Let's Get Textual (Page 29)

“You brought snacks? Aren’t you supposed to starve yourself Thanksgiving morning so you’re nice and hungry before dinner and can gorge?”

I point at myself. “This is me we’re talking about here. Do you really want me to go hours without eating?”

“Excellent point. I don’t want to be trapped in a car for two hours with a hangry food-whore. Grab those snacks—hell, grab extras.”

“Extras? Don’t be mean about it.”

“I’m not, I’m not. Just being…smart about it.”

I smile and shake my head. “You think you’re so cute, don’t you?”

He shrugs. “I have my moments.”

I head to the kitchen to grab the bag full of goodies I packed while he hoists my bags up on his shoulders.

“You ready?”

“Yep. Let’s hit the road.”

“You still nervous?”

“Only a little bit. I’m more excited now than anything—just about dinner though, not meeting your parents.”

We exit my apartment and I make sure to double-check I’ve locked the door. Zach throws my bags inside his trunk and I notice there are two bags in there for him.

“And you judged me for having two bags.”

“What? Oh, no. Only one of those is mine.”

I look at him, confused.

“The other one is for Marshmallow.”

“Our goat has his own suitcase?”

Zach’s smile lights up his face and he’s staring at me like I’m the greatest person alive.

“What?” I ask.

“You said our goat.” His smile widens, if that’s even possible. “I love that you said our goat.”

I shove at him. “Stop it. You’re making this weird.”

I turn to make my way to the passenger’s side but he grabs my hand and pulls me against his chest. With one hand, he tips my chin up, and he drops his lips to mine.

He kisses me until I’m breathless, and right there in the parking lot of my apartment complex, I want to give myself over to him.


I stare up at the large brick house. There’s a big window showing off the landing on the staircase, and a beautiful chandelier-type light hangs in perfect view.


Zach peers up at the house with me. “It’s not bad.”

“Not bad? I could fit my childhood home inside your living room.”

“I didn’t grow up here, if that makes you feel any better. We lived in a small, quaint house most of my life. It wasn’t until I was almost out of college that they bought this place. Saved for it for years.”

“Well it’s stunning. I can’t wait to see the inside.”

“Come on then.”

We climb out of the car, stretching our limbs after the long ride. Zach grabs our bags from the trunk and I pull Marshmallow’s cage from the back seat.

Zach pushes the front door open and hollers, “We brought the goat!”

I hear pounding footsteps approaching from my right, coming from what I assume is the kitchen.

A beautiful blonde woman comes barreling into the entryway, arms outstretched. There’s white powder—flour I think—stuck to the side of her face, and she’s wearing a navy apron over what appears to be pajamas with green ducks on them.

“My sweet baby! Grandma can’t wait to snuggle you close.”

She bends over and pokes into the cage I’m holding, smiling and giggling like a little kid.

Straightening up, she holds her hand out to me. “Delia, I have heard so much about you. I’m Rose. It’s great to finally meet you.”

I shake her hand. “It’s great to meet you too, Mrs. Hastings.” I peek up at Zach, who is smiling down at me. “So you told your mom about me?”

He shrugs. “I might have mentioned your name a few times.”

“A few?” Rose says. “Please, this boy won’t shut up about the ‘wrong number girl’.”

“Is that what you call me?”

“I did at first,” he admits. “Now you’re just Pain in the Ass.”

“Zach Hastings!” his mother scolds. “Manners!”

“My bad.” He turns his head and mouths, Not.

His mother whacks him in the arm. “I saw that, you little shit. Now come on inside. Your brother should be here shortly. I’m working on the pies now.”

“Do you need any help, Mrs. Hastings?” I offer.

“Oh, please, call me Rose. No need to be so formal. And no, I have everything under control. You two go relax, explore the house. I’m sure my husband is around here somewhere.”

She scurries off to the kitchen, leaving us standing in the entryway.

“Well, I guess we’re on our own for a bit. Want to see our room?”

“Lead the way.”

We grab our bags and head up the stairs, Marshmallow in tow. Zach leads us over the landing I saw through the window and I pause to catch a glimpse of the outside.

The view from the landing is gorgeous. Their yard is massive and beyond that is a line of trees, brown and orange, the colors of fall. It’s like something straight out of a painting.

“I think I love it here.”

“Beautiful, huh?”

I nod and he grabs my hand, tugging me up the rest of the stairs. We turn off at the first door on the right.

“This is us. I don’t have my own room, so we’re staying in the guest room.”

There’s a massive bed in the center of the room with a lilac comforter across it. An older, worn dresser sits off to the side and a few paintings of flowers hang on the walls.

“Did you pick the comforter?”

He slides his eyes my way in warning as he lets Marshmallow out of his cage. “Don’t even start.”

“So you love lilac, huh?”


“It’s such a hot color, Zach.”

He stalks toward me and I retreat until the bed hits the backs of my knees. He’s right in front of me, that devilish grin of his plastered across his lips. He gently lays a hand on my chest and pushes me back.

I land on the bed and he crawls on top of me.

“You’re a shit starter, Delia.”

“And you fall for my bait every single time.”

“If you wanted me to kiss you, all you had to do was ask.”

“Kiss me, Zach.”

The words are barely out of my mouth before he’s fulfilling my request. His lips are gentle and unhurried. Then they aren’t, now hard and fast, his tongue sliding against mine as his hips begin to rock into me.

I use my hands to explore him, running my fingers through his hair and down his broad shoulders. I push my way under his shirt, lightly raking my nails down his back. His hand disappears under my shirt, fingertips ghosting along my skin until he has a handful of boob.

His fingers play at my nipple and I let out a soft moan. My hands push at his shorts until his erection springs free. I wrap my hand around his length, stroking him until I have him panting in my ear, knowing he’s right on the edge of release.

He springs up, his mouth set in a grim line, glaring at the foot of the bed where Marshmallow sits, staring at us both.

I snicker as Zach mutters and pulls his shorts back up.

“He touched my ass cheek, Delia. Your hand was on my dick and he touched my fucking ass cheek.”

I shake with laughter, tears running down my cheeks as I watch Zach stand there and glare at an innocent baby goat.

“Stop laughing! This isn’t funny!”

“Oh, Zach, that’s where you are dead wrong. It’s hilarious!”

Huffing and puffing, he storms out of the bedroom, flinging the door shut behind him. I continue to lie there on the bed, laughing.

A few seconds later, he’s barging back into the room.

“I have a boner. I can’t be out in the hallway with a boner in my parents’ house. That’s just wrong.”

“How do you still have a boner?”

“Because I was about to come all over you, Delia! That’s how! You can’t be like, ‘Boner be gone!’ and it just goes away. That’s not how dicks work—they don’t deflate on command.” He throws his hands up in the air and begins pacing the short length of the room.

I can’t help but laugh again, truly amused by how worked up he is.

“You done?” I ask, rising up on my knees and beckoning him my way.

He makes his way over to me, his bottom lip sticking out. “Maybe, but I think I’m traumatized.”

“I’m sure you are. Now, why don’t you give me a tour of the rest of the house? Will that distract you from your trauma?”

He shuffles his feet. “It’s worth a shot.”

I roll my eyes, climbing off the bed and taking him by the hand. “Come on, you big baby.”

He scoops Marshmallow up and deposits him in his cage, glaring at him the entire time.

We exit the room and Zach leads me downstairs.

“The rest of the upper level is bedrooms, and I am not showing you the room where my parents have sex.”


“What? I’m just saying”—he shudders—“hard pass for me.”

We round the bottom of the stairs and hook a left.

“This is the living room. We don’t use it.”