“But nothing,” he said fiercely, eyes lit with relief, affection. Love. “Nothing else matters compared to the fact that I managed to get the most amazing woman I’ve ever met to fall in love with me.”
She slowly shook her head. “I’m not sure you’re taking my concerns seriously.”
“On the contrary,” he said. “I’m taking you and your concerns very seriously. What you did was try to bring something to the life of two guys you didn’t even know. You set aside your own happiness out of guilt and regret, when you had nothing to feel guilt and regret for. You lost a lot that day too, Pru. You lost more than anyone else. And there was no one to help you. No one to try to make things better for you.”
Her throat closed. Just snapped shut. “Don’t,” she managed to whisper. “We can’t go back.”
“Not back, then. Forward.” He gently squeezed her fingers in his. “I was wrong to walk away, so fucking wrong, Pru. What we had was exactly right and I’m sorry I ever made you doubt it.”
Eyes still closed, she shook her head, afraid to hope. Afraid to breathe. He brought their entwined hands to his heart so that she could feel its strong, steady beat, as if he was willing his calm confidence about his feelings for her to soak in.
She let it, along with his warmth, appreciating more than she could say what his words meant to her. She hadn’t realized how much she’d needed to hear him say he didn’t blame her, that she had nothing to feel guilty for . . . It was as if he’d swept up all her broken pieces and painstakingly glued them back together, making her whole again. “Finn—”
“Can you live without me?” he asked.
Her eyes flew open. “What?”
“It’s a simple question,” he said. “Can you live without me?”
She stared past him at the others. Elle had arrived and maybe they were on the other side of the rooftop, but they were making absolutely zero attempt to hide the fact that they were hanging on every word.
“Pru,” he said quietly.
She met his gaze again, chewing on her lower lip.
“Not talking?” he asked. “Fair enough. I’ll go first. I can’t live without you. Hell, I can’t even breathe when I think about you not being in my life.”
“No.” He gently squeezed her. “I live pretty simply, always have. I’ve got these interfering idiots—” He gestured to his friends behind them.
“Hey,” Spence said.
“He’s right,” Willa said. “Now shh, I think we’re getting to the good stuff.”
Finn shook his head and turned back to Pru. “I thought they were all I needed and I felt lucky to have them. But then you came into my life and suddenly I had something I didn’t even realize was missing. Do you know what that was?”
She shook her head.
“It’s you, Pru. And I want you back. I want to be with you. I want you to be mine, because I’m absolutely yours. Have been since you first walked into my life and became my fun whisperer. And you can’t tell me it’s too soon for a relationship because we’ve been in one since the moment we met. We’re together, we’re supposed to be together. Like peanut butter and jelly. Like French fries and ketchup. Like peaches and cream.”
“Like titties and beer,” Spence offered.
Archer wrapped his arm around Spence’s neck and covered the guy’s mouth with his hand.
“No,” Pru said.
Finn stared at her. “What?”
“No, titties and beer don’t go together,” she said. “But also no, I can’t live without you either.”
Finn stared at her for a beat, his eyes dark and serious and full of so much emotion she didn’t know how to process it all. And then suddenly he smiled the most beautiful smile she’d ever seen. He took her hand, brought it to his mouth and brushed a kiss over her fingers before hauling her up against him.
“You ready for this?” His voice was rough, telling her how important this was. How important she was.
“For you?” she whispered against his jaw. “Always.”
Two months later . . .
Finn let out a long breath as he parked. Santa Cruz was south of San Francisco and thanks to traffic, it’d taken them over an hour to get here. He got out of the car and came around for Pru.
“Keep the blindfold on,” he said, as he’d been saying the entire drive.