It was a large comfortable room with comfortable-looking furniture. Shelby could see her and Nate sitting there after a long day of work, snuggling together as they watched TV. It was something to look forward to.
“Everything is impeccable!”
“Only because Maisie insisted I hire a cleaning service before we married.”
Shelby smiled. “We may want to keep that going. Not sure how much time I’ll have to actually clean.”
“But you’ll have time for me, right?”
After the house tour, Nate carried Shelby’s suitcases upstairs. “I’m assuming you have a lot more to bring over,” he said.
She nodded. “Mainly just my computer desk and things like that. My bedroom was kept as a shrine. It looks just the same as it did when I was a teenager.”
He chuckled. “Your mom was such an amazing mom. I hope she still loves me as much as she did when we were teenagers.”
“Oh, yeah. She was mad that I wouldn’t look you up and see if you wanted to go out with me.” Shelby rubbed the back of her neck. “Guess I’m still old-fashioned when it comes to asking guys out.”
“I prefer to do the asking, but if you’d called…I don’t know what I would have done.”
“Why did you contact Matchrimony?” she asked, sitting at the foot of his bed.
He shrugged. “I couldn’t really get serious about dating after you, and Mom has been on me forever to get married and give her grandbabies. Her health isn’t what it was, and I wanted to at least attempt to make her happy. She was ecstatic when she saw it was you I was marrying.”
“My mom felt the same, I’m sure. I actually talked about you to Dr. Lachele. I’m surprised she didn’t give anything away.”
He looked at her, raising one eyebrow. “Oh?”
“You know…she asked about dating history, and I told her about you.” Shelby shrugged. He’d broken her heart once, and she didn’t know if she wanted him to have the power to do it again.
He moved to sit beside her, looking into her eyes. “I told her about you as well. You were the one who broke my heart by moving away and following your dreams. It’s not that I didn’t want you to follow your dreams because of course I wanted you to be happy, but that left me here taking care of business.”
“I so wish we’d been able to follow our plan. Move to NYU together and then get married after college grad. Then you could go with me while I was in medical school.” She looked down at her hands. “I admire you for staying and taking care of your family, but I wish we’d been together at the same time, if that makes any sense at all.”
“Of course it does,” he said. “When I heard you’d moved to Minnesota, I figured I’d never see you again.”
“I liked Minnesota,” she said honestly. “I thought about setting up a practice there, but my mom begged and begged me to come back. I couldn’t stay away when I thought about all her sacrifices for us.”
“Did you ever think about coming back here to be with me?” he asked.
“Honestly, I’d heard you’d moved on. I didn’t come home often after leaving for school, but every time I did, someone would tell me you were dating someone else. I didn’t think I could call you and mess something up for whoever you were with, so I didn’t.”
He nodded, looking sad. “I thought about it all the time. The possibility you’d move back here, and our eyes would meet across the room somewhere, and we’d pick up where we left off.”
Shelby nodded. “I thought about it too. But I don’t want to pick up where we left off. We were teenagers playing at being in love. Now we’re adults, and I hope we’ll still get along. I can’t imagine my life without you, but neither can I imagine you in it. We’re going to have to work at getting to know each other again and not just assume we know everything about each other.”
He frowned for a minute. “What about sex? I mean, we’re married and all. How do we feel about sleeping together?”
She didn’t tell him how she’d melted in his arms when he’d kissed her after their wedding. “I think sleeping together is fine. It’s part of being married after all.” She didn’t add that she’d planned to ask whomever she married to wait. What was the point? Marrying him made everything different.
He nodded. “Good. I know we decided to wait til we were married back when we were in high school. But we got married today, and I don’t want to keep waiting. Not with you.”
“So we’ll have a real wedding night tonight,” she said, smiling at him. His touch had always made her body go crazy. She wanted to grab him and start kissing him right away, but she knew better. She’d wait.
“Do we have to wait for our weddingnight?” he asked. “I mean, we’re married, and we’re alone, and we’re sitting here on my bed…”