Page 55 of The Dating Proposal

That sounds about right to me.

He deepens the kiss, and before I know it, we are all lips and tongue and teeth crashing into each other in an anthemic song of kissing, a big, epic tune of joy and passion and hope. Of falling in love again. Of letting go and starting over.

I am flying high right now, ready to head into the great unknown. Ready and eager.

We don’t stop at Elvis.

We attack a whole screenful of songs, belting the guy and girl parts in “Love Shack” like we’re now a singing duo, then performing The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me.” Then the whole group of us—Chris, his friends, Erin, Julia, and I—head back onstage after another round of drinks, and we do our best full-on rocker salute as we air-guitar our way through one of the best karaoke tunes ever—Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

Matching the words in the song, Chris takes my hand. I feel the music fill me up, and I swear, just like the song promises, we’ll make it.

After, we go to the bar, laughing and kissing. He brushes my hair off my cheek and threads his fingers in my locks. “What do you say we get out of here?”

“What did you have in mind?”

He loops his hands around my neck, bringing my face to this. “There’s this girl I’m in love with. And I’d really like to be alone with her right now.”

Tingles. Everywhere.

We go to my home, and our clothes fly off in a flurry. I pull him down on my bed, bring him close, and wrap my arms around his neck. “Make love to me,” I whisper, the words pricking at me with the sheer vulnerability of them.

“Always,” he says, and it feels like a promise we’ll both keep.

Later, when we’re spent and curled up together, Ms. Pac-Man jumps on the bed, licks Chris’s face, and flops down next to him.

“What did you just say?” I ask her.

“I like him. He’s a keeper,” I reply in the dog’s voice.

He rolls over, gives her a smooch on the snout, and says, “Back at you.”

And I fall in love even deeper.




Several months later

I watch from the street corner. Two deliverymen wait outside on McKenna’s steps as she arrives home from a business meeting.

One of those guys walks up to her, presumably asking her name.

She nods.

He tells her, I suspect, that he has a delivery for her, and she stops and waits.

I smile, ridiculously pleased with the delivery in question.

The guy returns to the truck and wheels a dolly down the ramp. When he’s halfway, McKenna realizes what’s on it.

“Oh my God!” She’s so loud, I can hear her as she claps her hand to her mouth and jumps in excitement.

I walk down the block, heading straight to her. “Built it myself.”

She spins around, and I’m in front of her. “You did?”

I pat the side of the Q*Bert machine. “I had a feeling you might like your own.”

Fifteen minutes later, the delivery guys are gone, and there’s a gorgeous new game in her living room.

“It’s one hundred percent authentic,” I say, handing the woman I adore a bag of quarters. “But no freebies. You have to pay this beast every time.”

Her wild bluish-hazel eyes light up as she reaches for a quarter. “I want to play now.”

Her excitement thrills me, makes me even more sure that this is right—that this is how it should be.

I clasp a hand over hers. “There’s one thing I should let you know though. I tested it out first. Just to make sure it worked. You’ll have to beat my high score.”

“You’re so cruel.”

“I am the absolute worst.”

“Fine,” she huffs, pretending to be annoyed. “What’s the score I have to beat?”

As I tap the screen to show her, a flock of nerves lands briefly in my chest, but they fly away quickly.

I’m ready.

When she stares at the score, she gasps.

Turns around.

Drops her jaw. “Seriously?”

I’m so serious I’m down on one knee. The score is high, and the name of the winner is “MARRY ME.”

I’m pretty damn proud of what we’ve built.

I’ll be the happiest guy around if she says yes.

“I’ve been falling for you since the day I met you, McKenna.” I reach into my pocket and take out a dark velvet box. I flip it open and show her the ring, a vintage-style cut that’s perfect for her. “And I don’t plan to ever stop falling in love with you. Will you be my wife?”

She falls to her knees, knocks me down so I’m sitting, and sinks into my lap, then throws her arms around me. I can feel her tears on my cheeks.

“Yes,” she whispers. “I don’t plan to stop either.”

She pulls back, and I slide on the ring. She beams and can’t stop looking at it. Then she quirks up a brow. “Hey, do I have to take your name? Because McKenna McCormick would be quite silly.”

Tags: Lauren Blakely Romance