The Spencer Cohen Series, Book Three(10)

By: N.R. Walker



“Didn’t want to be actors?”

He looked horrified. “Lord no. That’s why I did piano and Sarah did ballet. Being on stage in front of a critical audience is my worst fear. I wouldn’t even do piano recitals.” He shuddered.

“Worst fear? Like ever?”

“Terrified. What’s your greatest fear?”

“Being burned alive. Which is a stupid way to say it actually because you don’t say drowned alive or stabbed alive. So, it’s more a case of being set on fire till you’re not alive anymore.”

“Death by fire.”

“Yes! Death by fire.”

Andrew nodded slowly, his brow furrowed. “I can see why. Being on stage is a lot like death by fire. Harrowing, excruciatingly painful, torture.”

I refrained from rolling my eyes. “Yeah, they’re so alike.”

He laughed. “Speaking of excruciatingly painful, remember how Sarah called me that time and told me we’d be invited to some fancy lunch at my parents’ house?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, Mom asked if you’d like to come along.” Andrew bit his lip and looked to the floor. Before I could reply, he quickly added, “I told her I wasn’t sure if we were up for that just yet, and now I know your worst fear, you’d probably prefer to be burned at the stake than to spend an afternoon in the company of my parents and their friends.”

I put my finger to his chin and lifted his face so he’d look at me. “I’d love to. When is it?”

“Not this Sunday but the next.”

“If I don’t have to work, I am all yours.”

“Are you sure? It’ll be boring and full of people who think they’re better than they are.”

How could I ever refuse him when he looked at me so happy and hopeful? “Of course I’m sure. You have a toothbrush in my bathroom. I’m pretty sure that’s a ‘social lunch with your parents’ qualifier.”

He gave me a shy, half-smile. “I like having your toothbrush in my bathroom. I smile every morning when I see it.” He shook his head a little and squinted his eyes closed as his skin flushed right down his neck. “God, I shouldn’t have said that.”

I cracked up laughing because I’d totally thought the same thing. “Don’t be embarrassed. If there was a magazine titled Things That Make Spencer Happy, your toothbrush in my bathroom would be on the cover.”

“Really?”

“Yes, really. Amongst other things, but yes, I’d have a whole cover issue dedicated to that. Right after the issue with your picture and good music, classic movies, and green tea.”

Andrew chuckled and pressed his lips to mine. “Thank you.”

“What for?”

“For getting me. For not thinking I’m an idiot. For doing the whole magazine cover thing, as well. I’ve never known anyone that does that like me. Until I met you.” He pecked his lips to mine again. “And for what it’s worth, if there was a magazine called Things That Make Andrew Happy, you’d be on the cover too.”

I was grinning. I couldn’t help it. “Oh, don’t forget, you need to think of something to draw for my next tattoo.”

He made a face. “You’ll really get whatever I draw tattooed onto your body?”

“Well yeah, if I like it.”

“Oh good. So no pressure or anything.”

I gave him a light kiss with smiling lips. “It’ll be fine. You know me better than anyone, so I’m sure whatever you come up with will be perfect.”

He stared, literally stared into my eyes. “Do I?”

“Know me better than anyone?” I resisted the urge to look away but managed a nod. “Yeah.” Before my chest burst with nerves, I changed the subject. “Come on, we better get going or I’ll be late.”

Andrew was pretty quiet in the car on the way to Peter’s. I’d given him the address, which he’d promptly punched into an app on his phone and set about driving me. It wasn’t an overly long trip, and when I put my hand on his thigh, he quickly slid his non-driving hand over mine. He smiled at me but didn’t say much. When we drove up Peter’s street and he pulled the car into the kerb, I asked, “Everything okay?”

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