Would the pair of you like to turn your backs so you exclude us more effectively?” Jode asks.
“We’re just adding to the list.” I hold up my journal.
“Daryn.” Gideon shakes his head, pretending to be disappointed. “It’s our list.”
“A list?” Jode leans back, resting his head against his bag. “What’s this list about?”
Rather than explain it, I just lean over and give it to him.
Gideon puts his hand over his heart and winces. “I hate sharing, Martin.”
I lean up, whispering in his ear. “Some things are only for you.”
He gives me a long unblinking look that makes my face burn and my body feel light and hot.
“This is an outrage,” Jode says dryly. “I’m in here once and Gideon is here … two, three, four times?”
“Three,” I say. “The last one doesn’t really count.”
“Oh, it counts,” Gideon says.
“How many times am I in it?” Marcus asks.
“Are you guys making this a competition?”
“Definitely. And I’m dominating.”
“For real,” Marcus says. “How many times am I on there?”
“Once, like me. For your winning smile.” Jode closes the notebook and tosses it to Marcus. “But don’t let it go to your head. Gideon’s arse has a spot on the list as well.”
Gideon looks at me and winks. “Like I said, dominating.”
“Dare, you got a pen?” Marcus asks.
This catches me by surprise for a moment. “Yes.” I toss it to him, smiling. This is perfect. Whatever he adds, it’s already perfect.
As Marcus writes, Jode leans back and gazes up at the trees. “You’re thinking it’ll be five for you after this. Aren’t you, Gideon?”
“You know me well, Ellis.”
Marcus finishes writing. He sets the pen in the fold and hands the journal to Gideon. I lean in and read.
Marcus’s handwriting is elegant cursive—almost astonishingly elegant. And what he wrote is, as expected, perfection. Even better is that Gideon reads it aloud.
“‘Twenty-eight. The family you make.’” He looks at Marcus. “Damn right, bro. This is the best one here.” He looks at me. “Tied with fourteen.”
“Ah, yes,” Jode says. “Gideon’s Super Lips.”
Marcus shakes his head at me. “Why?”
“It was a mistake. I wrote it before the list went public. What’s your addition, Jode? It can be anything. Anything that has significance to you.”
“Full English breakfast,” he says, without missing a beat. “Bacon, eggs, sausages, baked beans, grilled tomato, mushrooms, toast, marmalade. With tea, of course. One of life’s undeniable pleasures.”
My mouth instantly waters. “Well, it’s no trail mix, but all right.” I add “English Breakfast” to the list.