"Birthday boy!" I say with enthusiasm as I wrap my arm's around Marc's shoulders from behind. "Morning," I add with a kiss on his cheek, being sure to make an extra loud smacking noise as I do. 

"Gross," he laughs as he wipes at his face. "Those lips have been on EJ's."

"Mmm, yes they have," I tell him, not elaborating on the fact that they've been on a lot more of his brother's body than just his lips.

"Been on a lot more of me than just my lips, man," Eli chimes in with a knowing smirk as I playfully smack him in the chest. I'm glad no one else from the family is in the kitchen. Marc is used to his brother's filterless mouth at this point, but I don't need anyone else hearing it.

"How'd you sleep?" Marc asks me. 

"Good. That turkey coma was nice." 

I also decide not to elaborate that I kind of slept like shit because I was sexually frustrated thanks to the stunt his brother pulled on me last night, which I admittedly deserved. All while Eli slept like a baby next to me. I swear I could see him smirking in his dreams, exceptionally proud of himself for finally winning a round of our abstinence war.

"Good morning, Logan!" Mary says as she strolls into the kitchen. "Can I get you some coffee? Breakfast is in the oven." 

"Oh, I'll get it. Thank you, though," I tell her. Even though I've only been here for a couple of days, I feel quite at home in the Maddison house. I stand from my seat at the island to pour myself a coffee, adding in the creamer from the fridge that I'm certain was bought for me. I also pour a black coffee for Eli, not that he needs it. He slept just fine last night, that asshole. 

"Can I help you with anything?" I ask Mary.

"Actually, I'm all set. But if no one else wakes up soon, the four of us are going to have to dive into these cinnamon rolls."

"Marc, what do you want to do today?" I ask my best friend as I set Eli's coffee in front of him. Eli pulls me to stand between his legs as he sits at the kitchen island next to his brother.

"I want to do absolutely nothing. I have that appointment with EJ later, but besides that, once the cousins leave, I just want to chill and watch sports all day." 

"Well, that sounds perfect," I tell him after taking a sip of my morning caffeine fix. 

"Are you coming with us?" Marc asks. 

"No, I think I'll stay back," I say as Eli pulls me in closer to his body. 

Eli already asked if I would go with them to their tattoo appointment, but I want them to have some brotherly time. Since Eli and I got together, he and Marc haven't spent too much time alone. I don't think they mind that I'm always around, but still, they have their own relationship that I don't want to get in the way of. 

"Oh good, we can hang out while the boys are gone," Mary says. "The rest of the family has to get on the road after Marc's birthday brunch. It'll be nice to spend some time with just the five of us tonight." 

"Marc, are you nervous about getting a tattoo?" His mom asks, changing the subject. 

"No, I think I'll be fine. EJ has a shit ton. I can handle one." 

"What made you finally decide to get one?" I ask. 

"EJ was going to get one for me regardless, so I figured this would be a good time to get my first." 

"What do you mean 'get one for you?'" I ask with confusion. 

Eli pulls his sleeve up, revealing his perfectly chiseled arm covered in black ink. "These all represent something. Mostly family. I was going to get one for Marc anyway, so now we will have matching brother tattoos."


"I love that," I say as I graze my fingers across the bit of bare skin on Eli's arm that will soon be filled with even more black ink.


"Okay, this looks like the last one," Mary says as she picks up the red envelope from the center of the dining room table with Marc's name on it. 

This card is from me, so I sit up a little straighter as I watch my best friend open my gift while Eli keeps his hands on my shoulders, standing behind me. 

Marc reads the card to himself as a smile sneaks across his lips. 

"Read it out loud," Mary requests. 

"Happy MJ birthday, MJ. I love you so much. From, Logan," he says with a genuine grin as he looks across the table at me.

"I don't get it," Eli chimes in from behind me. 

"It's my twenty-third birthday. Which was Michael Jordan's number, so it's my MJ birthday," Marc explains to his brother. "Happy MJ birthday, Marc Jones," he reads again without the abbreviation.

He opens the smaller envelope that was sandwiched in his card, pulling out two tickets. 

"You're fucking kidding me," Marc says as his eyes widen, reading the details on the ticket stub.

"What is it?" One of the twins asks. To be honest, I still can't tell them apart, so I don't know who asked the question. All of the cousins look eerily similar with their tanned skin and black hair. The Jones genes run strong in this family.

"Two court-side tickets for when the Kings come to town to play the Timberwolves," Marc explains.

"Why are you so cool?" Garrett asks me rhetorically. 

"Thank you, Logan. This is awesome. I can't wait to watch my favorite team lose in person," Marc says with a genuine smile.

"I know I bought you two tickets, and I'm supposed to tell you to take whoever you want, but you're taking me, just so you know," I inform Marc.

"Obviously," he responds with a laugh. 

The doorbell rings, and Jack answers it as the rest of us go back to enjoying what's left of our brunch. 

"Looks like there's one more gift," Jack says as he walks back into the dining room with a box in hand. 

"Who is it from?" Marc asks. 

"I don't know," his dad says with a shrug. "It just got delivered. Says it's from Brooklyn."

Marc's eyes dart to mine as I try to hold back my amused smile. I already know what it is because I helped Ali pick it out, but I'm excited to see Marc's reaction.