Troubled Sincerity

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Bonus - 1

| 3 and a half years before the Epilogue |


| Mark’s POV |

My minds been reeling. I’m so nervous that I can’t think straight.

As I grip the small box inside of my coat pocket, I go over in my head the speech I’ve already prepared.

This entire thing needs to be perfect, or Lucy will castrate me.

My ringing phone, pulls me from my thoughts.

“Yes?”

“Did you pick it up yet?”

“Hello Lucy. Yes, I just left the shop.”

“Good, how does it look? Is it perfect?”

I can tell she’s smiling through the phone, probably overly excited about what’s to come for her best friend. Lucy lives in Oregon now with her fiancé William, as they’ve been together now for around two years. I’ve met him a few times, and he seems like a really good guy. I’m really happy for Lucy, she deserves someone to love her and cherish her. Lucy flew out for one of her many visits with Naveah, though Naveah has no idea that Lucy actually came out to celebrate her soon to be engagement.

“It’s pretty great. I’m heading to the tailors right now, I’ll ring you later when it’s time to bring Naveah.”

“You got it!”

Before I can even say goodbye, Lucy ends the call.

I let out a sigh, still squeezing the box in the palm of my hand.

I’ve never done anything like this before in my entire life. To commit yourself to one person, and for the rest of your life, is a lot to handle. Naveah and I just found out we’re expecting, but I knew long before that how much I wanted to marry this girl.

Lucy told me that Naveah has been leaving hints to her about wanting to be married before the baby gets here, and truth be told, I did too.

I know Naveah will be happy to have all our families and friends here for the special day, though I’m a little skeptical on if Callie and Red will be able to make it. I’m sure Callie wouldn’t miss it for the world, especially since she has to miss the proposal celebration, but Red has a lot on his plate right now with work. I haven’t talked to him in a long time, but last I heard he was preparing to marry his girlfriend Julie, and I think he mentioned something about wanting to have a kid of his own. I’m bummed out that Red can’t make it, but I’m sure we will see him again sometime or another.

My phone rings again, causing me to jump slightly. My nerves are shot today.

“Yes?”

“You’re not chickening out, are you?” Connor says, and I can immediately tell that he’s smirking on the other end of this call.

“Fuck off.” I glare, “I’m perfectly fine.”

“Yeah, sure, whatever. Anyway, how is everyone?” He asks sheepishly.

“Well, Marissa still hates your guts, so says Nave.” I begin.

“Yeah, I figured as much. I just didn’t feel the same connection anymore, I don’t see how that makes me some villain. At least I didn’t cheat on her.” He muses.

“Thanks, dick.” I mumble.

“Too soon for jokes? Sorry bud. Speaking of Marissa, are you sure she’s going to be okay with me coming to the dinner tonight after you pop the big question?” Connor asks, his tone more serious.

“Honestly, I haven’t exactly mentioned that to her yet.” I sheepishly smile, though I know he can’t see it.

“Dude, it’s tonight! I can’t just show up without her knowing, she could kill me.”

“Calm your vagina, I’ll call her now.” I say.

“Wow, real mature. It’s a wonder you made it through college. How’s the extra schooling coming along by the way?”

“Well, I finished already. Naveah and I leave for L.A in two weeks. I already have a few job interviews lined up, thanks to my many letters of recommendations.” I say happily, purposely tooting my own horn.

“Wow, I’m impressed. L.A will be good for you both. Congrats, man.”

I smile to myself, “Thanks, I’m gonna go though, and don’t worry I’ll call Marissa.”

“Yeah, yeah, see ya later!”

I end the call, but keep my phone open as I scroll through my contacts. I click on Marissa’s picture and tap the call option.

“You better not be chickening out!” Marissa says as soon as she answers the call.

“Hm, I believe I’ve already heard that once today.” I laugh.

“By who?”

“A certain boy that you dream of killing every day.” I grin, knowing it’s going to piss her off by just mentioning Connor.

“Ew, anyway, what’s up?”

“Speaking of Connor.” I begin.

“I didn’t speak of Connor.” Marissa replies dryly.

“Great, now that you mention it, he’s going to be joining us all for dinner tonight.” I say in a rush.

“Wait, what? Why? No!” Marissa whines into the phone, and pretty loudly, causing me to move my phone away from my ear until she’s done.

“He’s still my best friend, regardless of your hatred for him. I’m also appointing him to be my best man, so you need to get used to seeing him. If not for me or Connor, then for Naveah. I don’t want any drama ruining this for her.” I demand, “Got it?”

The line is silent for a few seconds.

“Fine.”

“Splendid, see you tonight. Oh, is Riley coming?” I ask, which catches Marissa’s attention.

“Yep, I’m actually on my way to pick her up now. Oh and I have extra boxes for the move, if you guys still need some.”

I almost forgot that Marissa was moving to L.A with us. Naveah mentioned her having been offered the same internship as Marissa, but since they’re both friends now, I suppose it shouldn’t be that big of a problem for the two to work together.

“Thanks, I’ll let you know. See you tonight.”

I end the call as I finally make it to the tailor shop. It doesn’t take long to find myself a nice suit, so when I leave I go straight home. Naveah is out with Lucy right now, so I know I have plenty of time to get ready before I leave to the place that I’ll be doing the proposal.




My palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.

Okay, this is becoming very familiar.

I shake my head to myself, trying to remain calm as I stand in the middle of a large field of sun flowers. I didn’t even know until yesterday that sun flowers were Naveah’s favorite. I suppose we’re still learning new things about each other, even after all the time that we’ve been together.

The small black box is resting peacefully inside of my coat pocket, just waiting to be sprung free. I have battery operated candles twinkling all around me. I was going to light a bunch of real candles, but Riley mentioned something about not wanting to start a huge fire in the middle of my proposal, so I immediately lost that idea.

Connor, Marissa and Riley are all meeting at a nearby restaurant as I stand here and think about my speech. Lucy has Naveah blindfolded, the pair of them driving here right this very minute. I don’t know what Lucy told Naveah, but I made Lucy promise to keep this a secret for as long as possible.

I want to completely surprise her.

It’s late in the evening now, and the sun is just about to start setting. I see headlights coming from down the long road, so I know that she’s almost here.

My stomach churns, and I feel myself becoming scared for some reason.

What if she says no?

What if she cries and runs away?

What if she faints?

Okay, I need to stop. This is silly. People propose all the time, and usually it goes well.

The car stops just a few feet away, and I watch as Lucy darts from the front seat of the car, and rushes over to help a blind Naveah out of the car.

“What the hell is going on Luc? This is freaking me out.”

I almost laugh at that, but I don’t want Naveah to know I’m standing here yet.

I glance down at her dress, and it’s perfect. The navy blue silk falls perfectly down her body, hugging each and every curve with grace. Her hair is down, but in small waves, cascading down her back as it always does, so effortlessly. I glance at her left hand, smiling because soon it will sport a ring almost as beautiful as its owner.

“Just walk, that’s all you need to do.”

Lucy stops once Naveah is standing directly in front of me. Lucy then rushes off to the side, picking up the camera that is hanging around her neck to capture the big moment.

I immediately kneel down, smoothing out my coat as I reach for the small box.

I glance at Lucy and nod, giving her the signal.

“Alright Naveah, you can take off the blindfold now.

“Fucking finally.” Naveah sighs, quickly reaching up and shoving the blindfold off her angelic face.

It takes her all of one second to adjust her eyes, before she’s peering down at me in complete shock.

“Mark-“, she begins, but I instantly cut her off by grabbing her soft hands in my own.

“Naveah Olsin, from the very first time I saw you standing in the administration office that day in ninth grade, I knew I had to have you. Nothing in my life has ever made any fucking sense, not a single damn thing. The only thing that ever made me believe that there was something more to this crappy world, was you. Your kindness, your humor, your flaws, all wrapped up into one breathtaking creature that just so happens to give me an actual purpose on this earth. My purpose is to love you. My purpose is to build a family with you. My purpose is to give you every single thing that you deserve, because you’ve given me so much more than I could possibly even begin to describe. The day that I found you lying in that hospital bed, after you so selflessly gave a piece of yourself to save my mother’s life, I knew that I was going to marry you. I knew that there would never be a single person on this planet that could ever measure up to the beautiful person that you are, inside and out. You are immaculate.”

As I manage to get everything in my heart, out in the open, I can’t help but feel my eyes begin to soak. Naveah is full-on crying right now, and I can hear quiet sobs coming from Lucy a few feet away, as she snaps a couple pictures here and there.

“I need to ask you this, because if I don’t do it now, well Lucy would never let me hear the end of it.” I chuckle lightly, causing Naveah to laugh as she wipes at her eyes.

“So, Naveah Olsin, will you do me the astonishing honor… Will you marry me?” I pull the small box from my pocket, slowly opening it to reveal a decently sized, white gold, diamond ring.

“Yes!” As Naveah immediately begins to nod her head, I yank the ring from the box and slide it onto her finger as I quickly stand up and pull my beautiful fiancé in for a kiss. As soon as I do, I hear Lucy snap a bunch of pictures, before she lets the camera hang off her neck and begins clapping excitedly.

I’ve never kissed anyone so deeply, loved anyone so deeply, as I do right in this very moment. I’m on cloud ten, heck, eleven as I stand here and hold Naveah close to me. Our bodies are pressed together, no room for even air to get through. This woman right here, this reason for living, said yes.

She said yes.

I deepen the kiss, all of my emotions running haywire. Naveah lifts one leg, securing it around my hip. I grip that leg, squeezing the life out of her thigh as I kiss her even harder. Her arms are locked around my neck, and I can feel my heart beating rapidly inside of my chest.

“Uh, guys, I don’t mean to ruin the moment… but I’m not going to stand here and watch you have sex. Save that for later, we still have dinner to get to.” Lucy suddenly comments, causing Naveah and I to snap back to reality.

As we pull apart, I take a step back to admire her beauty. The way the sunset and candles light up her shining face. She’s perfect in all of her imperfections. She’s everything.

I watch as Naveah rushes over to hug her best friend, the two of them squealing like thirteen year old girls. I smile at them, before I start packing up the candles and putting them into the back of my car.

“You go ahead to the restaurant, we’ll meet you there.” Naveah suddenly says, so I stop just before picking up the blanket that was put underneath us, just as Lucy gives us each a smirk.

“Yeah, sure, see you there. Should I tell the others to go ahead and order their drinks?” Lucy laughs.

Naveah nods, and Lucy gets back into Naveah’s car, before pulling away and leaving.

“I already put the candles away.” I smirk.

“We don’t need them, we have the sunset, and the moon.” Naveah smiles gently, slowly walking back over to me.

“We’re going to be late for dinner, fiancé.” I smile as she wraps her hands around my neck again.

“I don’t give a single fuck.” Naveah says quietly, her lips just a centimeter away from my own.

I’m not even going to lie, my penis twitched at the tone of her voice.

“Yeah?” I lean in further, my lips just grazing her own.

“I want you Mark, in every way possible, right here underneath the pending stars.”

I can see her chest rising and falling quickly. Is she nervous?

My God, can this woman get any more perfect?

“Your wish is my command, my queen.” I reply huskily, before closing the space between us and lying us both down onto the blanket below.


Let’s just say, we make it to dinner just in time for desert.

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