Foto bij 453. - Lucien

The photoshoot is well orchestrated, causing it to go over smoothly. Five different looks and countless complaints about the cat-scratches on my arms later both Emma and I are exhausted. It went pretty much like the last time - Emma being self conscious, but turning out to be a natural and secretly loving the camera. The setting is far more romantic than the last time, which surprises neither of us since the whole idea is about us being a couple again. We find out that everyone on set today has been made to sign a nondisclosure agreement, to ensure that none of this comes out before the publishing over the article. Alex said it would be pretty quick - two weeks max. This was such a big story that they're pushing it to the highest priority. They're going to advertise it even, which is why we both take a couple of solo shots that can be used for just that.
It's far after lunch by the time we're done, but we get something quick at a gas station as we drive back, because there's still much work to be done for tonight. But when we get home, Emma collapses on the couch with a moan. "I just want to sleep. Can't we say that dinner is an hour later tonight?"
Frank, screaming as always, jumps up and makes a little nest on the small of Emma's back. "Can't say it doesn't sound tempting..." I mutter, trying to brush all of the hairspray out of my hair. For some reason, photographers are dead set on slicking it back in some way whenever I'm in front of the camera.
"So do it then." Emma's clutched a pillow under her head. "If they're being difficult, we'll just refuse them any food."
"I have on condition."
"Hmmm?"
"We're napping in the bed, because you're taking up the entire bloody couch."
"It feels like the closer we get to replacing it, the more you're starting to resent it."
"I will neither confirm nor deny that. Do we have a deal?"
Maybe fifteen minutes later, the text has been sent and Emma lays curled up against me. Frank is on my feet, because of course he is, and he's purring loudly. "I have given that cat attention exactly once," I say, my finger drawing figures on Emma's back. "and now I can't seem to get rid of him."
"Don't pretend like you don't love him back." Emma teases before being overcome with a big yawn.

Emma is setting the table, while I watch over the pots and pans and oven in the kitchen. Our new kitchen will have two ovens and more burners than we have here, because I'm spoiled and grew up like that. The struggle we've faced tonight was a good reminder that it was a great idea, however, because it's been quite the puzzle. We're going to have to spend quite some time away from the dining table to make sure dessert will be ready, because the oven is taken up by the mini-quiches filled with spiced meat and vegetables that will make up our starter course. Soon they'll make place for the gorgeous salmon fillets for the main course, to be served on a fluffy risotto with lemon and capers, which is being constantly stirred by yours truly until all the stock is gone. Then there's slices of beetroot roasting away on the griddle pan, which will eventually be accompanied by a lovely goats cheese to make up an amuse bouche. The damn griddle pan takes up two hobs though, but neither Emma nor I wanted to compromise on it, because we're also going to be finishing the salmon on it. On the last hob we have the potatoes as a side dish, slowly getting their golden colour and glistening in a layer of butter. Most of the dessert things are patiently waiting for us in the fridge, because we currently don't have the space, and there's also still the butter sauce waiting to be made once the potatoes are ready. Finally, as a second side dish, there's the asparagus tips wrapped in bacon that need to be fried off in the oven and they're going in together with the salmon. It's a whole organisation and it's a miracle we haven't burnt anything yet.
"Table is set," says Emma, wrapping an arm around my waist. "How's everything here?"
"Swimmingly." I smile, kissing the top of her head. "What time is it? I'd check the oven, but it's running and I left my phone to charge somewhere."
"Didn't you have a watch? Didn't you have an analogue and a smart watch?"
"Hey, no need to be a smart-ass about it." I bump her hip with mine, laughing. "I took it off for our nap."
"It's ten past eight." She chuckles, shaking up the potatoes. "Twenty minutes. I'm gonna go get dressed, okay?"
"Be quick about it, we all know I need longer than you."
She gives me a playful shove before disappearing into the bedroom, and I'm once again left daydreaming about our new apartment. I know our friends are going to be one hundred percent supportive, but there's still a part of me that worries. Gabriel might think I've completely lost my mind, and Kenna might think that Emma is just jumping into something stupid again like she did with Jesse. Matthew wouldn't say anything, but his shoulders might tighten like they always do when he doesn't agree with something I do. He'd take me apart at a later moment, or follow me when I go out for a smoke and then tell me that maybe I should think about it again.
My thoughts are interrupted by the sharp ringing of the doorbell. "I'll get it!" Emma calls from the bedroom, and I hear her running towards the door. The moment I hear the excited greetings from Kenna, Tom, Matthew and Gabriel, all my worries are forgotten. This is my family, along with Emma. They've got our backs no matter what.

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