“One, Momma’s Country is a safe place again, now that we helped the kid and his dad get out from under Snake’s guys. It’s now under the protection of The Broken Eagle Motorcycle Club, thanks to two crazy girls in catsuits.” I smile, and she beams up at me proudly. “Two, they’re closed until tonight. But they happen to have delicious chicken wings and burgers, so don’t knock ‘em till you try ‘em.”
She giggles. “Fair enough. We’d have to eat out on the patio though. Too much smoke inside.” Her hands unconsciously go to her little belly as she glances back at the bar. But my voice pulls her back.
“Three.” I reach into my pocket and pull out the ring I have waiting there. I picked it out a month ago, but have been trying to wait for the perfect moment to ask her. I go down on my knee, next to my bike and in front of the woman I love, who lets out a squeak as I reach out to pull her hands from her belly to hold in my left palm, the ring ready for her finger in my right. It never fails to stand out how tiny she is compared to me. “It was here, at this bar, that I first laid eyes on you. You were on one of your adventures, dressed in a catsuit in the middle of a country bar, and all eyes, including mine, were on you. I thought, Who is this delicious feline, this sexy little Cat Woman? But when I spoke to you, you tried to skitter away like a scared kitten. And that’s when I started calling you just that—my kitten. But you proved over and over again that my kitten has claws, and even though it first intrigued me how shy you were—it was in this exact parking spot that I told you I’d never had shy in my bed before—it was when you’d bare those claws and sharp fangs that really made me want to make you mine.”
Tears start to fall down her cheeks, and for once, it doesn’t make me crazy. I know these are happy tears because of the smile stretched across her beautiful face.
“I love every single one of your facets, Kayan. I love your shyness, and your sassiness. I love how feisty you can be, and how loyal you are to your best friend. I love how you give me shit, and can take it all the same. And I want you to know that it’s not because you’re pregnant that I want to make you mine forever. Our baby is just the cherry on top, even though I don’t even deserve the cake in the first place.”
She pulls her hand from mine to cup my cheek at that, seeing the emotion on my face. “There’s no man more deserving than you, Z.” She sniffles.
I shake my head with a smile, my nose prickling. “The first decade of my life, my parents made me believe I was the least deserving person on the planet. I was lucky, so fucking lucky, to then be adopted by two of the most loving people in this world, but I can’t help but fear it’s still in me somewhere that I’ll turn out like my biological mom and dad. How strong is nature? Is it in my blood? Am I going to be a horrible father and husband?” I finally voice my fears.
She shakes her head frantically, her tears showering my face, cleansing me of my doubts. “No, no way. Because you know what? Louisa is your blood too, and like you said, she is one of the most loving, kind, generous, and nurturing people I’ve ever met. I have no doubt it’s your nature to take after her and Mateo. You are too good to me, too protective and over-the-top loving to make me have even a shadow of a doubt. This baby is going to be the luckiest kid in the world to have you as their daddy. And I’ll hit the jackpot… if you ever get around to actually proposing. Isn’t your knee starting to hurt by now, kneeling on that gravel, babe?” She tilts her head, and I can’t help the bark of laughter that erupts from my chest.
This woman. This crazy, beautiful, perfect woman.
“Kayan, my kitten. Would you make me the luckiest bastard in the world and be my wife?” I ask.
She juts out a sassy hip and puts her right hand on it, scolding me, “How many times do I gotta tell you to watch your language in front of our baby?” But then she grins wide as she threads her left ring finger through the ring before wrapping her arms around my neck, kissing me on top of my head the way Mom does to Dad. But unlike the Amazon my mom is, Kayan is so small that she’s barely taller than me while I’m on my knee.