**This week’s prompt is a first Thanksgiving for a new couple. Enjoy!**
“Maybe I shouldn’t go with you.”
Liam chuckled, and reached out to grab my hand. “I told you, Charlie. Its–”
“But we’ve only been together for six months. It’s our first holiday together. Real holiday I mean, and maybe it’s too soon.”
“I mean, maybe they won’t like me, and then I’ll ruin everything.”
“Thanksgiving is a big deal!” I shook my head, nerves threatening to overwhelm me. I had to swallow fast, or else I’d throw up. “And your family does it right, and it’s important and I just–”
His shout startled me, and I turned to look at him. Liam’s expression was a mix of affection and exasperation. Which, if I was honest, was not that unusual when it came to me. He got me like no other person, and I was fortunate that I’d stumbled into him at the bookstore six months ago. Literally. I’d tripped over a low display table and slammed into him. He’d kept us both upright, and then asked me for coffee. The past six months had been amazing, and I loved him with everything in me. But this was a big step and I wasn’t sure I was ready.
“Baby. I know you’re nervous.” Liam leaned into my space, and cupped my cheek so I couldn’t look away.
“Nervous is an understatement,” I croaked.
He smiled sweetly. Then pecked my lips, and stayed close enough I could see the flecks of gold in his brown eyes.
“I know your family isn’t like mine. You’ve had to make your own way for a long time. But I swear to you, you won’t mess up. And my family will love you. Almost as much as I do.”
I melted, and some of the tension left my body. Not enough though, because I was still vibrating with it. Knowing he loved me helped, but I was still scared.
“Still,” I whispered. “Maybe I shouldn’t go. Christmas might be better.”
“Baby,” he said, laughing again. He used his hold to turn my head. “We’re already at my parents house.”
I gulped and nodded as much as I was able. “I’ll just stay in the car.”
He raised an eyebrow. “For four whole days.”
Liam chuckled again, and the sound soothed me even more. He had a great laugh. It was the first thing I noticed about him.
“It’s going to be fine. I want you with me. Our first Thanksgiving together.” His eyes went dark. “The first of many right?”
I let out a swoony sigh as I nodded, because really, how could I not? After three weeks together, he told me he wanted exclusivity. He said the thought of someone else touching me wanted to make him commit murder. At six weeks he told me he loved me. It took me a little longer to say it back. But it was clear from early on that we were made to be together. And I loved him so much I couldn’t imagine a future without him.
“Okay,” I said quietly. My voice shook and I tried for a smile. “Okay. Let’s do this.”
Three hours later, I was sitting at the huge table between Liam and his younger brother. I swear, the table actually groaned with the amount of food piled on it. And there were at least twenty people squished around it. Liam’s parents and siblings, and their kids, and a few aunts, uncles, and cousins. Everyone talked too loud and teased each other. But the love pouring off these people was amazing. I’d never had anything like it, and I didn’t even know it really existed. Not outside of movies anyway. But here it was.
It was awesome and terrifying at the same time.
After everyone had eaten their fill, the noise quieted some. Full stomachs would do that. I’d eaten so much I had to discreetly reach down and unbutton my jeans.
“All right, now it’s time for my favorite part of he festivities,” Liam’s father Joe said. He smile widely, and I couldn’t tear my gaze away from him. I now had a good idea what Liam would look like in thirty years, and it was good. “Let’s go around the table and say what we’re all thankful for.”
There were a few groans, but they were playful. I, on the other hand, started to panic. I shot Liam a scowl, but he just grinned back. How could he not have told me about this?
“I’ll go first,” Joe said. He took a second to gather his thoughts, and then smiled again. “I’m thankful for this amazing, loud, messy, loving family I have gathered around me. And I’m especially grateful for Charlie’s presence this year. It does my heart proud to see my son so happy and settled, and that’s down to you, Charlie. Thank you.”
I gaped at him, eyes wide and cheeks hot. I was sure I looked ridiculous, but I couldn’t seem to stop. If Joe noticed, he didn’t show it. He just gave me a tiny wink, and turned to Liam, who was seated at his right.
Liam cleared his throat. “It’s been a great year for me, and I’m beyond thankful for the blessings I’ve had. In particular, this man who came here with me, even though he was nervous. I’m thankful for your love, Charlie.”
The tears welled up faster than I could stop them, and I cleared my throat, trying to find my voice. Everyone waited, and a quick glance around let me know there were mostly smiles. And in Liam’s mother’s case, a few tears as well.
“That,” I whispered, forcing the words out. “That’s what I’m thankful for too.”
Liam put his arm around me and tugged me into his side. I hid my face in his shoulder and just breathed in his scent.
I had a lot to be thankful for. But this moment was at the top of the list.