I clutched the View-Master to my chest and let go of a sob I’d been fighting like hell to keep in while he talked. “Yes. Yes!” I cried, flying into his arms as he stood up. He caught me, thankfully, because I sailed into him with such force that I was surprised we didn’t both tumble into the lake.
He wrapped his arms around me and squeezed tight, lifting me off the ground. “Say it again,” he mumbled into my shoulder.
I cupped his face in my hands, staring into the eyes of my best friend, my soul mate, my fiancé. “Yes, I will marry you.” I pressed my lips against his and closed my eyes, desperate to remember every detail of the moment so I could relive it over and over. He pulled me hard against him and slowly dipped his tongue in between my open lips. Our mouths moved together in slow, sensual waves feeding off of each other’s excitement and pure joy. My eyes danced around his face as I pulled back. “I’d marry you tonight if I could.”
He wiggled his eyebrows. “We could be in Vegas in just a few hours.”
“Okay, no. I take that back.” I giggled. “I need my family there.”
“True. Both of our moms would kill us if we eloped.” He set me down and locked his hands around my waist. “Especially yours, she’s been as excited about this as me.”
I jerked my head back a little. “She already knows?”
A devilish smirk curled the corners of his mouth upward. “Who do you think set up the lanterns for me while we put the girls to bed?”
I looked around at the pier and shook my head. “I didn’t even think about that. You sneaky little brats.”
“I wanted you to be surprised.”
“Well, it worked. I’m blown away… and so damn excited to be Kacie Murphy.”
“Holy shit.” His eyes widened. “I love the way that sounds.”
“Me too.” I pulled him down against my lips. He slipped his hands around my waist and tugged me against him, returning my kiss.
He pulled back suddenly. “Wait.”
“What’s wrong?” I was left needy, wanting to feel his lips on mine again.
“We forgot the most important part.” He opened the ring box that was still in his hand. “Let’s make it official.”
I’m not a high-maintenance jewelry girl, nor do I know a lot about diamonds or rings, but when I looked at the ring he’d picked out for me, it took my breath away.
“Oh, Brody.” I covered my mouth with my hands. “It’s amazing.”
“It’s simple but beautiful, like you.” He took the ring out of the box and slipped it onto my shaky left hand. “I hope you never, ever want to take this off.”
“Has my mom seen this?”
He laughed and shook his head.
“Come on!” I grabbed his hand and started pulling him back up to the house. “Maybe the girls are still awake. I can’t wait to tell them.”
“Let them sleep,” he argued. “If you tell them tonight, they’ll be too excited to go back to sleep.”
“They wouldn’t be the only ones. I don’t think I’m ever going to sleep again.” I turned and whispered as I walked up the deck steps.
Mom and Fred were sitting at the island drinking coffee when we walked in. They both turned toward the back door. I was barely through it when my mom covered her mouth with her hands and started crying as she ran toward me. We met in the family room and hugged each other tight, rocking back and forth as Fred came over and gave Brody a quick hug.
Mom pulled back from me and held her arms open for Brody. “Come here, my favorite son-in-law.”
Fred came over and put his arm around my shoulders. “I’m so happy for you,” he said as he squeezed me.
“Thanks, Fred.” I laid my head on his shoulder. “How perfect is this? First you and mom get married, now it’s my and Brody’s turn.”
“Lucy and Piper will be excited to be flower girls again.” He laughed. “They sure love dressing up.”
“Definitely.” I nodded, lifting my head and looking at my mom. “How long have you guys known about this? I can’t believe you didn’t slip. You’re terrible at keeping secrets.”
Mom waved me off. “What, Fred? Like two weeks?”
“Yeah.” He nodded nonchalantly. “Since that day at lunch.”
“What day at lunch?” I asked as I looked back and forth between them.
“A couple weeks ago, Brody called one morning. He knew it was a day you weren’t working and asked if we were free. He wanted to take us to lunch.” Fred sat on the couch and took his glasses off, rubbing his tired eyes. “Anyway, he told us about his plan and asked for our blessing.”
My jaw dropped as I turned to Brody. “You did?”
He shrugged. “I had to do it the right way.”
“Brody…” I sighed, wrapping my arms around his waist. “I don’t think it’s possible for you to get it wrong. Ever.”