Protected by a Bear (Mate Me Book 2)

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Chapter 54

Marcus mentally smacked himself, this was not how he had planned to propose. Looking down he caught the surprised look on her face. He quickly jumped off of her and put his boxers back on. This was too important of a conversation to have naked. He handed her, her clothing and she dressed.

“What did you ask?” she said, he could tell she was trying to process what he’d meant by asking her to marry him.

“Eloise, you are the most important person in my life. My bear and I would be lost without you. Before I met you, I was convinced I would never have a mate. The debacle with Wendy put me off ever wanting a wife or mate, then you came into my life. The second we locked eyes at the club my bear roared with want for you. He demanded you were our mate. You fascinated me, a sweet teacher, talented bar tender and wonderful friend to the women who come to the Mate Me events. I love you, and if you will have me, will you be my wife?” he asked getting down on one knee he opened the ring box he’d had in his pants. He saw tears form in her eyes and her hands covered her mouth in shock.

“Eloise…” he trailed off, doubt began to settle in his heart while he waited for her to answer.

“Yes! God yes!” She jumped into his arms and kissed him. He caught her easily mating his tongue with hers.

“I love you,” he whispered, setting her down he pulled the ring out of the box and slipped it onto her finger.

“It is a perfect fit,” she gasped looking down at the glittering ring. He smiled; it had been the perfect choice for her small hands.

“Your mom told me your ring size before she flew out yesterday,” he answered. Bending down he kissed her once more on the lips.

“I had no clue,” she whispered, and he laughed. Only his dad had an inkling of what was going to happen. He’d made him promise not to say anything to his mother. He loved his mom, but she was very bad at keeping a secret.

“When do you want to get married?” he asked, pulling her into his arms and settling on the bed.

“As soon as possible,” she replied, he chuckled and stroked her hair.

“How big of a wedding do you want?”

...

“I want my mom and Joe there, Josie, Rhett, Evelyn, Roxie, Xander, and your family of course,” she answered, turning in his arms to face him. His body heat keeping her warm, even in the heart of winter.

“Then might I suggest we aim for March?” She thought about it and realized her spring break would be the last week of March.

“The last Saturday is spring break for me.” He broke into a wide smile and nodded.

“The last Saturday in March we will get married. Do you want to do it in our backyard?” When he used the word our, her heart skipped a beat. That large house he built in White Valley would be her forever home.

“Yes, I love our home and I think being married in nature is perfect for us,” she said leaning up to give him a soft kiss. The kiss quickly became heated, but before they could do anything more both their stomachs growled. She laughed and pulled back.

“I think we need to eat.” He nodded and reluctantly let go of her to finish dressing.

“How close are we to the lake?” she asked, putting her shoes back on.

“It is just over the hill, I didn’t want us too close because the water tends to rise rapidly when the ice melts.” He took her hand and helped her out of the tent, she looked around and noticed the sun had set and it was pitch black. Their fire had died down, he walked over and brought it back to life.

“Sit, I’ll get dinner put together,” he told her, she gave him a surprised look. Just two weeks ago he admitted to not being able to cook. Watching, he turned on the portable stove and pulled out two tin foil packages from a cooler she’d missed earlier.

“You made this?” she asked, and he nodded.

“I went on YouTube and watched how to make tin foil packages. I can’t guarantee they will taste as good as the ones from the internet, but I tried.” His face was red from a blush and she fought to control her laughter. He was so cute when trying hard.

“I am sure they will taste perfect.” Giving him a bright smile, she snuggled deep under the blanket left on her chair. The later it got, the colder she felt. Camping with Marcus had been amazing so far, she looked down at the ring on her finger. He had picked the perfect one for her, the setting was low and the diamonds snug in the metal. She wouldn’t have to worry about losing any of the diamonds or getting the ring caught on anything.

“Do you like the ring?” he asked, she looked up to see him watching her.

“It is perfect, today has been perfect and I know tonight will be even better. Thank you for bringing me out here.”

“You are very welcome, thank you for saying yes to marrying me.” He walked over and kissed her, she melted into his strong arms and let him nip and suck to his heart’s content. Her arms wrapped around his waist, her cold fingers slipping underneath his shirt to touch his heated skin.

“I love you Eloise,” he whispered, touching foreheads she murmured back,

“I love you more Marcus.”

They ate dinner by the fire, after she ate every last bite of the delicious meal Marcus put together, he pulled out smores. Her eyes lit up, she’d made smores at home over the stove with her mom when she was a child, but never over an open flame.

“Here.” Marcus handed her a skewer with a marshmallow attached, she held it out over the flame and watched him prep graham crackers and chocolate.

“I feel like a little kid again,” she commented, and he looked up giving her a confused look.

“My mom and I used to make smores in the summer over the gas stove in our apartment. I’d hold the marshmallow and she would prepare the other ingredients,” she explained, he gave her a smile leaning over he kissed her gently.

“I used to love making smores with my family. We would put a small fire together in the field behind our house and make them for a summer treat. We were only ever allowed to make two.”

“How come?”

“Well with five boys who all are bears, we can eat a lot. It would put my parents out if we ate as much as we wanted.” She laughed at that, she could see Marcus wanting more than two and begging his mom to let him make just one more.

“Well you are thirty-three, you can eat as many as you want tonight. I won’t stop you.” He laughed a deep throated laugh and held out the first smore. She slid the toasted marshmallow onto the chocolate, he used the graham crackers to pull it off of the skewer. Reaching out, she took another marshmallow and placed it on her stick. Watching from the corner of her eye, she saw him take a bite and half the smore was gone.

“That is impressive,” she commented checking on her marshmallow.

“Want the other half?” he asked, she nodded and he held out the treat to her. She leaned over and took a bite, only managing to get half the smore into her mouth. He laughed and leaned over and licked the corner of her mouth.

“What?”

“You have chocolate on you, I got it,” he explained with a big grin on her face. She blushed, embarrassed she was a mess.

“Thank you.”

“Anytime.” He held out another prepped smore and she slid a marshmallow onto it. They continued to make smores and share them until they ran out of chocolate.

“I am stuffed,” she complained leaning back in her chair, her jeans felt tight.

“Same, want to lay down?” he asked, she nodded and watched him carefully douse their fire. She shivered as the cold night air passed over her body.

“Come on,” Marcus said scooping her up in his arms and carrying her into the tent. They stripped down to their underwear and crawled underneath the covers. The minute his skin touched hers, Eloise let out a contented sigh.

“I love you,” he whispered into her ear, she turned and gave him a peck on the lips.

“I love you too.” Capturing her lips in a deeper kiss, Marcus made love to her until dawn started to peek through the clouds.

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