"So, um, who invited you?" His eyes narrowed as soon as the question left his mouth. This was no mystery at all. They locked on Brendon. His boyfriend shrugged. "She's fun."
Was that his aunt? She was one of the only members of his family that still insisted on calling him George though it was probably due to the "you don't call a person by anything other than the Christian name they were given" philosophy that all the eldery had drilled into them when they were young. Was that Ryan's seventy year old aunt Juliette waving her arms at him by the passport and bag check in that was just a few feet away from the main gangplank for boarding the ship?
"Oh come over here boy, I know you see me!" It wasn't like she gave him the chance to get to her, she had swiftly crossed the lot before he could even get his feet to move.
"When did you-" He stuttered, dazed and being squeezed in her bony arms, "Why are you here?"
She pulled back, one hand on her hip. "Oh. So I'm not welcome, is that it? I'll go home if that's the case..." She hung her shoulders but nobody missed the smirk pulling at the corner of her mouth.
"No! Oh my God!" Ryan played along. There was no way he would send his aunt away anyway. Though out his entire life she had been one of his favorite people to hang out with.
"Good. I wasn't planning on going anywhere." She declared what Ryan already knew.
"So, um, who invited you?" His eyes narrowed as soon as the question left his mouth. This was no mystery at all. They locked on Brendon.
His boyfriend shrugged. "She's fun."
"Nonsense George, I would have come anyway if I had found out about it before he told me. I have to show those teenagers what's what with the surfing machine-"
"Please don't break a hip."
"Fine. Fine. I'll take it easy. For now." She winked at Brendon and Ryan groaned as she completely, as usual like everyone else, threw his warning out the window.
"I would pay money to see that." Brendon absolutely beamed.
"Don't encourage her. She'll do it and take a twenty off you while she's at it, I know her Bren."
"No, no George. You both can buy me a drink after we check in. That'll be payment enough for the privilege of watching an old woman wipe the floor with the young people at surfing. You can also tell me about this grandniece of mine to be."
"With any luck she'll learn to be as cool as you." Brendon commented.
"Bren, I am so pathetic." Ryan complained from the queen bed by the glass doors leading out to their balcony as his fiance locked their stateroom door. "I need a nap so badly. I'm gonna end up looking like shit at dinner tonight because I'll have only given myself five minutes to get ready. I'm not gonna get to see my cat again tonight and you might not get to see your dogs-"
"Ryan. Relax okay." Brendon actually physically tucked him into bed. "I'll make sure you get up in time. It's not like this is super formal night or anything. That's not until Tuesday. And I'm gonna go see the pets. I'm sure Cap will forgive you for your absence until tomorrow. They all looked pretty damn happy when we were there getting them signed in to the kennel and I am sure your aunt is going to want company-"
"Yeah, so she can get up to no good." Ryan yawned from under the down comforter. He would have rolled his eyes but they were too heavy for him to see the point in making the effort. Brendon rubbed his back (preventing extra future muscle soreness was completely necessary thanks, he wasn't going to deal with that while running around Tuscany and seeing to the construction his manor house there in the vineyard) until they slipped all the way shut.
When Ryan was breathing peacefully and steadily Brendon kissed him on the cheek and slipped out into the hallway. He was going to go on a hunt for Ryan's aunt but she had already got to him first, scaring him half to death when she grabbed him by the arm.
"So I didn't see a ring on his finger?" She gave him a pointed look. "He told me everything. It was so adorable. Take care of him young man, he really loves you. And if you really love him, you'll give him a proper proposal." She jabbed him teasingly in the shoulder.
"I meant to talk to you about that." Brendon nervously almost tripped over his words. "I don't think I can see Ryan wearing anything by a commercial jeweler. I was going to ask if you would be interested in hitting the antique shops in Antinori with me when he's busy one day?"
"Of course boy!" Immediately the glint from earlier popped into her eyes. They mightn't have been the same color brown but they brightened just as his love's did. "We'll sneak around like real espionage agents! He'll never be the wiser." They rounded a corner and began down a flight of stairs to the main deck. "You're going to need a woman's eye as it is. We should probably hit the shop here on the ship just rule out what you need to stay away from."
"I have to go see our dogs and the cat first but yeah, that sounds good." Brendon agreed, as they approached the main desk inside of the luxury kennel section of the ship. "I mean, I promised Ryan. Just wait until you see the kitten I got him a little while ago. He's so cute!"
"You don't have to tell me. The way my nephew was fawning over that cat you got him over the phone, I'm sure. I think you have some competition." She smirked, getting a pass so they could make their passage back to section where the cats were being kept while they got their exercise.
“Who knew I was bringing the demise of my future marriage into the house?” He laughed, and speak of the devil, Captain Knots had walked right over to them and was rubbing against their legs, purring for one of them to pick him up. Brendon bent down and scooped him up. Scratching him between the ears, he handed him to Juliette. “Apparently my future demise comes in a little bite size piece too. He’s already in our bed every night. I guess that’s fair because Bogart and Penny are too.”
“Bogart? Like the actor? What would you know about Bogart?” She playfully smacked him over the head.
“Bogart as in my Jack Russell terrier too.” He retorted with a charming smile.
“Oh really? I must meet the great Bogart then. After I finish with this little treasure.” Knots received more affectionate petting which only seemed to amp up his cute factor. “Oh I don’t think you’re going to like it when my niece is born.” She kissed the animal on the nose. “I think they’ll go wonderfully together don’t you?”
“Yeah, if you want everyone to have a heart attack from how precious they are.” Brendon pointed out.
“I think my George would really knock ‘em dead if you threw him into the mix. We both know he’s a looker. We both know that’s why he’s having your child.”
Brendon tried to keep his mouth from dropping open. He would be all afternoon. Ryan’s aunt wasn’t faint of heart. He knew that from all the other times they’d stayed with her but every time she would manage to surprise him with that innocent, old lady exterior. She would drop sly innuendo at him whenever she thought fit no matter what they were doing that afternoon. He was practically painted red by the time he had shut the cabin door and went to wake Ryan so they could get ready for the evening meal.