Page 53 of Burned (Ignite #1)

She has no idea that my own anxiety is threatening to overwhelm me. As I slam in and out of her and bring my hand between our bodies to rub my fingers over her clit, I try not to think about the items in the back pocket of my pants.

As she comes hard and fast around my c**k and I follow quickly behind her, I try not to allow my nerves to get the better of me.

I make sure she doesn’t see the tension on my face as we right our clothes or feel how hard my hand shakes as I hold it against her lower back and lead her out the door and back into the main part of the gallery.

When we’re standing in front of the first design I ever watched her create, I quickly stop and turn around to face her.

“It seemed fitting to do this right here,” I tell her with a smile, tilting my head in the direction of the Japanese pagoda art piece that first brought us together so many years ago.

She looks at me in confusion as I grab both of her hands, rubbing my thumbs across the tops of them.

“Fire brought us together seventeen years ago and fire almost ripped us apart seventeen years later. It left behind a few burns and some scars that will never completely heal, but it didn’t destroy us. Nothing can destroy us, Finnley. It’s been seventeen weeks since I almost lost you. I can handle anything that life throws at me, but I can’t handle even a day without you by my side.”

Dropping one of her hands, I reach into my back pocket, pull out a folded piece of paper and hand it to her.

She takes it from my hands, wiping a few stray tears from her cheeks as she unfolds the paper. “If you’re breaking up with me right now, this is seriously the WORST break-up in the history of break-ups.”

I chuckle at her and shake my head. “Just read it.”

She looks away from me and stares down at the piece of paper. I can see the exact moment when she realizes what it is. Her mouth drops open and she gasps. With a little help from her parents and a lot of digging through their attic, they were able to help me put this together and do what I can to make up for the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. When she looks back up at me, I slowly get down on one knee and hold the other item from my pocket out in front of her: a black velvet box with the lid popped open so she can see the diamond ring nestled inside.

The note flutters to the ground as Finnley’s hands come up to either side of my face and she stares down at me with tears streaming down her cheeks.

“Yes! Absolutely, without a doubt, yes!” she exclaims with a watery laugh before she closes the distance between us and presses her lips to mine. I quickly stand and wrap my arms around her, the crowd that gathered around us erupting into cheers and applause. As I hold her close and we rock back and forth in each other’s arms, I glance down at the note on the floor and smile.