1,506 words; about a 8 minute read
Location: The Rose Home, Grandy, NC
Timeline: 01 APR 2023, 1803
“Have you found the sheets yet?”
The voice, originating from amongst a veritable fortress of boxes, belonged to the young red-haired woman that sat cross legged on the couch. Several boxes were open in front of her and she was leaning precariously forward, rifling through.
“No, I wanted to get the safe installed,” he said, coming into the room carrying a large box marked linens. “None of these are sheets,” he said, dropping it onto the ground by the couch. “Weren’t we supposed to have these all organized or something?” he asked, rubbing his temples.
Justin was no stranger to moving; he did it often while in the Army, on active duty, but he had only done it alone before. He had only done it with far less possessions, and he had done it with the complete attention to detail that he was taught in the army to manage basically anything. He was not prepared to move with a wife; it was not in his training.
“But I’ll keep looking,” he said, with a forced smile as he moved to go back out to the garage to keep rifling through stacks of boxes that had yet to make it into the house.
“Nah.” Kim met her husband’s frustration with a shrug and a grin. “Sit with me instead. We’ll find the sheets later.” As if her request needed accentuating she patted the spot next to her on the couch.
“Alright,” he said, feeling a little skeptical about this plan. His need to get things accomplished had been heightened since the move started. His current mission in life was to be sure that his weapons safe was installed and safely in place in the bedroom closet. He ran his hands across his head and then sat down on the couch next to her before inching a bit closer so they were touching.
Kim's grin brightened as he sat. She knew he was on a mission to get through a checklist he had stored in his head. It was something she'd learned that he was good at and equally when he got started it was hard to slow him down. A bit like trying to turn the Titanic, she had once told her sister.
"I promise I'm only going to make you sit for a little bit," she told him, a mixture of teasing and affection lacing her tone. Then, as if she were relaying some kind of surprising revelation, she added, "We're sitting on our couch in our house, Justin. Our house." She was practically beaming. "We own a house."
“Yeah… crazy isn’t it?” He said, looking around as his hand found hers and squeezed it. He turned back to her, “you make me do a lot of crazy shit. You tricked me into falling in love with you, you got me to get married, move back here, and now owning a house with a private gate outside… crazy,” he said, with a daring smirk on his face.
Eyebrows popping up in amusement, Kim fixed her husband with a look. “Tricked you? I hardly think that’s a fair assessment.” Despite the affectionate affront in her voice, she carefully threaded her fingers between his, squeezing back. “Now the rest I will take credit for.” She met his smirk with a challenging expression of her own.
“I was for sure tricked,” he said, flatly.
"You don't seem too broken up about how falling in love with me turned out," she shot back, voice dripping with amusement. "Besides… if anyone tricked you, it was Kevin. I was merely an unwitting participant in his plot."
She flipped imaginary hair over her shoulder as if making a show of her looks; a comical contrast to the reality of her messy bun, worn t-shirt, and the streak of dust she'd failed to notice on her cheek.
He shook his head at her, “your sister is just as guilty. Besides that’s how tricked I was by you… I don’t even realize I’m being taken advantage of still.”
Once again, Kim gave her husband a look, but instead of refuting him simply shook her head and smiled–her expression a look of affectionate exasperation. This was hardly the first time they’d talked about this and she was sure it wasn’t close to the last either. In reality they’d both been tricked when her sister and his best friend conspired to get them together… by canceling Justin’s hotel room for their wedding knowing full well she’d offer for him to stay with her to save him the trouble of staying somewhere else.
“At this point I’m just about willing to sleep on the bare mattress,” Kim said with a yawn, returning to rifle through the box in front of her while still holding Justin’s hand firmly with her other. “Do you have a lot more to do or can we stop soon and just… you know… enjoy?”
“That’s not okay,” he said, shaking his head. “But… we can focus on finding those sheets and then we can christen the bedroom,” he winked.
"Did you just… wink… at me?" Kim giggled, straightening from where she had bent over the box so that she could turn in his direction.
“I can’t imagine I’ve ruined your desires,” he said, rolling his eyes. “Find the sheets!” he said, feigning exasperation as he got back up off the couch to find another box to search himself.
Grinning mischievously, Kim followed him off the couch, sidestepping boxes so that she could get in front of him. Still beaming with amusement, she leaned into him, pushing up onto her tiptoes and kissed him, pulling back only a moment later. "It'll take much more than winking to ruin my desires," she told him, a suggestion in her tone.
“As I suggested,” he pointed out, kissing her again. “But, I’m pretty sure I can hold off longer than you can. So if you want in these particularly fine pants you’re just going to have help me find the sheets and make the bed first… well… at least put a sheet on it.”
Giving her husband a look that said Really? without even using the word, Kim took a few steps back and then turned, scanning the boxes for one she hadn't yet checked.
"Particularly fine huh?" She teased as she settled on a box, heading for it and pulling the tape off. "And what am I, a consolation prize?" Her tone made it clear she was kidding. She had no question about her husband's attraction to her. But she enjoyed the banter.
“So us being fine is mutually exclusive?” he asked, confused watching her as she looked for a box that probably didn’t exist. He had planned to head back to the garage to search for another when she had gotten up too.
"I didn't say that," she quipped back, straightening and turning to look over her shoulder at him." I mean… I doubt you're hating the view at the moment." As if to punctuate her point she bent back over, making sure he had a perfect line of sight of her butt.
The teasing, however, was quickly cut off with a yelp of enthusiasm. "Jackpot," the redhead murmured, turning around with a fitted sheet and two pillow cases in her hands.
“I always enjoy the view… either side,” he smirked, “lets go make the bed.” He moved to the edge of the box maze and as soon as she was safely out of it as well he scooped her up and carried her toward the bedroom.
His movement was met with a yelp of surprise and another giggle as she slung her arms around his neck, clutching the sheet and pillow cases in her hands.
Once inside the bedroom he moved to the bed and dropped her on the bed lowering her down so the drop wasn’t too over done but not gentle either. He grinned at her, waiting eagerly to make the bed which was not one of his favorite things to do although he could make the bed way better than she could. Military precision.
Kim made a show of looking affronted by her ungainly deposit onto the mattress, but she couldn't keep up the effect for long. Instead, she gave in, sliding off the bed and shaking out the fitted sheet so that it covered a large portion of the mattress before she set about tucking the corners into place.
With three edges covered she sprawled across the mattress on her belly pushing the last corner over the edge and tugging until it was in place.
Once the sheet was in place he rolled her onto her back and yanked her into the center of the bed and then climbed over her and looked down at her with a grin.
“Well hello there, Mrs. Rose,” he said, looking into her eyes.