My heart pounded out of my chest as the stairs creaked. Anthony was about to walk into my room.
Peyton had left my door open when he left, so there wasn't a knock, only Anthony's voice from the hallway. "Riley?"
"In here." Could he tell how tense my voice is?
As he walked into my room, Max started to wag his tail and eyed him as he got closer and closer to my bed.
"Are you making house calls now?"
"I'm not here as your doctor." He knelt down next to my bed and looked at me. "How did the conversation with Peyton go?"
I shrugged. "Fine, I guess."
"I made you a promise yesterday."
He lightly slid his hand across my cheekbone, and tilted my head back. My eyes shut as he kissed me.
Max wasn't amused as he sat down next to me, wrapping his strong arms around my waist. He growled and barked at Anthony.
"What's his deal?"
"He's a little protective."
He took one of his hands and pet Max, changing his demeanor completely. He sat down and wagged his tail as Anthony ran his hand down his soft fur.
"Look at me."
I opened my eyes and noticed how intense his gaze was. "I think I'm in love with you too."
He nodded. "I know the relationship between us has been very complicated. We had to hide from everyone to prevent getting caught, but I can't wait any longer."
He stood up, reached into his coat pocket and brought a small box in his hand.
"Riley Shepard..." He got down on one knee, looking at me confidently. "Will you marry me?"
"Oh my god."
He smiled and slid the diamond ring on my finger.
"Does my mom know?"
He nodded. "I kind of told her downstairs."
"He's having a hard time accepting it, but I couldn't wait."
"I love you, Anthony."
He leaned over and kissed me. "I love you too, Riley."
*** Four months later...
The headlights of Anthony's car lit brightly through the night as we sped through the rural streets on our way back to his house. My phone chimed with a text message, and I fetched it out of my purse.
Jasmine: How was dinner with Daddy?
Riley: Oh my god, shut up.
Jasmine: Oh, right. I keep forgetting. Your a Mrs. Now.
Riley: Haha, it's so crazy!
Jasmine: Which part? The fact that your his wife now? And Peyton is basically your son?
Riley: OMG, shut up! He's moving to South Carolina with his new girlfriend so we'll have more space.
Jasmine: You go girl :)
"Who are you texting?" Anthony asked. His eyes stayed on the road, thankfully not seeing Jasmine's text messages.
"Jasmine. She wanted to know how our dinner and the banquet was and how crazy it is that we're... you know..."
"Married? I know."
"Yeah. I still can't believe it."
He took one of his hands off the wheel to lift mine and kissed it. "Me neither, but I couldn't be happier."
"Did you enjoy the banquet?"
"Of course I did. It was even better having my wife next to my side."
I blushed and leaned over to kiss his cheek. "We definitely were looked at a bunch."
"Fuck 'em. Most of them are just jealous that I'm married to you."
As I stared at him in his beyond sexy suit and tie, I understood. I'd be jealous of me too. But I was Anthony's first choice, and he was mine.
"I know you didn't want to go, so thanks."
"I just fantasized about what I want to do to you when we get to your house."
"You dirty little girl."
"You know it."
As we parked in the driveway, I went into the kitchen just as Peyton appeared at the stop of the stairs.
"This is Lucy. We were just heading out to see a movie."
The girl stood next to him and smiled. "Lucy, this is Riley, my dad's um...."
Lucy laughed. "I saw the ring. Congratulations by the way."
Sometimes I wondered if Peyton adjusted to my new lifestyle with his father. The only time he came home was for winter break and it only occasionally felt weird seeing him at college at this point.
"Well, we're leaving." He took Lucy's hand and bumped into Anthony as he opened the door.
"Where are you headed?"
"Lucy and I are gonna catch a movie and have some dinner."
He nodded. "Have fun."
"Yeah. Um... You too."
I took off my black heels which killed my feet all night and went to his bedroom so I could take my dress off and grabbed a t-shirt of his to put on before I went back into the living room and got settled on the couch.
Four months ago, Anthony and I had no clue what we had in store for us but after we exchanged vows, I felt like everything fell into place. I never knew I'd officially be married to the man of my dreams and that I'll have the rest of my life to create many new memories with him.
As he entered into the living room, he smirked when he saw me sitting on the couch with his t-shirt on. "God, you look sexy when you wear my clothes."
"I'm gonna get changed, I'll be right back."
As I watched him go into his bedroom, I leaned back and smiled. I felt like the luckiest woman in the world. Any woman would kill to be married to him, but he somehow chose me. There were some days that were hard because we couldn't see each other, but I came home almost every weekend so I could see him.
My mom finally warmed up to Anthony, although it was still hard for her to grasp that I'm married to him now. I knew she'd get there eventually. He made me happy, and that felt like the only thing that mattered.
"Did you meet Lucy?"
Anthony interrupted my train of thought as he came back out into the living room, wearing only a pair of boxers.
"Yeah, she's pretty."
"Do you want some wine, my beautiful wife?"
It still made me blush every time he called me his wife. "Sure."
"Red or white?"
He nodded. As he went to go into the kitchen, I grabbed his arm. "I got it. You've had a rough day."
"Oh stop it, I..."
"Shush." I wrapped my arms around him and kissed him. "I'll do it. All I'm asking for you to do is to choose a movie."
"Can we watch a Christmas movie?"
"Depends. What kind?"
"The Polar Express?"
"I've seen that so many times."
"I'll find Krampus on Demand. I know you've been wanting to watch that."
"You got yourself a deal. Do you want red or white wine?"
"White is fine, baby."
I went to the fridge and grabbed the bottle of white wine then took two glasses out of the cupboard and filled the glasses. I put the wine back in the fridge and went back into the living room, handing him his glass.
"Of course." I sat down next to him, took a sip of my wine and wrapped my arms around him as he grabbed the TV remote and pressed the play button.
"I'm crazy in love with you. Do you know that?"
"I do. And guess what?"
I whispered, "I love you too."
I knew I still had a lot of growing up to do, but with Anthony by my side, I knew he'd help me along the way. We went through a lot of bumps to be together, but in the end, it was worth it.
He is worth it. I'm no longer the young girl who had a crush on my ex-boyfriend's father. He's officially my husband and he's all mine for the rest of my life.
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