“Denver, what are you doing? Move to the right! You’re gonna hit the wall,” Kingston yells at his brother while they try to move my dresser up the stairs of Brooklyn’s and my new house.
“Denver, we just painted. Your sister will have a conniption.” I follow behind them with a garment box in my hands.
“Couldn’t you have hired movers? Aren’t you like a millionaire or something? Why am I waking up at the ass crack of dawn to move you into your huge farmhouse.”
“It’s not a farmhouse. They don’t have those in Alaska,” Kingston says.
Denver lowers the dresser just to give him the annoyed look.
“Did you see the long front porch that faces the mountains?” Denver asks.
“Nothing else about it says farmhouse and they don’t have a farm so…”
“Can we please just move,” I say because I’m not going to stand here on the stairs while they argue.
“Let’s go, weakling,” Kingston says, walking up the stairs.
“Weakling?” Denver guffaws.
“I’m the one facing backward.”
I ignore the brother-bickering until they get the dresser into our master bedroom. When they go downstairs to get more of our stuff, I look around the room. At the bed we bought to start over.
My dresser and nightstands. A few paintings Brooklyn loves. Veering out of the room, I pass the three other empty bedrooms and wonder when we’ll fill them.
In order to do that, I need to ask Brooklyn to marry me, but with Austin and Holly’s wedding in five days and us deciding to move into this house the same week, it’s been too hectic.
So, I’ve decided not to pop the question until next week.
“Brook is here!” Kingston yells. “Holy shit. What does she have with her?”
I shake my head because if she bought one more thing for this house, we’re going to be house poor. The woman is constantly shopping for knickknacks and other useless decorative items.
Nevertheless, I’m eager to see her since we parted earlier, and she kept her destination a secret. My feet hit the bottom step and I see her holding a small box with holes.
Gizmo is at her heels, barking and jumping.
“Stop it Giz.” She shoos him away with her leg.
“What do you have there?” Denver asks.
Brooklyn looks up at the house, seeing me in the doorway. She has the same look on her face as she did when she bought the new kitchen table I told her we didn’t need.
She walks up the steps and places the box on the porch. Gizmo circles it, continuing to bark. Brooklyn picks him up in her arms. “Shh… you’ll scare them.”
Her eyes find mine because now I know it’s a living being.
“We said no cats, Brook.” I lean my shoulder against the doorframe.
“It’s not a cat.”
Denver peeks inside the lid and falls to his ass in laughter. “You’re kidding me, right?”
“We need something to do with all this space. And if we get more, we can have fresh eggs every day.” She looks around to the nothingness around us. One of the biggest reasons we purchased this place.
My shoulders sag. “We don’t need to raise chickens. Gizmo is going to hate them.” Just as I make my argument, Gizmo jumps out of Brooklyn’s arms, lunging for the box, but Kingston grabs hold of him.
“That’s not food,” he tells him.
I stare at Brooklyn. She’s smiling and happy.
What can I say? I’m a sucker.
“How many are there?”
She bites her lips.
“Five?” My voice is calm even though inside, I can already see how this is going to turn out. Me figuring out how to keep chickens alive in the wilds of Alaska.
Where are they going to go in the winter?
“See it’s a farmhouse,” Denver says, heading back to the truck because he must know that his sister and I need to have a conversation.
She walks toward me, already leaving the chicks abandoned. Luckily, Kingston dropped Gizmo into the small fenced area I made for him on one end of the porch.
“Why chickens?” I ask.
“Why not?” She runs her finger down my sweaty t-shirt.
“I could name about one hundred reasons why not.”
“But?” Her eyes are wide and hopeful as she holds my gaze.
I shake my head. “If we’re in this together, you better start consulting me.”
“What would you have said?” She steps closer so that we’re almost chest-to-chest. Her blonde hair is pulled into a messy bun and all I want to do is unleash those wild strands and tug her toward me.
“We would’ve talked about it.”
“I would’ve said to wait until after we’re settled.”
She tilts her head and bites her lip. My complete undoing and she knows it. “But they needed homes and it’s like we’re starting this next chapter of our life together with them.”
“Come here.” I loop my finger into the waist of her shorts and pull her toward me.
“Are you sweaty?” she asks.
“Yes, because I’m here moving us in while you’re out buying chickens.” I lean forward and press my lips to hers.
“I got one for you.”
“I think you got five for me.”
She loops her arms around my neck, her fingers playing with the back of my hair. “But one is especially for you.”
My hands splay on her ass, pushing her toward me. “Tell me you didn’t buy a cock?”
She laughs and swats at my chest. “There’s only one cock in this house.”
I nod, still not convinced.
“Yours, I named Manhattan. She’s dark and mysterious and reminds me of you. A little standoffish to the others.”
“And where are we going to keep these little ladies?”
“We’re going to build a chicken coop.”
I shake my head. “You’re going to build a chicken coop.” I kiss her and guide her to the side with my hand on her hip.
“I thought we’re a team?”
I stare down at the box. “We are, but this wasn’t a team decision.”
“Wyatt!” she calls out as I make my way back over to the moving truck.
When I get to the back of the vehicle, I find Kingston and Denver sitting on our sofa, two beers in hand.
“It’s ten in the morning,” I say.
They look at one another and shrug.
“Chickens, huh?” Denver says, standing from the couch.
“Get used to it, man, she’s got a soft heart. I mean look, she took you in.” Kingston pats my back, jumping down from the truck.
Denver pushes the couch toward the end of the truck, and I grab the one side, Kingston the other.
“I just put her in charge of building the coop, so neither of you help her.”
“Don’t you have a heart, man?” Kingston asks.
I furrow my forehead in question.
“The coop is going to fall and kill the chickens if Brooklyn builds it.”
I shake my head, passing her as she tries to get the kit she bought out of my truck. She blows at a strand of blonde hair that’s snuck out of her ponytail holder. She’s adorable already.
I’m going to enjoy watching her struggle building that thing. At least for a while. We both know that in the end, I’ll help her.
Strike that, I’ll be doing it all myself.
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