Let's Get Textual (Page 40)
“I think that made me feel worse.”
“No, don’t let it. It’s his fault this is happening to him, not yours.”
“Thank you, Zach, and please, thank your Titanic parents for me too.”
He smirks. “Is that their name from now on?”
“Would I call them anything else?”
“I couldn’t imagine you coming up with anything even semi-normal.”
“Should I be insulted by that?”
He pulls me closer to him and wraps an arm around my waist. “Not even a little bit. Did I mention I missed you?”
“I wouldn’t be opposed to hearing it again.”
I’m drawn even closer, his lips hovering only centimeters away from mine.
“I missed you, Delia.”
I sigh. “Say it again.”
I crush my lips to his and show him exactly how much I missed him. Our kiss is unhurried, yet passionate. There’s no tongue, no pressing for more. It’s simple and heated all at once.
Finally, I feel whole again.
“I could love you one day, Zach,” I whisper against his mouth.
“I think it’s too late for me, Delia.”
“I can’t believe you convinced me to spend Christmas with your family after our last holiday debacle.”
“Hey, the holiday part of the trip was fine. It was our a*****e son who ruined it afterward,” Jack says, setting two mugs of hot cocoa in front of us. “Sorry about that again.”
“Stop apologizing, please.”
“Ah, a true smartass—like father, like son,” Rose says from her perch on the couch.
Zach and I have been nearly inseparable since our reunion in early December. While it’s technically the new year now, we decided to have a real Christmas with his family when Shep wasn’t around.
“Thank you again for making a special Christmas just for us, Mom. We appreciate it.”
“Don’t thank me, just enjoy it. After everything you two have gone through, you deserve it. Besides, I can’t wait to see Delia’s reaction to your gift, Zach.”
She winks at him while I glare.
To say he’s been secretive about my gift would be an understatement. I’ve received exactly zero hints. Zoe knows. Robbie knows. His mother knows. Everyone but me knows.
Which I guess is the way surprise works, huh?
“How are the pajamas, Rose? Comfy?”
“Oh dear, don’t even get me started.”
“Zach? Jack? How do they feel for you?”
They both grunt and I chuckle.
For Christmas, I had Zoe order them all matching Ryan Gosling pajama sets, and now we’re all wearing them for our “Christmas” morning.
“Who’s ready to open presents?” Rose asks.
The guys dive for the wrapped gifts under the tree like they’ve never experienced this before.
Us ladies sit back and shake our heads.
Jack hands me a gift. “Delia, this is for you from me and Rose.”
“What? You guys did not have to buy me anything.” I take the box from him. “Thank you.”
I sit there gaping at the gift in my lap, so happy to have this secondary family. They’ve taken such great care of me after the whole debacle with Shep and have supported me and any actions I wanted to take against him.
When I glance back up, everyone is watching me.
“Well, open it, silly!” Rose says.
I peel back the paper and lift the lid to the box.
Pulling out the material, my eyes scrunch in confusion: it’s one of those creepy neon green bodysuits you see people wearing at sporting events.
“Uh, thank you…I think.”
“It’s to wear when you do your next photo shoot,” Rose explains.
My eyes move between them and the garment, confused.
“Photo shoot? What photo—”
And I start laughing hard.
The naked photo I sent Zach.
Smiling, Rose lifts her brows and says, “You know, just in case.”
“Thank you both.”
“That’s not all,” Jack says. “Look at the bottom.”
I pull out an envelope and open it. The card is simple and sweet. On the outside is a picture of a snowman family and the inside, in what I assume is Rose’s handwriting, says, We care for you. We’re here for you, and so is she.
Tucked inside the card are two plane tickets to Kansas…where my mom lives.
My eyes are shining with tears when they find theirs.
“Are you two serious?”
“Very. We know this past month or so has been tough on you, and nothing makes that better than family. So, we bought you and Zach tickets to visit your mom over your spring break.”
I wipe at the single tear that manages to streak down my cheek. “I don’t even know what to say. Thank you guys so much. This means more to me than you could ever know.”
Rose comes over and wraps her arms around me. “You’re welcome, sweetie.”
Jack simply nods, but I can see his eyes are red from holding in tears of his own. He busies himself grabbing another present from under the tree and handing it to Zach.
“This one is for you.”
“Me? But we already did our Christmas.”
“It’s from me,” I say.
“Oh.” His face lights up and he shakes the box around before finally peeling back the wrapping paper.
He opens it and I can see the dimples coming out.
“Sometimes a girl wants to see her man in more than just Slytherin.”
Zach shakes his head at the two-year membership to an underwear subscription box.
Jack and Rose exchange a look and shrug, not understanding our joke.
“There’s more,” I tell him. “Pull out the middle of the box.”
He does, and his grin grows bigger. Sitting inside is a coffee mug that has the Embody Positivity logo on it. Underneath reads, Zach Hastings, nerd, boss, great a*s.
It’s his first official Embody Positivity gear. The nationwide app launches next month, and he’s already looking at a building to use for headquarters.
Zach scoots my way and gives me a quick kiss.
He grabs the last box sitting under the tree. It’s small, and I honestly have no idea what’s inside.
Handing it to me, he sits back, watching me like a hawk. They all are.
My hands have a slight shake to them as I pull away the paper and open the box. Sitting inside is another smaller box, one that strongly resembles something an important piece of jewelry comes in.
I find Zach’s eyes and he’s giddy. I’m scared.
When I finally gather the courage, I retrieve the velvet box and open it.
Sitting inside is a necklace in the shape of a goat that reads, World’s Okayest Goat Mom.
Laughter consumes me. “You didn’t,” I manage to say.
“Oh I did.”
My phone vibrates loudly against the coffee table and I feel slightly embarrassed, afraid it’ll ruin the moment.
I ignore it. It vibrates again.
“Aren’t you going to answer that?” Zach asks.
There’s something in his voice telling me to check my phone right this second.
I click the screen to unlock it.
Two unread messages.
Zach: DOWNLOAD ATTACHMENT
* * *
Zach: Meet Milk Chocolate and Graham Cracker. We pick them up on our way home tomorrow. Don’t worry, we’re building them a goat motel so they have a place to stay.
Peeking up, I catch Zach looking at me, clearly pretty proud of himself.
I type out a response.
Me: I love them almost as much as I love you.
* * *
Zach: I know. WINK.