“This is crazy cool.”
“It’s a hole, currently,” Jax reminded me as we looked at the open spot where trees had been just last week.
“Right, but our hole,” I said. “That will be our house in a few months.”
His eyes shot down toward the lake. There was something about Jax this afternoon that was off. I couldn’t put a finger on it, but the way he looked down there confirmed my suspicion.
“True,” he said, looking around. He’d warned me that although they’d broken ground yesterday, there wouldn’t be much to see. But I’d wanted to come anyway. The kids weren’t rowing for two days, and I hadn’t wanted to wait that long to see what it looked like with the trees cleared. I’d begged him to take down only what was necessary for the footprint of the house and was pleasantly surprised at how wooded the property still was.
“What’s down there?” I asked. Something was definitely up.
“I was just thinking,” he said. “About a kayak ride. Maybe it’s time for me to get some lessons too.”
I laughed. “You already know how to do it. Or are you forgetting our race from two weeks ago?”
“Yeah, well, I was thinking more along the lines of a more private lesson. Like us in one of those two-seaters.”
Yeah, definitely acting strange. But I wasn’t about to pass up an opportunity to get out into the water.
“Sounds cozy,” I admitted. “Let’s do it.”
By the time we pushed off, my suspicions had only grown. Especially as we made it out onto the lake and Jax stopped rowing.
“Hey,” I called back to him. “You’re not pulling your weight back there. I thought you were some kind of strong Ranger guy and would do all the work.”
The kayak tipped and then righted itself. The reason for it became easily apparent.
“What are you doing?”
Jax was out of his seat and kneeling right behind me. I turned around as much as possible in my seat when he raised himself up so he was on one knee.
I barely had time to register that fact when he opened a black velvet box and laid it on his other knee.
“Natalie Hartwell, I love you so much. And couldn’t imagine my life without you in it. Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
My eyes were swimming with tears the second he said my name. I couldn’t get up without tipping us both over, not with Jax already in a precarious kneeling position, no doubt keeping his balance fairly easily, being an ex-Ranger and all. The guy was literally good at everything.
“On a kayak,” I said, reaching out my hand. “A thousand times yes.”
He took out the most beautiful engagement ring I’d ever seen and slipped it onto my finger. I’d have to find out who he’d been in cahoots with later to know my ring size so perfectly. Especially when I didn’t know it myself.
From behind, he leaned down to kiss me. It was a kiss filled with tenderness, and love. One of promises, current and future ones. Of all our kisses, and we had many, it was probably my favorite of all.
“I love you,” I said, as he pulled back. “And am going to be your wife.”
Jax smiled. “You are,” he said. “And have made me the happiest guy in the world.”
“You were nervous,” I said, at least knowing why he was acting so strange.
With another kiss, this time on my neck, Jax made his way back to his seat as I held my finger up into the air. Sunlight bounced off it making the diamond shine brilliantly. I loved it.
I loved him.
“You had to know I’d say yes.”
Jax let out a breath. “I assumed you would. But yeah, I was still nervous.”
“Wow,” I said. “Thought you Army Ranger types didn’t get nervous. Too much discipline and all.”
“Guess we do,” he said. “When it comes to love.”
“Well you never have to worry again, because I’m going to be yours. Forever.”
“You already are, sunshine. And I’m a better man for it.”