448 - Emma
He's only got a couple of hours in the country, which feels insane, so we hurry along with the whole signing ordeal, and to our surprise get handed two sets of keys immediately.
"You'll start paying rent the first of next month," John tells us, "but Rowell saw how much you loved the place, and how... well, special your living arragements are right now, so he wanted to give you a little more time."
Which means, now, Lucien gets to see the place with his own eyes, not just through a computer screen.
We take the elevator up as soon as we get to the complex, both visibily excited, and Lucien snaps a picture of us in the shiny elevator mirror. "For memories' sake," he smiles, wrapping his arm around my waist.
All of this feels surreal. We've been back together for, what, a month now, and we've just received the keys to our shared Edinburgh appartment.
I get to do the honours of opening the front door, and we immediately end up in the hallway. Over the past few days, I've done nothing but imagine what it's going to end up looking like.
Don't get me wrong, the shell of the place is already beautiful as is, but it's all very sterile. Walls that used to be stark white, laminate on the floors, carpet in the living room and all three bedrooms, even the one that was converted into an office. The kitchen is a simple wood tone, with a boring backsplash and weirdly coloured countertops.
We wander throughout the house together, not saying a word. Lucien is just taking it all in, a sparkle in his eyes in all of the rooms.
"So...," I stand on my tippy toes to kiss him. "Are you still ready for this adventure?"
He smiles, wrapping both arms around me and keeping me upright. "I don't think I've ever been more ready."
"Do you want to hear what I had in mind?" We've returned to the hallway.
"Will saying 'no' stop you from telling me anyway?" he teases, earning him a slight nudge in the stomach. "Please do tell, my love."
"Okay, so," I pull my phone out of my jacket pocket. "I was thinking, colourful walls in the hallway. Not too dark, that would make it seem small, but still like a nice pop of colour. Maybe that shade of blue," I scroll through my photo's from our Barcelona trip, "in our hotel, remember?" I hold the phone up to the wall, kind of trying to show him what's going on in my mind.
"Next to the door - small table. For keys, etcetera. Beautiful coatrack, place for shoes, nice little welcome rug at the door. Beautiful, bright lamp," I point up, "hanging from the ceiling."
I take his hand, "and then that blue could come back in the kitchen. New backsplash, maybe, those seperate tiles that you can apply easily. Make the cabinets white, or give them a nice layer of lacquer, some new counter tops that aren't beige. The island could easily fit some barstools, so this would be a kitchen-dining combo," and out into the dining room from the kitchen. "Simple wood tones, with elements of, you guessed it, blue, but also yellow and pink. Think paintings, think plants - oh, this place is perfect for plants."
In all of my enthousiasm, I almost forgot to ask for Lucien's opinion in all of this, so as I'm about to start blabbering about curtains, I turn to him.
"Too much?" I ask, tilting my head sideways. "I don't want to make you feel like this will be my place, I need you to know you can say what you want, too. We'll make it our place."
He chuckles. "Mon amour, I love all of your ideas. Please, do continue. I'll add onto them as we go along, yes?"
I nod, taking his hand in mine again, walking into the living room.
"So, this carpet has to go. The fireplace is gorgeous, but needs some TLC. Then, massive couch right...," I stop where we're standing, "here. Seats at least five people, one you can lay down on entirely. No more falling off. Nice coffee table, more plants, and a lovely rug. And then there'll be plenty of space for your piano."
He smiles, kissing my temple. "I'd also like a record player."
"Hhhm. And enough shelving for all of the records we'll buy," he points over to a wall I did not have any plans for just yet. "Right there. Just like when we were in Bamburgh."
I remember that, how Lucien would spend ages trying to find a record, then turn it on and let it play all the way through. It's old fashioned, but it makes total sense.
We've talked all about all of our plans for the house, including the two bathrooms, spare bedroom and the little office. Even the balcony has been spoken about in detail, and all there's left to do is starting to organise said plans.
It will have to be done away from each other, unfortunately, because Lucien keeps checking his watch, and at a certain point sighs. "Okay, I should probably go."
I bite my lip. "Yeah, don't want to miss your flight..."
He kisses my temple once more. "I'll make sure to check when my next time off is immediately, okay? I'll be back, and we're going to do this whole moving house thing together."
I nod, enjoying his embrace as long as I can.
"And we'll start telling people, too. I know we haven't quite planned that, but considering the lease has been signed, we're going to have to. I'll have Eailyn see if that interview thing is something we can do, so then we can... you know, go public with this whole thing, too."
I kiss him one last time for god knows how long. "I'd like that. Now... go. Can't quite have your agent be mad at me for making you late, now can we?"
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