M A X
Saying goodbye to Cain's parents was harder than I expected.
Kat pulled me in close, her lips near my ear.
“The next time I see that Jenny, I’m going to tell her you’re my daughter in law, truth be damned.”
I squeeze her tightly, grinning at Cain over her shoulder. He watches us both, a strange expression on his face. He lifts up from the stool when his dad walks in, and pulls him into a bear hug.
The two men exchange words as a Kat releases me, her hand on my shoulder as she steals Cain from his father.
“Let me cuddle my big boy,” she croons, and I watch with a stupid grin on my face as she snuggles into his chest. He kisses her head as she mumbles something into his ear, and Cain gazes at me over her head.
“Alright Ma, calm down. Don’t go knitting any booties,” he laughs, and I can’t help but smirk.
It’s no secret that Kat wants to be a grandmother, but it’s not on our agenda. All I want to do is have Cain all to myself, as selfish as it is. But as I watch Cain and the way he loves his family, I can’t help but wonder what he’d be like as a Daddy.
“Come on, Maxie, before my mother starts feeding you folic acid or some shit,” Cain grins, his arm lacing around my waist.
“Your mother is the best cook, I’d eat anything she gave me,” I chuckle, as Kat pulls a face at Cain.
“Next time, we’ll come to you. Just say when,” Lee smiles, kissing his wife on the head.
“Absolutely. Cain can cook,” I add, as Cain shudders.
“We’ll order in,” he suggests, before guiding me towards the door. “Come on, my love.”
We say our final goodbyes, and make promises to see each other again soon. As Cain reverses down the drive, he slaps the steering wheel.
“What’s wrong?” I glance at him worriedly.
“I forgot to pick something up. Do you mind if we stop off in town?”
I shake my head, as Cain drives back towards the little town where I had the pleasure of meeting Jenny.
If I see her today, I’m not going to be responsible for my actions.
“I loved that you met my parents,” Cain says softly, glancing over at me as he pulls into a parking spot in front of a row of shops.
“They’re super lovely,” I say firmly. “You’re lucky to have parents like that.”
“Come with me,” Cain says, climbing out of the car.
I’m texting Charlotte on my phone, who wants to know all the details.
“Can’t I just wait here?” I ask, glancing at him as he closes the door in response.
Best. Weekend. Ever.
I join Cain on the pavement, allowing him to lace his fingers through mine as he guides us towards a small shop called ‘Antoinettes.’
The windows are covered with thick drapes that prevent you from seeing inside, and I frown at Cain as he pushes open the door.
“Don’t look so scared,” he chuckles, taking in my expression.
“I don’t know,” I whisper dubiously. “Small town, strange little shop…”
“Yeah. That’s why I wanted you to come in with me. This is where we die,” Cain teased, kissing my forehead as he closes the door behind me.
The interior doesn’t give much away, but rows of glass counters link together to allow you to view a myriad of items, with no particular theme. I pause as Cain wanders up to the main counter, tapping a bell that makes a dainty sound. I’m gazing at a collection of jewellery boxes that are made from seashells and diamonds, the price tag that hung off them made my eyes water.
“Cain! Are you here for your mother’s parcel?” A quiet voice asks.
I turn to see an older man smiling at us, his hands clasping together as he walks into the back office.
“Your mother's parcel?” I ask, lifting a brow at my boyfriend.
I still wasn’t used to calling him that.
“Yeah, I promised I’d pick it up.”
Cain leans on the counter, his fingers drumming on the glass as he gazes at me.
“You’re fucking beautiful, Max.”
I smile then, wandering over to him as he slips his arms around me.
“I mean it. You are,” he murmurs, nuzzling his lips into my neck. My eyes roll back in my head as he nibbles my neck, muttering such deviance I almost drop my panties there and then. “Over this glass counter…” he’s saying, and my teeth sink into my lip as he gathers my hair in his hand. “But you’re too good for that.”
My eyes snap open with annoyance, as my fantasy is cut short.
“You’re a tease,” I pout, kissing his lips as someone clears their throat from behind the counter.
“Cain, your package.”
Cain smiles as he takes the white parcel, handing his credit card over to the man as he rang it through.
“Why are you paying for your mother's package?” I mumble with confusion, as he peers down at the parcel.
“Fourteen thous-,” the man begins before Cain lifts his hand, silencing him.
Cain presses his pin into the keypad without flinching, and hands it back to the man who approves it.
What the hell had Kat bought that was so expensive?!
“Cain,” I hissed, wondering what the hell was going on.
“Thanks man,” Cain grinned, before lacing his fingers with mine. “Come on, beautiful.”
We leave the store, and I eye the parcel suspiciously. It was the size of Cain's palm, and I desperately wanted to know what was in it.
“Fourteen grand, Cain? What the hell?” I gasp, as we get into his car.
“Mum had an antique that needed fixing,” Cain explains, tossing the parcel onto my lap as I squeal.
“Oh my god, Cain, be careful with this thing!” I scold him, holding it by the corner.
It wasn’t even heavy.
Cain chuckles, and speeds away from the store.
“I wanna show you somewhere I used to go when I was a kid,” Cain says, stroking his chin as he glances at me. “I haven’t been in years, but it used to be amazing.”
“Well, I think we should probably drop this back off to your Mum,” I scoff, placing the parcel on my lap gingerly.
“We have time,” Cain yawns, and I watch as the fields around us thicken, a tunnel of trees spanning over the road as we plough down it at an alarming speed.
“It’s not far.” Cain says, leaning forward with excitement.
Less than five minutes later, he pulls into a car park overlooking a lake. It’s certainly beautiful, the dark blue water contrasting against the emerald grass that surrounds it.
“Did you used to come here with your family?” I ask, as Cain cuts the engine.
“Yeah, we’d hire a boat and spend the day on the lake. Mum just wanted to swim,” he chuckles, gazing out to the lake, his eyes misting over. “Dad taught me to play the guitar, because he said I’d never be short of girls if I could play.”
“Yet I’ve never heard you play, and I’m your girlfriend,” I laugh, crossing my arms as we step out of the car. Cain leans in behind me, tugging out the parcel as I frown.
“Do you like saying that?” Cain asks, walking around to join me as we walk towards the lake.
“That you’re my girlfriend,” Cain grins, kissing my fingers.
I can’t help but smile, and I nod. “Yeah.”
“What about saying you’re something else?” Cain suggests, handing me the parcel.
For a moment I’m frozen, the wind whipping my hair around me as Cain swallows. For the first time since knowing him, he looks nervous.
“Cain,” I swallow, as he nods at the parcel.
My fingers tremble as I pick at the flap, my finger sliding beneath it easily. I peer into the envelope to find a tiny box, and I pull it out gently.
Whatever this was was bloody expensive.
“Max, open the box,” Cain whispers, the wind carrying his voice away as I shakily open the box.
A diamond ring glitters beneath the winter sunshine, the band encrusted with tiny replicas of the square cut diamond that commands my attention.
“I don’t want you to be my girlfriend anymore, Maxie.”
I hold my hand to my chest as I stare at him, the box in my hand trembling.
“I had this made for you from my mother’s engagement ring, and my grandmothers,” Cain says, walking towards me as he drops to one knee. “But I had to add the rest, because it still wasn’t enough to symbolise the way I feel about you.”
Tears are spilling down my cheeks as he inhales deeply.
“I can’t be without you Maxie. I don’t ever want to be without you, and I need you. I want you to be my wife, Max. Please say yes,” Cain stares up at me, and I fall into his arms, my hand clutching the ring box shut as he falls back into the floor.
My lips find his, and we’re kissing. He breaks away from me to speak, and I realise I haven't answered him.
“Is that a-“
I silence him with my mouth on his, breaking away to mumble against his delicious mouth that yes, I’d love to be his wife.