Me: You’d rather them be having affairs?
Sav: Maybe? It would be less humiliating.
I replay the video again. My parents have been married for over thirty years and they still love the hell out of each other. That’s some sweet shit there. And, if I’m honest with myself, that’s the type of thing I want to be doing thirty years from now with MJ—not sitting in this bullpen playing a card game on my computer. I want to be within arm’s reach of MJ, holding her hand, kissing her mouth, fucking her until we’re too boneless to move.
Me: You’re jealous.
Sav: I am not!
Me: You want what they have.
Sav: I’d rather poke my eyeballs out with one of my Louboutins.
Me: I’m going to see MJ.
Sav: She doesn’t want you.
Me: Then I’ll wait until she does.
Sav: I’m sorry. She wants you. I am jealous. Why are you and Maddox finding your true loves and I’m alone in this awful penthouse apartment?
Me: I thought you loved that place.
Sav: I did until the wedding and now it’s too big and too sterile and I’m going to die alone with a hundred cats.
Me: You don’t even have one cat.
Sav: I’m going to the animal rescue league today.
Me: They have a hundred cats there?
Sav: I don’t know! What does it matter how many cats they have?
Me: You said you were going to die with a hundred of them so I’m just wondering if I should call the funeral home today or wait.
Sav: You’re a terrible brother.
Me: I love you.
Me: I love you.
Sav: Fine. I love you too.
I slip the phone into my pocket and head out. I know how Sav’s feeling. Seeing Madd and Luna beaming like two fools yesterday was making me anxious, too. I need to have a commitment from MJ. It isn’t just about sex for me and never was. I’ve allowed that fiction to continue way too long. Even if MJ isn’t ready for a permanent relationship, I want her to know that I’m going to wait for her until she is.
The restaurant is closed when I arrive, but there are people inside, bustling around. I’m sure if I put my badge against the window, they’ll let me in. It doesn’t feel right barging in on her like that, though. If she’s busy working, the thing to do is to wait for her.
I push my car seat back and stretch out my long legs. I’ve done day-long stakeouts before. A few hours of waiting for her to be done with work isn’t going to kill me. I pull out my phone and open Instagram. I made an account the other day so I could get alerts whenever MJ posted. I scroll through the feed once again looking for anything new, but MJ hasn’t updated since the wedding yesterday.
There are lots of comments expressing their happiness that her sister got married. A few of them wondered if MJ is still single. I scowl and try to find the thumbs down button to nuke those comments but apparently this app doesn’t have that feature. I should have Maddox buy this so we can implement a ban on men commenting on MJ’s posts.
I scroll through more photos of her cooking, eating, prepping, and generally looking happy as fuck. It occurs to me as I reach the beginning of the year that all the photos that MJ had with other men are gone, including that one with her being fed the scallop. I scroll through again to make sure that I’m right.
A slow, happy smile spreads across my face. She might not realize it, but I’m taking this as a bold declaration of her intentions toward me. She’s mine. Her subconscious wants it even if she hasn’t been able to say the words to me.
One public statement deserves another, I think. I put the car in gear and speed up to Fifth Avenue. The jeweler isn’t happy to open the doors, even when I flash my badge. It isn’t until I pull out my black credit card that he perks up. I pick out a simple ring of platinum with diamonds set in three channels. I don’t think she’d want a rock like Luna’s. It’d get stuck on stuff so this simple, elegant band will be perfect for her hand. Still, I want her to have something big and flashy that she can show off if she feels like it so I buy a pendant that’s heavy enough to require a special clasp. The jeweler asks if I want an armed escort home since the ruby is so expensive. I flash him my gun and decline.
I hop back into my car and return to the restaurant. MJ’s life is on this account. She’s posted pictures of when she got her first executive chef position, when she bought the apartment, when Luna graduated from high school. All of her landmark events are here so it makes sense for me to take a photo of the ring and post it on my account with the caption, “This is waiting for you.”