Bend(133)

By: Kivrin Wilson


“And you kept it?” I ask, eyeing the toy ring with a smile. Because really, this is pretty adorable all around.

“Well…” is all he says, making a face.

Yeah, okay. I get it. Pursing my lips, I ask, “You just put it in your bag and forgot about it, didn’t you?”

“Yup.” He has the grace to look a tad embarrassed now. While still smirking.

I shake my head and pluck the ring out of his hand, examining it more closely. “It’s way too small.”

Jay retrieves the toy. The ring is not a perfect circle, the bottom ends having a gap between them, and pinching it between both his thumbs and forefingers, he pulls the ends apart, widening it.

“There.” He holds it back out to me.

“Are you putting it on my finger?” I raise my eyebrows and offer my outstretched hand to him.

He hesitates, all traces of playfulness gone from his gaze. “Does that mean you’re saying yes?”

I make my lips twitch in a quick smile. “Do you think I should?”

“I definitely think you should,” he says, nodding solemnly.

“If I say yes, does that mean I’m agreeing to go work at Relief International with you? Because I need to think about that some more.”

“No,” Jay says emphatically. “It doesn’t mean that. You take the time you need to decide if you want to go.”

I’m having a hard time catching my breath. Jay is mine. He’s going to stay with me, no matter what. And there’s not a part of me, not even a tiny fraction, that has doubts about what to tell him right now. Because nothing has ever felt more right than the thought of spending the rest of my life with this man.

Still, the temptation to mess with him is too strong. So I frown with mock concern and ask, “Would you object if I hyphenated my last name like Paige did?”

Sighing, he lets his hand that’s still holding the ring fall to the bed. “You can do whatever you want as long as you let me censor your iTunes playlist on a regular basis. How about that?”

I wrinkle my nose at him. “That’s kind of a deal breaker, Jay.”

Grunting with annoyance, he tosses the ring aside and climbs onto all fours on the bed, putting on his best dark and menacing expression as he advances on me. Laughter gurgles out of me as I flop over and scramble to get away, but he grabs my ankle and pulls me back.

Rolling over on my back again, I kick halfheartedly at the restraint, giggles still bubbling up from my chest. And when he moves to cover my body with his, I jerk my hands up to block him, but he grabs them and pins them to the bed on either side of my head.

I suck in a sharp breath as I take in the expression on his face. He’s got that look, like he’s starving and I’m the first scrap of food he’s seen in days.

I close my eyes and arch up into him as his mouth finds my throat, lightly biting a trail up to my ear. My lungs feel overfull with air, and as his teeth graze my earlobe, a high-pitched moan escapes me.

“Yes or no?” he says, his breath fanning hotly on my ear.

I bend my neck as far as it can stretch, nuzzling my face into his hair.

“Yes,” I whisper. “Yes, I’ll marry you, Jay.”

“And continue to be my best friend?” He pushes himself up, lets go of my wrist to drag his thumb down the side of my face and across my bottom lip.

“With lots of benefits,” I agree, the corners of my mouth tugging up in a smile.

His eyes intense and serious, his voice quiet, he states more than asks, “Forever.”

With a nod and burning eyes, I swallow down the knot in my throat and say, “And always.”

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