“What is happening,” I whisper, suddenly terrified.
“I thought right here would be the perfect place for a wraparound deck in the back facing the river. Elevated, with a second story walkout. And a pergola with fairy lights.” His finger drifts across the plans in front of me.
“Law,” I gasp.
He traces an area on the other side of the house. “Right here would be an indoor-outdoor pool. In the winter, we could fill it with snow.”
I clutch his hand. He stops moving through the plans, but he brings his eyes to mine and resumes speaking. “Floor to ceiling library, with a sliding ladder and a spiral staircase that leads to a private reading nook filled with pillows. A window seat-bed, big enough for both of us to lay together at night and look at the stars. And an outdoor fire pit designed to feel like the beach.”
The stickiness in my throat inhibits speech. Or that could be the tears I hold back. “Y-you forgot the–?
But Law has forgotten nothing. “Built in bunk beds. I didn’t forget. Just didn’t know if you’d still have the desire to fill them.”
Oh, God. “But I have a house.”
“We’ll sell it.”
“You have a new custom-built house.”
“Sorry to say, because we had some excellent memories there, but that isn’t my house.”
My stomach twists. “What are you talking about?”
His hand snakes under the blanket to clutch my waist. “I build houses, babe. Long story short, a friend of mine contacted me to build his woman her dream home, I made that drive daily to oversee the project. One day I ran into you in a coffee shop, and suddenly, making that drive home every day wasn’t something I wanted to do. He found his woman bent over her desk at work getting fucked by her boss. You
can imagine he no longer felt like building her that dream home. He let me live there to help us both out. Got the job done faster so he can sell the place and get rid of her, and gave me a place to live in town.”
I twist my fingers together. “Was this, um, the same friend you helped with the pest control job?”
“Yeah,” he grunts. “Rhett. Good guy, but shit luck. Why do you ask?”
“No reason. I thought you were here to build a strip mall?”
His fingers squeeze. “Doing that, too. I had my eye on the job for a couple months. After I saw you and knew I wanted to stick around for a while, I put in the bid.”
He loses my gaze as I take it all in. I’m quiet, but he isn’t done.
“I need a house now, because the other one’s done. This land is mine, the plans are drawn, the only thing I need now is you.”
The only thing…
I need now…
I give him my eyes and grip his face in both hands. The scratchiness of his stubble against my palms ground me. Touching him feels as natural as breathing. At the same time, I still can’t believe he’s here. I imagine it will take some time to get over.
He’s so direct in what he’s saying; but he also isn’t saying what I need him to say. Misinterpreting him at this point will obliterate me. I manage a shuddering breath and ask the question that terrifies me to no end and fills me with so much happiness I could burst.
“Are you asking me to marry you?”
“No, I’m asking you to live this beautiful life with me.”
“Law.” I exhale shakily, struggling to break through the hope that overtakes every pore, every single molecule that completes me.
“I don’t give a fuck about a piece of paper, Cami, but if you want it, it’s yours. So long as you’re mine.”