Our initials entwined—D+F.
We laugh together a lot. We’ve also cried a few times. He’s trying to heal his relationship with his dad. I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that my mom is never coming back.
Our relationship is not perfect. Drew Callahan isn’t perfect either.
But I wouldn’t have him any other way.
I’m nervous as f**k about tonight and wonder for about the eight millionth time if I’m doing the right thing. I try to ignore the doubt that lingers in my mind as I pace the living room, waiting for Fable to come out of the bathroom and finally announce she’s ready to go.
Sometimes, she takes too damn long getting herself all primped up or whatever it is girls do. I’ve told her before I love her just the way she is. Makeup, no makeup. Pretty dress, old raggedy shorts and T-shirt, whatever she’s wearing, I’m all for it. She’s gorgeous.
But then she’ll blow my mind walking out of that bathroom after being in there for a solid hour and I forget all about my impatience. She’s pretty good at that trick.
She’s pretty good at a lot of tricks.
“You need to chill.”
I turn to find Owen watching me, amusement lighting his green eyes. “What do you mean?” I ask.
“You’re all anxious and crazy. Stop worrying. She’s going to f**king love it.” He slaps a hand over his mouth. “Don’t tell her I said that.”
“Don’t worry about it.” I shake my head. The kid has a foul mouth but so do Fable and I. How can we give him grief when we can’t lead by example?
“Seriously, dude. She’s going to love your surprise. Love. It. You’ll make her cry.” Owen shakes his head. “You must be pretty far gone over my sister to want to do this already.”
“I can’t live without her.” And that is no lie. “We belong together. Why not make it official?”
I sound confident but I have a major case of nerves. I’m taking her out to dinner at The District because Colin—who I’m friends with now, unbelievable—offered up the private room for us to use. I jumped at it because no way am I going to do this and make a spectacle of myself.
What if she says no?
She won’t say no.
Her scent precedes her, light and floral, making me long for her. And then she appears, coming down the hall with a little smile on her face, wearing a pale pink sundress that makes her skin look even more golden. All I see is legs and arms and the material of the dress is so thin…
I can practically see through it when the light hits her just right.
“Fable.” I clear my throat. “You’re not going out in that, are you?”
She twirls around, the flared skirt flying out, offering me a tantalizing glimpse of bare, slender thighs. “You don’t like it?”
“I f**king love it.” I glance around, thankful Owen’s disappeared. I hear the click of his door closing. Smart kid. “I can see through it.”
“You can?” She glances down with a frown. “But I don’t want to change.”
I slip my right hand into my pocket, fumbling around with the tiny box that’s nestled within. I don’t want her to change either. She looks amazing.
But I don’t want anyone else seeing her in that dress either.
“Where are we going?” she asks when I don’t say anything.
“Uh, The District?”
Now she’s frowning harder. Uh-oh. “You’re kidding. I work there all the time. I want to get away from that place, not hang out there on my night off.”
I’m messing this up. I can already feel it. Shuffling my feet, I study the carpet, my brain scrambling to come up with a different plan.
“Drew.” I glance up to find her watching me, her gaze narrowed. “What’s up with you? Are you okay?”
Fuck it. I’m doing this now before I totally lose my nerve and really screw up. I go to her without a word and take her hand, falling to my knee in front of her. “What are you doing?” she whispers, her eyes wide, her hand cold in my grip.
“Fable, I love you. I want you to be a permanent part of my life forever.” I clear my throat, notice how her fingers are trembling. “We haven’t been together very long, but when something feels so right and so good, you know you don’t want to ever let it go.”
“Ohmigod.” Her voice is a breathy rasp as I reach inside my jeans pocket and pull out the little box that’s been burning a hole in my mind ever since I bought the damn thing over a week ago. “What is that?”
“Let me show you.” My fingers are shaky as I lift the lid, revealing the simple round solitaire engagement ring within. “I want you to marry me.”
Her eyes widen as she studies the diamond, her mouth hanging open. She finally lifts her gaze to meet mine, tears sparkling in her eyes. “You’re serious.”
This girl is truly, truly going to drive me out of my mind. “I’m definitely serious. I love you.”
“I love you too. But marriage?” she squeaks as she reaches out and touches the diamond with the tip of her index finger.
“Marriage. I want to make this all about the forever.” I drop her hand only for a moment, taking the ring out of the box so I can put it on her finger. She holds out her hand, her fingers quivering as I slip the ring on. It’s a perfect fit.
The ring looks perfect on her finger. And this girl is perfect for me.
She brings her hand up to her face, admiring the ring close up. “Oh my God, Drew, it’s so beautiful.”