“Ah, well, all’s fair in love and war,” Zach replied with a shrug before leaning a bit closer, copper eyes locked on hers as one hand gently cupped her cheek, “And this, sweetheart, is the former.”
After waving goodbye to their guests, packing their things, and making sure that the puppies were being looked after, Zach and Audrey had departed on the first step to the rest of their lives. Or, in simpler terms, their honeymoon. They hadn’t been able to settle on one location that they both could agree on, so they’d decided to go to several different places instead.
Their first stop had been Venice – Zach’s personal choice. He’d never been to the water-logged city, but he’d heard a good many things about it (and considering that he was half Italian, it naturally made sense for him to come to the country).
The nineteen-year-old, his arm slung around his new bride’s shoulders, steered them through the crowds of tourists who were all trying to find their very own bit of romance in the city which had become renowned for it. Still, Zach didn’t think that he needed the extra appeal of Venice to add romance to his relationship; after all, he already had that with Audrey.
Chattering at a million words per minute, barely stopping for breath, Zach pulled them through the streets, “So, I found this fantastic hotel that overlooks this one bridge that’s really quite lovely — hang on, it’s on this postcard.” He gently steered them to a stop, picking up a postcard from a nearby stand and showing it to Audrey, a natural goofy grin planted on his face as it had been for the past few hours. He missed the witch’s laugh at how ridiculously excited he was, for he’d noticed a gondola sailing through the water slowly.
“I’d like to try that,” Zach now babbled, “Except that I’m mildly frightened that you’re going to push me into the water, like you did in fifth year when I asked you to be my girlfriend. Remember that? At least you said yes, like you did when you agreed to marry me. That, in all honesty, was probably a ridiculous thing to do, because now you’re stuck with me. Forever.”
A cheeky grin accompanied his words, slightly undermining how serious he was. Forever was a long time, but he was sure that they’d be able to make it. After all, he was Zach and she was Audrey. They were made for each other.
He didn’t give her long to dwell on this matter for he’d spotted something again and had begun pulling her off in that direction. “Look, there’s that bridge from the postcard! Meaning that that’s our hotel,” he pointed a finger at the building on the other side of the waterway before pulling her over the bridge and toward it.
After checking in and finding their room, he was somewhat relieved to find that their luggage had all arrived there properly and was stacked near the door.
“Look at the view!” he exclaimed suddenly, pointing at the window. He took advantage of the moment that Audrey turned away from him to swipe up the chocolate that was on their pillows and stuff them in his mouth, plastering on his most innocuous face the second that she turned toward him once more.
“It’s starting to get late,” he noted, copper eyes taking in the setting sun outside the window that cast rosy shadows across the interior of the room.
“We could get dinner,” Audrey suggested after a moment. “I saw a nice pizza place on the other side of the bridge that we could try.”
“We could do that,” Zach agreed before giving her another cheeky grin, “But I have a better idea.”
Ten minutes later, the only sound that punctuated the silence was a giggle and a creak of the bed until Zach laughed and informed his wife, “This bed isn’t nearly bouncy enough.”
“I agree,” Audrey giggled from beside him before leaping once more, her slim hand reaching toward the ceiling. “Bet you I can touch the ceiling first!” she challenged him.
Zach threw his head back and laughed. “You’re on, Quinn-Nichols — or, er, Nyte now, I suppose.” He jumped on the bed once more, the mattress groaning under the sudden force of his weight as he leaped upward and skimmed the ceiling with his fingertips, landing and sticking out a tongue at her childishly before laughing once more.
He was so caught up in his own personal victory that he didn’t even notice what his wife was doing until he felt a sudden blow to the stomach and he was knocked backwards and onto the ground, blinking in surprise.
Audrey, standing above him, hefted her pillow again and stuck out her tongue childishly, mimicking his own action from a few seconds earlier. She leapt to the ground now and swiped at him with the pillow again, adding this time, “And that’s for taking my chocolate on the pillow.”
Zach shielded his head from blows from the pillow as she advanced before quickly raising his hands in surrender. “White flag! I give up!”
As Audrey paused, he took this opportunity to quickly pull the other pillow from the bed and swipe it behind her ankles, unbalancing her so that she toppled forward onto him.
“That wasn’t fair,” she murmured, her face only inches from his as she blinked her endearingly green eyes at him, “You already surrendered.”
“Ah, well, all’s fair in love and war,” Zach replied with a shrug before leaning a bit closer, copper eyes locked on hers as one hand gently cupped her cheek, “And this, sweetheart, is the former.” He pressed his lips to hers softly but quickly before pulling away and helping her back up.
“Now, come on, time for a rematch. I can do a hell of a lot more damage with a pillow when I get a proper chance,” Zach grinned.