This is a very special chapter! It’s dedicated to Dandylion240 for her birthday ^_^
Charlotte placed her index finger on her perfectly glossed lips. Today was no ordinary day. It was special. Jeff’s birthday. She wasn’t celebrating him getting older, but the fact that such a wonderful person was born. She sent the kids off to stay with Millie and Zayne, Jeff knew that much. But to what extent Charlotte had planned his birthday, he had no idea.
Jeff groggily made his way down the staircase. Charlotte was always clever on his birthday. He was a simple guy. He was fine with family, dinner at a restaurant and some cake to finish the night off. But ever since he had decided he wanted to get older, Charlotte was getting more and more elaborate with her plans. He was sure it was some kind of reverse psychology thing but he couldn’t himself figure out what her angle was. Still, the kids always enjoyed her crazy ideas and if they were having fun, he was having fun.
When he made his way down the stairs this particular morning he was already dressed, half expecting Charlotte to whisk him away into their car. Why else would she arrange a sleepover for the kids at her sister’s house? Unless…a mischevious grin flew to his face. Would it be like their honeymoon all over again? He could live with that.
“Honey!” She gushed when she saw him. “Sit! Sit!”
It wasn’t her excitement that caught his attention right away. That was usual for her when she had something up her sleeve for him. He had never seen her so giddy when handing someone else a surprise, she was more secretive then. But Charlotte and Jeff both knew what secrets got them so it was better this way. Plus, he loved seeing her smile.
Jeff checked out his wife from head to toe. Her hair was no longer in that messy bun. She had two side buns (if one could call it that) with her bangs styled. Her usual heavy purple eye makeup was replaced by a smoky gray and accented with long lashes. Her lips were an unusual pale pink. She knew he didn’t care whether she wore makeup or not, but she had tried something different, something she hadn’t done since they were in Moonlight Falls.
She wore a tight top with a fairly short skirt. He hadn’t seen her wear something like this since they were dating. And that fishnet shirt! Honestly, she told him she’d never bring it back. She was “older” now. Whatever. He loved it on her so much. It brought a huge smile to his face.
“Dressed up for me?” He smirked, licking his lips. “You know you don’t have to.”
Charlotte approached her husband and leaned against his body. He looked up at her, amusement dancing in his eyes. “I wanted to. Sometimes when I’m taking care of the kids, I forget to take care of myself. But today is special and I want to show you how much I love you.”
“What is all this?” Jeff asked finally. “I love you, and not that I’m ungrateful but your plans are usually much more…gaudy.”
She laughed. “I know you don’t care too much for the big productions. I also know that you always choose to do things that the kids want. Today I’m doing something you want.”
She pointed to the cake in front of him. “I made this from scratch. I have a backup one I bought from the store just in case. The rest is up to you. We can watch tv, order in…”
Charlotte was startled when Jeff stood up abruptly from his chair. “I did something wrong didn’t I?”
He pulled her in for a tight hug. “You did everything right,” He said softly.
She looked up at him solemnly. “You know I hate your birthdays.”
“Because I get older, I know,” He replied. “But you still try so hard to make it special every time.”
“Because I love you,” she replied. “So so so much.”
He placed a kiss gingerly to her forehead. “I love you more.”
“Impossible!” She cried looking up to him. “You can’t love me more than I love you.”
“I do,” he replied in a teasing tone. “I almost died for you, remember? I gave you my blood and I rescued you from Altiere.”
She paused for a minute. “Well, I guess that’s true….you saved me a bunch of other times too. Mostly from myself.”
“We make a good team,” He replied with a smile. “You gave me what I always wanted, a big family.”
“I didn’t even know I wanted kids until YOU got me pregnant you big jerk!” She hit his chest playfully.
“They’re the best gifts you’ve ever given me. Nothing will ever top our family.” He leaned down and captured her lips with his own.
Jeff lifted Charlotte up with ease. “I’ve been working out, can you tell?” He grinned.
“So you can take down some bad vampires?” Charlotte teased.
“Well that too I guess.” He laughed. “I did it mostly to impress you.” And the best part was that he wasn’t teasing her. He really meant it. “I’ve also been trying to get back a little bit of the person I was when I met you. Physically at least. I enjoy the person I’ve become because of you.”
“You are still as sexy as you were when I met you,” She replied with a wink. “Even if you’ll start getting gray hair and wrinkles soon.”
“Careful, I might accidentally drop you.”
Charlotte caressed his cheek with her hand. “You would never do that. Which is one of the reasons I love you.”
“You’ll be the death of me one day, woman,” He groaned.
She placed a hand on his face. “What were you like at this age back at home? In your dimension I mean? Is it okay to ask that?”
He frowned. “Stop asking my permission to ask questions about my past. You deserve to know, we established this already…” He sighed but grinned up at her. “It was nothing like the life you’ve given me. I wasn’t happy. Around this time in the past I was working, working and working some more. I was being a neglectful father and husband. I won’t make that mistake again.”
“I won’t let you,” She replied softly, gazing into his eyes. “You don’t have to be afraid of that dissapointment ever again.”
“You know when you said I saved you from yourself? I think you saved me from myself.”
Jeff bounced, letting Charlotte fall into his arms. She gasped and threw her head back with a laugh. “I feel like we’re in our twenties again.”
“But with a lot less glares, huh?” He kissed the tip of her nose. “Do you want to maybe….I don’t know…”
She laughed again. “Don’t be coy now Jeffrey!”
“Jeffrey….hah!” He was laughing now too. “Only my mother called me that, and it was when she was angry with me. Anyway…as I was saying, do you want to go to my room Mrs.Bennett?”
“Your room, Mr.Gray? Why, I couldn’t!” She mocked. “Very improper. And what about the cake.”
He winked at her. “We can bring the cake. I can think of at least ten things to do with the frosting alone.”
“Jeff!” Charlotte cried, hitting his arm. He grinned up at her. “Happy birthday, you big idiot.”
“I love you too, darling.” He held Charlotte in one arm and grabbed the cake with his free hand. “If you don’t help me, we’ll spill the cake.” He brought it up to his face and licked the frosting. “Ugh, babe…I love you but this is terrible. Good thing for the backup.”
Happy Birthday Dandylion240! Enjoy your day ^_^