“Thanks.” I already feel lighter. I pick up my phone to make a post.
“Congratulations,” he tosses over his shoulder as he heads out. Before I can ask for what, he’s already through the door and out of sight.
“Jesus,” I mutter when I see I have a million notifications. What the hell is going on? I haven’t even posted today so my social media shouldn’t be going off like this. I drop my phone when I see why everyone is blowing it up. I quickly pick it back up to double check that I’m not going crazy. Nope. Not crazy.
I swallow, fighting back tears. He definitely saw that I deleted pictures from my Instagram. Maybe that should be creepy but I find it sweet he softly stalks me.
“I’m out,” I yell to the random kitchen staff still milling around. I turn, heading toward the door. I smile when I see Cullen standing outside waiting. He’s leaning up against his car. Of course he is. I should have known.
“Did you just ask me to marry you on Instagram?”
He pushes off his car, coming to a standing position as I stop in front of him. I can’t help but reach out and put my hands on his chest, having missed him all day.
“That depends on your answer, shortcake. Close your eyes, baby.” He leans down, kissing my lips. I do as he asks, wanting whatever it is he’s about to do. I’m scared but excited at the same time.
“MJ, I’ve loved you from the moment I saw you standing in that window looking back at me. I knew then that I’d do anything to have you.” He kisses me again. My stomach is in knots. I feel like I’m about to come out of my skin.
I’m silent for the first time in my life wanting more of those sweet words. I didn’t know how needy for affection I was until Cullen was covering me in it. I feel him shift to stand behind me. He sweeps my hair to the side, his fingers grazing my neck. Everything is happening in slow motion for me. I don’t know how I can feel so happy and terrified at the same time but I do. I keep my eyes closed trying to absorb it all. He lays something around my neck and clasps it in the back. The heavy weight of it falls to my chest over my pounding heart.
“Keep them closed.” He kisses my neck before moving again to come back in front of me. Then I feel the cool band slide onto my finger. I know it’s the ring he took a picture of. “Open up.” I do but I don’t look at the ring or whatever it is he put on my neck. My eyes lock right on his.
“I want this. I want it so much it scares me.”
Cullen’s face softens at my words. I know when he said open up he meant more than my eyes.
“Keep talking, MJ. Put it all out on the table so we can sort it out and you can say yes already. I’ll do whatever it takes for you to be my wife.” He always knows what to say. I let out a deep breath, knowing that I need to answer my man but not until I clear a few things up first.
“I love you, Cullen. I never thought in a million years that I would find someone as perfect for me as you are. My heart belonged to you from the moment you walked me to that little bar down the block from my house.” I hear his growl before he takes my mouth in a kiss that leaves me breathless. I’m lost in him like so many times before but I manage to break the kiss, knowing that I need to say everything to him in this moment. Lay it all out there and see how the cards fall. I need to know that he still wants this after he hears what I have to say.
“I still want to work, Cullen. I love my job and I’ve built a name for myself so I’m not willing to compromise on that.”
“Never asked you to,” he says instantly. I keep going because there’s more. The one thing I’m scared could end us.
“I’m also not sure I’ll want kids,” I say after a beat. “I’ve spent so many years raising and taking care of Luna that I’m not sure I want that responsibility again.” I blow out a huge breath after that admission. This could be a deal breaker for him, which would be a heartbreaker for me.
“Maybe you’re not getting it, shortcake, but it’s only been a few days.” He brings his hand to my hip, pulling me into him. “All I’ll ever need is you. Give me a little more time and I promise you’ll never question that.”