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Meave walked into the small house cabin thing that belonged to Loam. It was pouring cats and dogs. She got soaked by the rain during the quick run from her car to the door, which she had a key to.
"Loam?" she called out as she set her bag down in the hall. She walked into the kitchen and set her other bag down on the counter. She had told him the last time she visited that she knew how to cook, and since he didn't believe her, she was now going to prove it. That is, if she found him.
"Loamy... where are you?" she called exasperated. Meave froze and stared out the window. It was blurry from the rain, but she was pretty sure the brown blob that stood like a statue (and she knew statues) out there was Loam. What is he-? She asked herself, then realized that there were only so many reasons he would be standing like that in the rain.
"Loam?" she said, this time gently, as she opened the back door. He stood still, other than his eyes, that shifted toward her unsettlingly. They were hazy, like he couldn't even see out of them. And were a few shades darker than usual. Then his body shifted suddenly and he was facing her. His eyes took on their normal bright hazel color, and surprise.
"Meave!" He said and blinked a few times. "W-what are you-"
"Loam, come inside it's freezing out," she scolded him. "How did you... never mind." She said staring at him. He was covered in mud. It was probably one of those 'demigod-things' that she didn't want to know about. She ran out and pushing him into the house, toward the bathroom. "If you be good and go take a shower I might join you," she said with a mischievous smirk. She was joking... half-joking.
"Just promise to be here when I get out, ok?" His voiced sounded so... desperate.
"Of course," she promised without thinking. It was Loam, she didn't need to think.
They ended up on the couch, Loam still being a little distant. But with Meave trying her best to close that distance.
"So what have you been up to?" she asked.
"The usual... work, gardening," he told her with a small smile. She nodded along.
"And how is work, any breakthroughs? Or whatever botanists have?" He chuckled at that.
"In the nursery, springs here and we've been getting the seedlings ready and moving the plants we can outside."
"Oh," she said simply, not knowing that much about plants. She inched a bit closer to him and placed a hand on his leg. "What's wrong? You're acting all...." she trailed off not knowing how to explain it. This was how Loam acted with everyone else. Not her. "Distant, I guess." She didn't like it. "If you don't want me anymore just tell me, don't push me away."
"Huh, Meave...?" He wrapped her into a tight hug. "No. Of course not. I love you silly girl." Then he realized maybe he was holding her too tight, and loosened a bit.
"Oh, well. Okay," she said happily and pushed him slightly more horizontal on the couch. With her partially on top of him. "I thought when you made me promise to stay here that you were going to break up with me or something. It seemed like you have something important to tell me," she tried to explain her feelings. "Wait a minute.. did you just?!"
His face got warm. How did she know him so well? He actually did have something important to tell her, or ask her actually. "Tell you I loved you? Yes." He wasn't loose with the word by anymeans, they had been more or less together for two years. They had only been together for that better part of one. But still... now he was sure about his feelings. Meave had been visiting a lot lately and said she would spend her break with him if he wanted her to. Which of course he did. That was in a couple months. And yet here she was, spending every minute she could with him.
Her faced turned almost as red as her hair. "L-Loam... finally." She wrapped both her arms and legs around him and held on tight. "I-I mean, I love you too." She said looking up at him her face still very red.
Loam grinned, happy to have made Meave happy. His hand was in his pocket, fingering the smooth and edged puzzle box in his jacket pocket. Was it to soon to give that to her? He thought maybe it was, all of that would be too much to spring on her in one day. But he had finally figured it out. He loved her and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, however long that may be.
"Uhm..." she said quietly. "Is that what you wanted to tell me?" she asked, grin still in place, her cheeks were the only pink part of her now.
"Well, I uhm, got you this," he said and prayed for the courage to take his hand out of his pocket. And there the small wooden puzzle box sat, balanced in the palm of his hand. "Here." His face turned the shade of red hers had been a minute ago.
"A puzzle? Aww, thanks Loamy!" She said excitedly grabbing the box from him. She couldn't wait to solve it, she loved puzzles.
Meave went right to work on the puzzle, figuring out that she needed to slide the panels almost instantly.
Loam watched, his heart beating in his throat. He would have less time than he thought he would.
"Got it," she said happily as the last panel shifted into place. "Oh, is there something in it?" she asked and peeked into the small square hole in the box.
"Yes, but hold on," he said as he shifted so he was on the floor in front of her. "I'm pretty sure I need to be on at least one knee for this."
"Whaa?" A small ring fell out of the box and into the palm of her hand. "...oh." And for once she was speechless. She just stared at the parallel hoops of rose gold, with detailed Celtic nots entwined in the middle holding it together, the small green gemstone sitting in the red-pink-gold.
"So you like it?'
"It's beautiful!" she said happily and wrapped her arms and legs around him.
"I'll take that as a yes," he said and chuckled. "But is that a yes yes?" he asked, still nervous.
"Of course that's a yes, silly!!" she said an threw herself back at him with more force, knocking them both to the floor. Loam narrowly avoided hitting his head on the coffee table. But the kisses that Meave placed wherever she could reach made up for it, on his neck, cheeks, mouth.
"Heh, Meave, calm down." Loam held her by her waist and legs, so when he stood she didn't fall.
"I can't! I-I have to go tell Willow!" She hopped down from her very tall boyfriend, and started to pull away.
Loam held on for a second before telling her, "you know where the phone it," and letting go. He was glad she got along so well with his sister. Meave had known Willow since before she even met him. Maybe that would help when she met the rest of his family.
He could hear her giggling in the kitchen, on the phone. His mouth couldn't help but stay in a silly grin. The phone clicked off and then he waited for what he knew was coming. Meave jumped onto him, arms around his neck, legs around his waist. He was used to her doing this, Seeing how short she was, this was one of the ways she reached his head. She kissed his neck and ear. Loam's face got warmer.
"Meave, when am I going to meet your family?" he asked, and her whole face lost it's color.
"Well," she said slowly as she sat back down on the couch. Her legs folded underneath her. "I guess you have to now."
"If they're anything like you, I'm sure we'll get along," he tried to comfort her. He sat back down next to her and wrapped an arm around her.
"Ha," she laughed sarcastically. "My brother would blow up your car if you had one. And my mother will interrogate you as soon as she meets you. You'll probably have the best chance with my father... if he's in a good mood." She started planning.
"Blow up my..." Loam murmured.
"So it's better if you meet Ma first, then if she likes you she can put in a good word with Da and Finnik..." He waited for her to figure things out. He could tell how much the prospect of him meeting her family freaked her out by the way her accent creeped back into her voice.
"And if she finds out we've been..." she trailed off and her face got red as she stared at the small space between them. She stood suddenly. "She'll kill you or let Finnik do it for her." She started pacing. "The crazy-ol'-Catholic-superstitious-bat."
"Superstitious?" he asked.
"Aye, she puts a bowl of milk on the windowsill every night for the piskies," she explained just how superstitious her mother was.
"Oh jeez," Loam grumbled. "Those legends are based in reality," he explained. "She'll probably think I'm a changeling."
Meave sighed. "Maybe, but she's the way we get to Da and Finnik..." she said and sighed again. Then smiled suddenly. "So when can I meet your parents?" Loam smiled back at her.
"Depends. They're only two miles away, but we'd have to walk it. Iris is with them with her son. So you'd get to meet my other sister and nephew if we visit soon...?" he trailed off, offering it as a question.
"Can we go tomorrow?" she asked looking up at him wide-eyed.
"Sure," he said, unable to say no to her.
"Thank you," she said sincerely and hugged him. Then yawned. It was well after dark and she was tired from the long drive up. "Well... see you in bed." She winked at him, and he blushed even though he knew she was joking.