“Look, if you don’t like what’s inside that box, it’s fine. I swear. I mean, I know we both said in the past that we wanted this at some point, but we never said when, and I don’t know when there’s ever a right time, but—”
“Stop talking, and let me open it.”
I pull the lid off and stare down at the white stick inside the box.
My entire being freezes.
“You’re pregnant?” The words feel like they rush out of me. I lift my eyes to hers.
She bites her lip and nods. “Seven weeks. I had it confirmed at the doctor’s a few days ago. I thought I’d wait to surprise you. I just hope it’s a good surprise.” Her face is screwed up with nerves as she chews on her lip.
“Babe, it’s a good surprise. It’s the best fucking surprise ever.”
“Really.” I smile so big that I feel like my face might crack. “Jesus, Ava.” I get up from my chair and sweep her up into my arms, hugging her tight. “I’m so fucking happy right now.”
“God, I’m so relieved,” she whispers. “I was so worried.”
I lean back and take her face in my hands. “Why?”
“Because we didn’t plan it, and I wasn’t sure where your head was.”
“You being pregnant with my baby is the greatest thing ever. Babe, it’s the best gift I have ever received in my life. It’s astro-fucking-nomical.”
She smiles big, and my chest feels like it could burst with the love I feel for her.
I move a hand down to her stomach and press my palm to it. “I just can’t believe our baby is inside of you right now.”
“It’s amazing, isn’t it?” she whispers.
The waiter appears with our food. I look at it being laid out on the table, and after finding out that she’s pregnant, I decide that I don’t want to wait any longer to give her my gift.
“Speedy, would you mind if we take this food to go? I really want to give you your gift now.”
She looks at me, surprised. “Okay, sure.”
“Can you wrap this up to go?” I tell the waiter.
“Of course, Mr. Evans. Would you like any dessert to go with it?”
“I could eat some cheesecake.”
“Two pieces of cheesecake as well. And make it quick.”
The waiter rushes off to sort our food. I reach over the table, get the pregnancy test from the box, and put it in my pocket.
“What?” I say in response to the look on Speedy’s face, which is a mixture of disgust and happiness.
“You do realize that I peed on that stick?”
“And your point is?”
“That it’s kind of weird and gross that you’re carrying around a stick with my urine on it.”
“I’m carrying around a stick that says my girlfriend is pregnant with my baby. You’re lucky I’m not waving this thing around for everyone to see.”
She stares at me, laughter and concern in her gorgeous eyes. “Please don’t do that.”
“What’s it worth for me not to do it?” I grin devilishly.
She leans close and whispers in my ear, “I’ll let you do that thing to me that I said I would never let you do.”
I lean back and stare in her eyes, my blood suddenly rushing south. “You mean, I can punch the starfish?”
Laughter bursts from her. “If that’s slang for fifth base, then, yes, baby, you can punch the starfish.”
“God, you’re fucking awesome.” I grab her face between my hands and press a kiss to her lips. “I don’t know what the fuck I did to deserve you, but whatever it was, I’m glad I did it.”
“You definitely got lucky, big guy.” She pats my hand, grinning at me.
We’re back in the car with our to-go food. And I just can’t stop staring at Speedy’s stomach.
Our baby is inside her right now. A part of her and a part of me. It’s fucking mind-blowing.
A thought occurs to me.
“Speedy, does this mean I have to give up smoking now that we’re having a baby?”
She turns her face to look at me. “Only if you want to. You’ve been doing so well with not drinking, and if giving up your cigarettes would feel like too much of an added pressure, then don’t do it. The last thing I want is for you to put any unnecessary pressure on yourself.”
And this is just one of the many reasons I love her. She always thinks about what’s best for me.
“I’ll think about it and have a chat with my sponsor, see what he thinks.”
“I know you don’t smoke in the house anymore, but you can’t smoke around me at all now that I’m pregnant.”
“I promise I won’t.” I press a kiss to her soft lips.
I see we’re approaching our destination, and my stomach starts to churn with unexpected nerves. And, now, I really could do with a smoke.
I haven’t been nervous all day. Every time I’ve thought about this, I’ve felt happy and positive. But, now that we’re nearly there, I’m starting to shit bricks.
The car starts to slow, coming to a stop outside the studio.
“Why are we at the studio?” Speedy asks me.
“You’ll see in a minute.”
I open the door and get out of the car, helping her out.
Keeping hold of her hand, I lead her past the studio and to the corner of the street.
I pause before we turn the corner. “Okay, so close your eyes.”
“You want me to close my eyes?”
“That’s what I said.”
She gives me a look and shuts them.
“Are they closed properly?” I wave a hand in front of her.
“Do they look closed to you?” She smirks.
“Funny, smart-ass. Okay, don’t open them until I say so.”
I take hold of her hands and lead her around the corner and down the street until I stop her on the very spot where she hit me with her car that day.
The street is lit with fairy lights, giving it a romantic glow. There’s not much you can do to make a street down the side of a movie studio look romantic, but it has to be here, so fairy lights, it is.
I get the blue ring box from my pocket, and then I get down on one knee in front of her.
Fuck, I’m so nervous.
I feel like I’m gonna hurl. My mouth dries. I take a deep breath and moisten my lips with my tongue. “Okay…you can open your eyes.”
She blinks her eyes open. I watch her as she takes in the fairy lights and just where we are. A smile ignites her whole face.
That smile. Fuck, it gets me every time.
It takes her a moment to realize that I’m on my knee in front of her, but when she does, her eyes widen, and her mouth pops into an O before she covers it with her hands.
“Ava…I had this whole big speech prepared, and then you blew me out of the water when you told me that you’re pregnant with our baby. You kinda stole my thunder.” I grin. “But, tonight, you’ve given me the greatest gift ever. And, now, I’m asking you to marry me, with our child growing inside you, on the very spot where we started, and it couldn’t be more right.” I push up to my feet. “So, Ava Simms…soon-to-be mother of my child…my Speedy…will you marry me?”
I pop open the ring box, and her eyes widen further, filling with tears.
She drops her hands, revealing her gorgeous smiling face. “Yes, Gabe, I will marry you.”
My heart explodes with utter fucking happiness. I get the ring out of the box and slide it onto her finger.
“It’s beautiful, Gabe.” She holds her hand, staring down at the ring.
“You’re beautiful,” I tell her. “And mine.” I take her face in my hands and kiss her, like I plan to kiss her for the rest of our lives.
“I can’t believe you’re going to be my husband.” Her eyes glitter up at me.
“Believe it, baby.” I kiss her again. “You’re going to be Mrs. Evans.”
“I like the sound of that.” She smiles. “God, tonight is the best night of my life, Gabe.”