Chapter 24

Quinn got his wish and we were going to be graced with a relatively small class from Japan just after

Christmas. He seemed happy – especially since we're to have a nice break before they arrive. Quinn was also approached with the idea of boarding foreign university students. It was planned through the same organization as the high schoolers. It was just another opportunity for an older group of students to experience their education differently. Quinn seemed curious about it but I don't know if it was something terribly interested in. It would seem like too much work and the scheduling would be horrendous. He hadn't put the idea away completely though, because I kept finding brochures all over the house.

I on the other hand, made a decision about continuing my education. Instead of entertaining a culinary program like I originally thought but instead registered into a music education program. I think it was better suited for me anyway. Quinn liked the idea, too. I got very lucky and was accepted for this coming September, which was a little nerve wracking but still exciting nonetheless. I was more excited for buying school supplies – it was my favourite thing to do at the end of summer. Or, at least it was when I was still in school. Quinn teased me about it but all I had to do was mention his obsessive cleaning habits. That would always shut him up quickly. In the long run I think I wanted to either work in the school system or work for some independent music school – all while having my own in-home business of teaching piano lessons. Either way, I was extremely happy with my decision. There was not going back now.

A few days after our conversation about Facebook I finally made a new Facebook account with Quinn's last name. It was weird at first to see Joss Monahan but soon I fell in love with it and couldn't wait for the time when it was actually legal anyway. We were already common-law so it didn't matter so much, I guess. I even started envisioning Teagan with Quinn's, too. I wondered if he'd adopt her… That would be amazing but I didn't want to get my hopes up, just in case. It was almost liberating to make a new Facebook. It gave me a valid excuse to sift through my friends list and filter out those whom I don't speak with on a regular basis. It was quite liberating. I asked my mother to go through her friends list as well, and get rid of or block of those who were harassing her as well.

As soon as I made my new Facebook account my mother was on the phone in a heartbeat, questioning me about the change in last name. It took me quite awhile to calm her down to order to talk to her about it.

"Okay, explain it to me again. Why are you making a new Facebook account with Quinn's last name?" Mom asked me, very slowly.

I had been sitting in the Piano Room, writing up notes on each of my students and where they could go next musically. I had long since put that aside to settle into the loveseat so I could be somewhere comfortable while I have this potentially awkward conversation with my mother. For some reason it never occurred to me that my friends would question the change. It wasn't like Quinn and I had eloped of something – Quinn would probably want some sort of fancy shindig or something.

"It was a decision made sort of on a whim." I said. "Quinn was telling that he was getting sick of me complaining about all the harassment I've been getting. He suggested that I make a new account with his last name." I twisted in the loveseat to rest against the armrest and propped my feet up on the other side. Little sparks of warmth and happiness went off in my chest at the memory of that conversation.

"Are you sure that's just it?" She asked, in a tone that meant she didn't quite believe me.


"Jocelyn." I cringed at the use of my full name. "Want to tell me what's really going on."

"That is what's really going on." I said, in a very vague sort of way. I wiggled my feet, trying to think of a better response. Mom made a disbelieving sound in my ear that made me snicker. "I'm being serious! That's what's going on." How was I supposed to tell her that Quinn and I already had a conversation about marriage.

"Are you sure you aren't hiding something from me? Say like…an engagement."

"I would never hide something like that from you, Mom." I said, slightly offended she would even suggest something like that. "But that's not to say the topic hasn't come up in conversation."


"Of course." I answered. "Quinn has made it very clear to me that our relationship has a definite end goal. I think he's always been thinking long term – why else would be renovate his house like he has to accommodate Teagan and I." I got up and went into the kitchen, knowing Quinn would be back soon, to put a pot of coffee on. "We've never gone into much detail but I get the feeling that he wants to plan something stupidly romantic, or, figure out a way to make it spontaneous and surprise me." With the coffee started I settled into fixing up a late lunch. Quinn and as far I knew, Ciro and Nadia were having meetings at the school. Before Quinn left this morning he mentioned that they would be home shortly after noon. We had had a large dinner last night so I all I was really going to do was array the leftovers in a manner more appealing.

"Figures he'd want to do something like that." Mom chuckled in my ear. "You better make sure that boy of yours does the honourable thing and asks your father and I first before popping the question."

"Mom," I groaned, as I arranged the roast chicken on a plate. "We're grown men, he shouldn't have to ask permission. We live together!"

"That doesn't mean anything, dear. I'm sure Quinn would be charmed with performing a little tradition."


"Now, since you won't give me anymore information on your upcoming nuptials –"

"Because there isn't any!"

" – I need to ask if you've ever gotten rid of your apartment?" She continued on like I didn't even interrupt her.

I finished scooping the pasta into a bowl before answering. "Yeah, right after Quinn finished Teagan's room. It was costing too much and Quinn, in a roundabout way, mentioned something about not being comfortable with my having a 'fall back' place to live. It was hurting his delicate sensibilities, apparently."

"Makes sense. If the person I'm in a relationship with had a whole other place they could potentially sneak away to I'd be worried, too."

"Like I would do anything like that to ruin what Quinn and I have." I scoffed.

"Yes, yes, I know. I was just making a point. I'm glad you got out of the lease, saves all of us a bit of money each month." Mom answered in a way that told me she was waving that particular topic of conversation away.

"I have to let you go mom. They'll be coming home soon and I want to finish getting lunch ready." Working one handed just wasn't cutting it.

"Alright dear, you'll let me know if anything changes?"

"Of course, Mom."

"Good boy."

"Goodbye, Mom." I laughed. Soon after getting everything dished out I heard the front door open. A slow smile tugged at my lips, knowing that those morning meetings can be intense and brutal. I could hear their voices drifting down the hall, footsteps soon followed.

"Man, I'm starving!" I heard Ciro complain. "Don't know why they don't supply us with lunch when Nadia and I just have to go back later." I grinned, knowing my idea to get good out was a wonderful idea. I was leaning against the counter, letting the smell of coffee was luring them into the kitchen.

"Well, isn't this a nice surprise to come home to." Quinn crossed the room fairly quickly to pull me into a gentle embrace. His lips were already seeking mine and a pleased hum escaped from the back of his throat.

"Joss, you angel you!" Ciro crowed, ripping me form Quinn's arms only to crush me within his. "I could kiss you right now if I knew Quinn wouldn't murder me in my sleep."

I laughed at the mock glare Quinn sent in Ciro's direction, then rolled my eyes. "I knew you guys would be hungry."

"You're so dramatic." Nadia nudged him as she went past him to the coffee pot. "But that being said…finally some decent coffee. The coffee from the cafeteria tastes like muddy water."

"More like piss if you ask me." Ciro muttered.

"Don't be crude, Ciro." Nadia scolded.

Quinn was already pouring coffee for everyone. "But it's the truth. Coffee is never good when a non-coffee drinker makes it." Soon enough we were all sitting at the table, digging into our lunches. Ciro, as per usual, was shoveling food into his face like it was his last meal on earth. He jerked up a moment later and that was the only indication that Nadia had kicked him under the table. His eating slowed down a little bit.

"How did it go this morning?" I asked.

"Not too badly." Nadia was the first to answer. "It was just basic catch up kind of information – like how the students are doing as a whole. After lunch Ciro and I have to go back."

"What for?"

"Meetings on specific students." Nadia said. "Pretty sure it's nothing too serious. There's always kids in a group that like to misbehave."

"We don't want to cause a scene within the house so we're meeting with the students privately." Ciro must have noticed my horrified expression since he offered a further explanation. Troublemakers in the class? I had no idea. But, I guess, kids always act differently when they're away from home.

"The principal didn't seem too worried so it probably won't be that bad. You'll tell me who it is when you get back, yeah?" Quinn asked. "We left before being told who the students in question were." He then said to me.

"Course mate." Ciro saluted.

"If I have anything to say about it." Nadia said, primly. "I'll make them come to apologize to you in person. It's not just their reputations but yours as well, Quinn. You can't become known for housing bratty children."

Quinn grinned. "Just don't embarrass them too much."

We ate in relative silence before again until Nadia asked how my morning went and if I got all my organizing done. "Most of it but then Mom called me." I said. "She just wanted to know what was going on with my name change on Facebook." Quinn choked on his coffee. "She's under the impression that we're engaged."

Ciro crowed with laughter, tilting his chair back. "I would have loved to be there for that particular conversation."

"I must admit," Quinn said when he finally got himself under control, "that I forgot about your mother's reaction with I first mentioned it."

"I'm surprised she didn't get on the next plane down here and plan the whole thing." Nadia giggled. "I feel like that's something she totally would do."

I grinned at her. "It took a bit of convincing that no, there isn't an engagement yet. She said she wants Quinn to ask for their permission first."

"Seriously?" Quinn asked, eyebrows raised to his hairline. "Honestly! We live together, I don't see what the big deal is."

Ciro wiped the mirth from his eyes. "Your mom kills me."

"I tried explaining that to her but she thinks you'll be charmed by the tradition of it all, or something like that." I said.

"Don't put any ideas into his head, Joss." Nadia clucked her tongue. "Now he'll be planning something ridiculously unneeded."

"Now that you mention it…" Quinn murmured, making a show of stroking his chin.

"Quinn, I don't need something frivolous. We're only talked about it once!" I said.

"You have no idea what I'm planning." He sniffed.

Later in the afternoon, in the quiet of time before we had to go pick you Teagan and when the students came home, Quinn and I were enjoying having the house to ourselves. We were snuggled up on the couch, Quinn on his back and me spread out on his chest. Quinn had one arm behind his head and the other resting on the small of my back. My arms were shoved under his back, holding us pressed together.

"Any new messages since you changed your name?" Quinn asked in a hushed voice, not wanting to break the peace surrounding us.

"Nope, and I don't dare check my old account." I murmured against the junction of Quinn's neck and shoulder. "Can't imagine the peace will last long. She'll figure out where I am eventually." I snuggled closer to him. "Feels kind of stupid have to hide form her when I know logically she can't do anything about it. She gave me full custody of Teagan. Couldn't wait to get rid of her."

"Teagan is ours now so Dawn can't do shit. When we eventually tie the knot I was going to bring up the subject of adoption. I want it to be legal."

I jerked my head up. "You want to adopt Teagan?" I swallowed at the lump forming in my throat. "Why am I not surprised." I crushed our lips together. Quinn's lips instantly opened to mine. Soft breaths accompanied the gentle glide of our tongue and the soft suctions of our lips coming together again and again. Quinn's hand drifted to the swell of my ass and the other buried itself in my hair. Quinn groaned into my mouth just as I grunted when he gave one of my ass cheeks a firm squeeze. "Seriously, I shouldn't be surprised by the things you say anymore." I said between kisses. Quinn's lips were shiny and kiss swollen and grinning up at me. "I fucking love you." And I dove back in for more. Quinn shifted beneath me until I was straddling his hips.

"I want us to be a real family." Quinn said between kisses. "I'll do anything to keep you and Teagan. I'll do anything to keep you happy." He nipped at my lower lip. "I already consider her my daughter, I want it to be legal now." He twitched his hips upwards. "And I fucking love you, too."