Chapter THIRTY SEVEN
. . t h r e e w e e k s l a t e r . .
"No.. No, No! Jackson please!" You squeal as you run through the apartment to the kitchen, zipping around to the far side of the island bench..
A few seconds later.. Jackson comes barrelling in behind you.. A wicked grin on his lips.. The tessellating tattoos that span his upper body and the chocolatey bulging muscles of his shirtless chest on display as he prowls towards you with predatory steps, like a panther.. Determination gleaming in his eye.. "Oh yes, baby.. It's happening.."
You giggle uncontrollably, clutching the fluffy white towel around your naked body, skin still glistening, dripping wet from the shower you just took.."Marine, the doctor's orders were--"
He growls, leaning forward pressing his palms to the bench, heat flaring between the two of you as you tease him.. "The doctor said I was fine to return to work today.." He smirks, as if that alone should win him the argument..
"He also said you shouldn't over exert yourself.." You quip, flashing a flirty smile..
You've been taking care of Jackson in the comfort of his apartment for the last few weeks and the experience has brought the two of you closer in ways you never thought possible.. You have spent almost every minute of that time together, talking, touching, telling each other secrets..
Everything to solidify the love you confessed to feel for each other..
Well, everything except having sex, under the doctors orders..
To say it's been extremely hard to keep your hands off him would be an excessive understatement..
"What if I exert myself just enough?" He takes a step to the side before he springs into action, chasing you as you turn to run, squealing joyfully as you dash to the living room..
You don't get far before he catches you and scoops you up, throwing you over his shoulder as you continue to laugh..
Giggling, right up until you notice the three, star shaped, reddish scars in a triangular formation on his back, just below his shoulder blade.. Your heart twangs painfully as you lay a palm over them.. He freezes on the spot.. "Baby?.." His tone is tender as he sets you down slowly, your front sliding against his until your feet touch the floor..
You look up at him, arms wrapped around his neck.. Sometimes you can't avoid the memories.. the terrible feeling of almost losing him.. The fear and the pain.. A pain so excruciating, you can't bare the idea of feeling that way, ever again.. "I love you, so much.. I never want to be without you, Marine.."
He smiles, brushing your hair back behind your ear and kissing you sweetly.. "I never want to be without you either Ellerie.. You're the one for me.. Always were.. No doubt about it, baby.."
His head tips to one side curiously as you chew on your lip, nervous ..
Because you're thinking about saying something crazy..
But, crazy right.. Right because, nobody has ever understood you the way he does..
Nobody has ever made you feel the way he does, about yourself, about him..
With him, you finally feel like things are how they were always meant to be..
"Jackson, I want forever.. I.. I want to marry you.."
His eyes flash excitedly and he grins wide, picking you up, so that your cradled in his hunky arms.. "I want to marry you too, Sunshine.."
You laugh.. A laugh filled with pure happiness, as he carries you back through to the bedroom where he sets you on the bed gently.. He drops to his knees on the floor in front of you, reaching over to the little wooden bedside table pulling open the top draw, fishing a small black box from inside.. "Is that what I think it is?"
He chuckles.. "You're so impatient, you know that?"
You bite your tongue and nod, grinning.. "And stubborn.." You giggle into your hands now.. "And a little hot tempered.." You can't contain the smile on your face, because you can't believe how prepared he is for this moment..
Even now, he is the picture of calm and collected..
The most solid and dependable of all the Alpha men..
And he's all yours.. How is this even possible?!
"Guilty.." You grin like a fool.. He is right on all accounts, you are all of those things.. And Jackson loves you anyway..
You watch on, holding your breath as he opens the box and plucks from inside a stunning square cut diamond ring, tasteful, delicate and sophisticated.. The brilliant diamond is sweetly nestled between two perfect lavender amethyst stones..
Lavender.. Your favourite..
"And those are just some of the reasons I love you.." The sentiment and thought behind this ring overwhelms you, suddenly tears are in your eyes.. He remembered..because he remembers everything about you.. Just like you do about him..
He slips the ring on your finger.. "If you'll let me, I will be your most loyal supporter, the keeper of your secrets and your fiercest defender.."
Unable to wait a second longer, you wrap your arms around his neck and pull him in for a soul scorching kiss, one that has your heart erupting in extacy.. You tug him up to sit on the bed beside you and he lifts his cocoa brown eyes to yours, you can feel the emotion and passion fizzing and crackling in the air all around you..
When he speaks again, his voice is low, almost a whisper.. "Tu es à moi pour protéger, pour conserver et pour aimer.. Je t'aime, petite soleil.." He smiles, a sweet and sincere smile..
You smile back, surprised.. You always knew that Jackson understood most of what you said to him in your mother tongue, but to hear your first language flow so fluently, so beautifully from his lips, is like a comforting melody to your ears..
Especially when he's telling you that you're his to protect, and that he loves you.. "Je t'aime.. My Marine.."