Chandler went quiet for a moment in what I was sure was a calculated sales technique. When he spoke again, his voice was gentle and sincere.
“Let me show you one more older home next weekend. It’s outside of Bethesda. Great property, lots of land, very private, but in a great neighborhood. It’s not even on the market yet. The listing is supposed to be up by next week. However, I can give you an early pass at it. If you hate it, we’ll go back to the drawing board. Thoughts?”
Aaron shot a quick sideways glance my way. “It’s a date.”
“Not a real date,” I qualified like a real dumbass. “I mean…yes. That sounds good.”
Chandler grinned, then led us through the green-carpeted maze of the house. We said another round of good-byes before heading to our car.
I pulled away from the curb and scowled. “A date?”
“Hmm?” Aaron scrolled the playlist on his cell before fastening his seat belt. “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t want to date Chandler,” I groused.
“A house-hunting date.” He snickered.
I tore my gaze from the road for a second and did a double take. “Are you smiling?”
“Yep. What’s wrong with smiling?”
I slowed at the stop sign on the corner. “Theoretically, nothing. But you look amused.”
“And what’s wrong with being amused?” Aaron countered, more amused and smiley than ever.
“Hmph. I’m getting sick of Chandler. And now…you’re really smiling.”
Aaron pursed his lips as if in an effort to keep his grin from spreading like wildfire across his face. He captured my hand and kissed my knuckles.
“I am. You’re cute when you’re pretend jealous.”
“I’m not pretend jealous or real jealous,” I protested.
“Maybe a smidge?” he teased, biting my thumb.
I yanked my hand away and fixed him with a mock glare that had him howling as I shifted gears and pulled into traffic again. “Okay, fine. Chandler has a crush on you and I don’t like it.”
“No, he doesn’t. But I suppose this is a good time to remind you that you are quite literally the best thing that ever happened to me,” he hummed dreamily.
I stole a peek at him. “Uh…thanks. What does that have to do with our infatuated real estate agent?”
“Chandler is straight. His ex-girlfriend is an editorial assistant at the magazine. And he isn’t the problem anyway. You’re not having fun.”
“No, I’m not. I don’t enjoy spending every Saturday with a hunky agent who drools over my husband like he’s the last brownie at a family picnic.”
Aaron chortled merrily. “I’m saving myself for you. Corner and middle pieces…all yours.”
I chuckled along with him. “So…what are we gonna do about this house dilemma? There’s no way we’re moving into a fixer-upper. We are not those people.”
“But…what if we learned to be those people?” he asked in a careful tone.
“Huh? How? When?” I shot another sideways glance in his direction before turning down an idyllic road with green fields dotted with massive trees, wild flowers, and horses in the distance.
He circled his wrist in that way he did when he was excited about an idea. “Hear me out. I’m just thinking aloud…what if we were the general contractors?”
“If we were the contractors, the house would fall around our ears,” I snarked.
“I’m serious, Matty. Listen, I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I’m not suggesting doing anything crazy ourselves, but we can certainly piece a few minor repairs and updates together to make a tired old house into a fabulous new home.”
“No, we can’t. We work. The last thing we’re going to want to do is sand floors or paint. We’ve done the painting thing before and—”
“And it was great! Our walls are perfection. Every color was chosen with love and applied with care. We can do it again.”