Three months had quickly passed after Brian had left. At first he had texted and called every weekend but after the first month and a half he slowly began to drift away. Even if I reached out first sometimes it would take a day or so for him to get back to me or he simply wouldn't reply at all.
Since then, Sarah had gotten worse. Her heath declined even more, the cancer had become even more aggressive. She was bed ridden for the time being. I knew not only was the cancer killing her but the depression and isolation was as well. Alec and I tried to go over there as often as possible, which was hard between the renovations at the shop and Alec's commute and long hours at the office. My mother and father even stopped in at-least once a week to give her a few hours of company.
Our lives had changed drastically the last few months. It was nearly a year since our affair had begun.
"Cassandra, I need you to choose a desk for your office and you'll need to give me a sample of what style decor you'd like" Michael said as he sauntered towards me, he was a handsome man there was no doubt about it.
I held out my hand for the catalog he had been having me choose from and waited until he slipped it into my hand before flipping through the pages. "It's such a hard choice to make" I said glancing at them all and inhaling the crisp smell of a new magazine "I like this smaller lighter mahogany one but I'm also a big fan of this darker rustic barnyard style"
He rolled his eyes for what was at-least the millionth time since we'd started working together. He hated that I was so indecisive.
"Just choose one"
"I can't" I said glancing between the two.
He groaned and crossed his arms, his black suit stretching across his broad chest, "Yes you can"
I gave him a sharp look and sighed, "no I can't"
"Cassandra pick a desk" he said his brows furrowing as he was trying very hard not to yell at me.
I bit back a grin and handed him back the magazine, "You choose" I said before walking away. "I trust your choice" I said over my shoulder and laughed as he shook his head in exasperation before pulling out his cellphone to order the desk.
The walls that were once a plain baby blue were now a rustic off white. Michael had added a few wooden pillars placed strategically throughout the store. The floors had been redone just last week and looked absolutely wonderful. I couldn't be happier with how it was all turning out.
Mr and Mrs Holtz came by to see how things were going and I gave them a quick tour. They were astonished and impressed.
A sense of pride filled me, the weight around me felt lighter. I had never felt more accomplished.
"Cassandra" Michael strode towards me, "I've ordered your desk and chair. The new sign will be installed tomorrow and the rest of the decor and displays should arrive later this week."
I moved before I realized what I was doing and drew him into a tight hug. He was firm, in the strong muscular type of way and he smelt amazing, his cologne was manly and musky. Slowly he hugged me back before setting me back.
A rare genuine smile creeped across his face and he looked more relaxed than I'd ever seen him.
"Thank you Michael"
He shrugged and seemed to draw back in on himself. A protective measure i had witnessed with him more than once. "It's what I do"
"You're welcome Cassandra" I replied mocking his voice.
He let out a short laugh and scrubbed a hand down his face, "Now I see what all the fuss is"
I ignored his comment because I didn't want to open the door to anymore problems. Michael and I were venturing on the grounds of being friends. Nothing more.
Alec choose that moment to walk in, the bell above the new door jingled as he did.
My eyes widened in surprise and a heat wave coursed threw me. He wore a crisp black suit, an expensive silver watch on his wrist and his blonde hair was slicked back. I was drooling over my boyfriend. He was so handsome and he was mine.
How I had gotten so lucky I would never know.
"Good evening Michael" He said before settling his blue eyes on me. "Cassandra would you accompany me to dinner?"
Slowly I nodded, still slightly in shock. Had I forgotten about an important dinner we were supposed to attend? Why was he so dressed up?
"Cassandra I'll see you tomorrow" Michael said before a slight nod in Alecs direction then he departed leaving me still in my stunned state.
I must have forgotten something, there was no doubt.
Alec held his hand out to me. I slipped my hand into his and followed him out the front door and locked the store before hesitantly following him to his car.
It wasn't long before we were on the road headed out of town.
I chewed nervously on my bottom lip and glanced down at my outfit which was no where near what I should be wearing for whatever dinner event he was taking me too.
I cleared my throat and wrung my hands together "Um.. Alec."
"Yes?" He replied staring at the road ahead.
I let out a breath, "Did I forget our dinner plans?"
He was stone faced as he replied "No"
I felt a little better but couldn't understand what exactly we were doing then. "Ok... so did a last minute work dinner pop up or?"
Again he replied "no"
"Alec where are we going?"
"To dinner" he replied simply. He didn't say anything else and we sat in silence as we continued to drive down the highway. My thoughts were running wild and he was up to something.
I recognized the air strip we had arrived at not to long ago and the private jet that sat waiting for its passengers. The captain was standing outside next to the stairs and he smiled as Alec slowly pulled up.
I glanced over at him and still he reveled nothing.
"Are we going back to the beach?" I asked. One more night at the beach? Was it really worth going for only one night?
Again he shook his head and exited the car leaving me slightly irritated and anxious. He came around and opened my door and escorted me towards the captain who in turn smiled at us both and gestures towards the jet. "Ready when you are" He said and Alec nodded slipping something into the captains hand before walking up the stairs into the cabin.
The inside was just as I remembered except this time there was a bottle of Red whine and two glasses waiting for us.
I looked over my shoulder at Alec and rose an eyebrow, my curiosity was at an all time high.
I had a gut shattering feeling I knew what was going on but I didn't want to voice my guess or get my hopes up. So I stayed quiet and enjoyed the ride as we sipped wine and began talking about the house we would be choosing.
Just before we received the signal that we would be landing soon, Alec pulled me into the small bedroom where an outfit was waiting for me. A soft simple red spaghetti strap dress with black heels. I ran my hand across the fabric of the dress admiring the softness, it was simple yet I knew it was top of the line. I didn't even want to know how much it had cost. I quickly dressed before stepping out of the room and moving to take my seat once more. I licked my lips, enjoying the dark, heated sexually charged look he watched me with.
The flight was short and we landed quickly.
Alec had forbidden me to look outside the window as we flew, it was another surprise.
"Enjoy your night" the captain said as we stepped off of the jet. As we exited I stopped mid step on the way down the stairs.
My heart was bursting and I let out a small sound of surprise and excitement.
Alec had flown us to Paris. The city lights were bright and twinkling in the dark night sky. It was spectacular and nothing like I had ever seen before. It took my breath away and I scarcely knew how to breath.
"Cas" Alec said interrupting my admiration of the city.
I looked at him over my shoulder and smiled. Finally for the first time that night he gave me a heart melting smile back. I could see the love in his eyes. "Are you going to get into the car?" He asked.
I nodded and almost missed a stepped going down the stairs as I was too busy stills staring at the city. Alec caught me by the air and let out a small laugh and a warm blush of embarrassment scorned my cheeks.
As we made our way through the city in the back of a black limousine I was practically bouncing in my seat, my face practically pressed against the glass window as I stared out.
I could feel Alec's eyes on me as he watched in amusement. A gleam of anticipation and nervousness had shown across his face early as wed climbed into the back of the limousine but I hadn't commented on it.
"It's so beautiful" I whispered in awe.
Alec leaned further back in his seat, the subtle sound of leather creaking as he did. "That it is" he said and as I glanced at him over my shoulder his eyes were solely focused on me.
My stomach flipped with happiness and I gave him a loving smile. "So where are we going?" I wondered how cliche he would take this. Was he taking me to the Eiffel tower?
"You flew us all the way to Paris for dinner?"
I stared at him in wonder. There was now no doubt in my mind that he was going to purpose. There was no doubt in my mind of my answer.
The car pulled up to a wonderful smaller older looking building. The patio was filled with iron tables surrounded by an iron gate steamed with white lights and ivy. People were talking and being served as we exited the limousine, heads turned. No doubt people were wondering who we were. Although we weren't famous I definitely felt important.
Women and men admired us both as we stepped into the restaurant. Men leered, from the soft swell of my breasts to the subtle curve of my behind. Women ate him up, lingering on his broad shoulders and intense blue eyes.
I slipped my arm into his, claiming him and enjoying the looks of jealousy. As we stepped up to the hostess he leaned down and claimed a savage possessive kiss and I knew he too was staking his claim in front of the men. I grinned and eagerly kissed him back.
We parted and the hostess blushed before muttering a soft hello.
"Table for two. Reservation for Swade"
She refused to make eye contact with either us and muttered a quick "follow me"
She led us towards the back, past the main dining and up a set of wooden stairs. Alec held my hand in his as we traveled up to the roof.
I let out a breath as she gave a table with a breathtaking view. I couldn't get enough of the city. It was one of places I had always wanted to come to. Alec knew that, we had talked about it as teens. He remembered.
We took a seat and our eyes connected. He stared at me and it was like he was glancing at my soul. I had never felt more naked than I did now.
He reached across the table and took my hand in his, he was warm and his touch was comforting. "This is perfect. You're perfect" he said.
I nodded easily agreeing with him.
"Do you remember when we were teenagers and we were hanging out in my parents basement. We had talked about a lot that night, one of them being what your dream proposal was." He said and I caught my breath.
The waitress came around and my mind was in no shape to order but I managed to spit something random out, one of the first things I saw and waited with anticipation as she took Alec's order and walked away.
He grinned and leaned back in his seat.
"What?" I asked wondering what the satisfied smile was about.
"You don't even like fish" he stated.
My brows furrowed, "so?"
He laughed "You just ordered fish"
I groaned and wondered how much of a hassle it would be to call her back and fix it.
"Something on your mind Cas?" He asked.
My eyes snapped to his and I shook my head.
"I'll fix it" He said and rose from his seat and strode off before I could tell him otherwise.
I sighed, my leg bounced up and down. It seemed like forever before he came back. He sat back down and said "I fixed it"
"Thank you but you didn't have to"
"Yes I did. You would have just stared at your plate, you wouldn't have eaten it and you need to eat" he said simply. I smiled at him in thanks.
"So you were saying how we had all hung out in your basement and talked about our dream proposals?"
He nodded, "Your dream proposal you had said you had always wanted to go to Paris, to sit on a balcony sipping tea or coffee and watching the sun rise. You'd said you had wanted the proposal to be at the Eiffel Tower"
I nodded and realized how lame it sounded now.
"Cas I want to give you everything, Including your dream proposal. Except I don't want to give it to you at the Eiffel Tower. I wanted it to be different and special. I wanted you to have the entire city as your view as I asked you Cassandra Joy, my best friend and the love of my life to spend the rest of your life with me. I love you so much Cassandra and we've been through hell and back together and I can't wait to see what else the future holds for us." Alec stops from his chair and dropped to one knee beside me. He drew the attention of everyone on the roof. "So Cassandra Joy, will you marry me?"
I drew a shaky hand to my lips and suppressed a sob of happiness before shaking my head and saying "Yes"
The room filled with soft claps and congratulations. He slipped a delicate two carrot diamond ring on my finger and I pulled him into a sweet embrace.