Jay and I left Nottinghamshire at the end of the week so we could go look at places in London. There were some nice apartments—excuse me, flats. The British people called them flats and I still got that mixed up sometimes.
We had been back for two days and had looked online at a few places. We didn’t need anything too big—it was just the two of us, although having an extra room in case one of the guys needs a place to crash would be good.
“Jay?” I asked, sitting down on his bed. “I just got off the phone with a realtor and she wants us to look at a few places today, if that’s alright.”
He was walking around his room in his boxers. “Sure, what time? I’m free for the next few days.”
“Well, it’s 9 now, so maybe around 11?” I suggested. “And make up your mind about putting on clothes, teasing me like this isn’t fair!” I pouted, throwing a pillow at him.
He grinned wickedly at me, and we ended up being a little late for our meeting with the realtor.
We were pulling into the first place and thankfully, it hadn’t been swamped with fans yet. The realtor, Ella, shook our hands and walked us into the place. Five minutes in, Jay and I already knew this place wouldn’t work. It was too big and old fashioned in the architecture. “Jay!” I whispered, poking him in the side. “Look at that gorgeous wallpaper! And those stairs must be 200 years old!” I rolled my eyes and he sniggered at my sarcastic comments.
We left the place and went to somewhere much more modern. It was closer to the heart of the city, in a fun and eclectic section that wasn’t too far from the rest of the boys. It was totally modern, everything updated and new. The elevator to the 5th floor flat was a nice touch, too—Nights when Jay would come home after drinking would end badly with that many stairs and a clumsy boy.
I loved the place, and I asked Ella if Jay and I could talk alone. She nodded respectfully and left, the two of us standing around looking at the place. “So, is this is?” I asked Jay, wrapping my arms around his waist. “Is this our new home?”
“I love it. And there’s a doorman to keep out screaming fans!” he said excitedly. Fans tended to stake out houses and got a little too up close and personal sometimes. “Is this the one you want, Claire?”
I sighed. “It’s only the second place, but everything seems pretty perfect.” I looked up at Jay, his blue eyes gazing into mine. “I think this is the one.” I said, smiling up at him.
We signed the papers that evening. Jay was leaving the decorating and furniture shopping up to me as long as I swore not to get anything too feminine. I laughed, and called Maya, who was here with Tom. “Hey! Meet me at Nandos, you’re going to help me get furniture.”
“Sure, give me twenty minutes.”
I hung up and kissed Jay goodbye so I could go meet Maya. Jay, Tom, and the boys were going out drinking. I saw Maya waiting ant Nandos, and I waved as I went inside. We got dinner and sat down to talk about what we should buy. “I’m thinking something modern and classy with roughed-up touches.” I mumbled around a mouthful of food.
“Black or white furniture, leather, maybe stuff with studs or frayed edges. Bright wall paint to tie it together.”
I nodded, and we discussed the pros and cons of leather sofas versus fabric. We finished dinner and drove to a furniture outlet, working room to room, amassing a large pile of things to fix the place up with.
Three hours later, I locked eyes with Maya and we smiled wearily. “We kick ass.” I said. “I always knew I’d be good at interior decorating.”
“Hey, I helped!” She said indignantly. “Watch out, miss decorator, or soon you’ll turn into a boring old soccer mom with a minivan.” Maya said, and I grimaced.
“I will NEVER own a minivan.”
I rolled my eyes and checked out. Everything would be driven to the flat tomorrow. I drove back to Jay’s place and he patiently listened to me babble on about my shopping adventure. “Babe,” He said, putting his large hand over my mouth. “I’ll see all of the wonderful things tomorrow.”
“I’m sorry, I’m just excited.” I sat down on his lap, wrapping my arms around his neck. “It’s our first place together.”
“Our home,” He smiled, kissing me. “The furniture and candelabras and bedsheets don’t matter, Claire. I’ll be home, with you. And to me, home is wherever you are.”
I kissed him again, absolutely thrilled to start our new lives together. Living out here in England would take some getting used to, but as long as I had Jay, I wasn’t worried.