Chapter 21: Long White Dresses

I carefully folded a sheet around myself, unable to hide a massive grin. Isaac’s arms circled my body and pulled me closer. He rested his chin on my shoulder and kissed my cheek, his grin matching mine.

“You said you had plans today? What’s going on?” I asked carefully, gently brushing aside a lock of his hair.

“Actually, we have plans.” He smiled.

“We do?” I asked in surprise. “Like what?”

“I can’t tell you. It’s a surprise.” He teased, softly kissing my chest.

I pouted. “I hate surprises.”

“You’ll like this one.” He grinned. “I promise.”

We were interrupted by a knock at the door.

“Who could that be?” I asked softly.

“Your clothes, probably. I sent them out to be cleaned this morning.” He gently kissed my skin again.

“Like in a hotel?” I asked in confusion.

He nodded. “Yeah. That’s why I picked this building. I never have to do laundry, its great.”

I laughed. “That’s crazy!”

“I’d better get the door, then before they leave…” He was already scrambling out of bed and wrapping a blanket around his waist.

“No, wait, its my clothes, let me-“ I began.

He grinned. “I got it, Andy.” Within a second he was out of the room.

I sat up and tucked the sheet around me like a long gown and smiled slightly. If anyone had asked me, I wouldn’t even be able to describe how utterly happy I was. I had everything I could ever dream of; a wonderful little daughter who I absolutely adored, and a fiancé who was so incredibly handsome I simply couldn’t stop kissing him.

Isaac returned. “Poor Elsie, I think I might have accidentally given her a heart attack. I don’t think she was expecting a half naked man to answer the door.” He laughed, placing my neatly folded clothes on his desk next to his laptop. He crossed the room and climbed into bed next to me, taking my hand in his.

“Elsie?” I asked.

“She does the laundry. She’s about seventy years old. I’m probably about her grandson’s age…” He chuckled. “And she just saw me in pretty much next to nothing.”

I smiled and nestled closer to him. Now that my body was cooling, the room was actually quite chilly. He must have noticed this, as his arms moved instinctively around me.

“Andy, can I ask you something?” He asked, softly kissing my hair.

“Of course.” I agreed. The muscles of his chest and arms were warm against my skin. I sighed happily.

“Have you given much thought to this whole wedding thing?”

“Hmm… not really… I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m excited… I just… I don’t know. It’s going to be such a big thing…” I babbled incoherently. “It’s going to cost so much with the dress and the tuxes and the hall rentals…”

“Andy,” He said, his voice sounding surprisingly stern. “Don’t you worry about money, okay? That’s something I don’t want you to ever have to worry about again.”

I nodded slowly, and couldn’t help mentally adding that it was easy for him to say, since he had money. I didn’t, therefore it was constantly on my mind.

“I was thinking of asking Taylor to be my best man… and there’s Zac, of course and a friend of mine who would like to be in the party… Maybe Lily can be the flower girl and Ezra can be the ring bearer or something…”

I smiled worriedly. “You’ve been thinking about this a lot.”

“I can’t wait.” He squeezed me tighter. “What do you think about bridesmaids?”

“Uh…” I began, nervously tucking my hair behind my ear. “Well, with Lily I’ve really lost touch of my old friends… the only people I really talk to are you and my mother… and Lily of course… Unless Lily can be maid of honor or something, maybe Natalie and Zac’s girlfriend, what’s her name? Can fill in…”

That thought made my stomach tie into knots. After being the person Taylor cheated on Natalie with, and though she didn’t know that Lily was his, it still seemed awkward to think of her as family.

A sudden thought occurred to me then, and despite the chills surging through my flesh, I pulled away slightly, but stayed secure in his arms. “Maybe I shouldn’t…. I mean, can you really see me wearing a big white dress?”

“Yeah, I can see it,” He grinned wickedly. “But then I think about ripping it off you…”

I blushed and glanced down at the white sheet I had fashioned a crude dress out of. It was gaping at the bust, exposing more cleavage than I thought I had. “Maybe I should get dressed.”

He chuckled. “Yeah, that will distil temptation.”

I grinned and playfully shoved him away. He stretched out on his back and tucked his arms behind his head. My gaze followed the muscles of his chest down to wear they disappeared below the blanket that was draped low on his hips. I pursed my lips and had to look away, in the spirit of self control, and busied myself getting dressed.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

After we had dressed and eaten the breakfast that he helped me finish preparing, I followed him to his car, still trying to make guesses as to what his surprise might entail. We drove for nearly twenty minutes, quickly leaving the downtown area and entering into suburbia. It was an area of town I wasn’t quite familiar with, a group of large stately houses in an estate called Willow’s Glen.

I watched the houses go by curiously, each one seemed to get bigger as we moved further down the street.

At last we came to a large home with a massive green front lawn and several large trees out front.

I glanced at Isaac in confusion, but his expression wasn’t giving away any secrets.

He stopped the car and wordlessly climbed out of the front seat. I slowly unbuckled my seatbelt, still staring at the large house in front of us. I couldn’t count how many floors there were, but the roof was several feet taller than the full grown evergreen tree on the left side of the house. There were three dormers across the top of the house. I wasn’t sure if that meant there were three bedrooms or if that was the attic, I imagined that in a house this large there were more than three bedrooms.

Before I could even reach for the door, it was pulled open. I glanced up at Isaac in shock, I wasn’t sure how long I had been day dreaming, but it must have been a while.

“Nice house, huh?” He smiled.

“Yeah.” I nodded, letting him help me down from his SUV. He was already practically pulling me up the driveway, before I was barely able to close the door behind me.

“What are we doing here?” I asked, having to practically jog to keep up. “Do we know these people?”

I glanced down at my clothes from the night before. Jeans and a t-shirt weren’t exactly the proper attire for meeting new people.

I finally then noticed that Isaac was holding a key, and unlocked the front door.

Confused, I followed him inside, wondering who it could possibly be that had trusted him with a key. I assumed perhaps it was Taylor or maybe even Zac’s house.

However, standing in the front hall made me immediately realize that the house was empty. “Wow!” I breathed, but even with a heavy hush in my voice, the sound echoed off the walls and the massive cathedral ceiling of the entry hall.

I was still staring upward when Isaac began pointing out rooms. “See, this is the living room…” He began, pausing outside another large and empty room.

I snapped my attention to the room. It was large enough to fit my mothers entire house in, with room to spare. The walls were a crisp white and the floors were hard wood. Trying to take in my surroundings all at once made me temporarily forget wondering why we were in the house. He led me further down the hall and opened a door. “A half bathroom on this floor…” He pointed out.

I leaned into the open doorway. “Shit, it’s huge!” I gasped. “Half-baths are supposed to be small!”

He smiled again, briefly, and put his arm around me. “Come on, I want to show you the kitchen.” He eagerly led me passed another large empty room, which I couldn’t possibly think of a use for. I noticed a massive wood burning fire place, which I was sure we could both stand inside of if we tried. I practically stumbled to keep up with him. The floor beneath us changed from hardwood to tile, and I found myself standing in the middle of the biggest kitchen I had ever seen. “Does this place come with it’s own restaurant?” I asked, glancing around at the beautiful kitchen before me.

Isaac laughed dryly. “The granite countertop is supposed to be easy to clean…” He continued. “And look, all new stainless steel appliances, and the fridge can practically fit a whole months worth of groceries.”

I was still taking in everything, when he moved to the side. “Look, and the dining room is in here…” He moved through a pair of French doors to another large brightly lit room, with a beautiful and low hanging chandelier.

“Wow…” I breathed.

“Oh! Come here! This is my favorite part!” He grabbed my hand tightly again and led me through a set of glass doors and onto a large back deck. My eyes followed a deck around the perimeter of the yard, and then I saw the pool. It too was large, but occupied only a small portion of the yard. There was an expanse of bright green grass interrupted only by a handful of trees.

“There’s nearly two acres of land here.” Isaac smiled, leaning on the railing.

“It’s beautiful.” I mused. “Everything is so… I mean, the house is just… immaculate.”

“Oh, there’s more to see!” my hand was in his again and this time he led me through the main floor again and directly to the stairs, where I tripped to keep up with him. I found myself standing in another long hall, with hardwood on the floors. I couldn’t count the number of doors in the hall.

“How many bedrooms?” I asked under my breath.

“Six. There are four on this floor, including the master… two more upstairs on the third floor and another bathroom. There are three more bathrooms up here, and an ensuite in the master bedroom.” He smiled. “You should see it, it’s breath-taking.”

He led me into a nearby bedroom, which bigger than I ever thought possible. I wondered how anyone could find furniture to fit a room that size. My old apartment in California could have fit in the room.

“Oh my gosh! Who needs this much space?” I demanded. I crossed to a half-circle window and found myself peering down into the back yard, which looked even more amazing from above.

“And there’s a bathroom in here with a separate shower, two sinks, and a Jacuzzi tub…” Isaac’s voice was echoing and I turned to see that he was no longer in the room.

I glanced around at the walls and noticed two open doors to two fairly large closets. There was another door which was closed, and curiosity got the best of me. I walked over to the door and pulled It open. It was a room about the size of the bedroom at my mother’s house. Small, but just barely enough to fit a double bed inside and possibly a dresser. I furrowed my brow in confusion, and noticed a small window in the room.

“I think this is meant to be a walk in closet,” Isaac said from behind me. “But it would probably work well as a nursery.”

I jumped and spun around in alarm, my hand flying to my chest.

“Sorry.” He smiled. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“It’s okay.” I smiled.

“There’s more to see.” He held out his hand to me. I took his hand and followed, pulling him to a much slower pace. There was no need to rush, whatever he wanted to show me wasn’t going anyway.

He put an arm around me and urged me down the hall to the next room over. He opened the door. This room held a tiny twin bed.

“This is the second biggest room. And someone has already painted it pink.” He turned to me and smiled.

I was already walking to the window.

“It would be perfect for Lily.” He continued.

My feet immediately stopped working, and I nearly fell forward in shock. “What? You… What?” I demanded, turning to face him.

Isaac chuckled softly. “Why else would I show you an empty house like this?”

“I… I wasn’t thinking about… this house must be a fortune! It’s far too big for just the three of us!”

“And maybe… four some day? I mean, in the future… after we get married, have you thought about more kids?” He asked awkwardly.

“I have thought about it…” I admitted. “But… not for a while… Lily is still young, and a handful…” I began, but stopped suddenly. “Wait, six bedrooms… you want five kids?” I demanded.

“Well,” He grinned. “Maybe not that many. I could turn one of the smaller bedrooms into an office. I could really use an office. I want what you want, Andy. But I do like the idea of having a kid between us… I mean, I love Lily like my own. But…”

“I know what you mean,” I smiled. “And I would like at least one more too, but…”

“But?” He asked.

“A house like this would be way to big for us… I mean, I don’t need all this space, and… the cost! This place must cost a fortune!”

“I’ve got money.” He assured. “I told you not to worry about money…”

“But I don’t. At least not until I can get a teaching job in a couple more years.…” I sighed.

“Andy…” He took both of my hands in his. “What’s mine is yours, I love you. I want to take care of you and Lily, and part of that is financially… I don’t want you to ever worry about money again.” He smiled. “Tay will keep paying child support for Lily, and we can live happily ever after.”

I nodded, but still didn’t like the complications surrounding the money issues. I felt bad enough taking Taylor’s money, let alone Isaac’s.

“If we’re married, its different.” He urged. “What’s mine is yours. I’m okay with that. Why won’t you be?”

I sighed and looked away. If I kept looking at him, I would give in, and I didn’t want that. “I’ll need to think about it.”

“Okay,” He smiled, satisfied with that answer. He bent and kissed my forehead lightly. “Think about it. Do you want to see the rest of the house?”

“Sure.” I smiled, and began to follow him.

I stopped suddenly, finally cluing into one last thing. “Wait! When we came in… you… you had a key…”

He turned and grinned at me. “Well, I hope you really like this house… I already bought it for us.” He smirked.

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