Modern Au Part 4
GATHER ROUND CHILDREN IT’S STORY TIME!!!! PART 4!!!!!!!
Scavenger Hunts and Roses
(Valentine’s Day, 5 years after Part 1)
I roll over in the bed, my hair a mess even though I’d tried to sleep with it in a braid. The sunlight from the window behind me is warm though, and it’s only then that I realize that I’m sweating. With a groan I roll onto my back and then glance at the foot of the bed where Cody usually sleeps. The pup had turned out to grow faster than either of us had anticipated and before a few months had passed, he was a massive, full grown German Shepard.
He wasn’t at he usual place at the foot of the bed though, and with a frown I glanced at the spot that Cal usually occupied. His side of the bed was empty though too. With a huff I rolled over and hissed, “Jerk.”
He knew that Cody’s morning walk was usually something we did together, and the dog wouldn’t leave the apartment unless I was walking right next to Cal. Maybe after four years, Cal had finally gotten him to leave. I stretched and sighed in content when my stiff shoulders popped. There was a huff in the hallway though, and then the scraping of claws on the wood. I blinked in confusion until a brown and black smear launched itself from the doorway onto the bed. I moaned in pain as Cody’s paws slammed into my stomach, and then with a cough, I ordered, “Cody! Down, no!”
He panted happily though and then sat down on my stomach. I moaned again and then tried to push him off of me. He simply barked to get my attention though and then leaned down and licked my face. I tried to shove him away, laughing all the while. “Cody! Stop, enough, stop!”
He stopped then, and sat back, his tail wagging wildly. I smiled up at him and then scratching him behind the ear, I asked in a cooing voice, “Did Cal take you for your walk? Did you have a good walk buddy?”
He tilts his head to the side and I roll my eyes at him. Four years was a long time to date someone and have a dog with them. All through college I had thought it was a dumb idea, but I secretly enjoyed it. The morning walks had gotten me out of bed during my senior year so that I didn’t skip class, and coming home to a very happy dog every day was not the worst thing in the world. And it wasn’t so bad to come home to dinner already on the counter and a very happy boyfriend either.
Speaking of the boyfriend, I glanced at the clock which read eleven in the morning, and then looked around the room for any sign that Cal was in the apartment. His shoes that he normally wore weren’t by the closet, but that didn’t mean they weren’t by the front door though.
As I scratched Cody along his neck, I felt something flutter out of his collar. With a frown I picked it up and opened it. Cody climbed off of me then and sank into a ball at the foot of the bed. I sat up to read the little note and with a frown, I said, “What the hell does that even mean?”
It had been a few short lines, but from the sounds of it, Cal had written it to be stupidly confusing.
Morning love, seeing as you’re reading this, you’ll notice that I’m missing. Don’t panic, everything’s fine, I just have to do a little something before our dinner tonight. If you’re interested though, there’s a place I know, if you’re looking for a show.
There was an address at the bottom of the note, and when I looked at my nightstand there was a small wad of cash for taxi money. Frowning, I flipped the little paper over and tried to see if there was more. There was nothing, all he had left me was a stupid riddle.
With a snort, I folded the note and then pushed the blankets back. Cody lifted up his ears when he saw me move around the room. I glanced at him and then holding the note up for him to see I said, “He is by far the most dramatic person I have ever met.”
Cody huffed and then wagged his tail happily. I rolled my eyes and then went to the closet to grab something to wear.
As soon as I stepped out of the cab, I froze. I was in front of the theater that he had taken me to for my birthday two years ago. It had been a total surprise gift, one that I had cherished with all my heart. He had taken me to see the only musical I would ever like, and afterward, we had walked a couple streets over to Times Square to get yogurt at eleven thirty at night. I’d fallen asleep on his shoulder during the cab ride back, after he’d carried me piggyback style three more blocks over to find a cab. It was on that night that I realized I was completely, madly, and absolutely in love with him. Two months later, I moved into his apartment. My mother had laughed and said that she’d never seen me more willing to do something. My brothers had shown up with me, and although Cal had paled considerably, the four of them had ended up sitting on the couch an hour later, drinking beer and watching football. Honestly, if there was anything men bonded over, it was football.
I glanced around wildly, trying to figure out why he had sent me here. Then, out of the crowd my sister came running, waving her hand to get my attention. I frowned then, and she smiled as she arrived in front of me, panting. She held out her finger for me to give her a minute, and then with a shit eating grin, she held out an envelope for me, while her other hand remained behind her back.
With a frown, I opened the envelope and pulled out another note, this one also written in Cal’s gorgeous looping cursive.
Sorry about the rough wake up love, but congratulations you’re out of bed before one on Valentine’s Day! I’m sorry if you were expecting something from me this morning, but I hope you’ll accept this as a token of apology.
I glanced up then with a raised brow, and Gisa giggled as she pulled her other hand out from behind her back and offered me a bright red rose. I blinked in surprise and then took it from her. Attached to the stem was another little note. I tilted my head to the side and then read this one out loud, “Roses are red, violets are blue, I know you hate poetry, so here’s another option for you.”
I rolled my eyes and then turned the card over to read the back. It was just another address though. Sighing, I looked at Gisa who rocked back and forth from her toes to her heels, smiling like an idiot. Holding out the envelope with his letter, I asked, “Are you in on this?”
She nodded wildly and then said, “Come on, let’s grab another taxi, I want to see what the next thing is! He didn’t tell anyone what the next person was going to do, and I want to see it!”
She herded me over to the curb and hailed another taxi, before shoving me inside and ducking in after me.
The taxi pulled up to the tiny coffee shop that he and I would sit at every Saturday while I was in college, and even though I tried to see him through the windows, I couldn’t find him. Gisa practically kicked me out of the cab, and then scrambled out after me, almost forgetting to pay the driver before she almost shoved me into the shop.
It was empty, given it was twelve on Valentine’s Day. I frowned as I looked around, and then spotted Shade sitting at the typical table that Cal and I took. He raised a cup of coffee up to me in greeting, and I stormed over to him, shoving Gisa’s envelope in his face before hissing, “What the hell is going on? What is he trying-“
Shade simply pushed my hand down and then held out another envelope, this one midnight blue with gold edges. I frowned in confusion before snatching it from him and opening it. Inside was another note, written on the same color paper with silver pen.
I know it’s a little late in the day for coffee, but seeing as you probably haven’t eaten all day, here’s a little something to keep you from dying before dinner.
Shade pushed a sandwich toward me, and I blinked in surprise when I noticed it was from my favorite place on the corner of the street. My brother winked at me, and I huffed before sitting down and digging into it. It was exactly the way I ordered it every time, and I frowned at that before looking at Shade and asking with my mouth full, “What the hell is he planning?”
“Beats me, but he’s pulling out all the stops for it.” Shade said with a grin before tapping the wrapping that the sandwich had come in. I peered down at it then, and was greeted by another note. I groaned in annoyance and then said, “I told him I wanted today to be interesting, but I didn’t mean for him to make the whole thing into a damn scavenger hunt!”
Written inside this time, was a set of coordinates, with a note saying: I know I didn’t spend an entire month helping you learn how to read maps for you to mess these up.
I finished my sandwich and then fished out my phone to text him. I sent him three texts, one thanking him for the sandwich, the next demanding to know where he was, and the third telling him that this was not my idea of fun on Valentine’s Day.
I waited for a solid ten minutes before I got a text from him. The same coordinates that were on the paper was all that he sent. I let out a groan of frustration again, and Shade snickered before crumpling up my paper and saying, “Better get going, supposedly we’re on a tight schedule.”
I stood up and then pushing my chair in, I licked the extra mustard off my finger and said, “This better be worth it tonight. I’m not playing adventure time with him anymore if this is what I’m going to be doing all day.”
Shade threw his head back and laughed, before waving to me as I left him and Gisa in the coffee shop.
It took me five minutes to translate the coordinates into a location, and then give that to a driver. He took me toward the waterfront, and then parked in front of one of the piers. I frowned as I got out and then paid him before watching him drive off. I stalked toward the pier then, and the figure that was waiting at the end. By now, it was two in the afternoon, and I was done playing games. I wanted him to take me back to the apartment so that we could watch crappy Hallmark movies on TV while I sat in my favorite sweats, that had been designated as mine from that New Year’s Eve almost five years ago, and snuggled up against him. Then I wanted to just order Thai food like we always did, and eat it on the couch while Cody tried to steal mine, and then I wanted Cal to take me into the bedroom and show me exactly how it was done on Valentine’s Day.
He wasn’t at the end of the pier though, my brother Tramy was, holding another envelope and leaning against the railing with a shit eating grin also. I growled in fury and then said, “Where’s Cal?”
He laughed and then pushed me out of his face by pressing his index finger against the tip of my nose. I swatted his hands away, and then shouted, “This isn’t funny anymore! I want to know where he is!”
“Gosh Mare, where’s your sense of adventure?” He said with a smirk, and I almost slapped him. “I don’t want to have an adventure anymore! I want to know where he is!”
“You know he told me to say that, and to also tell you to take a chill pill, because he figured you’d be ticked by now.”
“Then he should know that when I text him, and ask him where the fuck he is, I mean that I want him to text me where he is, and not lead me to another stupid clue!”
Tramy wagged his finger at me and then held out the envelope. “I’m the last envelope, before dinner, promise.”
I snatch it from him, and then turn it over. It was midnight blue as well, this time with silver on the edges. I rip it open and then read it, only to let out a scream of fury and almost throw it off the pier. This was getting out of hand. It had been simple, and invitation actually reading:
You have been cordially invited to the best dinner of your life. Meet me at Ricco’s at eight sharp. I promise there’s only one more letter when you get there love. I suggest wearing something nice though, because it is a bit of a formal event.
Tramy smirked at me, and then leaning against the pier he said, “I’m supposed to drive you back to the apartment now.”
I inhaled slowly, and tried to calm my temper. Cal had obviously spent a very long time planning this whole thing, and he had promised me that there was only one more letter to get. I exhaled slowly, releasing all my anger, and then turning to my brother I said, “Fine, take me back.”
When I got back to the apartment, I threw my jacket onto the bed, startling Cody who whined when he saw me. I glared at him and then said, “Oh no, if you have another clue for me, I’ll sit you out on the porch tonight!”
He sank back into his bed by the window, and I stalked into the bathroom. I flicked on the light, and then paused in the doorway. Sitting on the bathroom counter was a bouquet of roses. I blinked in surprise and then walking toward then, I lifted them up, expecting another note, but there was nothing. A bit of my heart melted at seeing them, and I rolled my eyes with a smile as I sniffed then and said, “Dammit, you sap, you better be up to something good.”
At seven, someone buzzed for me downstairs. I frowned as I answered the call. My brother Bree simply said, “I’m here to pick you up.”
I blinked in surprise and then told him I’d be right down. I grabbed my heels by the door and slipped into them. My dress had been carefully chosen to show off almost my entire back, with a flattering high neck, and a slit up the side that showed enough leg to make any man drool. I glanced at myself in the mirror one more time and then fixing a loose curl in place, I grumbled, “He couldn’t have at least let me take a cab, oh no, he had to get my entire family in on this just to spite me.”
I came downstairs, and Bree gave me a little bow before opening the passenger door to our old car. I sank down into it, making sure sweep my dress in. He sprinted around to the other side and then sat down as well before reaching into the back and offering me a rose as well. This one was bright white. I took it from him with a curious smile, and then asked, “Did he get mom and dad in on this?”
Bree laughed as he pulled out into traffic and shook his head. “Nah, dad just helped him come up with all the little places for you to visit, and Mom and Gisa helped with the end result.”
I laughed softly, and then sniffed the rose. It was beautiful, and my heart squeezed as I said, “Do you know what’s coming?”
Bree shook his head, this time a little bit of his own curiosity on his face. “Must be big though, he spent almost the entire month of December planning this thing. It was supposed to happen on New Year’s, but he said he chickened out cause you guys had a massive fight the week before.”
I blinked in surprise, remembering that night. I had blown up on him after noticing that he was definitely hiding something from me. I had thought he was cheating, and after a screaming match, with him defending himself to the end, I’d stormed into the bedroom, packed one of my suitcases, and then grabbed Cody and stormed out of the house. I hadn’t gone anywhere though. I’d just sat on the curb outside of the apartment crying and trying not to make people think I was a complete psycho. After a few hours of sitting in the freezing cold, I wiped my cheeks and took Cody and my suitcase back upstairs. Cal had been in bed, with his back to the door. I’d dressed for bed silently and then crawled under the sheets and pressed up against him. He shrieked and then screamed that I was freezing. He’d rolled over then and pulled me into his arms. It had been our first massive fight in a long time, and honestly, it had been my insecurities that caused it. We had talked about it the next day though over coffee, like we always did, and we had ended up laughing about it, and about how I had essentially left all of my things in his drawers. He’d teased me that I had never thought of leaving him before, so I had no idea what to take or what to leave. He’d then teased me about the fact that I’d tried to take Cody. I’d replied that if our relationship failed, I would date Cody. We’d laughed about that for days, and he had pinned that comment up on the fridge, next to all of my other stupid quotes that I said. He’d started that a few months after we officially decided we were dating. It had my drunk quotes up there, my personal favorite being: If there’s water in the tub Cal, does that mean the tub is full of water, or the water is full of tub? And the things I said when I was pissed about something or another, his favorite being: If college is so important, why the hell do they charge me my arm, leg, and ass for it?
I smiled to myself as I remembered all of them taped up there, and how I had tried to tape on of his up there, only for him to take it down and say that that was my glory wall, not his.
Bree pulled up the Ricco’s, the restaurant that Cal I went to on very special occasions, like his birthday, mine, or when anything important happened in my family or with us. I blinked at the doors, and then slowly got out. It was an inbetweener restaurant. It was fancy, but you could also show up in jeans and t-shirt and it would be fine. I felt stupidly overdressed then, but Cal had said to dress like it was formal event. Swallowing, and clutching me rose to my chest, I walked inside. Isaiah, the host, smiled at me and then said, “Glad you made it on time.”
I gave him a shaky smile and then asked, “Are you in on this too?”
He grinned, and then sweeping his arm he bowed and said, “But of course, now, if you’ll follow me m’lady.”
I rolled my eyes at the comment and followed him to the back of the restaurant. He led me into a small back room that was lit by candle light, and then smiling he pulled my chair back so I could sit. I sank down, looking around at the candles, and the décor. He grinned and then set the wine menu down before pulling another rose out and handing it to me. I shook my head with a laugh and accepted it. He winked and said, “He should be here shortly.”
With that, he slipped out of the room. I looked around again, and then grabbed the wine menu and looked it over, even though I knew it by heart now. I couldn’t stop shaking though, whether it was with excitement or nerves, I wasn’t sure. As I flipped to the back, another note fell out. I blinked in surprise and then pulled it out before opening it. I read it over slowly, trying very hard not to cry as I did. I bit my nail then, as a smile threatened to explode out.
My love, I know you’re probably furious with me, and are thinking about all the ways you could possibly kill me with a spoon. If you’re actually interested in that, I googled it this morning and came up with the search that there are, in fact, 5 very logical ways to kill a man with a spoon. Unfortunately, I didn’t copy those down, but I did manage to copy down 5 things that I think are more important than spoon murder.
1. The fact that no matter what happens, I know that I can always trust you to be there when I wake up.
2. That you enjoy spooning.
3. That you’ll forgive that terrible pun and laugh at it no matter what.
4. That you can light up my world no matter how dark it is by simply smiling.
5. And last, but certainly not least, is that I love you more than I have loved anyone before in my life.
Happy Valentine’s Day, I wish you an infinite more my love.
Ps. I have one more little surprise for you, so don’t waste all your emotions on this.
I wiped at the tears rolling down my face, and then laughing to myself, I rolled my eyes and said to no one, “God, he’s not even here, and I’m already crying.”
“Well it wasn’t meant to make you cry.”
I flipped around in my chair to see him, dressed in the only tux he owned, slowly pulling the curtain that separated our little area closed. I stood up then and smiling wildly, I threw my arms around his neck. He laughed as he hugged me, and then pressing a light kiss against my hairline he said, “Sorry about the whole scavenger hunt, I figured you would think it was fun.”
I laughed as I cupped his face in my hands and said, “I think it was fun, now that I know there was a purpose to it.”
He smirked and then slid his arm around my waist, he guided me back to the table and said, “Well, the night’s not over yet. I have one more surprise for you.”
I blinked and then said, “I know, you told me that in the letter.”
With a wink he sat me down again and then sat across from me. “You don’t get it until the end of dinner though, so try not to kill me before then.”
I laughed at that, and I didn’t stop laughing throughout the entire dinner.
An hour later, I leaned forward in my seat so that my arms rested on the table, and with smile I shook my head and said, “I’m still trying to guess what your big finale is.”
He shrugged, and Isaiah came in with the check. He set it on the table and then whispered with a coo, “Take your time lovebirds.”
Cal shoved him away with a laugh and said, “I’m taking money out of your tip for that comment.”
Isaiah snorted and then slipped out of the room. I glanced at Cal then and said, “Alright, we split fifty-fifty like always.”
He shook his head then and said, “Absolutely not, this is my big treat, promise.” He said with a smile as I pulled out his wallet and went to grab his card. As he did, it slipped out of his hand, and he let out a soft curse as he bent down to find it. I snorted to hide my laugh and then setting my head in my hand, I laughed to myself and said, “My God, you are on a roll tonight, first the bread and butter, and now the card…” my words died on my lips though, when I looked back at him and saw his slowly rising onto one knee in front of me. My heart leaped in my chest, and I blinked stupidly before saying, “Cal… what are you doing?”
He smiled softly and then said, “Going in for my big finale.”
I shifted to face him slowly, as he reached into his pocket and said, “Do you remember what you called us the first time we tried to define what we had?”
“Yeah, I said we were a hot mess.” I whispered breathlessly, as I saw him pull out the little box. Oh my God, oh my God, he was going to propose. My heart pounded faster in my chest, and I was trying very hard not to faint at that moment.
“Mare, we have been through alot, but I think for a hot mess we did pretty damn well, and I honestly, couldn’t imagine living the rest of my life with anyone else. You have made me the happiest man for the past five years, so, I was… I was wondering if you would be willing to make me the happiest man in the world for the rest of my life.”
I blinked for a moment, my words clouding my throat as he opened the box and held it out to me. I swallowed once, twice, and then three times. I couldn’t see straight, couldn’t think straight, all I could hear was, ring, there’s a ring, a ring, a ringaringaringaring, over and over again in my head.
He watched my face for a few seconds, until slowly his smile fell, and he went to pull the ring back saying, “Hey, it’s okay, don’t cry,” I hadn’t even realized I was crying, “If you don’t want to, it’s totally fine, I’ll wait another year and come up with-“
“Yes! Oh my God Cal, yes!” I screamed as I threw myself at him. He hugged me awkwardly and then asked hesitantly, “Yes as in wait?”
I pulled away laughing happily as I cried, “No you idiot, yes of course I’ll marry you!”
He blinked in surprise before shouting in triumph. He lifted me up off the floor and off my feet and spun me around. I clung to him, laughing and crying, and making a mess of my makeup, but I couldn’t stop. I grabbed his face and then pressing my lips against his I choked, “This is by far, the best Valentine’s Day ever.”
He laughed, and then pressed his lips against mine again, as he was going to be able to do for the rest of our lives.
ANNNNNNDDDD HE SHOOTS, HE SCOOOOOOOORREESSS!!!! This one was honestly way too much fun to write, hope you guys enjoyed. Don’t worry, Mare and Cal will return in the modern au, along with some more fun and cute fluff. (: