"This bracelet is so lovely, Penelope. How did you even know that I was going to get you an emerald necklace?" Erin asked as they fell into bed that evening. Penelope shrugged as she ran her thumb across the pendant she was wearing. "Well, this just proves that we were fated to be soulmates. Because you know me so well."
"I should hope that I do. Um, the girls and I had a good discussion on the way to the church today. Tabitha's birthday is coming up, and they told me that she'll be of an age to choose which parent she lives with, and well, they want to live with us. I told them yes. I want to be a family, Erin. I mean, you did the hard job of raising them until now, and I'm just coming in on the back end, but…I'll get to have the experience of having kids. You, you don't mind, do you?"
Erin responded by giving her a hard kiss, flipping Penelope onto her back as she straddled her body, staring down into her face as she shook her head. "No, I do not mind at all. Thank you, my darling one. God, I wish that my parents were not here right now, because I would love to make you mine right now. It just feels weird with them here."
"I totally understand. But we do have all this week where we could make use of my very empty apartment. Packing up my clothes will take time, after all, and we could totally say that we lost track of time."
"I love the way that your brain thinks, darling," Erin said lowly as she stretched out along Penelope's body, pulling the covers up around them. "I hope that you don't mind this. I love feeling your skin against mine, and I like being on top. David understood that, Alan never did."
"Why does it not surprise me that you like to be in control? But it is nice to give up that control once in a while. Can I tell you a secret?"
"There are no secrets between us, I promise. But I will keep what you reveal close to my heart and never reveal it unless you ask me."
Penelope smiled as she leaned up and kissed Erin softly. "I love your parents. My mom and stepdad have been dead for more than half my life, my dad died when I was a baby, and it is really nice to have parental figures in my life once more. I know, I shouldn't think of them that way, since they're yours, but I'm yours, too. Right?"
"Right. And I am perfectly willing to share them with you. I think my mother is smitten with you, too. And that's partly because I couldn't shut up about you whenever I called them. I was trying to fool myself by calling you my dear friend, but I think that Mom knew before I did that I cared for you much deeper than as a friend."
"Even before you knew that we shared a song?"
Erin nodded. "I knew that there was something deeper to this friendship that I wanted with you. Something happened in the mobile command unit, and I knew that I couldn't keep fighting it. Even while you were so sweet to encourage me to continue sleeping with David. He is very good at scratching that particular itch, but I have this feeling that you'll make that itch go away. In the best possible way, darling. You make me feel complete, which makes sense, since you're my soulmate." She kissed her once more before letting her head come to rest on Penelope's shoulder. "Did you enjoy your first Christmas with me? With us?"
"It was wonderful. I wish that Derek would have stayed here, so that he could help us with moving, but Reid's agreed to help us with that, should we need him."
"That will be nice. I've wanted to get to know him better. So, how about we pack on the twenty seventh and have him help all of us move on the twenty eighth? Mom and Dad fly out tomorrow already, so I want to spend the entire morning with them before they return to Mount Vernon."
"That is perfectly all right. We could take everyone out to brunch in the morning, and head to an art museum before we have to drop them off at the airport. Does that sound all right to you?"
"I think that that sounds perfect." Erin rubbed her cheek against her skin, and Penelope smiled as she started to run her fingers through Erin's hair, the motion soothing her heart. "Is there anything that you want that you didn't get today?"
"I did not get enough kisses," she teased, feeling Erin laugh soundlessly before she turned her head and pressed her lips against her collarbone. "Um, that is a most wonderful mistake for me to have made, dumpling. Because if you keep kissing me there, I'm going to want to skip over tomorrow and go right into the twenty seventh."
"I don't think there's a chaste place to kiss you right now."
"I suppose that I'll have to ask for a raincheck on those lips of yours, then. As long as the first place you kiss me in two days is right here." She reached down and took hold of Erin's hand, placing it between her breasts to rest on her heart. "I'm longing to feel your lips claim that spot as yours."
"I think I can make that desire come true tonight. If you trust me."
"Of course I trust you. I love you."
Erin sat up to give her a tender look before she moved down Penelope's body and paused to look up at her. "I love you, my darling Penelope," she whispered before lowering her lips to her chest and pressing a feather light kiss to her chest. "These last four months have been literal magic for me." Erin once more curved her body around Penelope's, letting her head thump down on her chest. From where she positioned her ear, Penelope knew that Erin was listening to her heart beat in her chest. "I knew that I would find myself falling for you when I realized that we shared a song. I just didn't know that falling in love with you would be so damn easy."
"Falling in love with you was easy for me, too. I know, the song makes things easier, but that doesn't explain just how easy our conversations were while I was in London. We really formed such a good friendship, that it easily blended into where we are now." Penelope let out a small sound of pleasure as she started to stroke Erin's hair. "But you still owe me a night at the opera. I would have thought that would have been one of your gifts to me."
"I'm actually waiting to hear from one of my contacts in New York. There's something that I want to show you, but I'm hoping to get better tickets than what's currently available. After all, your first time at the opera should be an excellent experience, and I am willing to hunt for just that. There hasn't been a revival of my favorite Handel opera Stateside since 1999, when Renée Fleming took the title role, and I really would like to see another staging of it."
"Well, I will keep my fingers crossed for that then," Penelope murmured as she reached out with her free hand and grabbed her tablet, quickly unlocking it. "How do you spell that?"
"Why? Are you going to listen to it?"
"Yes. If it's your favorite, I want to hear what it sounds like."
Erin let out a pleased sigh before spelling out the title of the opera, while Penelope tapped it into YouTube, finding a production of it that looked extremely interesting and adding it to her watch later queue. "I think that I'm going to fall asleep sooner than later here. I was up too early to still be up this late."
"That's fine, dumpling. I'll be following right after you," Penelope answered as she set the tablet back on the nightstand before slipping off her glasses and turning the lamp off. "Thank you for making this a wonderful Christmas for me. Even if I don't want to see your parents go quite yet. We'll have to go see them soon. Yes?"
"Yes, darling." Erin pressed her lips against Penelope's chest before yawning widely. "I'll see you in the morning." Penelope nodded as she encircled Erin in her arms, finding a deep sense of contentment filling her soul as she drifted off to sleep.