The next time she woke, Jamie was still next to her in the bed. He felt her stretch next to him and smiled as he opened his eyes. "Good mornin'" he said, his voice still groggy with sleep.
"I'm starving," she replied first. Then upon reflection, she added, "and good morning."
Jamie laughed. He still felt a bit giddy from the last 12 hours. "Got it," he responded, "food before all else."
"I could go for a breakfast burrito, like one from Los Tres Burritos," Eddie mused.
"On a Sunday?"
Eddie shrugged. "Why not? Is there some secret Reagan Sunday morning breakfast routine that I don't know about?"
"I just think Sundays are made for bagels and lox," Jamie said with a grin and a half shrug.
"There's a whole lot to unpack, there Reagan. Like, do you eat them before or after the whole Irish Catholic family goes to church." She paused for a moment. "Oh shit," she continued, her body already in motion. "You have to go to church. What time does that start?"
"Hey, hey," he said, catching her arm before she could get out of bed. "It's fine. I wasn't planning on going today."
"Last time you missed was probably because of me. I'm turning you into a heathen."
Jamie smiled. "I wouldn't say a heathen. Am I racking up sins? Sure. But totally worth it," he said as he placed a kiss on her neck.
"No," she said with a chuckle. "I mean it. Church is important to you, I don't want you to lose that."
"I'm a big boy," he said assuringly. "I'll be back to church, but I think the Big Man would give me a pass today."
"I don't know, maybe we should both go and thank him," Eddie said as she entwined her fingers in his.
Jamie lifted her hand to his lips. "Oh trust me, he's been thanked more than once. I believe even you had his name on your lips a few times last night?" Jamie quirked his eyebrow provocatively.
Eddie rolled her eyes. "Shut up," she said, but he watched her cheeks and ears pink.
They finally left the warmth of his bed, showered and found breakfast. Over their delivered breakfast burritos, Eddie had agreed to Sunday dinner. Jamie was nervous to ask her, and truthfully even more nervous that she'd agreed, but he definitely didn't want her to know it. The Reagan clan was hard enough to deal with, but with all the tension between him and his dad, all the changes in the last year, and dealing with the teasing from his siblings... well voicing any of that to Eddie would only serve to scare her away.
By the time they'd dressed (Eddie had alternated at least a half dozen times between the two shirts she had in her go-bag) and gotten ready, Jamie knew they'd be late. He didn't mind. It was tactical: if they showed up when everyone was already seated, there wouldn't be a chance to divide them to interrogate. In a family full of cops, Jamie recognized he had to capitalize on whatever upper hand he had, no matter how slight it was.
As they made their way down to Bay Ridge, Jamie knew he was stalling for time. He stuck to surface streets, and not even the major arteries at that. He could feel Eddie get more nervous next to him.
"Hey," said Jamie softly as he put a hand on her bouncing knee.
"Are you sure I should be there," Eddie blurted. "I mean, you could just drop me-"
"Hey," he repeated. "They already like you, I promise I'm not sending you into a firing squad."
Eddie looked panicked for a second. "Wait. Are people armed? Like could it actually become a firing squad?" Jamie had been so busy thinking about what he'd say that her words caught him off guard.
"No," he said with a chuckle. "There's been a rule that no one carries in the house since the kids were little. I mean, we all know where the safes are, and there are a few security pieces around the house, but not in the dining room."
She was quiet for a block. "Have you told your dad yet? About the test, I mean."
Jamie thought about the Sergeant's exam. He'd decided to take it a week after he and Eddie started studying. She was right: he did know a lot of the information, and the rationale came easy for him. After some coaxing, he'd agreed that taking the test didn't mean he had to take a promotion when it came, but if he didn't take it, the door would stay closed. He didn't want his dad to think he was right. Or maybe it was more complicated than that. Either way, he wasn't ready to give his dad the satisfaction.
"No," he replied.
"I was just thinking if they ask me how the test prep is going…" Eddie trailed off.
"Then you can tell them how it is for you." As soon as it was out of his mouth, Jamie realized the severity of his tone. He corrected, "I think I have enough news for today. Things with my dad are still a bit touchy, I'll tell him when stuff dies down."
Eddie nodded. "Okay," she agreed.
They rode in silence for a few minutes. Jamie's brain started mulling over the vows they'd made that morning in bed. He smiled to himself.
Eddie wasn't so lost in her thoughts that she didn't notice. "What are you smiling about?"
"I was just thinking we should write those vows down. They were pretty good."
"Yeah, now. While they're still fresh. You know people remember the most details sooner after the event than later."
Eddie reached for her purse at her feet. "I think I have a pen," she said as she stuck her hand into her bag, but I'm not sure what I've got to write on. There might be an envelope in here somewhere."
Jamie lifted his elbow from the center console. I think there's a pad of paper in here," he indicated.
Eddie looked lifted the lid and searched before she recovered a long skinny notepad. "This one?" she confirmed.
Together they rehashed the vows and added a few more thoughts. When they were satisfied, Jamie shared the plan he'd been working on. He'd go in first and let her know when to come in. He knew they'd be happy for him. Give him shit, for sure, but he had no doubt that Erin and Danny would each give him that nudge in the ribs after dinner, a silent "I told you so" that also told him they thought he was right. Jamie wasn't sure who'd bring up them getting new partners first- pop or dad, but he'd have to resist the urge to time the response. He was prepared with his argument, and he wasn't backing down. Jamie was sure that riding together was a necessity, and there was no reason they couldn't, tradition be damned.
They parked and he took her hand as they walked to the door. "Don't worry," he assured her. "They already like you."
Eddie rolled her eyes. "As your work partner, not as the person you're engaged to. We don't have to tell them if you think it's-"
"Hey," he said with a squeeze of her hand. "We'll tell them. We've got nothing to hide. And I'm damned well gonna tell everyone I see."
She smiled, then hesitated. "Wait, when was the last time someone new came to family dinner? Should I be wearing a dress or something? I-"
"Whoa," Jamie said as he turned to face her. They were stopped at the bottom of the front stairs. He took her into his arms. "You. Look. Beautiful." He peppered each word with a peck to her lips. Eddie gave a small smile. He continued, "Reagan family dinners are not for the faint of heart. We are a bunch of pig headed Irishfolk and most everything comes from love, but sometimes that pigheadedness gets in the way. I'm sure everyone will be on their best behavior. It's been a while since anyone new has joined the table, but I don't think they've forgotten their manners."
"Who was the last…" Eddie started to ask but then she trailed off. "Oh," she said when Jamie didn't respond. He knew she was wondering about Sydney; a topic they'd grazed, but not delved into. He didn't think now was the time.
He placed one more kiss on her lips before he released her. "You are amazing, and you have nothing to worry about."
On their way out from dinner they were solemn. Jamie held the car door for her, and she climbed into the Mustang, seats warm from the now-setting sun. Jamie closed the door of the car. He was seething. The dinner did not go as planned. He'd known his dad and pops would side together against their partnership. He hadn't expected how much the tension that was already between him and his dad would compound the tension brought about by this latest disagreement. Jamie tried to take a deep breath as he walked around the vehicle. His adrenaline pumped through his body as his brain turned over the conversation. He was already thinking of better retorts to his dad's arguments.
Once in the car, neither of them spoke as he turned the ignition. Jamie put the car in drive and accelerated with more force than he needed. He couldn't believe his father. Even both anticipated jabs in the ribs from his siblings and an actual squeal from Nicky in the kitchen after dinner weren't enough to dispel the gray cloud that his father cast.
Jamie was still in his head when he heard her voice. "Do they know about my dad?" Her voice sounded shaky.
As usual, Jamie was so wrapped up in his own thoughts, he couldn't see where she was going. But something told him to tread lightly, given the subject matter. "Um, yeah, I guess. I mean we never talked about it, but my dad probably does."
Eddie remained quiet as she digested the information with a nod. Jamie looked in her direction as he came to a stop sign on the quiet street. He watched her bite her lip and inspect her nails. It took that long to put together her worry.
"Oh no," he said quickly, wanting to assure her as soon as he could. "If you think what happened back there is because of you or your family-"
"But what if it is," she asked, her voice still shaky. "I mean 'PC's son marries felon's daughter' would make a hell of a headline."
"The one thing my father doesn't really let get to him is negative press. He's got someone to worry about it for him."
"Then is it me? Is it because I'm a cop? Because if they were expecting-" her words were coming quickly now and her eyes looked glassy.
Jamie accelerated hard through the intersection as he spoke. "No, this had nothing to do with you. I'm sorry I dragged you into this mess with my dad. I should've given you time and taken the blows myself."
Eddie seemed to consider this. She reached for his arm as she spoke. "Army of two, remember? I've got your six. We do the hard stuff together, okay?" Eddie wrapped her fingers with his as she gave his hand a squeeze.
Jamie could only nod in return. He wondered how the rest of the precinct would take it. He'd assumed after all this time with people jumping to their own conclusions, it wouldn't really be newsworthy. Now he could only hope that was the case. He hated that his euphoria was so short-lived. It seemed too soon for life to slap them in the face like this. When he got to the next thru street, he headed north instead of south.
Eddie noticed immediately. "Aren't we going back to your place? My car's there."
"Change of plans," he said as he started to work through the idea in his head and he made his way to the tunnel.