"Babe, these are so good," Eli tells me from the couch.
"Yeah, Logan. Don't tell my mom, but I think yours are better than hers," Marc adds in regards to the peanut butter cookies I baked.
Eli insisted on cooking us all dinner, so I thought I would pitch in with dessert. He obviously feels terrible about how he treated everyone yesterday, so he's trying to apologize through our stomachs, which I would say is totally working. He made potatoes, grilled veggies, and salad for dinner. Plus, he cooked steaks for us outside on the grill. They were delicious and perfectly medium-rare. Add being an excellent chef to the list of things that Eli is annoyingly talented at.
I feel better tonight than I did last night. It took me a little bit to warm up again, but it's hard for me to stay upset at Eli for long. I can tell how bad he feels, and he's been trying to make it up to me all day. He wouldn't let me help with anything for dinner, including doing the dishes. When I worked out this afternoon, after my nap, he brought me a water partway through, then came back with a towel ten minutes later. I couldn't help but laugh when I caught him walking by the window and glancing inside the home gym every few minutes after that.
I'm trying to put him out of his misery by touching him as much as I can because I've learned that's how he feels reassured. But, I can tell Eli is still beating himself up over last night.
"Glad you guys like them. It's my mom's recipe," I say to my friends as I put the rest of the warm cookies on the coffee table in front of the couch.
I take a seat on Eli's lap, and he visibly relaxes from the contact. He wraps one arm tightly around my waist and uses the other to bring another cookie to his mouth.
"What do you guys do around here for Halloween?" Ali asks from her seat on the floor, next to the coffee table. "We're doing something. It's my favorite holiday, so I'll throw my own damn party if I have to," she adds.
"Oh, no. There's a party," Marc tells her from his seat across from Eli and me. "Biggest party of the year is Halloween weekend at the hockey house," he adds as he looks to his brother. I can feel Eli's body tense below me.
"Perfect. We're going, right?" Ali asks, looking around at the three of us, but both the boys' eyes land on me.
"What?" I ask, not knowing why they're looking to me for an answer.
"We don't have to go. I have to make a brief appearance, but I can leave after I do," Eli tells me, trying to sound reassuring.
"That's ridiculous. Why wouldn't we go?" I ask him, confused.
"Well, you're not really into parties, so I just assumed—"
"Yeah, but it's Halloween. Of course, we are going. Besides, I'm going to need a few drinks after midterms this week," I tell my boyfriend.
"Oh, shit. Logan is getting drunk next weekend!" Marc teases, knowing how terrible I am at holding my liquor.
"Hell yeah, I am. I hope you're ready to take care of my drunk ass," I tell Marc as I recall some of my sloppy nights abroad.
"I'll take care of your drunk ass," Eli says with a chuckle before kissing the side of my head.
"Is it on Friday or Saturday?" Ali asks.
"It's on Saturday, after our regular-season home opener," Eli tells Ali. "You're coming to the game, right?" He asks, looking towards me.
"Of course," I tell him as I swing an arm around his neck and quickly place my lips on his smiling ones.
"Logan, I already know what you're dressing up as, so don't even worry about it. I'll take care of everything," Ali tells me excitedly.
"That sounds terrifying," I tell her, unconvinced.
"Halloween is my Super Bowl. Please, just let me have this," she begs.
"Nice sports reference, Al," Marc tells her, impressed.
She shoots him a proud smile over her shoulder.
"Fine. But, I don't do slutty for Halloween," I tell her. I usually go the funny route for Halloween, but I haven't even begun to think about a costume this year. Plus, if all of Eli's old hookup buddies are going to be there, wearing little to nothing, maybe it's for the best if Ali dresses me.
"She can do a little slutty," Eli tells Ali while wiggling his eyebrows.
I playfully swat his chest as Ali shoots him a wink, which absolutely terrifies me for what she has planned for me to wear.
"Marcus, what are you going as?" Ali asks.
"I'm not sure yet. Lauren always made me do a couple's costume with her, so I've never really had to think about it," he says. "But, I'm looking forward to doing my own thing this year," He tells Ali.
"Babe, why don't we do a couple's costume?" Eli asks me in his sweetest of tones.
"Because couples' costumes are cheesy as hell," I tell him. "No offense, Marc," I add as I turn to my best friend.
"None taken," Marc quickly says while putting his hands up.
"But, I like being cheesy with you," Eli says, causing me to smile as I tighten my grasp on him.
"Gross," Marc chimes in.
"Sorry, Maddison. I already called dibs on her. You can have Logan next year," Ali adds, causing my smile to fall, reminding me that Eli won't be here next year. That I'll still be in grad school, and Eli will be off playing professional hockey, being successful, and having even more girls throw themselves at him than already do.