“So, are you excited for your first day at work?”
“Definitely!” Morgan said, as she leant back into her girlfriend’s arms. “I’m going to be the best clerk they’ve ever had.”
Lissa laughed at that, and handed Morgan a plate. “I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. Who knows, if your job goes well and my woodwork keeps selling, we may actually get to cook something other than hot dogs and marshmallows to eat at our fancy new table.”
“Dare to dream, love. I’d say ‘Reach for the stars’ but I’d be worried that you’d interpret that as ‘go back home'”
“I’m getting better at understanding things, now.”
Morgan raised an eyebrow.
“Fine, that might have confused me a little.”
“I just can’t believe I have to start at 7am. It’s a good thing I’m used to getting up early now thanks to someone‘ she grinned. “Right, I’ve got to set off if I want to be on time.”
“I’ll count the minutes until your return” Lissa said, and kissed her hand.
“Charmer.” Morgan winked, and set off down the road.
“Honey, I’m hoooooooome~”
“Guess who got promoted?”
“Already? You must have made a good impression!”
“I worked so hard you wouldn’t believe, but hey, check out this groovy new uniform. It even comes with its own tools. I might see if they let me lose the hat, though”
“I’m so happy for you, even if it does mean you have to wear that daft looking hat.” Lissa said, and hugged her tight. “I have a surprise of my own for you, too.”
“Well, you know how your mum was going on about coming to visit, and I mentioned holding a party? Well, I finally sold the last few bits of furniture I made and I managed to pick up the things we needed for a good price second hand. How would you fancy having a party tonight? To celebrate your promotion?”
“That sounds wonderful, stargirl. I should probably get out of these clothes, huh?”
“Wait until I’m out of the room! I need to get everything ready if we’re doing this, and I don’t trust myself not to get distracted if you change in front of me.”
“Well, I am pretty gorgeous.”
“Yes, you are.”
Lissa was nervous. Very, very nervous. This would be her first time meeting Morgan’s dad and sister, and she wanted to make a good impression. It was hit and miss how they would react at first, but she would try to work through it no matter. The doorbell rang, and she heard Morgan answer it, followed by a rush of other voices. Lissa took a deep breath, straightened her back and walked out with her head held high and a smile on her face.
She cringed at the puddles on the ground as she walked out. She really needed to finish making planters for the garden. Still, she waved at Moira and was about to ask how her day had gone when she saw someone unexpected.
“Siobhan? You’re Morgan’s sister?”
“The Irish name didn’t give it away?” Siobhan said. She looked sad, for some reason. “I’m sorry, I just had a really terrible day at work.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll get cooking and put some music on, then we can play some games later if you’d like?”
“Thanks. That sounds good, yeah.” Siobhan smiled weakly, and wandered over to her dad who had taken it upon himself to make the fire as big as possible. How had he found the firewood so quickly?
Morgan looked at her family and smiled. She had missed them, even though she’d only been away for a short time. She’d been worried about Siobhan, not that she would admit it out loud, but seeing her sister roasting marshmallows and laughing with their father lifted a weight off of her shoulders. She hadn’t known that Siobhan knew Lissa already. She felt a small pang of jealousy, but shoved it aside as Lissa walked past with a tray full of grilled fruit and kissed her on the cheek before carrying on to the table. Lissa chose her. Not her sister.
Dominic Fyres had been quiet for a while, simply observing and listening. Morgan tried to get him to loosen up with a couple of jokes, but he seemed to have his own ideas. At least her mother was happy, and Siobhan had cracked a smile. The calm didn’t last, however.
The lot erupted into chaos and flame, but luckily the damage was limited thanks to quick thinking and a portable fire extinguisher that had been thrown in for free when she had purchased the campfire. She had wondered why. Now she knew.
“I am so sorry about that. I guess I should have moved it further away.”
“That’s ok. Unfortunately that’s what happens when you have so many Fyres on the premises.” Dominic said, deadpan.
Morgan put her head in her hands and groaned, but looked up when she heard loud laughter. Lissa was bent double, tears streaming down her face.
“See,” Dominic said to Morgan “at least someone appreciates my jokes.”
Morgan grinned. They would get on just fine.
The rest of the party passed without incident, and Morgan took the opportunity to tell a story. She had been thinking about it ever since Lissa’s horror story, and felt she had a real winner with this one.
“… Morgan. Did you just retell ‘Lord of the Swings’ but with sea monkeys?” Siobhan whispered at the end of it.
“Shhhhh sis, Lissa might not have read it. Don’t ruin my reputation”
“That was amazing!” Lissa said, her eyes wide with wonder and a smile on her face. “How did you come up with it?”
“I’m just that good, Lissi.” Morgan grinned, and took a bow as Lissa started clapping. The other Fyres looked at each other, and then started clapping too. They were reluctant to give the game away, especially one that could make the new couple so happy. Siobhan might have rolled her eyes whilst clapping, but it was without any real annoyance.
The night came to an end, and to Lissa’s surprise she was actually sad that they had to leave. Morgan’s family was wonderful. It was so different to the family she had been raised in, and she found herself wanting to have it for herself one day. She didn’t want to rush into anything, but she had hope.
“You could do a lot worse, Morgan” Dominic said quietly as he hugged her goodbye. “Sure, I expected you to date a human, but she seems nice. As long as she treats you well.”
“She does, Dad.”
“Well that’s all I can ask for.”
When everyone had left, Morgan walked over to Lissa. “That didn’t go too badly, did it?”
“I thought it went really well! Other than the fire, and the panicking. But everyone was really nice about it. I was so scared they would hate me.”
“How could they hate a sweet thing like you? This was probably the best party I’ve ever been to.”
“No, I’m not. It wasn’t the most expensive or the biggest, but it had all my favourite people,” she paused for a moment, then added “and my sister.” She laughed at the affronted look on Lissa’s face. “I love her, really. She’s much easier to get along with now we don’t live together.”
“Should we do this again some time?”
“I’d like that. Maybe next time we can get through it without destroying anything.”
“Dare to dream, love. Just maybe start with something a bit more likely”