I walk down the stairs throwing on a robe over my maroon pajamas. Mal though it would be a good idea if we all got into our nightclothes and played a game downstairs to distract us from the storm outside. She brought Ellen one of her spare outfits and Nick something of Dads since I refused to give my own up and it would never have fit Nick anyway. Dad wouldn't be too pleased if he heard about that. We vowed to never let him hear of this night. He does trust us but I'm not too sure what his reaction would be if he learned Nick had stayed over. Possibly a mix of what happened the time I turned the house into a hotel and when I sold his AT&T stock…

I'd rather not think about that.

I skip the last step of the stairs out of habit and walk into the living room. The table Mal set up is decorated with our old Monopoly game and I'm disgusted to see Nick handling the money so poorly. Wait a minute; did he just give Mal an extra hundred?

"Alright, alright, if I'm forced to play this game at least I get to be the banker." I step forward and snatch the money from Nick's hand before taking a seat in my favorite chair nearest to the door. Although its cold, it'll probably be a bonus because I'm bound to run out of the house eventually after having to spend the whole evening with this group of non-financial people.

"Alex, you always get to be the banker." Jen whines.

"Hey that's ok Jen, he can be the banker. I don't know nothing about this monopoly money anyway." Nick says.

Let alone real money.

After distributing the money out (including giving myself a 20 bonus. I deserve some credit here for doing all the work) The youngest, being Jen, reaches for the dice…until I grab for them first.

"Why don't we play so that the people who are going to be the most financially successful in life go first?" I leave out the part about people who make squat not playing.

Everyone stares at me in disgust. Fine, fine, it was worth a try.

So Jen grabs the dice again, jeez, picky picky…. 6. 1, 2, 3, 4…I'm going to go insane. Okay, 6. She moves the dog 6. I hear footsteps coming down the stairs and I see Ellen gracefully walk into the room. I can't explain it but suddenly I feel very possessive. I mean she's beautiful as always but… oh wait, she's walking over here. We creatively learn to sit together on my chair involving Ellen using the arms as a footrest but I won't go into too much detail. It is a bit embarrassing with all these people here. I'm not one for displaying affection but I just can't refuse Ellen. And, why is everyone looking at me?

"Alex, it's your turn!" Mal reminds me. Oh yeah.

"Ellen can roll for me."

"Yeah since you too seem to be a bit busy." Remarks my lovely brunette sister.

"You're one to talk." She and Nick are getting a bit too comfortable on the couch. Mal scrunches her face up at me.

And Ellen rolls, earning me a 10. I land on some random estate, and Ellen buys it for me. Usually I'd be checking out all of the prices and benefits and housing on each card but Ellen's in control and I'm becoming slightly flushed after she kisses me.

"Will you guys just puh-lease get a room." Jen says. I look up noticing Mal and Nick happened to be in the same predicament as Ellen and I.

"It's alright Jen, we can still have a fun time playing even without them." Skippy says.

"You know…that's a good idea Jen." I say and surprise myself when I pick up Ellen and start ascending the stairs. Surprisingly she's very light. I smirk, finally having an excuse to leave the room hosting the couple with the titles of Dumb and Dumber.

"Bye!" Ellen waves cheerfully to the group.

"You guys better not try anything!" Jen shouts at the foot of the stairs. Yeah, yeah.

In the hallway I lean against the door to my room and set Ellen down on the bed. She smiles her brilliant smile at me. I take a seat next to her and lean in for another kiss. Its these kind of environments where I don't mind showing affection for her. Our faces inch closer when suddenly another boom and flash cross the sky and Ellen draws back.

"This isn't the most romantic atmosphere, Alex." She says with a sigh. Hey it's not my fault there's a storm.

"I know. I know. But we're alone aren't we?" I lean in again, but she moves aside.

"Why don't we just talk instead?" Well… talking's good too, right?

"Okay, fine, sure." I say a bit too quickly. "Let's talk. So what did you want to talk about?" Let it not be our relationship please let it not be our relationship…

"I'm worried about you Alex." O... kay. I raise my eyebrows at her but she continues before I get a chance to speak.

"You have such a hard time expressing any affection for me in public." I gawk. How could she possibly say that after our completely open demonstration downstairs?

"Hey come on, give me a little credit here. You mean you didn't like all that kissing?"

"You're so stiff Alex. You need to loosen up." Oh come on don't ignore me now. I feel my eyes narrow and I stubbornly turn away. "Plus that was just your family." She adds.

"I just don't feel the need to publicly exploit our relationship, okay?" Alright so I am a bit defensive. I feel her hand on my back gently tracing, and suddenly flinch.

"I understand that Alex." She says softly. "But do you think you could try to be more open about us?" She's making me melt again. I sigh and lie down; she joins me and we face nose to nose.

"It's hard for me." I finally say.

"I know."

"I'll try." She kisses me in the dark.