“She called and asked for advice, and I told her what any pediatrician would. Rub Orajel on their gums, and give them Tylenol if they’re running a fever. She wanted to bring them to me, but I can’t treat my family, and I wish they’d all get that through their thick heads.”
“Probably not anytime soon.” He shook his head. “I’m glad I’m not in a job where I can’t help my family. Mom is always needing something done. I had to go over there and fix her fence this week. Her poodle has decided the Great Dane next door needs to be the father of her puppies, and Mom doesn’t think much of that idea.”
“That would not work out well,” Shelby agreed. “I’m glad she has you on speed dial.”
“I am too. Usually.”
“Are you as tired as I am?” she asked.
He shrugged. “Today wasn’t much harder than a regular day of work for me, especially with all the help we had. And tomorrow we’ll have help unpacking. I don’t think I’ve ever had a move go more smoothly.”
“Well, I’m used to being on my feet all day, but not carrying so many boxes.”
“You’ll feel better soon. Maybe you should soak in the tub. Or use Biofreeze on your feet and legs.”
“And arms and shoulders…” She sighed dramatically. “I hope you get that hot tub put in soon.”
“I can do that soon,” he said. “But we have jets in our master bath.”
He nodded. “I told you I was going to do that.”
“But I didn’t know you had!” She slowly got to her feet, groaning as she held the small of her back. “Now I know why I’ve kept so little over the years. A few textbooks have been the extent of heavy things I’ve had to move.”
“I don’t know if there are towels up there.”
“I’ll drip dry if I have to!”
“Maybe I’ll join you,” he said.
“The bathtub is big enough?” she asked, looking over her shoulder.
“Biggest bathtub ever!” he said. “Or rather the biggest one Home Depot had in stock.” He followed her toward the stairs. “We’re sharing.”
She grinned. “I like that we don’t even have to think about these things anymore. Remember all the rules we had for making out back in high school?”
“No touching below the waist. Touching above the waist but over the shirt. I was sure all the rules were going to kill me.”
“But they didn’t, and now we’re all grown up, and the rules are forgotten.”
“So if I grabbed you now, I could touch below the shirt?”
She laughed. “The shirt will be history in just a minute.”
“You’re right,” he said. “It’s much better this way.” Though thinking about the past was not good for him. It made him worry she would blow him off again. There was an entire semester where she’d refused to take his calls. Her roommate had said she was at the library studying every single day. He’d always left a message until he realized she’d never call him back.
She started filling the tub before she undressed. When she turned around, he was right behind her doing the same. “I like being able to look at you now, too,” she said. “I got tired of just using my imagination about the muscles I felt beneath your shirt.”
Nate smiled. “I think my view is better.”
She giggled. “I’m not going to argue about that. I feel like we both won.”
She got into the tub first, leaning against the foot of it. The tub was large, square, and had a dozen jets. “Why have I gone my whole life without knowing they made bathtubs like this?”
He shrugged. “You should have moved back here sooner. I’d have made sure you knew that this was the ultimate bathtub we were striving for in life.”
Her smile faded. She’d heard that he was dating another woman all the time. It seemed now that much of that had been exaggeration, but still…being without him was difficult.