Tyler returned to the kitchen 5 minutes after, with his hands behind his back. His mischievous smile made him look like a kid, who found out his favorite present under the Christmas tree. He walked closer and stopped before me.
“Which hand will it be? Left or right?”
“What do I choose from?”
“Left or right, Vera?”
“What if I want both?”
“Good girl.” Tyler made two steps, positioning himself between my legs. “These are your keys from this apartment. You’re spending most of your evenings here and it seems more reasonable for me anyway.”
Tyler extended his right hand with a bunch of keys. I stared at it. He was right. I’ve been staying here almost every night. I was here and on my weekdays. Chloe started joking, that the only opportunity for us to be together and to talk – our lunch breaks. The other times were monopolized by Tyler. It will be good to fall asleep in his arms and to wake up in the mornings. I think I was ready to risk it. I extended my hand and he lowered the keys to my palm. All this time he was observing me. As soon as I took the keys from him, his serious expression changed into the happy one.
“You made me worried, you know... You hesitated...”
“I know. I am sorry about it, but I needed to think it over. Now I’m sure, that you’re right and it will do us good.”
“Glad to hear it.”
“What about the other gift?”
“Oh, someone eager to know, what’s in there...”
“You’ve got me hooked... And you know that I hate waiting.”
“Kiss me.” I blinked but did as he asked. While kissing, Tyler took my left hand in his and I felt cold metal sliding on my finger. I broke our kiss and stared at my ring finger. There was the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen in my life. It was delicate, but with a big diamond. It wasn’t pretentious, it looked elegant. I fell in love with this ring the moment I saw it.
“Tyler... It’s so beautiful!”
“I take it that you like it, right?” Suddenly he sounded nervous to me. I arched my brow in surprise.
“Is that even a question? I am in love with this ring from the very first sight!”
“Phew! It fits perfectly, I was afraid that I could be mistaken with the size.”
“I love you...” I kissed him, wrapping my arms around his neck.
“I love you too... Will you be my wife?” Tyler stared me in the eyes. He was incredibly nervous like he wasn’t ever before. “If you’re not ready, I will understand it. I am not forcing you... I wanted to give you this ring as soon as I saw it at Harry Winston’s...”
“Yes.” I interrupted Tyler and kissed him again. His hands wrapped around my waist so tight, that my breath stuck in my throat. We were kissing until our lips didn’t start to hurt. Tyler leaned his forehead to mine and we stayed like that for some time, with closed eyes and hands tight around each other. The only thing that separated us, was a low rumble of my stomach. Only now I realized, how hungry I was.
“Shit, what a moron I am.” Tyler laughed, kissed me on the temple and walked to the fridge to make us breakfast. I giggled and just sat admiring him, while he made us pancakes with strawberries jam. Needless to say, that this day we spent tangled in each other’s arms, enjoying our time together. I was on cloud nine and didn’t want to go back to earth until it wasn’t Monday.
Christmas and the New Year’s holidays went very quickly and I found myself falling into a new routine. From the beginning of January, I moved in with Tyler. It was strange at first, mostly because we were trying to spend as much time together as we could, making up for the time we lost. I barely talked with anyone when I was back at home. I was cooking new dishes, experimenting with new flavors and receipts. Tyler was eager to go back home to me as fast as he could. We were genuinely happy together like we were in some kind of a bubble.
One day Nate asked me to join him for lunch. It was strange to say, but accidentally we became friends with him. Sometimes we texted with each other, joking about some random stuff or about work issues. We talked a little about the work and then he approached the subject he wanted to talk to me from the start.
“So, you and Tyler... Looks like I was right this whole time.”
“I guess so.”
“This ring on your finger... Damn, the man works fast. When will be the wedding?”
“We haven’t talked about it, like really talked about it. Maybe in autumn or winter.”
“Funny.” Nate winked at me and I stared at him, sitting before my Lasagna. “Tyler told me that he wants to marry you as soon as possible.”
“What? You already talked with Ty about it?” I put my fork on the table. Nate smiled at me with his genuine smile.
“Well, we’re friends. We needed to talk. We wanted the same woman. I stepped away because it was the right thing to do... Even if it was very hard.”
I looked down at my plate. My appetite disappeared. Suddenly, I wanted to be as far as I could from this restaurant. Nate sensed my uneasiness. He placed his hand on mine and I looked back him in the eyes.
“Shit. I am sorry, Vera. It wasn’t my intention... I still like you, but... I see how happy he’s making you. You’re glowing. You were living together for almost a month now, right?”
“You’re too kind, Nate. I am happy that you wanted to stay friends with me. I am a lucky girl.” I smiled at him, finally relaxing. “But yeah, I moved in with Tyler from the first day of this year.”
“I am happy for both of you, really.”
We smiled at one another and then went back to our food, talking about our work. Nate told me, that now our company was searching for the head of the event management department for the LA branch. They wanted someone like Amanda, so this search was a little bit difficult. In the end, our lunch went very smoothly. I got back to work in high spirits with a big smile on my face.
In the first week of February, Tyler went on a business trip to Washington. He needed to stay there for two weeks, so we couldn’t spend the 14th of February together. It was silly of me, but I felt sad. It was our first Valentine’s Day together as a couple. He called me every evening and we talked for hours. I was telling him about my days, he was talking about his. I told him, that Tasha and Jake finally made a decision about the date for their wedding. It was planned on 10th July and I was very excited to attend there. We talked with Ty before about our plans and we agreed to arrange our wedding in early September when the weather still will be nice. I felt anticipation forming inside me, it was a very rare feeling for me, but I enjoyed it.
It was Saturday morning. Tyler was in Washington for 5 days already and I missed him terribly. It was still early, so I was lying in the bed, reading Jojo Moyes’s book “Still Me”. Suddenly I heard the strange sound from the entrance hall. Maybe it was Tyler? Maybe he wanted to surprise me? I got up from bed and went to the first floor. As I reached the end of the stairs and saw the man standing in the middle of the living room, I froze at the space.
“So it’s true. Davis’s girl is back again with my son.”