Never Too Far (Chapter 34)
School was back in session. Vacationers and summer people had gone home. The club had a lot less traffic and because of this tips were down. The biggest thing was that Rush hadn't mentioned the proposing thing again since the night at the condo when he'd said that was what he'd told his mother and sister and my father. He never even mentioned them again. I wondered sometimes if he'd changed his mind or if I'd imagined it.
If it wasn't for Bethy asking me weekly if Rush had brought it up again I would think it had been a figment of my imagination. Every time I told her no he hadn't she got more and more agitated. Not to mention my heart hurt a little more. I was afraid he'd thought it through and decided it was a mistake. Before he'd mentioned it that night I hadn't even let myself believe he'd want to marry me. I figured we'd raise the baby from two different homes. If my thoughts went to the future I would block it out. It wasn't something I wanted to hope for.
My hours were being cut back due to the slower season and I wondered if I needed to get a second job. There wasn't a lot to choose from around here. Then it was very likely that Rush wouldn't take it well.
When I stepped into my bedroom there were two things that caught my attention. There were rose petals on my bed and in the center of them was an envelope with my name written neatly across the front. I picked it up and opened it. The stationery was expensive feeling and Finlay was embossed at the top.
Meet me down at the beach.
His abnormally perfect handwriting made me smile. I went to my closet and pulled out a white sundress that had two black stripes across the hem. If he had planned a romantic something at the beach I wasn't going to wear my work clothes.
After brushing my hair and touching up my makeup I headed out the French doors that faced the gulf and made my way down to the beach. Rush was dressed in a pair of khaki shorts and a button up shirt. I was glad I'd changed. His back was to me and his hands were in his pockets as he stood there staring out at the water. I wanted to stop and admire him admiring the water but I was also anxious to see him. He'd been gone when I woke up this morning.
I stepped off the walkway and onto the sand. It was oddly deserted except for the two of us. Even though the crowds were down it was still eighty-eight degrees and sunny outside. Glancing down I noticed something in the sand. Someone had written in it. There was a stick lying off to the side.
I stopped and read aloud, "Blaire Wynn, will you marry me?" As the words sunk in Rush walked across the words and knelt down on one knee in front of me.
A small box appeared in his hand and he opened it slowly as a diamond ring caught the fading sun.It appeared to come alive as it sparkled. It was happening. Did I want this? Yes. Did I trust him? …. Yes.
Was he ready? I wasn't sure. I didn't want this to be something he was doing because he felt pressured to. It would be easy to reach down and put the ring on my finger. But was it what Rush really wanted?
"You don't have to do this," I forced myself to say staring down at him. He hadn't spoken to his sister or his mother in weeks. As much as I disliked them… no hated them, I didn't want to be what came between him and his family.
Rush shook his head. "No, I don't have to do anything. But I want to spend the rest of my life with you. No one but you."
His words were the right words. I still felt like something was wrong. He couldn't truly want this. He was young, rich, and gorgeous. I had nothing to offer him. I'd tie him down. Change his world. "I can't do this to you. I can't hinder your future. You can go do anything. I promised you I'd let you be a part of our baby's life. That won't change when you feel like you're ready to leave. I'll always let you."
"Don't say another word. I swear Blaire, I am seconds away from throwing your ass in that ocean." He stood up and his steady gaze held mine. "No man has ever loved a woman as much as I love you. Nothing will ever come before you. I don't know what else I have to do to prove to you that I won't let you down again. I won't hurt you. You don't have to be alone anymore. I need you."
Maybe this wasn't right and maybe I was making a mistake but his words tugged at corners of my heart he had somehow not managed to reach until that moment. I took the box from his hand and lifted the ring free. "It's beautiful," I told him. Because it was. It wasn't too flashy or overdone. It was perfectly simple.
"Nothing less would be worthy of your finger," he replied and took the ring from my hand. Then he went back down on his knee and his eyes met mine.
"Please, Blaire Wynn, will you be my wife?"
I wanted this. Him.
"Yes," I said and he slipped the ring on my finger.
"Thank god," he whispered then stood back up and captured my mouth in a hungry kiss. This was real and maybe it wouldn't be forever but it was mine for now. I'd find a way to let him go if he wanted to. But I loved him. That would never change.
"Move in with me," he begged.
"I can't. I have to pay my half of the lease," I reminded him.
"I paid your lease in full for a year. Every dime you've given Woods has gone into a savings account with your name on it. Same for Bethy. Now, please move in with me."
I wanted to get mad at him but right now I couldn't. I pressed another kiss to his lips and then nodded.
"And please stop working," he added.
"No," I replied. I wasn't doing that.
"You're my fiance now. You're going to be my wife. Why do you want to work at a country club? Don't you want to do something else? What about college? Do you want to do that? Is there a degree you want? I'm not trying to take away your choices; I want to give you more."
I was going to be his wife. Those words sunk in as I gazed up at him. I didn't have to give up college like I had high school. I could get a degree and have a profession.
"I want that. It's just… let me soak this in. Too much, too fast," I said, wrapping my arms around him.