“Anytime, Romeo. Good luck,” she smirks. They’re all smirking at me and I feel like a dumbass but then again, I don’t care.
I’m about to make the grandest gesture of my life and I can only hope like hell it’s going to work.
I walk into the house, immediately noticing the anticipation that’s practically humming in the air. I enter the living room to find Conrad, Steven and…Shep? Involved in an intense Mario Kart race. Kelli is lounging on the couch, scrolling through her phone. The scene looks very normal. I’ve walked in on this very scenario multiple times. The only thing that’s throwing me off is Shep.
“What are you doing here?”
“Your man just asked me the same thing.” Shep’s gaze never leaves the TV screen.
“Tristan’s here?” I ask, glancing around. But he’s nowhere to be found.
“Oh. My. God!” Kelli practically screams. Why does she sound so pissed off?
“He texted me. A few minutes ago,” Shep says hastily, his gaze still locked on the TV. Though this time he looks contrite. And his cheeks are kind of red.
Tristan is coming to pick me up for dinner in about an hour. Just enough time for me to take a shower, pick out some sexy underwear and get ready. “I’m taking a shower,” I call as I walk down the hall toward my room. “Tristan will be here around six.”
“Okay,” Kelli calls back to me. “Have fun!”
I frown. Why is she telling me to have fun? I’m taking a shower. She’s so weird.
Opening my bedroom door, I step inside to find…
My bed covered in pink rose petals, formed in the shape of a heart. Candles scattered everywhere, on every available surface, their golden glow lighting up my room. Oh, and there’s Tristan, standing by the window, his expression nervous, his eyes sparkling with uncontained emotion as he watches me.
“Wh-what is this?” I close the door behind me, then lean against it.
“Surprise.” He holds his arms out wide. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
I’m dumbstruck. Surprise is right. This was so unexpected. “You told me Valentine’s Day is a bogus holiday.”
“It is.” He starts making his way toward me. “But I offered to take you to dinner anyway.”
“Right.” My gaze locks on the bed, my heart racing. It had to have taken him so much time to make the heart. I want to take a picture with my phone to capture this moment forever but would that be cheesy? Intrusive? This is a private moment, one I don’t want to forget. “But all this?”
He stops just in front of me. He looks extra good, but when does he not look extra good? Wearing one of those Henley shirts he’s so fond of, this one black—like his heart, he told me one time, which only made me laugh.
Tristan Prescott has the sweetest heart I know.
“You’re worth all this. Every bit of it.” He leans in and presses his mouth on mine, the kiss slow, soft. Hot. Wet. “I love you, angel.”
My body grows warm at his words, his kiss. “I love you too,” I whisper.
“You’ve changed my life.” Breathing deep, he shifts away from me, taking my hand in his and falling to his knee. “I’m a better man because of you.”
“Tristan,” I say shakily. I’m trembling and I swear my heart is in my throat. What is he doing?
Oh my God, I think I know what he’s doing.
“I never thought this would happen to me. I didn’t believe in relationships. I didn’t think I would ever find a woman I wanted to date exclusively, let alone spend the rest of my life with.”
I press my lips together so I don’t do something humiliating. Like start crying.
“I know we’ve been together for only a short amount of time, but I was told a long time ago that when you know, you know. And Alexandria, I know.” He pulls out a small black box from the front pocket of his jeans, pops it open and holds it out toward me. “I love you. Will you be my wife?”
The tears flow freely, raining down my cheeks, making me sniff unattractively. I’m sure I look a mess but how else could I react? This is totally unexpected. “Yes,” I whisper. “Yes, I’ll be your wife Tristan.”
He waves the box at me. “Do you like the ring?”
It’s simple, a round diamond with a plain band. The diamond is—large. But this is Tristan after all, so I expect nothing less. “It’s beautiful.”
He rises to his feet, pulls the ring out of the box and takes my left hand, slipping the ring on my finger. “Perfect,” he says, his gaze lifting to meet mine.
“You’re crazy.” I wave my fingers, the ring sparkling in the light.
“We’ve only been going out for a few months. What are our friends going to say?”
“The majority of them know about my plans so they’ll say congratulations,” he says smugly.
“You.” I sock him gently in the shoulder when he tosses the empty box onto a nearby chair. “Seriously. Aren’t we moving a little too fast?”
“When it comes to you, angel, nothing is too fast. I’m not going to act like that asshole Mr. Big who wasted too much time when he should’ve just been with Carrie.”
Oh, he’s talking about SATC again. He knows just how to get to my heart. Except…
“You’re not a Big fan?”
“Hell, no.” He looks sheepish. “I prefer Aidan.”
“Eww!” I sock him on the shoulder again, harder this time, and he grabs hold of me, hauling me in close. “Aidan is yuck. Too boring. I prefer a guy with an edge.”
“You don’t say?” Tristan says, making me laugh. “Big is an asshole.”
I pluck at the front of his shirt, his intoxicating scent surrounding me. “I’m kind of partial to assholes.”
“Thank Christ,” he mutters. “Hey. Look at me.”
I do as he asks, my once again tear-filled gaze meeting his. This moment is—huge. I can’t believe he wants to marry me. I can’t believe how much my life has changed in such a short amount of time—all because of this man. “I love you. You love me. We belong together. It’s as simple as that.”
I’m full on grinning now as I blink away my tears. “Can that be our wedding vows?”
He leans in, his mouth close to mine. “Whatever you want, Ali, I’ll work my damn hardest to give it to you,” Tristan murmurs just before he kisses me.
I know without a doubt that he will.