I wanted to write a story about fated mates, but what happens if the couple have been together a long time but haven’t worked on their relationship in a while. In Buy Me a Rose, Nat and Jess definitely love each other, but they’ve slipped into a routine in life and with each other. Even their kids have noticed and they decide to do something about it as their parents celebrate their 30th Mate anniversary.
All four kids stepped forward and grinned at him and Jess where they stood across the room from one another. A painful metaphor for reality.
Evan lifted a glass and tapped it, ringing a clear tone in the room. The room quieted.
“Mom and Dad, please come forward.”
Nat joined Jess in front of their pups. He slipped his arm around his Mate’s waist and noted that she stiffened for just an instant before relaxing. That was not good. He lifted his lips in a smile, determined that his kids wouldn’t know there was something wrong. They’d put too much into the evening.
“Now, it’s time for our gift,” Evan stated.
“But the party…” Jess said.
“Grandparents, both sides.” Carrie patted Jess’ arm while Jess smiled at her parents and his.
“Ahem.” Evan cleared his throat loudly, bringing forth some laughter. “Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad.” He handed Jess a card and she opened it. Inside was a room key. “We got you a suite at the Aerie Ski Resort along with attendance at a special event for the weekend.”
“Special event?” Nat asked.
“They’ll explain when you check in tonight. We have suitcases packed for you and a limo outside waiting to drive you to the resort.”
“I can drive,” Nat argued. Jess elbowed him, giving him the eye, so he forced a smile to his lips.
“Don’t worry, Dad. We’ll make sure the car gets home.” Spence held out his hand and Nat reluctantly handed over his keys, while pretending he was thrilled to hand them over.
“Drive carefully,” he murmured to his son. He frowned when Evan snagged the keys from Spence.
“No worries, Dad.”
Spence quickly grabbed the keys back, well aware that Evan tended to be a bit of a daredevil behind the wheel. He winked at Spence and his younger son winked back. Evan sighed and rolled his eyes.
“We saw this event advertised and really thought it would be great for you guys,” Wendy told them. She opened her mouth to say more, but Carrie nudged her and their younger daughter blushed slightly and shut up.
Now, he was worried. What the hell kind of event was this? But his pups knew better than to set them up with anything wild. Maybe it was just a Valentine’s Day special or something. That would work great, especially because he hadn’t managed to find a really nice anniversary gift for Jess yet. He’d planned to shop tomorrow, but now that was out. He hoped there was a decent shop up at the ski resort or he was doomed.
Everyone conducted them out to the limo and he held the door for Jessica. She waved, then scooted in so he could sit down. His pups shut the door. As the limo pulled into traffic, he and Jess were trapped in silence. He looked his Mate. She looked at him. And he could not think of a single word to say. Damn.