“You should go.”
“Khloe.” She tries to soften her voice, but I know my mom. She’ll be nice for a little and then she’ll be back to her old ways. It’s how she is.
“I’m not mad at you anymore. In fact, I should thank you. If it wasn’t for what you did I wouldn’t be here.”
“You can’t stay here, Khloe. You need to come home with me.” She looks up at Dane. “Get your paws off my daughter.”
“She rather enjoys my paws on her.”
My face flushes. “I am home.”
“Seriously? With this man?” She glares up at Dane. “Derrick loves you. He wants to get married.” Dane growls from behind me. I can’t stop my giggle because it’s adorable. I don’t think he’d agree.
“You should go,” I say again before she gets Dane worked up talking about my ex. I don’t want to fight with her. I’ve only spent a week with Dane’s mom and I know what a real mother should be. My mom is lucky Thea isn’t here right now. She would have whooped her behind. She starts to speak, but I hold my hand up. “Leave,” I say with more force.
“You were told to leave. You’re now trespassing,” Dane tells her.
“Fine. Be a brat, but don’t think you’re coming back home when this goes to shit.” My mom turns and storms out of the diner. Everyone cheers. Dane spins me around in his arms.
“I told you to call me when you were done at Connie’s.” Of course that’s the first thing he has to say. Always worried about my well-being.
“I love you.” He sucks in a breath before his mouth is on mine. My feet leave the ground as he kisses me deeply. When I hear everyone cheering again, I break from the kiss.
“Been waiting for you to say it since the first night.”
“You said it, didn’t you? I thought I was dreaming.”
“Not a dream, baby. I love you.” I drop another kiss on his lips. He slides me down his body until my feet touch the ground. “I was going to wait until tonight at the fair, but I can’t. I’ve already waited longer than I wanted to.”
Dane drops to his knee in front of me.
“Dane.” This time I can’t stop the tears.
“Fuck, don’t cry.” Dane almost looks pained.
“On with it.” I sniffle, pulling myself together. He pulls out a ring. I hold my hand out as he slips the platinum band on my finger that is a princess cut diamond so big no one will ever miss it. I shouldn’t have expected anything less. Of course Dane would get me the biggest ring he could. This way no one will ever mistake that I’m taken. I smile at his ways.
“You’re marrying me.” I wrap my arms around his neck as he stands, lifting me with him.
“I’m marrying you,” I agree.
“I know you are. I just said that.” He smirks.
“Dane McKinley. What am I going to do with you?”
“Take me home and have your way with me.”
I laugh as everyone cheers again.
“Then take me home.” He heads out of the diner.
“Don’t forget the fair! I’ve got a hundred on you for winning the pie eating contest,” Tina shouts.
“Wouldn’t miss it,” I shout back as the door to the diner closes behind us.
Dane takes me home and ends up having his way with me. We barely make it on time to the pie eating contest. Of course I kill it, coming in first place. It’s not until a few months later do I give credit for some of my win to the baby growing inside of me.
Life is pretty perfect. Dane wouldn’t let it be any other way.
I am finally home.
A clatter followed by a frustrated sigh leaks out of the bedroom turned study slash office. Just in time, I think, looking at the white bag Ren picked up for me at Connie’s. I dump the contents onto a plate, grab a paper towel and a glass of water, and head toward my woman. Inside the office, I find Khloe with her head on the desk.
“Long day, baby?” I set the plate down by her head and start kneading her neck. She keeps a lot of her tension there.
“I just can’t get the emotional tone of this book right,” she moans, her voice slightly muffled by the desk.
“Ren picked up donuts from Connie’s.”
Her head lifts an inch. “What kind?”
“Cream-filled eclairs with chocolate drizzle. Connie said that there’s a surprise in the middle.”
That gets Khloe to straighten all the way up. “Like raspberry?” she asks hopefully.
“Wouldn’t know.” As Khloe digs in to find out, I drag a chair over and lift Khloe’s feet into my lap. I push her fuzzy pink slippers off and massage her feet.
She lets out a deep, satisfied sound before saying, “I shouldn’t let you do this. It’s not my feet that are tired.”