“Let me see if we’re all on the same page,” Aaron said, glancing around the table at his brothers and friends. “The six of us pile into Joab’s Highlander—”
“If we all fit with luggage and everything,” Hayden interrupted.
“—if we all fit,” Aaron acknowledged. “Then we’ll drive to Flores and drop Hayden and Owen off at the airport so they can return to the States.”
“Oh, yeah, I’m looking forward to some good Middle Eastern cuisine.” Owen rubbed his belly in anticipation.
“Maybe we should stop at the Garden House down in Rosendale on our way home,” Hayden suggested. He and Own reached out for a fist bump.
“You guys can do whatever the heck you want once you return to the States, but let’s get back on track.” Aaron was excited to get this planned. “The rest of us will drive south to Guatemala City, find the passport issue center or embassy or whatever they call it, get Felicia fingerprinted, photographed, and issued a passport—”
“Which is going to cost a small fortune,” Felicia said in a hesitant voice.
Aaron considered her hesitancy for a moment. He knew she was excited to come with him to the States. But that was about the fifth time she’d been concerned about money since he’d met her. He’d have to look deeper into that one of these days. For now, he needed to get her onto an airplane and take her home with him.
“I have plenty of money, darling. It’s okay.” Aaron lifted their adjoined hands and kissed the back of hers, then continued, bringing a little humor into the conversation. “You and I will board a jet in Guatemala City and Joab and Kisa can ride off into the sunset together and live happily ever after.”
“Until you return to the Republic and require my services again to drive you around so you can solve all the problems in Central America and bring about world peace.” Everyone chuckled at Joab’s joke not acknowledging Aaron’s insinuation that Joab and Kisa we officially a couple.
“Exactly,” Aaron said. “Everyone on board?” They all nodded.
“Let’s get packing.” Owen stood and pushed his chair back.
“Uh… I don’t own a suitcase,” Felicia said.
“Guess it’s time to go shopping.” Aaron stood and offered her his hand.
“I don’t have a lot of money.” Felicia spoke softly, turning her head as if speaking to just Aaron even though there were four other people in the room.
“Let’s you and I go take a walk out to the pasture and check on Lui,” Aaron whispered. He took her hand and pulled her gently away from the table. This had been a stroll they’d taken several times in the past few days since Aaron arrived in Guatemala. The goat pasture was within view of the house, but away from listening ears.
“Okay.” Felicia allowed Aaron to lead her out the back door.
“Do you remember when we first spoke on the phone?” Aaron asked when they were far enough from the house. “You told me you could never afford to come to the States. Remember?”
“Yes, I remember.” They had reached the fence where Lui hurried over to have his nose rubbed.
“And what did I do?” Aaron asked.
“You came here instead.”
“Now that I’m here, I want to bring you back with me.” Aaron reached out a finger and lifted Felicia’s chin so that she met his gaze. “I invited you to come with me and I intend to pay for everything we do, everywhere we go, everything we eat. I want to spoil you like the princess that you are.”
“I’m not a princess, Aaron.”
“When you’re on the arm of a prince… you’re a princess.”
“Are you my prince charming?” Felicia had a tiny smile playing along her lips.
“If you’ll have me as your prince charming.” Aaron’s heart raced with happiness and love and devotion wrapped up in the mysteriously colorful eyes of this Hispanic beauty standing before him. “For now, let me buy you a suitcase, and an airplane ticket, and take you home with me so you can meet my parents, and see if you like the United States as much as you think you will. Heck, you might hate it there and decide I’m not such a charming prince after all.”
“I doubt that.” Felicia playfully slapped Aaron on his chest and he took the advantage to pull her into his arms.
“There’s something I’ve wanted to do for hours.” Aaron’s voice lowered to a husky whisper.
“What have you wanted to do?” Felicia lifted her face to his as if she already suspected.
“I want to kiss you again,” he whispered.
“Do you think anyone’s watching from the house?” she whispered back.
“I really don’t care.” Aaron closed the distance between them and molded his lips to hers, pulling her body close until every nerve ending in his body connected with every nerve ending in hers. He wanted to kiss her every day and night for the rest of his life, but one hurdle at a time.
Lui pushed his furry nose between them, demanding attention from the girl who feeds him every day. Aaron and Felicia both chuckled as they were separated.
“Someday, I’m going to have the chance to kiss you and no one will interrupt us,” Aaron said.
“Someday,” she whispered back.
“For now, let’s go shopping.” He raised his eyebrows, waiting for her to agree.
“Okay,” she finally said. “Let’s go shopping.”