439. - Lucien
"D'accord, merci Eailyn. À la semaine prochaine." Under the watchful eye of both realtor and Emma, I pocket my phone with a shake of my head. "Can't be rescheduled. It's already been rescheduled once, trying again is just going to get it cancelled."
Emma's shoulders slump down, hopeful eyes turning to John. "Is there really no other day for a viewing?"
"I'm sorry." He shakes his head. "The current owner isn't in the city at this moment, and he'd like to be present - especially because you'd have an advanced viewing. If you can't make it, you're going to have to book a slot with regular viewing. But that means it can be given away before you have a chance to see it."
"Could you give us a moment, John?" I ask, and he nods, gesturing for us to take use of the spare bedroom for some privacy.
"What now?" Emma's got her arms wrapped tightly around her body, looking quite distressed. "This sounds like the perfect apartment, but either you'll be in France or it might be snatched away from us!"
"I know." I mutter, pinching the bridge of my nose.
"I can hardly go look at it by myself, can I? John said that if we're getting an advanced viewing, we're going to have to decide pretty quickly afterwards. We can't do that if you haven't seen it!"
"I know, I know." I say again, pulling her into my arms. "I mean, I'd entirely trust you with it, but after that whole conversation of doing this together, it doesn't feel quite right."
"Then... we tell John we'd like to schedule a regular meeting and pray to everything holy that it's not rented out before we get to see it."
But when we go to do just that, John turns to us with a wide smile. "Ah, there you are! I called some coworkers, because I couldn't imagine you two are the only ones with this problem, and one of them gave me the obvious solution: a video call! You," He gestures to Emma. "can come for the advanced viewing, and we'll secure a wifi-connection that enables you to do a video call his way and show him everything that you're seeing."
Emma and I exchange a look, but there doesn't really need to be made a decision. The viewing is scheduled for next day Wednesday.
"I've been thinking." Emma stirs her coffee with a thoughtful frown. After saying our goodbyes to John we decided we might as well go out for dinner. Despite the overcast weather we opted for a table outside, desperately needing the fresh air after the stuffy apartments.
"A dangerous past time." I reply. "What about?"
"Charles. How he's still mad at you. And how he's gonna stay mad, unless he gets to see how happy we are together. Which we can only do by..." She trails off, but it's not hard to guess where she was going with it.
"That souns awfully enthusiastic."
"I'm sorry." I stab my fork into the remainder of my food. "But I try to make a point of avoiding negativity, especially when it comes in the form of 'not liking me'. This is kind of doing the opposite. And I get," I continue, when I see her starting to protest. "that we have to, because your brother is important to you. But I can't say I'm looking forward to it."
"That probably makes two of you, then." She points out and I snort, because I don't really have an argument against it.
After Emma's lecture and the apartment viewings, we're both very happy to just lay on the couch together. Yesterday was like that too, because Emma had a full day of classes and I filmed an video with Gabriel before heading into the city for some photography, of which I've been trying to incorperate more in my feed. So after dinner, we kind of just spend the night on the couch.
It's very low key, very domestic, but I feel more happy than I did in all the months without Emma. Frank is snoring on my lap, which I'm kind of on the fence about, but pushing him over to Emma is always a temporary solution. In the end, he always finds his way back to me.
"You fly back on Monday, right?" Emma is on her phone, though I can't see what she's doing.
"Yeah, afternoon flight."
"Are you available this Friday? Seven thirty?"
"I think so. Why?"
"Because we're having dinner with Selene and Charles." She says reluctantly. "I figured I might as well put it into works. I already texted Matthew, and we can use his apartment because we all know he's gonna stay with Brie anyway."
I wrinkle my nose. "Why not here? I mean, it's tiny, but we'll make it work."
"I wanted neutral ground."
I bite back a comment on how I suspect that Charles is just going to make back-hand criticism on how unnecessarily expensive everything in Matthew's apartment is. If it was up to me, I wasn't going to see that man again, but he's still Emma's brother and I could never forgive myself if I was the cause of a wedge between them. Emma, ever observant, takes my hand in hers.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, just... not looking forward to that dinner. I get that he didn't like me when you still didn't either, but now..." But I wave my own ramblings away. "Doesn't matter. When you and I first reconnected, it was also because Brie urged me to learn and get along with you. Didn't have to like you, but I had to be able to be in the same room with you. And look where that ended us."
"Are you saying you're going to fall in love with my brother?" Emma teases, and I smirk.
"You caught me. I'm sorry for playing the long con, but all of this has just been to get to Charles. I was going to tell you before we signed a rental contract together."
She feigns hurt, pulling away from me. "How could you?"
"Are you kidding? You've seen his body. Can't blame Selene for wanting to tap that."
"Oh my God!" She exclaims, covering her face with her hands. "Please shut up."
I laugh, our bodies shifting so that I'm now between her legs with my chest pressing against hers. "Don't worry, Miss Emmeline," I say as I peel her fingers away from her face. "You're the only Middleton I want."
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