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Authors: Rachael Duncan

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First and Last (24 page)

BOOK: First and Last
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It was important I got Mia’s dad’s approval. I wanted him to know I’d do right by her, and that started with properly asking for his daughter’s hand in marriage. I’d gone over to his house about a month ago. I thought I was going to puke as I sat on his couch, looked him in the eye, and told him I wanted to marry Mia. He stared at me for a few moments with a blank expression, increasing my anxiety. I never really thought he would say no, but as I sat there, I started to have my doubts. Right as I was going out of my mind, he nodded and said I had his blessing. A huge weight was lifted. All I had to figure out after that was how and when to propose.

Shortly after Mia turned down the position in New York, she interviewed for a local news station here. With the experience she gained interning during school and her amazing references, they hired her and she’s been with them for almost a year. She’s been busting her ass and it’s finally paying off. Today is her first on-air assignment on location. She’ll be getting a couple stories a week, mostly warm, feel-good stuff, but it’s one step closer to her goal as anchor. I’m hoping to make this segment one she’ll never forget.

I’m hiding, so when they pull in and start setting up, she doesn’t see me. With microphone in hand, she paces while looking at the ground as she talks to herself. She’s the cutest damn thing as I watch her like a voyeur from afar. Once she gets the cue that they’re almost on, I know it’s about to be show time.

“Good morning, and thanks, Patrick. I’m on location at It’s a Ruff Life and I have with me, Dana, the owner. Dana, tell me about the event you’re hosting this weekend.”

“We’ll be doing a bunch of fundraising activities from a car wash, bake sale, and dinner to raise money to help people get their pets spayed and neutered.”

Mia looks at the card in her hand. “And you guys will be open from eight to seven today, Saturday, and Sunday, correct?”

“That is correct.”

“Great, now tell us about the pet adoption division of It’s a Ruff Life.”

“We have several cats and dogs available for adoption. We operate as a no-kill shelter, and sometimes we have to turn away pets that are surrendered because we’re too full. So each adoption helps us save another pet’s life by opening up more space to them.”

“Who do we have here?” Mia asks as she scratches the ear of the puppy Dana is holding in her arms.

“Here, you can hold him.” Dana hands the puppy over.

“Oh—oh, okay,” she says with a smile. Taken a little off guard, Mia fumbles a little before she gets a good hold on him.

“This one here is only six months old. He was brought in by someone whose dog had puppies and they couldn’t keep all of them. His name is, uh, uh.” Dana’s hand goes to her forehead like she’s trying to remember. “Well shoot. I can’t remember. It’s on his tag.”

Swallowing hard, I approach from behind Mia as she spins the tag around in search of his name. She pauses for a second. “Um, I think this might belong to someone?” She shows Dana the ring.

“Sorry, that belongs to me,” I say, startling her.

She spins around and her mouth falls open when she sees me standing there. She glances back and forth from the cameraman to me. “Blake, we’re live.” Her eyes are wide and I know she’s going to kill me, but hopefully it’ll be worth it.

Ignoring her, I grab the puppy, give it back to Dana, hold Mia’s hand, and go into the most important speech of my life. My hands shake and I know she can feel it. Kneeling on one knee, her hand clasps her mouth. “Mia, it’s been almost seventeen years since I fell in love with a quiet, blonde girl in her fancy dress. That moment is imprinted in my mind so clearly and I’ve never been the same since. We’ve had our ups and downs, but you’ve always been my rock, my foundation. You were my first best friend, my first kiss, but my only love. Will you marry me?”

With tear-filled eyes, she nods, making me the luckiest guy on the planet. Grabbing the ring from Dana, I slip it on her finger, stand up, and wrap her in a hug. The news crew and adoption staff clap as I kiss my fiancée for the first time.

A few moments pass before I remember that she’s at work. “Did you need to finish up here?” I ask against her lips.

She shakes her head. “I heard them toss it back to the front desk. They said congrats and then we went off-air. Did they know you were going to highjack the show?” Her arms are still wrapped around my neck, and standing here with her makes me feel like we’re the only two people that exist.

“Yeah, I put in a call to your boss when you came home telling me about this interview. I wanted to not only be there to experience this first with you, but I wanted it to be memorable for you. Something you’d never forget.”

“Well, mission accomplished.” She’s beaming, smiling from ear to ear as she holds her hand out and admires her ring. “I love it, Blake. You did a good job,” she praises.

It took me a while to select a ring. I’m not exactly rich being a firefighter, but I wanted something that would fit Mia and be a token of my love for her. When I saw the vintage-style ring, I knew it was the one. With a center diamond that is surrounded by smaller ones, it’s classy and timeless, just like Mia.

“I’m glad you like it.”

“We need to set a date,” she announces.

I chuckle. “Relax a little there, babe. We just got engaged a few minutes ago.” I kiss the tip of her nose before leading her back to the car and helping her in.

“Okay, maybe you’re right. I should probably call my dad first anyway, and you need to tell your mom,” she tells me after I get in and start the car.

“You can tell your dad you said yes, but he already knew I was popping the question.”

Her hand lays over her chest. “You told my dad?” she asks in an awed tone.

“Of course, I had to do it the right way. I respect your dad and wanted to make my intentions clear.”

She leans across the armrest, grabs my face, and plants a hard kiss on my cheek. My heart beats for this woman.

“How about you take me home and make love to your fiancée for the first time?” she whispers into my ear.

The little tease. My dick twitches at the thought and I can’t get us home fast enough.

June 21, 2008

 

T
o the future Mrs. Collins,

I can’t believe the day is finally here. I’ve waited my whole life for this moment and I can’t wait to stand in front of our friends and family and promise my heart to you forever. It’s been yours this whole time, but now we’re making it official.

I vow to be the husband you deserve, one you can be proud of. When you’re weak, I’ll be strong; when you’re sad, I’ll bring you joy; when you’re down, I’ll lift you up. I will forever be there for you and I’m honored that you chose me to share your life with. I’ll love you forever in this life and the next.

You’re my best friend, my whole life, and I can’t wait to make you my wife.

I’ll see you at the altar.

Blake

 

I
thought seeing Mia for thefirst time when I was six years old changed my life, but that’s got nothing on the way I feel in this moment. Every thought, every memory is completely forgotten as I watch my bride walk down the aisle. You see guys on TV who get choked up, and I used to roll my eyes and think they were pussies, but I take all of that back. Because as soon as the back doors opened and she was revealed to me, my knees damn near buckled and all the air was sucked from my lungs.

She’s a vision in white and sparkles. Her dress accentuates her gorgeous body. Her waist looks tiny and her tits look amazing. She’s a fucking dream coming toward me. She was always yapping about fabrics, and trains, and belts, and rouching, but all I see coming toward me is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever laid eyes on.

Her hair is swept up, giving me a clear view of her long neck. The urge to ravish it is strong. In one hand she holds a simple bouquet of white roses and peonies. I only remember what they’re called because she talked about them so much. Her other arm is wrapped through her dad’s as he brings her closer to being my wife.

Wife.

Some of the guys at the station get squeamish with that word or talking about marriage. Not me. I’ve been getting ready for this day my whole life. Everything I’ve done has been a step toward my future, a future where Mia and I will grow old and happy together.

It takes forever, but her dad finally gets her to me and is handing her off. The moment our hands touch and eyes lock, my damn chest overflows with my love for her. I know without a doubt, as long as she’s by my side, I’ll always be complete.

The minister begins the service, but honestly I’m not listening. It’s not that I don’t care; it’s just everything around me turns to fog, drowned out by my tunnel vision where my sole focus is on my soulmate. I hear someone clear their throat, snapping me from my daydream.

“Would you like to say your vows, Mr. Collins?” he lightly admonishes me.

I clear my throat. “Sorry. I’m ready.” Mia grins at me while quiet laughter is heard from our guests.

“Okay, then repeat after me.”

We chose to do traditional vows. Mia thought there was something romantic about saying the same words that have joined so many couples throughout time. I’ll say whatever she wants me to as long as her last name is Collins when it’s all said and done.

She says her vows to me and then we exchange rings. I’m practically bouncing on the balls of my feet waiting for the minister to give me the okay to kiss my wife.

“Get on with it,” he tells me.

I vaguely hear the crowd laugh as I plant my very first kiss on my wife. Once our lips touch, everything else stops and ceases to exist. I dip her back and keep going until we border on indecent. Standing her upright, we pull apart and face everyone else. They stand, clapping and cheering for us, and I know I have the cheesiest smile on my face, but I don’t give a shit. This moment is perfect.

Walking back down the aisle as husband and wife, I look to my mom, an empty chair with my dad’s picture and a flower sits beside her. She dabs at her eyes with tissue and smiles warmly at me as her boyfriend, Kevin, puts a comforting hand on her back. This is the happiest day of my life, but if I had one wish, it’d be to have Dad here with all of us. He loved Mia and I know he’s looking down on us proud that I made her an official member of the family.

We bypass our wedding party and head outside to get a moment to ourselves before the madness ensues again. “I can’t believe we’re married,” she says, holding my hand in hers as we walk along the sidewalk on the side of the church. She’s beaming, and I know my expression matches hers.

“I know. I didn’t think we were ever going to get here.”

“Eager were we?” she teases.

“You know how I feel about you,” I say, looking at her profile. “I would’ve married you at the courthouse after I proposed if you’d have let me.”

“Yeah, that definitely wasn’t happening,” she murmurs.

“Exactly. So, you ready to go take our first picture as Mr. and Mrs. Collins?”

“You’re all about firsts, aren’t you?” she says with a gleam in her eye.

“With you? Absolutely. We made a pact, remember?”

I requested a particular song be played when it was time for the garter toss. As soon as the first few beats of the all too familiar song
Pony
by Ginuwine come on, Mia’s face lights up with recognition. This whole idea came to me when she was busting my balls about going to a Chippendale’s show. Ever since then, I’ve been working on my moves.
I’ll show her Chippendales.

BOOK: First and Last
13.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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