He Could Hear Her Answer when He Listened with His Heart.
Hank and Grace spent the afternoon exploring the city of Denver. He showed his gun more than he cared to but so what? If it meant Grace got to enjoy Denver the way he did, then he'd show it all day. When they returned to the hotel, Grace went to the bathroom to freshen up before dinner. Hank stayed in the sitting area. Just as he propped his feet up when there was a knock on the door.
"Damn," he muttered as he rose from the love seat. He headed to the door and opened it.
"You have a delivery, sir," the man in the bellhop uniform said. He held out a long bag to Hank. He took it and tipped the man. Hank opened the bag and smiled. He placed it on the bed and went back to his place on the loveseat.
When Grace exited the bathroom she noticed a dress laying on the bed. It was maroon and made of soft velvet.
"Hank?" she asked stepping in the open sitting room. "Where did that dress come from?"
"A catalog," he answered.
"I'm serious," she said grinning at him as she sat down beside him.
"Me too. I order it two weeks ago."
"You need a dress for dinner this Saturday night," Hank said wrapping his arm around her.
"What's Saturday?" Grace questioned excitedly, leaning into him.
"You'll see," he said with a crooked smile. She smiled up at him and they sat quietly enjoying the sounds of bustling Denver.
Grace was having the most wonderful week she had had in her entire life. Hank had shown her everything that Denver had to offer, even though she thought they'd be arrested a few times. It was Saturday and she was curious about dinner that night.
Hank used Saturday to show Grace some of his favorite places in the city. Places he had often visited alone but now could bring her along. When they returned to the hotel to get ready for dinner, he kissed her deeply once they were inside the door.
"What was that for?" she asked catching her breath.
"Just 'cause," he said softly. "Get ready." Grace nodded and headed toward the bathroom. When Hank heard the bathroom door snap shut he went digging in one of his bags. He finally laid his hand on a small velvet box. He put it in his jacket pocket and waited for Grace to finish. Tonight was going to be perfect and special.
When she finally emerged she was wearing the dress he had ordered for her. It was maroon with a rosette that was on the right side of her chest and the bodice twisted toward the left. It fell straight to the floor. The puffy upper sleeves became formfitting at the elbow to the wrist. The back had a train that met the back of the dress with a bow.
"You look beautiful," he said grabbing her hand.
"Thank you," she said her cheeks slightly pink.
"I'll be ready to go in a minute," he said brushing past her.
"Hank, what are you doing?" Grace asked following him into the bedroom.
"Jake gave me this so that I could shave myself," Hank said showing her the razor.
"Why do you need to shave?" she asked standing in the doorway of the bathroom.
"You got on a pretty dress. I wanna look proper."
"I'm not overly concerned about what looks proper," she said. "How can I be?"
"What?" Hank asked confused.
"Being seen with you and your beard is the most proper thing I've done all week."
"Meaning I've been laying in that bed with you outside of marriage for a week. I'm thinkin' that being seen with you and some hair on your face is the least of my worries," Grace explained. Hank threw his head back in laughter before he wrapped her in a hug.
"Then, I'm ready to go now," he said kissing the top of her head and leading her from the room. Hank placed her pillbox hat on her head and slipped into his jacket. He opened the door for her and took her hand once he joined her in the hallway.
When they arrived at the Garden Cafe, they were led to their secluded table in the back. It was surrounded by white lilies. The linen tablecloth was stark white and the place settings were fine China. It was nicer than anything Grace had ever eaten on.
"This is beautiful but where is everyone?" she asked sitting down in the seat that Hank pulled out for her.
"It's just gon' be me and you," he said sitting across from her. "No gawkers." she nodded. Dinner was served and they ate in relative silence. After the pie, Hank cleared his throat, "Grace."
"Yes," she said with a soft smile.
"I wanna ask you something."
"Damn this is hard," he chuckled. She grabbed his hand and he took a deep breath. "I love ya and I ain't a happy man. I ain't a good man," he said avoiding her eyes. "Well at least I won't." he interlocked their fingers together. "You came around and made me wanna be better even before I realized it. When we saved ya from those boys, I can't explain the relief I felt. It was out of this world."
"I felt it too," she said cupping his jaw.
"I've felt it everyday since. I don't wanna stop feelin' it. Ever," Hank said nuzzling into her hand. "That's why I want you to be my wife," he said brandishing the velvet box. He opened it and revealed the most beautiful ring Grace had ever seen. It was a moderate round cut diamond surrounded by fourteen small round diamonds. The setting twisted out into a diamond covered band.
"Hank..." she whispered. He looked into her eyes but quickly looked away.
"I get it. What would a lady look like marryin' a dirty saloon owner?" he said leaning away. "Are you ready to go?"
"No," Grace holding his hand tightly. "You didn't let me finish."
"I don't need to hear you say the words."
"Listen here Hank Lawson, you are no mind reader," she said folding her arms across her chest.
"Fine. I'm listenin'."
"Are you?" Grace asked. He nodded. "Sully told me about what happened in the woods between, him, you and Cloud Dancing." Hank avoided her eyes again. "So, I'm gonna ask you again. Are you listening?" His eyes shot up to her. He stared deeply into her eyes and realized that she didn't need to say anything. He could hear her answer when he listened with his heart.
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