They had all been more than a little curious as they had left after the viewing of the painting. Everyone snagging a cookie or two before they went on their way. Yael had waved them off, leaning lightly against Quentin as he did. He looked exhausted and Quentin knew it wasn’t all that surprising. This had been a lot of stress for a single young man to go through, after all.
“Why don’t we get some rest? Tomorrow is going to be a big day, all the setting up and preparing. We have to decide what we’re preparing for that meal. It’s been some time since we’ve last cooked for so many people.” Yael still was leaning slightly against him at that point though once the door closed and the last of their guest was one, he turned to his companion, one brow quirked slightly.
“What are you preparing?”
“That’s a surprise, love, please humour me and go with me on it all? Just think of it as having everyone over, it’s been forever and I feel like preparing food for everyone, something simple but delicious.”
“The one with the meat and veggies and at times tofu where everyone cooks their food themselves in the broth? Rice and salads on the side?”
Yael nodded, rubbing his eyes as he started to walk away from the door. He felt absolutely exhausted at this point and he knew that sleep would do him some good.
“That is actually a wonderful idea, we’ve never done that before, not even with Eoghan and his trips around the world, we’ll just need to get at least two pots but that’s something I can do tomorrow. I can get some beef, some shrimp and veggies. I’ll look online to find more information and I’ll do all that shopping. On Friday afternoon we can start slicing and dicing stuff, sounds good?”
So that was it there. They had sliced and diced, prepared plates, put them back in the fridge to keep certain four-legged fur balls from getting into the plates, they had prepared enough sauces they knew they’d have more leftovers than they knew what to do with it all. They had set up the table, prepared the broths (conveniently they used the broth Quentin had been preparing when Yael had finished his painting two days back), set everything up.
By the time their guests started arriving, the broths were beginning to bubble. Seats were taken at the table, plates handed out and, for this particular occasion, an occasion no one but Quentin understood the significance of yet, they even had wine. Even the twins were handed slight cups. Mira scrunched his nose at his own and was offered a glass of water instead.
The meal was eaten, the air filled with chatter and discussion about everything and nothing of importance, as usually was the case for their shared suppers. Several times over the course of the meal, Quentin left the table, looking into the fridge, as if to check to make sure that whatever he was worried about still was where it was meant to be.
Once the meal was done, he shooed everyone to the family room where the new painting had been hung onto the wall. Eoghan stayed behind along with Mira to help put things away, to help clear up the table. Once the table was clear, it was Eoghan’s turn to gently shoo Mira off to join the other, telling him they would be joining the lot of them shortly.
Finally alone with Quentin, Eoghan tilted his head somewhat to the side, a curious note escaping him. He looked down to the very nervous looking Quentin and set his hands on those shoulders. Quentin stopped his almost pacing and looked up, his eyes wide. There was a tiny hint of fear in them but Eoghan refrained from digging into the other’s mind.
“How about you tell me what this is all about?” He kept his voice low, knowing it wouldn’t carry over the talking being done in the family room.
Quentin licked his lips to moisten them as best as he could. He swallowed around a lump in his throat. Instead of answering, he opened the fridge and brought out a beautiful cake, already sliced in eight portions. Along with the cake he brought out a bottle of champagne.
Eoghan looked at both items, still confused and Quentin stepped closer. He moved to stand on the tip of his toes and once his lips were as close as he could manage to his friend’s ear, he whispered something. As he leaned back, Eoghan’s eyes widened. “Really?”
Breathing in deeply, Quentin nodded. He rubbed the back of his neck and rolled his shoulders. “I think this is the single boldest thing I’ll ever do in my life and I just want it to be right.”
Eoghan chuckled, patting Quentin on the shoulder gently. “Here, let’s just set the cake, along with the plates, the flutes, the forks and the champagne on this tray, we bring everything down to the family room. You do your thing and we pop open the champagne, sounds good?”
Again, Quentin licked his lips to try to get some moisture to them. He patted his pockets and nodded. “Okay.”
Eoghan smiled down to him once more and gathered everything onto the tray. Quentin walked to the family room, Eoghan nearly at his heels. The tray was set down and Quentin cleared his throat gently. Silence settled over their guests.
“Yael, could you come here, please?” Eoghan stepped to stand next to Lex, leaning comfortably against him. Yael moved away from the window and stepped closer. Once he was close enough, Quentin took Yael’s hand in his and eased down to one knee. Eoghan hid his grin as best as he could and the rest of their company stood, eyes just a little wide. Yael’s eyes were widest of them all.
“Yael, some people would think I’m crazy. A lot of people think I’m an asshole, I can’t stand most humans. When you entered my life, you changed me. You made me a better person, you helped me learn patience. I know our relationship hasn’t been an overly long one but every day, as I wake up, I tell myself that I couldn’t spend my life with anyone else. You’re all I want in life.”
He paused them, looking up to those icy-blue eyes, a film of tears covering them. “I don’t even know if we can make this work here but I don’t really care. I’m honestly doing this so you know how much you mean to me, so you know that I want to spend the rest of my life with you and that if you ever decided to move on, I think- no, I know I wouldn’t be able to let you go.”
As he offered those last few words, he clicked open the box he had been keeping in his pocket all meal long. It was a slim sort of box, black and velvety. Inside, a ring. It wasn’t overly fancy, it was a simple band with a long stone embedded into it. Inside, a few words engraved in a language long lost.
“Will you be mine until the very end of times?” The room was silent, eyes wide from all parties, even Eoghan who looked on, breath held as a single tear ran down Yael’s cheek. His lips pulled into a smile and he nodded. His other hand was in front of his mouth, as if unable to really believe what was going on, it didn’t seem as if it could be real, not at all.
Relief flooded him at that nod and Quentin slipped that simple, but oh so beautiful ring onto Yael’s finger. The fit was perfect.
He eased to his feet, Yael nearly throwing himself at Quentin and they hugged. Applause rose from their mock-crowd.
“This is so very wonderful, I’m almost jealous that Yael is the first one of us to get a ring.” He shot a glance to Lex who looked to Quentin and Yael in turn, the laughed and Eoghan blinked. “You guys are going to have to tell me what’s so funny. Later though, much later, for now, cake and champagne!”
He reached for the bottle, popping the cork and managing, surprisingly, to not get champagne foam everywhere. He filled in glasses while Lex took a moment to place the cake to the plates. He stepped to Eoghan however, a soft chuckle escaping him. “Thing is, I thought about putting a ring on that finger of yours, last Christmas. It’s what all that jewellery was meant for, I didn’t think we were ready for the ring itself.”
Eoghan looked up to him, his eyes widening again though he laughed in turn, handing out flutes as Lex handed out cake plates. This was a day that was meant to be celebrated to the very end and back.