She guessed it all started the night he had told her he was going to stop pressuring her about their relationship. Something about the way he had said it, something about the way he had held himself. She had told him it was "self-actualized," but really, it was just strong and confident and sexy as hell.
Somehow, suddenly, he had ceased to be the goofy, gangly kid from Kewaunee she had met at that bank robbery several years earlier, and he had become a man, and one that she knew she wanted to be with.
So, in typical Jordan Cavanaugh fashion, the minute she fell in love with him was the minute he told her he would stop pressuring her to fall in love with him.
After that, it had been kind of a whirlwind. First date, first tentative kisses, first blissful night wrapped in each other's arms. Then, after nine month of being almost inseparable, he had slipped a ring on her finger on Christmas Eve.
She had opened her mouth to say no, she wasn't ready yet, but she was surprised to hear herself say, "yes."
Their brief engagement was much like their courtship, and they spent the next weeks in a dizzying rush, trying to finalize wedding plans and...househunting.
It had been Woody's idea to give up both their apartments and buy a house. Jordan had agreed, somewhat reluctantly, and found her evenings and weekends filled with endless tours and open houses.
The realtor had found a house she just knew the happy couple would love, and Jordan left work early to meet Woody there. It was a nice place in a neighborhood not too far from where she had grown up.
They stood in the middle of the master bedroom. Woody waited until the real estate agent excused herself so he and Jordan could talk.
"So? What do you think?" He walked around the empty room, his shoes echoing against the hardwood floor.
"I don't know...'' Jordan turned a small circle. "I like my apartment. Why can't we just stay in my place?"
He sighed. "Because," he started in a weary sing-song. "Because it's barely big enough for one person let alone two. Because I'm not the kid from Kewaunee with twelve-hundred dollars in his pocket anymore, I'm a man who's about to get married. Because I want a home. Our home, Jordan."
She wrinkled her nose and strolled around the room. "It's all right."
"All right? Jordan! Look at this place!" He stretched his arms out. "It's a steal! It would be a bargain at twice the price!"
"And did you bother to ask why the price is so low? It's probably built on Indian burial ground or something. You know, I think I feel a cold spot right here..."
He laughed and planted a kiss on her forehead. "Jordan, I know you've some reservations about this homeowner thing, but this house is everything we've talked about. It's in the city, so neither one of us has to quit our job. The neighborhood is safe, the schools are great..."
"Schools? Woody, we've talked about this, and you know I'm not ready for kids, yet."
"Hey..." He took each of her hands in his. "That wasn't a hint, Jordan. I promise. I just want us to be prepared if, when, the day arrives, okay?"
She gave him a wan smile. "Okay."
"And, come on. You've got to admit. This place is great. Hardwood floor, huh? Did you check out the jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. Pretty sweet! And hey...did you see this?" He opened the door to the massive walk-in closet.
"Nice. But where's your closet, Woody?"
He smiled and nodded appreciatively. "Well, I take it from your attempt at humor that you're maybe warming up a little?"
She rocked her head back and forth. "It's not bad."
"Not bad. I can work with that." He slipped his arms around her. "So, what's the verdict?"
She sighed and kissed him quickly. "Call her back in here."
Woody grinned and called out for the agent, who scurried back in expectantly. "Well?"
Woody grabbed Jordan's hand and squeezed it. "We'd like to make an offer."
They had married two months later, on St. Patrick's Day. She wore green.
After Woody rejected the idea of having their wedding in the morgue, they had been married in front of their family and friends at the bar where they had their first real date.
Then, they had embarked on a week-long honeymoon in Hawaii where they had hardly left their hotel room. They had spent most of their time curled around each other, where she learned every inch, every ripple of her new husband's body. He was beautiful, and she found herself falling more and more in love with him every day.
It was a wonderful week: the culmination of a long and winding relationship that had led them here. She had never thought she could be so blissfully, magically happy.
And then they returned home and reality set in.
And she discovered several things about married life:
Jokes become exponentially less funny with each retelling.
Men seemingly have some genetic inner-ear flaw whereby the speaker must repeat everything three times in order for it to finally sink in.
Personality traits that seem "cute" and "quirky" during the courtship become, upon marriage, really annoying.
Really, really annoying.