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The Cheat Sheet: Epilogue


The next morning, while Nathan and I are still snuggling under a giant fluffy comforter and completely unwilling to leave the bed, he strokes his hand across my hair and mumbles, “Bree. I have a confession.”

I’m still in happy la-la land, so he could tell me he’s an ax murderer and I’d still probably just hum. That’s nice, honey.

He chuckles and twists me around so I’m facing him. “I’m serious. I think I might have accidentally tricked you into marrying me. I forgot to tell you something really important before we said ‘I do.’”

Fine. Just ruin my happy vibes, why don’t you?

“Okay, just say it!”

He shuts his eyes and inhales. “It’s more like something I have to show you.”

I give him a sultry look. “Nathan. I’ve already seen everything.”

He grunts a laugh and rolls his eyes before reaching toward the bedside table to retrieve his wallet. He sits up to rest his back against the headboard and starts tugging me by my armpits to sit up too.

“Okay, okay, I’m coming! Sheesh.”

The man is serious about whatever this is. From his wallet, Nathan pulls out a folded sheet of paper and hands it to me. He nods for me to take it. This is feeling like the Shoebox of Potential Horror all over again.

I unfold it and find an itemized list of sorts with lots of scribbles in the margins. Some items, like food fight, have an X beside them, and others, such as foot rub, have a check mark. Nathan looks prepared for me to throw my wedding ring in his face.

“What am I looking at?” I ask, not feeling nearly as murderous as he seems to suspect I should.

“It’s…a romance cheat sheet. The guys helped me make it when we first agreed to fake date. It was to help me get out of the friend zone.”

I shift my eyes from his pained look back to the paper and read it with enlightened realization. While reading the list, so many memories stick out to me. Dancing in my office. The Starburst log. The stopped elevator.

“Bree, I’m so sorry! I fully meant to show you this when you first came into the chapel last night, but after I saw you, it completely slipped my mind.” He’s babbling and running his hands through his hair. “Are you upset? Do you feel betrayed?”

I stare at him slack-jawed. Mainly because his bicep is really spectacular when he runs his hand through his hair.

“I can’t believe you,” I say, my voice hard as granite.

He frowns and sighs. “I know. It was wrong.”

“It was…” I twist and lean in eye to eye with him. “Conniving.” Fear colors his eyes until I drop my mouth to his neck. “Underhanded.” Another kiss. “Desperate.” He hums, catching on after my next kiss. “Sweet.”

“So you’re not mad?” he says in a raspy voice as I drag him back down into our comforter cocoon of love.


“Some of these things were truly awful ideas.” He’s trying to point to items on this list now, but I’m not interested.


“Okay, so I guess we’re done with it since you just tossed it across the room like that?”


Now he’s kissing me.

“So you forgive me?” he asks against my skin.

“Yes, but only on the condition that you apply the same amount of dedication to romance for the rest of our marriage.”

He gets a devious spark in his eyes when he responds, “Deal.”



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