456 - Emma
"They love it," I repeat to myself as Lucien and I stand in the kitchen once more, serving up the main course.
Lucien chuckles, handing me another plate. "Of course they do. They ship us."
"You're still going to have to explain to me what that means," I tell him, neatly placing a piece of salmon on one of the plates.
As I look at him, he's raised an eyebrow. "Excuse me?"
"That term. Shipping. You keep on throwing it around like it's common knowledge, but I genuinely have no clue what you mean."
He looks at me in disbelief. "Are you serious right now?"
"What?" I laugh, unsure of what's happening. "I mean, I think I kind of get it, but it's still... a weird phenomenon."
"You know Vivian and Edward?" he asks me, which causes me to smile because he has just referenced Pretty Woman to me, knowing I immediately know what he's talking about. "You really like them together, yes? They're cute, and even though they're just a prostitute and her client at first, you'd really like them to be together, get married and live a long happy life, yes?"
"I can't quite fathom you're using my favourite movie to explain this to me, but, yes," I take another plate from him. "Does that mean I ship them?"
"Yes. You want to see them in a relationship."
"Makes sense," I let out, putting down another piece of salmon. "So then what's a ship name?"
He chuckles once again. "Remember Brad and Angelina? Brangelina. Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez? Jelena."
"Ew," I laugh, "do we have one of those?"
"Why is that 'ew', Emma Middleton?" he asks me, eyebrow raised, refusing to hand me the next plate.
"Because it makes it seem like they're no longer two seperate entities, just one shared thing. Brangelina. Now, answer my question. Have people come up with a name like that for us?"
"Luciemma," he simply shrugs, taking a sip out of his half empty wine glass. "I thought it was quite cute, actually."
"Hhmm," I can't help but smile, putting the finishing touch on the last plate. "That is quite cute. Luciemma. I think I could get used to that," before we bring the main course to the table, Lucien wraps his arms around me, kissing me gently.
"You'd better," he smiles, "because I'm not planning on letting go of you and me any time soon."
After all of the courses have been served, we're all out on the tiny balcony. It's a tight squeeze, but it works. Those who don't smoke are on the sofa, those who do smoke are standing, leaning over the railing not to blow smoke into someone's face.
We've let Frank out of the bedroom, and he's now yelling at us through the glass door that leads to the balcony, bummed out because he's not part of the fun, taking up all of the attention and begging for pets every two seconds.
He's got his paws agains the glass, definitely leaving prints, just screaming bloody murder.
"I'd say just ignore it," Kenna breathes, taking the cigarette up to her lips. "Cats are like babies, sometimes they just have to scream a little, let their emotions out, and they'll be fine."
Which brings me back to their bets. At least two of them, Matt and Tom, guessed I was pregnant. It's not like that wouldn't be a possibility, but I'm surprised they'd actually think we'd be like this about news like that.
I remember Bamburgh, when I thought I was pregnant. Lucien let me know that no matter what, he'd be there for me, but I still wasn't too sure about even wanting to have a baby if I did turn out to be pregnant.
It makes me realises I'm very glad not to be pregnant yet, but also how excited my friends would be if I actually were pregnant. Having kids with Lucien isn't something I'm planning on in the near future, if ever. But... well, it's tempting to think about.
"So when do we get to see this gorgeous new appartment you two speak of?" Matt asks, sitting down on the sofa. "You understand we're all very curious now."
Lucien tuts, exhaling smoke. "Just about two more weeks. Hopefully by then, everything will be done, and we'll be able to invite you guys over for dinner again."
"And then you'll just have moved there permanently? What about France?" Tom asks, pulling Kenna onto his lap after she's flicked her cigarette off of the balcony and into the street, probably.
"Not quite permanently, for me," Lucien admits. "I'll still be travelling about as much as I am now, and I'll be in Scotland just as much as I am now. But when I am here, I'll have an actual home to get back to. When I'm not here, Emma will just live there by herself - with Frank, of course," he gestures at the window, where the black and white cat is still pretending he's being neglected.
There's a silent understanding. All of the people here understand how difficult this must be for us, accepting the fact that we're not going to be together at all times, how there's going to be weeks, maybe even months, where we're apart.
"So when's the housewarming party?" Brie asks, trying to kill any awkwardness that's in the air after that answer.
"You'd be the first to know, Brie," I tease, then feeling him slap me in the side. "We're really very excited for you all to see it, but it has to be done first."
Which also reminds me - there's more people to tell. My family, including sceptic Charles and ever enthousiastic Beth, and Eschieve.
"As soon as we've moved in," Lucien assures everyone, "we'll throw a nice party. Not quite a full Lucien du Castellon party, but a nice Luciemma kind of party." I could swear I see him smirk at me as he mentions our so-called ship name, wrapping an arm around me.
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