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"Not For Public Circulation"

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So their first Thanksgiving wasn’t a complete disaster.

If, of course, you discount the part where Finn was driving too cautiously and nearly got them run off the road by several impatient drivers before they even got to the house. Then realising that they were locked outside because everyone had gone out to look for them because they were three hours late. Oh, and naturally the multiple times Finn ended up talking about the weather when there was a lull in conversation and kept on giving the temperature in Celsius which slowly drove everyone insane.

Apart from those things, yeah, all good.

‘They hate me,’ says Finn lowly when he runs into Liz outside the kitchen. ‘I know they do.’

He looks so dejected that she forgoes an opportunity to snipe at him. Instead, she pats him consolingly on the arm.

‘I guess it’s the Garvey way. You know from experience, Finn, the whole hate-thing turning into lo…’

He immediately shushes her. ‘Yes, yes, all right,’ he says, looking embarrassed. ‘No need to drill the point home.’

‘I thought you’d always be up for pointy things being drilled –’


He’s annoyed as fuck, but at least he isn’t looking like an abandoned, scruffy puppy anymore. (Well, he still looks like a scruffy puppy, but less…abandoned. Which is a good thing.)

He regains his composure.

‘Your mother wants a quick word, by the way,’ he says, gesturing to the door behind them.

‘Any idea what she wants?’ she asks.

‘None whatsoever.’ He leans against the nearest wall and whips out his phone.

She raises a brow. ‘Aren’t you going to join the guys in the living room?’

‘And endure the agony of watching Thanksgiving football without you? Not on your life.’

Ostensibly she’s been called to help out with the dishes, but no, it wouldn’t be a true family reunion without a verbal bombshell in the form of her mother going:

‘He’s got a nice ass.’


‘Don’t tell me it’s escaped your notice.’

Liz desperately buries her face in her hands, ignoring the fact that they’re covered in soapsuds. This, she reminds herself, is exactly the reason why she’d rarely introduced her boyfriends to her mother after high school. When it wasn’t an awkward comment, it was vaguely inappropriate. When it wasn’t vaguely inappropriate, it was awkward. Or an unholy hybrid of the two.

‘I brought Finn over here to get to know you, not for you to ogle him,’ she hisses.

She finds herself falling under the exact copy of her own judging stare. ‘Uh-huh, and was that the order in which you got to know him?’

Oh Christ.

‘Not that it’s any of my business,’ continues her mother. ‘But knowing you…’

‘Can I just point out that there was a period of intense dislike before the ogling?’

‘Intense dislike?’

‘Yup, intense intense dislike,’ says Liz, almost with a hint of pride in her voice. ‘I was this close to firing and drop-kicking him into the void.’ Feeling the urge to illustrate her point, she flicks a piece of turkey back into the sink.



‘And yet you willingly flew 5,000 miles here with him.’ Her mother looks considerably impressed. ‘You must like him very much.’

Liz is eternally grateful that she’s already somewhat tipsy, so that she can’t flush any redder.

‘Is that like code or something?’ she blurts clumsily.

A smile. ‘Take it as you like, Lizzy.’

‘So what did she want?’ asks Finn when she re-joins him in the corridor.

‘Something about the dishes and crap like that.’ She notes that he still doesn’t take his eyes off his phone even when he follows her up the stairs.

‘Oh, and she mentioned that you’ve got – quote – “a nice ass”.’

There’s a satisfying clatter, followed by a stream of interesting curses, and she gets a bonus eyeful of said ass as Finn inevitably bends to retrieve his phone.

He’s rather breathless when he straightens: ‘Right, Liz, should I be afraid of getting hit on by my future mother-in-law?’

‘No, it’s only her way of saying how much she likes you. Which, believe me, is like one in a million, so count yourself lucky.’

‘How reassuring. This is the notorious “Garvey Way”, is it?’

They’ve now reached the top of the stairs and suspiciously right next to where their room is. She watches him swallow heavily when she pushes him against the wall.

‘I think you’ve experienced it often enough, haven’t you?’ she purrs suggestively.

His eyes darken, then fall to her lips. He swallows again.

‘I wouldn’t mind a refresher course. Anything to kill off this bloody jet lag,’ he murmurs and fuck, they’re now so close she can feel his voice rumbling low in his chest. ‘And I take it you also don’t want to join the others to watch football?’

She laughs as she happily pulls him inside. ‘Not on your fucking life.’