For that boy I call my best friend and love so dearly, who made me chocolate fondue with strawberries (and marshmallows!) to end possibly the worst week in the history of the planet. Buddy, if you're going to do that every time I have one of those days (or weeks, in this case), I will end up marrying you. Love ya bud!
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"It's raining". Nick 'Carbo' Karandonis crossed his arms across his chest, rather grumpily, reminding Ben Rafter oddly of a five year old.
"Its monsooning", his girlfriend Retta corrected.
"Ben, its monsooning".
"Play Monopoly", Ben suggested.
"Watch a DVD", his wife said at the same time.
The two had been planning their romantic night together for a month. Melissa had cancelled a movie night out with her friends and sister in law, and Ben had, as the boss, refused to work. Candles, music- Ben had even borrowed a fondue pot (he had proudly smuggled it in under his jacket, much to Melissa's delight. "A fondue pot!")
Nothing was going to ruin their night in, not even their two housemates.
"We've watched them all", Carbo grumbled.
Not once had that stopped him, when he begged to watch Transformers over and over and over…
"Monopoly's boring", Retta grumbled.
It was only twenty four hours earlier that Retta was bouncing around on a sugar high, begging they play Monopoly.
Melissa eyed Ben, her blue-green eyes boring into her husband. Stuttering a little, Ben glared at his friends.
"You know, you can still go out", he told them pointedly.
"I don't care". Ben stared, keeping eye contact until Carbo buckled.
"Fine, fine", Carbo grumbled, putting an arm around Retta protectively. "Come on, sweetie, we'll go and watch a movie and leave the tartlet twins alone".
"The who?" Retta giggled.
"Tartlet twi- you weren't there, never mind".
"Fondue", Ben whispered to his wife and laughing, the two retreated up the stairs, Retta and Carbo making themselves comfortable on the couch.
The two lay on their stomachs on the carpet, Ben stirring the melting chocolate with a skewer. It had come to a point in their relationship where they were comfortable in the silence, relishing in each other's company.
"I love this, you know?" Melissa said suddenly. "Just you and me and melted chocolate".
"And those two downstairs", Ben murmured.
"They've gotta go".
Ben had kicked Carbo out of the house more than once- but they had always ended up under the same roof, less than an hour later. He remembered the day he had arranged a hot air balloon ride for a romantic day out, kicked Carbo out of the house, and returned to find out that he had turned their bedroom into an eighties porno.
Complete with a waterbed.
But it was moments like that that they wouldn't forget. Couldn't forget.
And would bring up at every moment when they were telling stories about Carbo (the last family barbecue, introducing Retta to the Rafters, Melissa and Ben had quite cheerfully told the story, Nathan laughing and throwing in his two cents worth).
"That flame just went out, didn't it?" Ben sighed heavily, eyeing the empty box of matches. "I'll be right back".
"I'm waiting!" Melissa batted her eyelashes.
Ben thundered down the stairs, leaping up and opening the top cupboard in the kitchen.
"I win", Retta said in a monotone.
Turning around, Ben found his housemates playing thumb wars on the lounge, watching the black TV and the rain streaming down the windows.
"You clearly live the life", Ben commented cheerfully, grabbing the matches and heading for the stairs again.
"What are the matches for?" Carbo wanted to know.
"The fondue- crap!"
The pair leapt off the lounge. "There's fondue?" they howled together.
"Mel!" Ben ran towards the stairs, slamming their bedroom door and leaning against it.
Melissa eyed him suspiciously. "What was that?"
"Is it cheese or chocolate?" Carbo leant on the door with all his weight.
Ben slammed it again.
"I prefer chocolate, I'm just saying!" Retta called.
"The guys want a taste of fondue", Ben said apologetically.
Melissa delicately drizzled chocolate over a handful of strawberries, passed the plate to Ben, and her husband slipped out of the door.
She heard a furious whispered conversation; complete with a high pitched squeal (she was betting from either her husband or Carbo), before Ben opened the door once more.
"Apparently fondue isn't fun unless you can dip it yourself", Ben said sheepishly.
Melissa had to laugh, as Carbo and Retta burst into the door and settled themselves down on the bed, leaning down with the strawberries into the fondue pot.
It wasn't how she wanted her night to turn out, she giggled, as Ben offered her a chocolate covered strawberry, but she supposed it was inevitable. Because nothing in that house could happen unless all four occupants were involved.
"I'll get the marshmallows", she laughed, heading downstairs.