“Happy Anniversary!” Emmitt’s smile was as wide as his tone was cheerful. He placed a huge bouquet of flowers on the kitchen island. Nash stood from the dining table where he’d been watching Percy and Grampy start a game of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective and stepped over to greet him.
Nash moved into Emmitt’s open arms and kissed him. “I love you. Happy Anniversary!”
“Love you with all my heart,” Emmitt murmured.
Nash took a closer look at the arrangement in the vase. Orange, dark orange, and red roses combined beautifully with orange asiatic lilies, a couple other smaller stalks Nash couldn’t name, and subtle seasonal touches like millet and dried oak leaves. “It’s lovely. Thank you.”
After a surreptitious glance over Nash’s shoulder, presumably to make sure Percy and Grampy were sufficiently diverted by the game, Emmitt pulled Nash closer for another kiss.
When they broke apart, Nash giggled and whispered, “Is that a banana in your pocket or are you happy to see me?”
They had a little time to spare before their dinner reservation. Maybe they could make an excuse to slip upstairs.
But Emmitt snorted a laugh. He reached into his pocket then pulled out a roll of quarters and placed it on the countertop. Oh. Quarters for the row of newspaper vending machines downstairs. It was part of Nash and Grampy’s routine—and good exercise for Grampy—to trek down there mid-morning to select some reading material each day.
At Nash’s ear, Emmitt breathed, “Later, sweetheart. We’ve all night.”
“But I’m burning, yearning, churning for you.” Nash thought he’d kept his voice to a low whisper, but apparently not soft enough.
“I don’t think I can stomach so much schmaltz holus-bolus,” Grampy snickered, but the twinkle in his eye, and the upward twitch at the corner of his lips belied his words.
Percy grinned and muttered something about finding an ointment for that “burning.”
Chuckling, Emmitt walked to his grandfather. “Never fear, you’ll always get your share.” He leaned down and planted an affectionate kiss to the upturned, weathered cheek.
Turning back to Nash, Emmitt added, “I’m going to change, then we can head out.” Those were his words, anyway. The slant to his eyebrows added, “Why don’t you follow me upstairs?”
The Capital Grille and Ragtime could wait. Nash winked at Percy, added a quick kiss to mingle with Emmitt’s on Grampy’s cheek, and followed Emmitt. “Nuts. I left the ticket printout on the dresser up there,” he added for good measure.
If the chortles behind him as he walked toward the stairs were any clue, he wasn’t fooling anybody.