A smile danced across her lips as she lifted it from its resting place and turned it over. The envelope had not been sealed, so she slipped her finger under the flap, and slid it open. Removing the card housed inside, her smile widened at the cute picture of a cat, sitting atop a pile of presents, and holding a balloon.
Giggling a little at the image of him standing in the card shop deciding which one to buy, she unfolded the card. The message read: “With love, on your birthday” and below it, the familiar writing said: “… And always.” And that was all it said.
That was all it needed to say.
She closed the card and placed it back in the drawer, securing that before she left the room.
Walking into the kitchen, she wrapped her arms around her husband’s waist, where he stood preparing breakfast.
She placed a soft kiss to his back, before leaning her head against it, and saying: “Hey you.”
“Hey… I heard you moving around, what have you been up to?” he asked, making one of his hands free so that he could place it on top of hers.
She shrugged against him. “Just thinking…”
“My last birthday.”
“Uh oh,” he said, a teasing tone to his voice. “Don’t tell me you’re pondering the fact that you’re getting older.” He laughed, and then protested, “Hey!” when her hand slapped him on the stomach. “I said ‘older’ not ‘old’.”
This earned him another slap. “I can’t believe you said it at all. What makes you think I would be worried about getting older?”
“Well, all women worry about that… don’t they?”
For good measure she hit him again.
“Well what were you pondering then, my young, hot wife?”
She didn’t need to see his face to see the smirk it was wearing. “Well, if you must know, I was ‘pondering’ getting older – ”
“I knew it!” he exclaimed, turning in her arms so he could face her. “You could have admitted it in the first place, I don’t think any less of you.” He stroked the side of her face, with a smile that showed he was enjoying the glare she was sending to him.
She raised an eyebrow, but couldn’t conceal the amusement that was sparkling below it. “Gonna let me finish?”
He tried his best to stop it – for the sake of his health – but his smile widened. “Sure.”
“I was thinking about getting older… with you,” she said softly.
Now his eyebrow quirked. “Oh, yes?” he asked, pulling her closer to him. “And what did you… think?”
She settled into his tighter embrace and wrapped her arms around his neck. “I thought… that I’m looking forward to it… Every single year of it… Regardless of how old I will get!” she grinned, moving her head closer to his.
He returned her action, and their lips were merely centimetres apart. “Well, good… Because I plan on it being something worth looking forward to.” He pressed his lips against hers once, softly, then pulled back. “Are you ready for your birthday breakfast… And cake?” he asked, eyes glowing with excitement.
“Cake? For breakfast?” she smirked.
“No!… Cake for dessert,” he replied, as if it should be obvious.
She laughed, then straightened her face. “By the way, thank you.”
He frowned. “For what?”
“For my card.”
“I haven’t given it to you yet,” he said, his trademark expression of confusion shaping his features.
“Last year’s card,” she explained.
“Have you only just got that?” he quipped.
“I never thanked you for it.”
He shrugged, “Yes you did.”
It was her turn to frown. “I’m pretty sure I didn’t.”
“Nine days later, you walked into my office and handed me your latest mission report, and I said: ‘Punctual as always, Carter’, to which you replied with your breathtakingly beautiful smile – which I’m being treated to now – and then as you left, you whispered, ‘Always.’”
Her eyes widened. “You heard that?”
“Yes I heard it… And then I knew.”
“That one day we’d be right where we are now… And knowing that was all the thanks I needed.”
Her smile outshone itself, and she pulled him to her. “You’re getting soppy in your old age.”
“Hey! Less of the old!… I’m not the one who’s another year older,” he grinned.
She soon wiped that off his face with a passionate kiss to his lips.
Breaking for air, she leaned back to focus on him, grinning cheekily: “Do I get presents now?”