“Are we doing dinner after this?” I ask, once he’s placed a drink order for both of us.
“Yes,” he says, glancing at me, his eyes raking over the shimmery gold dress I picked out for tonight. “You look gorgeous, have I told you that already?”
Smiling, I shake my head. “You haven’t, actually. You’re slacking, Morelli.”
“Can’t have that,” he remarks, hopping off the stool and grabbing my hand.
I glance back at the bartender, since our drinks haven’t even arrived yet, but I don’t hesitate to follow him. He finally hauls me out to the dance floor, and as the pianist starts playing I’ve Got the World on a String, Mateo tugs me close, gazing at me with such intensity that I think I might overflow with affection for him.
“What’s our wedding song gonna be?” he asks.
I laugh, caught off guard, my stomach dropping at the thrill of imagining actually marrying this man. “Our wedding song?”
“Mm hmm,” he murmurs, still watching me.
I can’t stop grinning, but I try to come up with an answer. “Um… I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it.”
“Getting married, or the song?”
“Both?” Although I sort of hate to bring her up, I do anyway. “I know you were with Beth for a long time and you never married her. Thought maybe you weren’t the marrying kind.”
He considers my words, glancing over my head instead of at me. Finally, he nods. “I was never sure I was the marrying kind either, I guess, but I’m not opposed. You essentially agreed to marry me when you took the necklace,” he points out.
“I’m not the one I thought would be reluctant. I’ve already been married, and to someone far less impressive. Obviously I’m the marrying kind.”
“I hate that you were married before,” he admits. “I don’t like the idea of you promising forever to anyone but me.”
“We can pretend I wasn’t,” I offer. “It’s not like it was some grand romantic decision. I didn’t even wear a real wedding dress. I had this knee-length, black and white clearance prom dress in my closet that I bought for a birthday party once—that was my wedding dress.”
Mateo smirks, his brown eyes dancing with amusement. “Your wedding dress was black?”
I grin, nodding my head.
He shakes his head at me. “When we get married, you’re wearing white.”
My heart skips a beat, my grin widening until it almost aches. “When we get married? Aren’t you supposed to ask me first?”
“I thought about it. It’s not really my style though. Couldn’t even come up with a way that sounded right.” Nodding his head down and to the right, he says, “Reach into my pocket.”
It feels like my heart may fly right out of my chest as I reach into Mateo’s pocket, my fingers closing around a small box. “Are you serious?”
He smiles down at me as I pull it out, swallowing audibly. “I went to a few different places. I thought Tiffany’s, classic. But… I didn’t like any of them. I looked at a lot of rings, bigger rings, and I’ll trade up if I missed the mark, but when I saw this one, it just looked like it belonged on your finger.”
“Oh, my God, Mateo,” I murmur, looking at the ring box, somehow afraid to open it.
His hands fall from their places on my body. He stops, though the music is still playing, and takes the box from me. “All right, all right,” he says lightly. Cracking open the box, I get a brief glimpse of the ring, but then I can only look at his face as he asks, “Meg Milano, will you marry me?”
Excitement courses through me so aggressively that I can hear the adrenaline rushing through my body. To my horror, tears well in my eyes, but I’m just so goddamn happy.
Nodding in that stupid, giddy way I didn’t think girls really nodded during proposals, I somehow manage, “Yes, of course. Of course I will.”
Laughing as he extracts the ring from the box to slide on my finger, he asks, “Are you crying?”
“Leave me alone,” I say, laughing through the tears threatening to wobble over my eyelid and ruin my make-up.
This is the baby’s fault, I’m sure of it. I learned during my pregnancy with Lily, I’m highly sensitive in the first trimester of pregnancy, and any minor emotional trigger is likely to set me to crying. Once I share our good news, I’ll have to warn him.
The ring is absolutely gorgeous. I’m glad he didn’t get an enormous, showy ring that—honestly—I would’ve expected from him. This one is a gorgeous vintage-style ring, set in a platinum, diamond-encrusted band, split shank with a halo, a glittering cushion cut diamond at the center. When my favorite man in the world secures it on my finger, I flex my hand, admiring the way it glints in the light.