Page 62 of What Lies Beneath

He held up the box to her. “Open it,” he urged.

Adrienne reached out, her hand shaking, and took the velvet box. She opened it, her mouth dropping open as it tended to do when she wasn’t sure what to say.

“It’s not the same ring,” she said, her brow furrowed.

It wasn’t. It felt wrong to give her a ring that was intended for someone else. So he’d gone to his favorite jeweler and asked him to create a new ring especially for Adrienne.

It was a two-carat oval-cut pink sapphire surrounded by a ring of perfect, round diamonds and set in platinum. The jeweler was inspired by Princess Diana’s engagement ring, recently given by her son to the new English princess.

Judging by the look on Adrienne’s face, he’d made the right choice.

“Cynthia’s ring was large and gaudy because that’s what she wanted. I wanted your ring to be untraditional, beautiful and priceless. Just like you.”

Will pulled the ring from the box and slipped it onto her finger. It fit perfectly, unlike all of Cynthia’s things. This was hers and only hers.

“Adrienne, you have changed my whole world. I had been living half a life before you were given to me. Just going through the motions. I’d lost hope of ever being happy. But I was wrong. You showed me there was more to life than how I was living. You made me want to do and experience more through your eyes. And I want to continue to do that. For the rest of our lives. Marry me, Adrienne.”

She dropped to her knees on the ground in front on him. Her eyes moved repeatedly from the ring to his face and back. “It’s so beautiful. I don’t know what to say, Will.”

Will smiled and took her hands in his. “All you have to say is yes.”

“Yes!” she said, launching herself into his arms. His weight was thrown off by the sudden attack, sending him rolling backward onto the concrete floor with Adrienne on top of him.

She straddled him, leaning down to put her palms on each side of his face, and kissed him. Will wrapped his arms around her and held her tight against him. It felt so good to have her back in his embrace again. He’d missed holding her so badly the past few weeks. His arms were empty and useless without her.

When his lips finally parted from hers, he took a ragged breath to cool his ardor. This was hardly the time or place for him to do everything he wanted to do to his new fiancée.

He was distracted as Adrienne started giggling.

“What?” he asked. One moment she was mad, then crying, then laughing. She would definitely keep him on his toes for the next fifty years.

“We’re getting married,” Adrienne said, as though he hadn’t been present to hear the news.

“I know.” Will pushed himself up until he was seated on the floor with Adrienne in his lap, her legs wrapped around his waist. “Does that mean you’ll move back to New York and live with me?”

Adrienne nodded. “I have to go home and take care of some things, but it won’t take me long. But if I do move back here, I want us to start fresh with a line separating our new life together from the past. I think the best way to do it would be to get a new apartment. Can we?”

“Absolutely.” Will smiled. He’d been looking at places on the Upper West Side already. It was closer to the office, and the pace had always suited him better.

“And can we get new furniture? Stuff that isn’t so…I don’t know…”

“I do know.” He laughed. He hated almost everything in that place. “And we can most definitely start over with decorating. We’ll have an estate sale and only take what we want.”

“Like my sewing machine.” Adrienne grinned, the excitement of their new life together visibly forming in her mind. “I guess there’s just one thing left to discuss.”

“Ahh…here we go. The wedding plans, right? Let the circus begin.”

Will didn’t know what Adrienne’s take on the wedding might be like, but he was certain it would be different, just like their life together would be different. And wonderful. And exciting. He couldn’t wait to find out what their future would hold.

“Whatever you want, we can make it happen. I’ll track down every pink rose in South America if you want it. Anything for you.”

Adrienne smiled sheepishly. “That’s wonderful, thank you. But actually, that’s not what I was talking about.”

Will arched an eyebrow in curiosity. She surprised him all the time. He’d proposed not two minutes ago. He figured her head would at least be wrapped up in designing her own wedding gown and bridesmaids dresses if not envisioning the whole extravaganza. “So, what’s more important than planning our wedding?”