Chapter 18: Heart Beat

Since it was my turn to make dinner, I already invited Isaac to join us. Knowing I would be unable to get anything done without being distracted by my incredibly handsome fiancé, I decided ordering a Chinese food would suffice for dinner.

Instead of delivery, Isaac suggested we go for a short drive around the neighborhood, which I didn’t think was such a bad idea.

He managed to strap Lily’s car seat into his SUV with surprising ease, claiming he had lots of practice as I equipped her with a stuffed animal and a sippy-cup to keep her occupied for the car ride.

He held open the passenger side door for me, and I politely thanked him.

We drove in silence as Lily babbled a song off key behind us. It was enough to put a huge grin on Isaac’s face that I found absolutely adorable.

I glanced around out the window as we drove. “Gosh, everything has changed so much.” I murmured.

“You were gone a long time.” Isaac smiled, keeping his attention on the road ahead of us.

“It wasn’t that long.” I protested. “Only… five years? Gosh, it doesn’t feel like that long.”

Isaac grinned and reached across the emptiness to take my hand tightly in his. I kept his hand in my lap, relishing at the warmth of his touch. His hand squeezed mine.

“I know that a lot seems to change when you’re away from it for a while.”

I glanced at him in confusion. “What do you mean?”

“Well, you for example.” His expression softened. “When you left I had a mild crush on you, and here we are five years later, and I’m madly and head over heels in love with you… I guess not seeing you for that long made me suddenly realize that I couldn’t live without you.”

I couldn’t take it any longer. He was being too cute for words.

Instead of responding, I stretched across the front seat, threw my arms around his neck and kissed his cheek several times.

He chuckled, his hand tightening gently around mine. “Wow, I should say stuff like that more often.”

“I might have a heart attack.” I teased, placing my hand over my heart. Sure enough, my heart was beating rapidly.

“I’d give you a heart attack?” He asked hooking one eyebrow in question.

I took the hand that was closed tightly around mine and held it over my heart.

He grinned. “That’s an interesting side effect.”

“No kidding.” I smiled at him.

We arrived at the restaurant, and Isaac found a parking spot at the back of the building. We were early, so we decided to both go in to the store.

I reluctantly let go of his hand and climbed out of the car. I removed Lily from her child-seat and balanced her on my hip while I shifted my purse onto my shoulder.

“Do you want me to take her?” Isaac offered, suddenly at my side.

“It’s okay, I can manage.” I smiled, but Lily was already reaching for him eagerly and I surrendered her.

He laughed, balancing her on his hip. “I think she likes me.” He teased as we walked.

“She isn’t the only one.” I supplied.

Isaac grinned and with his free hand pulled me to him and kissed my forehead.

I caught the reflection of the three of us in one of the nearby store windows and the image shocked me. We looked like a happy family, a perfectly whole unit. When Isaac held Lily it didn’t worry me, like it did when strangers held her. I knew she was safe with him, and I could tell by the way his demeanor changed around her that he was crazy about her.

Lily reached her hands into his hair; giggling and I knew she was equally crazy about him. Isaac laughed.

I held the door open for them and stood to wait for our order.

There was another young couple ahead of us, and I tried not to watch them, but couldn’t help it. The man had his arm around the woman and his hand was placed in the back pocket of her jeans. Their bodily contact was almost minimal, but they were both looking away from each other, which struck me as odd.

Immediately recognizing my daughter’s voice, I spun around and found Isaac holding Lily near the window.

She was eagerly pointing to something out the window, trying to draw my attention to whatever it was that she couldn’t find the words for.

“What is it?” I asked, moving next to her and Isaac.

“I’m not sure.” He mused. “The fire truck?” He asked Lily, and I finally noticed the giant red object in front of us.

Lily shook her head and continued to point with one hand, while reaching for me with the other.

“I’ll take her.” I said, “I’m pretty good at mime.”

Isaac laughed and surrendered Lily. Her arm circled my neck tightly, while she continued to point.

“The sign?” I asked. “You want me to see the sign?”

She continued to point with effort, and I was running out of ideas as to what she was trying to draw my attention to.

My eyes quickly scanned the view from the window, doubting that she was pointing out the large grey building directly in front of us.

I finally noticed the bright orange tabby cat in one of the second floor windows.

“They cat? You want to show me the kitty?” I asked.

Lily nodded rapidly. “Kiddy!”

I smiled at her. “It’s such a pretty kitty, isn’t it?”

“Okay, all set.” Isaac’s voice came suddenly from behind us.

Holding Lily tightly, I turned, and found Isaac smiling and holding two shopping bags filled with food.

“But I haven’t paid for-“ I began.

“It’s okay, I’ve got it.” He grinned. “It’s my treat tonight.”

My eyes grew wide, “Isaac, you don’t have to do that.”

He shrugged and his grin grew exponentially. “It’s my treat tonight.” He opened the door and waited for me to lead the way back to his car.

“Isaac,” I began as we headed toward the car. “Thank you, but you really didn’t have to do that, it was my turn to make dinner…”

He shrugged and held open the door to the back seat. “Just my way of helping out where I can.”

I placed Lily on the back seat, and she immediately crawled to the car seat. I was suddenly very happy I had such a well behave child, and buckled her in safely.

As I straightened, Isaac was already putting the food in the trunk, which seemed wise to keep the hot food from Lily’s reach.

However, instead of returning to the passenger seat, I followed him around the back of the car, reaching his side just as he was putting down the trunk.

“Come here, you.” I cooed and before he could get a word out, I put my arms around his neck and kissed him in several deep and passionate kisses.

Before long I found myself pressed against the back of his car. His lips left mine slowly to let me catch my breath, and his forehead brushed mine, our noses touching softly.

“You know if this is the way you’re going to thank me all the time, I could get a little used to this.” He teased.

I laughed softly. “We’ll have to see about that.” My eyes fluttered closed, waiting for his mouth to find mine again as our lips neared.

“I guess the food might get cold,” The words were out of my mouth quickly and I instantly regretted them. I instantly regretted anything that might end his sweet kisses.

“Right.” He exhaled slowly through his nose, clearly just as unhappy about the interruption as I was.

I pursed my lips and turned toward the passenger side of the car again.

However, his hand instantly grabbed me around the waist and pulled me to him for one last kiss.