Hannah frowned. “Are you okay?”
“Hm?” I breathed. “Uh, yeah. Why?”
“You’re a little sweaty. You’re not breaking out into a fever or something are you?”
“N-no, I’m just–”
She reached across the table and placed her hand on my forehead. “William, you’re burning up. Are you sure you’re feeling okay? We can head back home if you’re not feeling well.”
Things were spiraling downhill faster than I would have liked. In a panic, I touched my hand to my rib. Knowing the ring box was still there was a small comfort. This only brought Hannah more concern, however.
“Does your chest hurt? Are you having a hard time breathing?”
“What? No, I was just–”
“You don’t have to tough it out for me. Should we go to the emergency room or–”
“Will you marry me?” I blurted out.
Hannah paused and stilled, her eyebrows rising very slowly as the question sank in. “What?”
I pinched the bridge of my nose. That definitely could have gone better. Now I had no choice but to roll with it. I got down on one knee and pulled the little ring box from my inside pocket it, opening it carefully to reveal a brilliant diamond engagement ring. “This belonged to my mother,” I explained. “And her mother before her, and her mother before her.”
Hannah stared at me blankly. I was fairly certain she was in a state of shock. “O-okay?” was all she managed.
I took her hand and looked up at her, full of hope mixed with a twinge of fear. What if she said no? What if this wasn’t what she wanted? What if things were moving too fast and I scared her off? I swallowed hard, tamping down the doubt in an attempt to keep my cool.
“I love you,” I whispered to her. “You make me feel like life’s worth living, Hannah. I honestly can’t imagine a future where you’re not in it. I brought us here to recapture the magic we felt. It was the same feeling I experience everyday when I’m with you, and I want to wake up every morning next to you for the rest of my life knowing I’ll always feel complete and happy, and I hope that–”
“Yes,” she interrupted.
“Yes, I’ll marry you.”
I smiled from ear to ear. “Really?”
Hannah nodded rapidly, giggling. “Of course, I will, you dummy!”
I rose and placed the ring on her finger before promptly pulling her into a tight hug and deep kiss. When I pulled away I laughed and said, “I had a whole speech prepared, you know.”
“Did you want to finish it? I didn’t mean to cut you off. You just sounded like you were drowning.”
I let out a mock gasp. “Did not.”
“Did too,” she teased.
“You know what? I don’t even remember what I was going to say.”
“Can you give me the SparkNotes version, at least?”
I grinned and nodded. “I love you, Hannah Milch. I can’t wait to call you my wife.”
Hannah kissed me, sweet and slow. “And I love you, Mister Laurier.”
I’d never been to England before, but I figured it was about time I actually got a chance to meet William’s parents. I was worriedly picking at my fingers nail the entire flight, thinking up worst-case scenarios. What if they didn’t like me? I was the reason why William was giving up his life as a royal. What if they saw me as some sort of social-climbing gold digger? I swore I wasn’t. If I had my way, I would tell William to stop spoiling me. I didn’t need fancy dresses, sparkly jewelry, gourmet food, or private jets. I just wanted him. And more importantly, I just wanted him to be happy. But would his parents understand that I was marrying William for him and not for his money? I couldn’t quite be sure. The wedding was only a week away, and I was sure that his parents would want to at least meet with me once before I took his name.
We met up at the Four Seasons Hotel in London. It was by far one of the most fancy places I had ever dared to step foot in. Had it not been for William’s comforting grasp on my hand, I would have stayed right outside the main sliding doors, too afraid that I’d scuff the floors and be kicked out as a result.
“I hope they like me,” I mumbled under my breath to no one in particular. Maybe to God, I wasn’t quite sure. “Please let them like me.”
William chuckled. “It’s cute that you’re so nervous, honey.”
“Do you find entertainment in my misery?”
“What if I say yes?”
“Then I’ll call off the wedding.”
“Then no, honey. I don’t find entertainment in your misery.”
We stepped into the main lobby together, our heels clicking on the polished tile floors. William kissed my cheek. “Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be fine. They’re going to adore you.”