《In Five Years》Chapter 20

"Oh, now this is comical." Ethan holds back laughter, and honestly, I don't blame him. There's a smile tugging against my lips as I lean against the entry of his room, my come stain evident against my khaki pants. "Can't deny it now, can you?"

"Shut the hell up." I laugh and pick up a water bottle to chuck at him. "I need to borrow a pair of pants."

"Clearly." He laughs, and Maya's face is beat red as she tries to avoid looking at the stain. "Third drawer." He points to his dresser and I rummage through it until I find a pair of sweatpants. "I would kick your ass, but to be honest this is just too good of a story. Did you honestly come in your pants?"

"I would really not like to talk about this right now." I say and glance at Maya, who quickly looks back down to her phone.

"But you guys are together, right?" He asks.

We didn't exactly clarify it, but I think so, right? I don't know. I don't want to tell Ethan something before I talk to her.

"Just stay out of our business!" I laugh. "I don't harp on you about you and Maya."

"That's because we've been dating for like, four years." He protests. "This is big news, and as much as I want to kill you for doing whatever the hell it is you did in there with her, I'll admit that I'm relieved. You look happy as hell now, and maybe we can actually play a game without you looking like you're about to cry every five seconds."

Maya giggles, and I pick up another water bottle to toss at his head. "I don't know why you stay with him." I tell her. "Especially in this messy ass room."

"Eh, I got used to it." She shrugs. "I love the boy more than the mess."

Maddie appears in the doorway again, her hair messed up and her cheeks still red from minutes ago. She looks beautiful.

"Aren't you guys coming down for dessert?" She asks.

"Yeah, but why are you going?" Maya cocks her head to the side. "Didn't you just have some?"

"Oh!" Ethan turns to high five her and then gives her a quick kiss. "See? This is why I'm dating her."

Maddie looks about as red as a tomato, but rather than get embarrassed she straightens her shoulders and shrugs. "That was good too, but I'm starving now. Let's go."

So she's not hiding it. She wants this. She doesn't regret it.

I can't wipe the smile off my face, and when she grabs onto my hand to lead me downstairs she doesn't let it go. She walks into the kitchen with our parents, her hand tightly in mine. I give it a squeeze and roll my eyes when my dad acts surprised. He knew I was going to give her the gift card for the plane tickets. He helped me buy it.

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"Well isn't this a lovely surprise." He says. "I take it she liked the Christmas gift?"

"What gift?" Mary turns around from the sink and sees us holding hands. "Oh!" She shouts with excitement. "Oh, I'm so happy for you both. What did he get you?"

"A gift card for American Airlines." Maddie smiles. "So that we can continue to see each other after break."

Or during.

I have to leave in two days to go back for football. As much as I want to stay here the whole break, I can't. I wish I had told Maddie my feelings sooner. We could have had these entire two weeks to just be with each other instead of try to hide our feelings.

There's no way in hell I'm going to be able to go without seeing her for more than two weeks. I'll drive the three hours if I have to for a weekend. I'll do it.

"That is so sweet." Mary says just as her dad adds, "it's about damn time."

Maya and Ethan join us in the kitchen, and Mary passes out everyone a slice of pie. It's delicious. Almost as sweet as Maddie.

For the first time we're able to be together as a couple with both of our families and have it not be awkward. For the first time everyone truly accepts us. They're happy for us, and suddenly everything seems to fall into place.

I've got the girl of my dreams. I might have the career of my dreams too. I want to get down on one knee right here, right now. It would be too soon for Maddie, but I know deep down that's exactly how I feel. I've known it since that first kiss with her. She's the love of my life, and one day I know that she's going to be my wife.

"I love you." She leans up to whisper into my ear, almost as if she knows exactly what I'm thinking.

"I love you too." I whisper back and smile down at her, bending slightly to give her a kiss to her forehead. "When exactly can I come back over tonight?"

"Probably midnight." She shrugs. "When everyone's sleeping."

I nod and press my lips to hers, smiling when she pulls me by my dress shirt to bring me closer. I can tell she wants me, and I want her too. I just have to wait a few more damn hours.

"Okay." Ethan clears his throat. "I know I said I was cool with this, and I am, but can we please tone down the PDA until I can get used to it?"

"Oh, shut up Ethan." Maya swats him and sends Maddie a wink. Maybe there's hope for them after all. "Let them enjoy being together for once."

"Whatever." He mutters and goes back to grab another slice of pie. I honestly don't know where he puts it.

"So, are you coming back home tonight?" My dad suddenly asks, and I look at him as if he's crazy.

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"Why wouldn't I be?"

"Well, I just didn't know if you had plans with Maddie."

Maddie's parents must understand what I'm thinking because Mary laughs and lets out a tiny sigh. "You kids aren't in high school anymore. You're adults. If you want to stay the night Cameron it's fine. Just be safe please. All I'm asking."

"Mom!" Maddie yells out, completely horrified.

"We wouldn't be responsible parents if we didn't say it." Her dad adds, and Maddie looks like she wants to be anywhere but here right now. It takes everything I have not to laugh. "We didn't get upset when he stayed the night a few days ago, right? Why would we be upset now?"

"Oh my god, okay." Maddie says. "Cam, we're going. Come on." She grabs my hand and practically drags me upstairs, slamming the door shut behind her. "I am so sorry about that."

"They just care about you." I chuckle and bend down to kiss her forehead. "It's sweet."

"It's embarrassing as hell." She mutters.

"Well they did just agree to let me spend the night..." I trail off and snake my arms around her waist. "It could be worse, right?"

"I guess." She smiles, and when I go back in to kiss her she pulls away. "Let me shower first and get ready for bed, okay?"

I reluctantly agree and sit down onto her bed, watching as she runs a brush through her hair. She reaches into her vanity drawer and pulls out some makeup remover and wipes her face clean.

"What?" She looks at me in the reflection of the mirror, and I can't help but let out a tiny sigh of relief. She's mine again. I've got her. I'm never letting her go.

"I just missed you." I reply honestly. "I missed this. You and I... together."

"Me too." She says shyly. "I'll be right back."

I tug on her wrist to pull her between my legs, and her hands come up to wrap into my curls just like I love. Just like she always used to. "Okay, beautiful." I whisper.

She's so gorgeous without any makeup on. She's truly a vision. I don't understand how I got so lucky to get her again, but I'm going to do whatever the hell I can in order for this to work out between us long distance.

"I love and hate when you say things like that." She sighs. "The things you do to me, Cam..."

"I can't help myself." I trail off and move my hand underneath her dress again, feeling the fabric of her tights. "I haven't been able to feel this body of yours for a long time Maddie. I never want to let you out of my sight."

I must have said something wrong because she stares down at her feet between my legs, biting gently onto her lower lip.

"Are you okay?" I ask. "Did I say something wrong?"

"No." She smiles softly, but she still seems sad. "I just heard your dad saying at dinner tonight how you have to leave in two days, and I'm just... struggling with it now I guess."

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"We're going to make it, Mads." I grasp onto her hands. "I'm going to do whatever it takes, alright? We're so close to our dreams. So close."

"Well, not for me." She sighs and lets me pull her down onto the bed with me. She lays on her back and I turn on my side so that I can play with her hair. "I'm hoping to get into med school, and that could mean another three to four years for me."

"Well then it'll be another three to four years of school." I shrug. "And I'll be right by your side the entire time. We can do this, Maddie. Even if you think we can't. I think it's so hot that you want to be successful and graduate. I would never stand in the way of your dreams. You know that."

"I know." She smiles again and snuggles closer to me.

"What made you want to become a doctor anyways? When did you decide that's what you wanted to be?"

She goes into a long story about her internship at the clinic and how incredible it was the first year. How funny and entertaining the kids were. She realized it didn't feel like work anymore, and that's when she knew that it was something she wanted to do forever. She wanted to save kids.

I didn't think it was possible, but I'm pretty sure I fell in love with her a little more.

"It's just so stressful, you know?" She stares up at the ceiling and briefly closes her eyes. "It's all I want to be, but school is so frustrating. Yale isn't what it's cracked up to be. Well, maybe it is, but I'm fighting so hard to remain at the top of my class that I haven't even had the chance to be a real college student, Cam. I haven't gone to a party, I haven't gotten drunk, I haven't done drugs or done stupid shit. I feel like I've been robbed of an experience."

"You haven't." I reassure her. "The parties are lame. You're not missing out on much. I think..." and then I kiss her cheek. "That being at the top of your class at fucking Yale is a lot more cool and interesting than attending some college parties."

She nods, but I can tell that it's still bothering her. She just wants to be a normal college student, and I understand that. I feel the pressure just like she does.

"The pressure isn't always easy, baby, but it's going to be worth it."

"What?" Her eyes light up at the nickname. I can't help but laugh. "What did you just call me?"

"Baby?" I tease.

She rolls on top of me and presses her lips to mine before she quickly crawls off of me. "Save that for when I get back." She teases.

"You're terrible!" I call out as the door closes behind her, a permanent grin plastered to my face.

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