Alonso stood and Roth followed suit. After exchanging a brotherly hug, they both dropped back into their seats.
“So when are you going to pop the question?”
Roth ran his hand over his head. “I was going to do it tonight, but decided to wait until this weekend. I want it to be special, something memorable. She deserves that.”
“Are you doing it at the club?”
“Hell, no,” Roth said. “Tressa would say no for sure. She’s convinced that place is a jinx.” And could anyone blame her? But he was about to leave her with at least one good thought of the place. “You guys should come out for the show on Saturday. It’ll be my last.”
Alonso’s head jerked back in what Roth took to be surprise. “What? You’re leaving The Underground?”
Yeah, he couldn’t believe it either, but it was time. “Tressa says she’s okay with me being there, but I can tell it bothers her. And honestly, if the shoe was on the other foot, I might be a little leery about her working so closely with her ex, too. I know she trusts me, but I don’t want to give her any reason to worry.” The fact that India had started acting oddly after seeing him and Tressa at the club had been another reason, but he didn’t mention that one. After Saturday, it would no longer be an issue.
“Are you going to play elsewhere?” Alonso asked.
He’d contemplated it but decided he’d much rather spend his free time with Tressa. “Nah. I’m going to chill for a while.”
“Speaking of exes. Whatever happened with that situation with Tressa’s?”
Roth shrugged. “Strangest thing. He left her a voice mail message apologizing profusely for manhandling her at the hospital, then said he was moving out of state and that he wished her the best.”
Alonso barked a laugh. “Did you have anything to do with his decision to flee the state?”
Roth sat back in his chair and crossed an ankle over his leg. “Come on, man. Tressa forbade me to confront that slimy bastard.”
“Uh-huh. What did you do?”
Alonso knew him too damn well. “I may have contacted him to say I would ruin his career and his life, if he ever contacted Tressa again.”
Alonso gave a knowing smirk.
And they left it at that.
Alonso fell back against his chair and intertwined his fingers behind his head. “We’ve come a long way, man. We got lucky. I think about all the shit we’ve been through…” His words trailed off. “We’re two blessed brothers. Good—scratch that—great women. Love. Happiness. Success. We did it. Just like you always said we would.”
Yep, he had said it, over and over again. Believing life had far more to offer was what had got him this far. He couldn’t agree with Alonso more; they were blessed and happy and in love with great women. And soon, he would ask his muse, his lover, his heartbeat, to be his wife.
Yeah, life was good. He eyed the ring box. And it would only get better.
By the time Saturday rolled around, Roth’s nerves were shot, so much so he’d walked out of the damn house and forgotten Juliette—his tenor sax. The one thing he hadn’t left behind, the black ring box. In less than two hours, he planned to lower to one knee and ask Tressa to spend the rest of her life with him.
A tiny voice whispered, Will she say yes?
Confident, Roth answered with a swelled chest. Of course she was going to say yes. Why wouldn’t she? If he wasn’t sure of anything else, he was sure Tressa loved him. A second later he frowned. But what if…
Roth shook the negative thoughts away, but somehow they fluttered right back. Her last engagement hadn’t exactly gone off without a hitch. What if she’d decided marriage wasn’t for her? What if he proposed and she said no? What then?
Arriving at The Underground, Roth pulled into a space in the back lot. The same space he’d occupied the night he’d discovered Tressa in the back of his SUV. The night that had patterned his feet on this glorious journey toward love. This had to be a good sign, right?
Of course it was.
So why did he have that nagging feeling?
Roth considered calling Tressa to make sure she hadn’t got held up at work or, worse, changed her mind about meeting him there. This wasn’t exactly her favorite place. Just to see the look of surprise on her beautiful face, he needed her there to hear his announcement that tonight would be his last performance.