mine was when I grew up up.
“You okay, baby?”
I feel a hand on my cheek, and I shake the thoughts out of my head. I look into his concerned eyes and take a breath before nodding.
“You’re moving in?” Nancy asks. The surprise in her voice has me getting up on my tiptoes to look over Kenton’s shoulder. I smile when I see the look of approval and the wide smile on her face as she looks between us. “So I’m guessing everything has been sorted out?” She looks at Kenton, who nods. “I knew my boy would fix it.” She shakes her head then ducks by Kenton and grabs my hand, pulling me with her to the kitchen.
“What are you doing, Mom?”
“Well, now that it’s official, we need to talk about redecorating. This place was okay when it was just you, but now that Autumn’s going to be living here for good, we need to make some changes.”
“We don’t need to talk about that, Mom. Autumn can make any changes she wants to, but we don’t need to have a sit-down about it.”
“Honey, until you give me a wedding to plan and grandbabies to play with, you’re going to have to give me something.”
“Jesus. I’m going to the office.” He looks at me then his mom and shakes his head. “You gonna be okay here with her?”
“Of course she will be okay with me,” Nancy scoffs. “I’m going to get coffee started and call Susan to see if her boys have anything on their schedule.” She looks at me then my clothes. “You should get dressed so we can go downtown and head to some stores. I need to get an idea of what you like. I hope we can do the kitchen right away.”
“Mom, seriously, slow down,” Kenton warns.
“Do you know how long I’ve waited for you to find a decent woman…someone I could stand being around, someone I would be proud to call my daughter?” She puts her hands on her hips and narrows her eyes. “I want the wedding and the grandkids, but I can’t have that right now. So instead, we’re going to be redecorating this house so that, when the time comes, you’re ready.”
“You know that, when me and Autumn get married, it will be up to her to plan the kind of wedding she wants, right?”
“Of course it will be her planning it.” His mom shakes her head and starts down the hall.
I stand there in shock, my body coiled tightly. He said when, not if, we get married, like he knows for sure that it’s going to happen.
“Breathe, baby,” I hear on a laugh. I look up and my eyes automatically narrow when I see that he’s chuckling. “Told you she would be planning a wedding when she found out you were moving in.”
“You said when.” I shake my head.
“What?” His eyebrows come together in confusion and his hand goes to my waist, dragging me to him.
“Nothing?” I say, and it comes out sounding more like a question.
“Autumn.” His tone has my head coming up and my heart beating double-time.
“You said when we get married, not if we get married,” I repeat. The words are circling inside my head.
“Yeah?” His eyes narrow further, making me squirm.
“When, Kenton…you said when we get married, not if,” I say again, trying to drive home what I’m getting at.
“Of course we’re getting married,” he says in a tone that makes me squirm.
“Babe, what the f**k do you think is going on between the two of us?” He shakes his head, putting his fingers under my chin, titling my head farther back. His mouth touches mine, his teeth tugging on my bottom lip. “You make me crazy.” He kisses me. Then his eyes search my face. “We’ll talk tonight.”
“We don’t need to talk,” I say immediately.
“You don’t need to talk. You just need to listen.”
“Joy.” I sigh, trying to think of a way to get out of this.
“When I get home, we’ll talk.”
“I can’t wait,” I say sarcastically and yell, “Ow!” when he smacks my ass hard. “Your mom’s here,” I remind him when he gets the look in his eyes that tells me I’m about to get bent over.
“Keep up the smart mouth and I’ll fill it with something that will keep you quiet,” he whispers in my ear, causing goose bumps to break out over my skin.
“I thought you needed to go into the office,” I breathe, closing my eyes.
The image of me on my knees in front of him flashes behind my closed lids. Every time I have tried to take him in my mouth, he’s stopped me, saying that he needed to be inside me badly.
My hands slide around his waist and my head goes to his chest, where I listen to the rhythm of his heart. “I’ll see you when you get home.” I squeeze his waist and feel his lips at the top of my head.
“See you when I get home,” he says quietly.
“Okay,” I reply, and he kisses me once more before jogging up the stairs.
“You got it bad,” Nancy says, making me jump.
I turn around and look at her. Standing in the doorway, she looks me over before looking up the stairs at where Kenton just disappeared.
“I would send you up to get dressed, but he’s up there now, and if you go up there with him, I have a feeling neither of you will be back down for a while.”
I feel my face heat up and I look at the ground.
“Come have some coffee.” She laughs, turning and heading back into the kitchen.
I follow behind, wondering if she gets off on making me squirm.
Once we’ve had coffee and Kenton comes back downstairs to kiss me goodbye, he tells me that I can message him any time and he’ll send someone to rescue me. I would normally laugh about that, but I have a feeling that he’s being completely serious.
The minute the door closes behind him, Nancy pushes me up the stairs to get dressed. She lets me know what we’re going to be doing, not that she gives me a choice in any of it. I have a feeling that the only way I could disagree is if I pop out a kid or start planning a wedding, and neither of those things is going to happen for a while, so I’m stuck picking out appliances—or at least agreeing with what she picks out.