This Proposal Between Us
A Flynn's Crossing Seasonal Novella
Rancher and renaissance man Deke Kermarrec intends to propose marriage to his ladylove, winemaker Marguerite Devereaux, and as is his nature, he’s planned for every minute of time and every contingency – or so he thought. He’s fixed her favorite meal and memorized a few love poems to sweep her off her feet. It’s Valentine’s Day, after all. It’s meant to be special. He didn’t count on a snowstorm, visits by the witch, and something mysterious and scary Marguerite is keeping from him.
Will this proposal between them ever work out? Their hot need for each other might burn up the sheets, but can it overcome their secrets? What’s Marguerite hiding? And why can’t Deke bring himself to pop the question? When something matters this much, it’s important to do it right, even when the witch tries to help you.
Note from the Author: When we last saw Marguerite and Deke in Wine Into Water, they had patched up their differences over water rights and the witch and seemed to be heading down the path to a Happily Ever After. In Love’s Touch of Justice, Deke shows his brother Jake the ring he plans to give Marguerite that Valentine’s night, with a proposal designed to sweep her off her feet and assuredly say yes. Will he get cold feet? And will she say yes?
Deke has been demanding to speak about these two lovebirds in this post-Wine story. They fight, they make up, and most of all, they love each other to distraction. Is there a nicer story for a holiday meant for love? I think not! Enjoy a night of special romance in Flynn’s Crossing!
And here's an excerpt!
“Welcome to Sacramento International Airport. Now arriving, flight 3541, service from Los Angeles. Passengers can be met at baggage claim area two.”
The automaton’s voice echoes with cheerfulness, but after waiting here for an hour, the mechanical noise grates on me like a rasp on metal. This flight delay wasn’t long, only half an hour, but I know Marguerite won’t be happy about it. She’s been traveling since yesterday, when she was supposed to be home. Even with the day’s delay, she’s just beating the snowstorm that socked in most of the northeast. Yesterday the flights were sporadic and hers was cancelled, but a few got out today and she was on one of them. Today, we’re staying one step ahead of disaster.
Of course, there isn’t anything I can do about the weather. I’m thankful she made her flights. I can stay flexible, even if I had this romantic day planned down to the minute. I didn’t want to leave anything to chance. Planning couldn’t conquer the weather, however. Now I’m left with this evening, which I’ll take gladly, as long as Marguerite is in my arms.
Romancing my ladylove has become one of my greatest pleasures. Surprising her, even though she says she hates surprises, is a joy. It took us months to work out our original challenges, and many more to truly blend and mesh. But then, I’m a rancher, so I’m a patient man. Patient, and persistent. Three hundred sixty five days ago, we were still fighting – each other, the attraction, ourselves. This year will be special, not only because it’s our first holiday of love as a true couple, but because I want to make the ultimate commitment to my Princess, and I plan to do it in style.
Going over every detail as I pace the width of the terminal and back enough times to memorize the number of tiles in the floor, I wait. I do waiting well, another required trait for those of us who work the land. But she should be here by now, and I crave her. My arms ache to hold her and my heart isn’t sure how to beat without hers next to it. I can’t concentrate, don’t care about eating, and sound sleep is a distant memory. The elated excitement I feel grows with each passing minute, bringing her closer to me. I’ll give her the amazing homecoming she deserves. It’s Valentine’s Day, after all. And I have big plans.
I can’t help but finger the square black box in my pocket as I watch the tram from the gates approach the main terminal. Every two minutes a packed people mover arrives, shuttling travelers in and hauling more away. Some look exhausted, some are elated to find family and friends waiting, and some seem simply bored and in a hurry. I know how Marguerite will be. She’ll be tired and pissed off, in full French form, and annoyed with everything in her path. And I’m going to make her feel better.
At least, I hope I am. My brother Jake didn’t seem so convinced this was a good idea when I told him at breakfast this morning.
“I’m going to ask her tonight, after I cook her a fantastic dinner. I have flowers all over the place and plenty of candles, because she loves to be romanced. I even memorized some poems, in the tradition of St. Valentine.”
“Well of course you did.” Jake had answered. Then I showed Jake the ring. I didn’t tell him I’ve been carrying it around with me for almost two months, waiting for the right moment.
“It’s two carats of the highest quality. The band is platinum. Marguerite likes bold colors and wears gold too, but from what I’ve observed, she likes silver things best. What do you think?”
He paled as if he’d seen a ghost. Is two carats two big? Is the diamond ostentatious? Or maybe it’s not enough. I measured her ring finger with a string while she slept. I examined her jewelry box when she wasn’t around, to pick up themes and favorites. Platinum seemed the right way to go. I’ve planned livestock production and feed usage for a year with less effort than this. Research aside, I’m completely out of my depth. It’s not every day that a guy proposes to the woman he loves, particularly one as special as Marguerite.
I just hope she says yes.