It’s entirely Mordelia’s fault that my idiotic but nonetheless absurdly endearing fiancé just left our flat without any trousers on.
It’s also entirely Mordelia’s fault that I’m frozen still, grinning stupidly to myself rather than running after the numpty.
Mordelia herself would vehemently disagree with my accusations. She’d say that the sole reason I even have a fiancé in the first place is thanks to her (and that him leaving without his bottoms on is his own fault and has nothing to do with her whatsoever). She’d also say the last thing is on me, for being a lovesick moron; a sap head over heels, irreversibly in love.
(She’d be right, of course, but that’s not the point.)
I could have—and would have, probably, at some point, maybe, possibly, perchance—asked Simon out all on my own without the help of my annoying baby sister. (She’d vehemently disagree with me calling her my baby sister, too, but as long as she’s younger than me, she’ll always be a baby in my eyes.) I’m capable enough to not need a prepubescent kid—and her propensity for not wearing trousers inside—to be my wingmen, for snake’s sake.
She had been staying with me in London during the last weekend of her Christmas holiday that year. Uni hadn’t started back up for me then yet, either, so we spent the day like tourists. I took Mordy to some of the museums she had been dying to see, letting her gape at the paintings and statues like the little art critic she was already shaping out to be. We’d wander into random cafés for coffee (or hot chocolate in Mordelia’s case) and sandwiches and self-indulgent slices of cake—and an occasional bookshop for me.
By the time we got home, my head was aching as much as my soles were, and Mordy was making me batty, complaining about just about everything. (She was too cold, because it was January. She was sweaty, because she’d been moving the entire day. Her shoes gave her blisters, because at 10 she was already as vain as I was at 21, and fashion was more important than comfort.) The absolute last thing I wanted to do was cook dinner, so I sent Mordy to shower while I ordered takeout for us. It was already far too much food for two people, and yet I couldn’t stop myself from adding dessert—just in case we hadn’t had enough sweets for one day yet.
Mordy was still in the bathroom when the doorbell rang—as I said, vain—, so I shouted at her to "hurry up!," before making my way over to the entrance to ring the food—or, more accurately, the delivery person—up.
I knew I was fucked more or less immediately. Even in the low quality video from the front door security camera, the man was breathtakingly gorgeous. (Literally. My breath got stuck somewhere in my throat the second I saw him).
(I’d ordered from this restaurant several times before, but I’d never seen this delivery boy before. I was fully prepared to order from this restaurant until the end of my life, though, if it meant I could see this delivery boy daily.)
With my brain short-circuiting, it took me a few moments to remember how to use the intercom.
I shook my head, in a futile effort to clear it. “Second floor,” I said, my finger turning white as it pressed down on the audio button. (I counted it as a win that my voice came out normal.) I watched him nod before he disappeared from the feed. And then I stayed staring at the empty street, still unable to think clearly, because I was already a lovesick—or at the very least, an absurdly infatuated—moron.
He was too, kind of, probably, possibly, because as soon as I opened the flat door for him, his jaw dropped, freckled cheeks turning the loveliest shade of red.
The security camera really didn’t do him justice. He was so much more beautiful from close up. Bright—the absolute most bland—blue eyes blinked up at me from under stubby, light eyelashes, wild eyebrows high on his forehead, disappearing under a mess of frizzy, bronze curls that I wanted to sink my hands into. (I wondered what kind of sinful sounds he’d be capable of making if I pulled on them just right.)
As his eyes trailed down my body, my trailed down his, taking in his long neck, his broad shoulders, his absolutely sinful forearms, the little chubbiness around his hips that would make him ideal for holding onto.
As I said. Perfect.
So we stood in the doorway like two lovesick morons, gaping at each other, for what felt like millennia, to me. (At this rate, Mordy would also probably say that she's the reason I believe in love at first sight, but that’s factually wrong. (And it sounds borderline incestuous, not to mention paedophilic.) I believe in love at first sight because of him.)
Mordelia herself, curse her, appeared in my periphery as I was opening my mouth. I’m not sure what I was going to say—knowing myself, I’d have probably snapped something rude at him that I would have regretted the second I said it—, but what came out was, “you forgot to put trousers on.”
His eyes widened and his cheeks flushed an even darker—nearly alarming, honestly—red, as he looked down at his legs, then back up at me in confusion when he confirmed for himself that he very much was wearing trousers. (He was. Jeans. Black ones, cuffed, ripped at the knees from overwear, along with a white t-shirt, plain except for a little stain at the bottom, not quite hidden by his jumper or his bag, and black high-tops.)
Unlike his, my complexion doesn’t allow me to blush much, thankfully, but I felt my cheeks burn nonetheless. I wanted the ground to swallow me whole, but it rudely didn’t listen to my silent begging, and I stayed staring at a now-concerned delivery boy.
“Mate, are you alright?”
Crowley, even his voice was perfect.
I wouldn’t have been able to answer him even if my words hadn’t fully abandoned me, because Mordelia chose that moment to twirl out from behind me.
I saw his eyes widen further as he took in the sight of my sister, still wearing nothing but a crop top and knickers, beaming up at him. “Hi!” He gave her a little wave in response to her own enthusiastic one. “Don’t worry, he was talking to me. I’m Mordelia Grimm. Who are you?”
“Uh, I— I’m Simon? Simon Snow?”
“Hi Simon Snow! This is my brother Baz! He’s gay and clearly already in love with you, so you should ask him out. He’s a bit of a prat, so he won’t do it himself, but he’s decent enough otherwise.”
Simon managed to collect himself faster than I did, my meek, “Mordy!” exclamation going ignored.
The shell-shocked look was slowly replaced by the smirk taking over his features. “Is he now?”
(Fuck, was he attractive.)
“Yep! He took me to museums today and fed me cake.” Then, after a beat, “wanna know a secret?”
They both ignored my exclamation again.
When he nodded, she beamed mischievously before gesturing from him to lean down to her level.
(If it wasn’t a preposterous idea, I’d consider the possibility that my father cheated on Daphne with Fiona, because this kid has to have some Pitch blood in her somewhere.)
As he leaned down, Mordelia got onto her tippy-toes (she wasn’t short for her age, but ten-year-olds aren’t notoriously tall—and while shorter than me, Simon didn’t qualify as short), exaggeratedly stage-whispering into his ear, “you might be wearing trousers now, but I’m sure Baz would love to take them off you.”
She’d sauntered away before either of us could react to that statement.
(She didn’t lie—I would have loved to undress him right there and then—but I did not want to know why my ten-year-old sister was capable of making sex jokes.)
Simon did ask me out that day, now more than five years ago. He asked me to be his boyfriend the day after our first date—also now more than five years ago.
He officially moved in with me after a bit less than a year of us dating. He quit his second job then—he wouldn’t be delivering any more takeout to any more poor souls who would seemingly accuse him of not wearing trousers. My sentimental self considered trying to persuade him out of doing it, but I knew he would never give up the bakery, and he didn’t need the money from two jobs now that he wasn’t putting himself through culinary courses. (And now that he had me. I never mention that, though.)
Since then, our meeting has become an inside joke, sleepily muttered every morning.
Simon wakes up earlier than I do, even though he doesn’t often take the opening shift anymore. The bakery is a tiny, family-owned business that sells the best pastries I have ever eaten—especially if they’re made by Simon. (That’s not even me being sappy, it’s just an objective, acknowledged fact.) He’s worked at the bakery since he was out of college; the owner might not have officially adopted him, but she’s as good as his adoptive mother at this point. He loves her; I do, too.
I don’t exactly have the luxury of sleeping in on weekdays either. My alarm is set three quarters of an hour after Simon’s, giving me around 10 minutes of snoozing time after he leaves to mentally prepare myself for the chaos that comes with teaching secondary students history.
His morning routine is nearly concerningly fast, but I’ve given up trying to get him to do even basic skincare. (I’m lucky if he smears sunscreen on himself during the summer months.) He showers, brushes his teeth, runs his fingers through his hair and dresses up in under 15 minutes, then uses the remainder of his time to make me my morning cup of tea and a sandwich for lunch. Then, before he leaves, he comes back into our bedroom, leaning down to place a gentle kiss onto my cheek.
He never means to wake me, but I’m always just awake enough to mumble a quiet, “don’t forget your trousers, love,” to him.
It always earns me another kiss; on my mouth, this time round.
He was running late today, though. I didn’t even need my alarm to wake me up, because his loud “bloody hell!” woke me up as he scrambled out of bed, half an hour later than usual. Also, the numpty was making such a racket outside I wouldn’t have been able to sleep either way. I think he was trying his best to be quiet, but he struggles with it at the best of times—being in a hurry so as to not be late does not count as the best of times, obviously. (He hates being late. He says nothing is more disrespectful than turning up late and wasting someone’s time.)
I stretched, feet finding my slippers. (They’re pink and fuzzy. Fiona thought she was being funny, but they’re ridiculously comfortable and I love them, so the joke’s on her). I stop and lean onto the doorframe, watching my ridiculous fiancé—fucking fiancé. It’s been three weeks since I officially asked him to marry me, and around three years since we agreed we’re it for each other, but I can still barely believe he said yes.
I can see the mug of steaming hot tea already on the counter, the tea bag still steeping, next to a sandwich-shaped lump of napkin. (He always wraps my sandwiches in napkins. Today’s is a light yellow one with chicks all over it—left over from Easter.)
There’s a smirk on my face when he turns to me.
“Good morning darling tea and lunch is on the counter I love you have a nice day got to run!” he says all in one breath, already running for the door.
“Love!” I call after him, snickering. “You forgot your trousers!”
He freezes with his hand on the knob, whispers "shit," then wastes no time swivelling around, striding over to me in large steps. He presses a kiss to my cheek and to my lips in quick succession and is out the door before I can manage to utter another word.
So. As I said. It’s entirely Mordelia’s bloody fault that my idiotic but nonetheless absurdly endearing fiancé just left the flat, in nothing but a white shirt with a tea stain from yesterday on the bottom of it, not quite covered by his jumper or his side bag, black high-tops, gold engagement ring on his finger, and ridiculous heart-patterned underpants, visible for the whole world to see.
(But. It’s admittedly not entirely Mordelia’s fault that I’m frozen still, grinning stupidly to myself rather than running after the numpty. That one’s on me being a besotted fool; a lovesick moron; a sap head over heels, irreversibly in love with Simon Snow.)