"My parents should be here any minute," Devon said as he stirred the gravy. "Mom will kill me for not using the turkey neck, but she can suck it up."
"Gravy always kind of grossed me out," I pointed out as I worked on the mashed potatoes. "Hey, mom, can you check to see if the turkey's up to temperature?"
My mother smiled indulgently but did as I asked. She lifted the lid of the roasting pan and stuck the thermometer in the thigh. "180."
"Brilliant," I said. I poured the milk and butter into the mashed potatoes and continued mashing. "I hope your mom doesn't think this meal is totally plebeian."
Devon chuckled. "You're the one who had a professional chef make all your childhood meals, Danielle."
"He is right," my dad put in. He was on my recliner watching football. I don't recall the man ever watching football a day in his life. Retirement seemed to suit him. He actually relaxed now. And did things like watch TV and go dancing with my mom. It was weird to hear about. But nice. "But if she doesn't, I'll like it. It smells delicious, Danielle."
"Thanks." It was a compliment. My dad usually didn't notice most of my efforts, so the fact that he liked the smell of my cooking, something I'd never done around him, was pretty flattering.
My doorbell rang, and I ran out of the kitchen, still wearing my apron, to go answer it. Suzanne nearly tackled me to the floor in a bear hug. "I am so happy to see you again, sweetie!" she said.
"She's really only happy that she didn't have to cook for Thanksgiving this year," Frank said in his gruff voice. But he was smiling. Win and Reagan came in after them, both babbling away at me at the same time about their various exploits in college.
Devon trotted over and got the same hug from Suzanne, and his sisters turned their chatter to them.
"We would have been here sooner," Frank said to me. "But we couldn't leave the farm any earlier."
"It's all right," Devon said. He led them into the kitchen, where my mom was taking the turkey from the roasting pan. "You made it just in time. Mom, Dad, I would like to introduce you to Danielle's parents, Marianne and Ben Tetra. Mari, Ben, these are my parents, Suzanne and Frank Orrmann."
So polite. I snickered behind my hand and he shot me a look. The four parents all exchanged pleasantries and various small talk that is bound to come up between the parents of a couple. Suzanne introduced her daughters, and I escaped to go put the finishing touches on dinner. I saw my dad pull Devon to the side and start speaking to him in low tones. I made a note to ask him about it later as I started putting all the food in more decorative serving trays. "Frank, can you come carve the turkey?" I asked.
Frank agreed eagerly, and Devon broke away from my dad. He grabbed my arm and pulled me into the alcove that lead to the back door of my townhouse. "Holy crap, Danielle," he said.
Devon shoved his hand into his pocket. "Your dad just gave me this." He pulled out one of those little velvet boxes that held jewelry. I opened it to see my grandmother's two carat diamond wedding ring.
"Holy shit," I said, deciding to take his curse even further. "Think he was trying to tell us something?"
"We've only been dating for seven months." Devon shook his head. "I guess that means he likes me?"
"He told you not to tell me, didn't he?" I laughed when Devon nodded. "Well, I'll just have to act super surprised when you ask me."
"For the record, I did tell your dad that we weren't ready."
"My parents dated for five months before they got engaged. He's probably wondering what's taking you so long."
Devon made a face, and I kissed him before he could speak.
"Calm down," I said. "We'll be ready when we're ready. What's really funny is that I'm going to tell them about how I want your mom to make the wedding cake at dinner."
"No." Devon's face turned white. "Then we'll have both sides planning. And before we know it they'll have set the date and we'll be stuck with it."
I giggled and kissed him again. I wrapped my arms around his neck. "It wouldn't be such a bad thing would it?"
Devon relaxed into my hug. "Yes. Yes it would. Because I fully intend on having our future wedding as awesomely personal as we can get it. First dance to Jeff Buckley. Toasts given by Gracie and Jonah. Little captive bead rings and tiny replicas of one of your dress designs as party favors. Lots and lots of alcohol at an open bar so my sisters can sneak it and do their rendition of the Time Warp, which will be on our DJ's playlist. And I will dye my hair blue for it."
I couldn't help it. I burst into giggles and couldn't stop. I knew half of what Devon was saying were things he made up on the spot to annoy me.
But really. Was that what I wanted? A blue haired groom.
Author's Note: Yay. Ending. :D I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the epilogue this time around, but I got the brilliant idea of the parents meeting for Thanksgiving in Chicago. :D Anyway, thank you to my lovely readers, you make it all worth it! I am absolutely dead on my feet, so to speak, as I had to work at 3 AM this morning to pack orders at work for Thanksgiving. Owning a bakery sucks sometimes, let me tell you, even if it is guaranteed we'll have a huge variety of pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas and all that. Well, I'm already working on the third and final story, Goodbye Until Tomorrow starring Sarah Dasher, so be on the lookout! I'll probably post the first chapter around the beginning of December.
I am so tired you guys, you have no idea. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see y'all back for the third story. :)
soli Deo gloria