“Sebastian, you know I detest surprises,” Ruby grumbled as I carefully positioned her to have the best view when she opened her eyes. “I did not appreciate being denied knowledge of our destination when we boarded the aircraft or when we landed, either. This is all highly irregular and alarming.”
“I know, I know, but you’ll forgive me in a second.” At least I hoped she would. This whole thing was supposed to be my apology to her for the way I treated her during our last fight. “Okay. Open your eyes,” I smiled.
Ruby’s eyes snapped open and widened in astonishment. She first took in the large Tudor-style home she was standing in front of, then her gaze shifted to the surroundings, taking in the lush scenery and brick roads with signs of historic architecture everywhere. “My observations lead me to believe we are in Germany. Is this hypothesis correct?” she asked me, adjusting her glasses.
“It is,” I told her. “Where we reunited after university at the Science and Medicine Conference. Just… more rural,” I admitted with a small chuckle. Ruby’s expression softened while she stared off into the distance the way she always did when she was recalling something important.
“I pulled so many strings and overstepped my authority with so many officials to have you invited to that conference and be seated in first row… just so I could see you again,” she remembered softly. “It was the most irrational thing I’d ever done.”
“Would you do it again if you had the chance?” I asked her hesitantly. We’d been barely speaking since that fight we had over David and Hope. I know it’s stupid to assume that your spouse doesn’t love you anymore after every fight you have but somewhere in me, I still had that fear anyway.
“Yes,” Ruby answered without hesitation. “You didn’t need to buy back my love with an expensive trip in order to hear that answer, either. You never lost it in the first place. My answer will always be yes, Sebastian.”
Have I ever told you guys I have an amazing wife? Well I do. I wrapped her up in my arms and kissed her temple. She sighed softly and buried her face in my chest. I love when she does that.
When we stepped inside the house, Ruby scrutinized everything closely, taking in every detail. “I’m rather impressed you managed to acquire new real estate without alerting my attention. I will have to find out how you outwitted me. I can’t allow myself to be deceived twice,” she told me with a raised eyebrow. I grinned and shrugged.
“It’s pretty easy to slip anything past your notice when you’re in your lab, Ruby,” I reminded her. “I bought it for the whole family, anyway. I figured we could vacation here every once in a while. I know we can’t bring Hope but we can take turns traveling so someone’s always at home to take care of her.”
“Speaking of traveling… how long do you plan for us to stay in Germany?” Ruby asked me.
“A month. Maybe a month and a half, depending on how Leander and Calista are coping at home,” I answered. Ruby’s glasses slipped halfway down her nose as she jumped in alarm.
“A month?! Sebastian, that’s insane. You’re suggesting that we leave Leander and Calista in charge of ensuring Hope and Nereus’ safety and well being and tending to the Laganaphyllis Simnovorii plant for a month?! What if Calista malfunctions? Leander does not know how to repair her and Nereus just started school, he may very well need special attention and care adjusting to his new educational environment outside the home, I have a lab to run outside the home as well as in the home, you have your duties at the hospital, not to mention we just renovated the house yet again, there may be construction problems that need to be addressed–” she started on a long ramble. I just smiled and handed her a brochure. She looked at it suspiciously before pushing her glasses back up and looking at the cover. “What is this?” she asked.
“Oh nothing interesting. Just some ancient ruins for you to research here and an island bluff where sightings of a giant sea monster named Emily have been reported.” I knew she wouldn’t be able to resist the lure of knowledge. I wasn’t worried about things blowing up at home. Rayne and Monica were there with Leander if anything went wrong and Calista was great with the Cowplant, she treated it like a beloved pet.
“These ruins are… not my typical area of study but fascinating nonetheless…” Ruby admitted, reading the inside of the brochure. “I will have to schedule several visits. The sea monster however, don’t be ridiculous Sebastian. Sea monsters don’t exist. It’s just a local folktale.”
“So are water nymphs supposedly and you’re married to one,” I pointed out. Ruby looked up at me with a faintly amused expression.
“You make a valid argument. I suppose I can at least humour the folktales and pay a visit since we will be here for an extended period of time,” she conceded. “However, I think rest is in order before we do anything else. It was a very long flight for both of us.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” I said slyly, taking her hand and leading her to the master bedroom. I had a massage table put in. Like I said, I really wanted to make an impression with this apology and it was worth it because I got to see one of my wife’s very rare smiles. I’d do anything to see her smile.
“How… impractical,” she observed but that lingering smile betrayed her stern words.
“We’ve got all month to be impractical,” I murmured in her ear, wrapping my arms around her. “You work so hard for hardly any thanks. You never stop to do anything for yourself. You deserve to relax once in a while.”
The massage might have been relaxing except for the fact that it put us both in “the mood.” We didn’t even make it to the bed. We ended up falling into the walk-in closet together, heatedly tearing off each other’s clothes. I was really glad the vacation home I bought was out in the countryside with far away neighbours and that we didn’t bring the kids with us. No one could hear how, uh… loud we were.
I looked behind us when we stumbled out of the closet, disheveled and breathing heavily. “I think we broke the closet…” I pointed to the dented doors and burst into laughter. Ruby blinked at the closet and set her crooked glasses back straight with a blank expression… then she covered her mouth to try and stifle the giggle fit bubbling up. I hadn’t seen her giggle like that since the day I proposed to her. It was beautiful. She’s beautiful.