Chapter 48 - Knox
I woke up, and it was the best feeling in the entire world to wake up like this again.
“Morning, Knox,” Snow’s voice rasped as she opened her impossibly blue eyes, and I smiled.
“Morning, my incredibly sexy fiancée.” I kissed her wide awake, and she laughed.
“I like it. I can get used to that term,” she stretched lazily.
“Better get used to it fast, because now that you’re wearing that ring on your finger, it’s not coming off again, Snow,” I teased.
Our gazes locked, and she sighed in contentment, but I could see there was something on her mind.
“What is it?” I asked before she could say anything.
“It’s about taking that ring off...” she started, and my eyebrow rose.
“You’re having second thoughts?” I asked extremely carefully.
‘Fuck - this can’t be happening...’
“No - of course, I’m not. You’re stuck with me now, Knox Vaughn. You’ve asked the question, and you have your answer,” she laughed playfully, and my smile became broader again.
“But I was thinking... Aria’s wedding is only five days away. I don’t want to steal her thunder by announcing my engagement to the world just before her wedding. She deserves all the spotlight,” Snow bit her bottom lip and lifted her hand to look at her ring again.
“Do you like it?” I asked - realizing that I hadn’t thought to ask the question. Shit - what if she hated the ring? Girls were particular about that sort of thing...
“I love it. Love it. You did well, Angel,” she winked and sighed as she admired the design again.
“That’s a relief. But... would you like to wait before telling anyone that we’re engaged?”
“Not everyone - no. I’d like to tell my parents and Hailey. But perhaps... not anyone else - except for your parents, of course, as well,” she clarified, looking at me questioningly.
I nodded. “I understand, and I’m fine with that. And it is very unselfish of you, Snow.”
“I’ll wear it on a chain around my neck - a long chain, so you don’t see it, but so it’s close to my heart,” she smiled, and I realized again how incredibly lucky I was that she was mine. Because the girl wearing my ring wasn’t only beautiful and smart, but she was also kind and selfless.
“And then... perhaps we can announce it on new year’s day. After the wedding.”
“I can work with that. And about the actual wedding... your dad made me promise that we’d wait until after you’ve graduated.”
Her eyes widened, and she had a look of surprise on her face.
“You asked my dad?”
“I was talking to him right as you called from the office during the blackout. That was exactly what we were discussing when it happened.”
“You were going to propose even though I’d broken up with you?” She asked in surprise.
I nodded. “I was going to pull out all of the stops this time, Snow. All of them. Until you said yes. But then... the blackout happened, and you kind of fell back into my arms,” I teased, and a radiant smile curved on her lips.
“After you broke down a door with a fire ax - let’s not forget that part. Holy shit, Knox, that was kind of sexy, I must say, you bashing down a door and coming to my rescue like that. Without a shirt on, might I add.”
She pretend-fanned herself, and we both laughed.
“Don’t get me wrong - I’m not glad that you were afraid and stuck in that stairwell. But perhaps it... sped things up a little that I was there in the right place, at the right time,” I said dryly.
“I would’ve taken you back, Knox. I missed you way too much while you were gone. Way too much. I’d come to my senses about the whole thing. Because I realized that I’d rather have something with you than nothing at all, even though what we had wasn’t ideal,” she spoke softly. “And then... you came to me with one hell of an offer, Mr. Vaughn.”
“I made you a promise, Snow, two months ago. I wanted to offer you something better than what I could’ve then. Because I didn’t want to offer you another ending. Another goodbye. And even though it hurt like hell when you sent me away, I held onto hope that you’d give us another shot. And now I can offer you something a whole lot better than back then, because I’m back for good, and we don’t have to say goodbye again.”
“And I couldn’t be happier,” she sighed, circling her arms behind my neck.
“Me neither, Snow. Me neither.”
“How about a September wedding?” She asked, her eyes full of dreams and her heart full of love.
“Sounds absolutely perfect to me. Unless... you wanted to elope,” I teased, and she laughed with wide eyes.
“My dad will kill you, Angel. You and me both. I’m already surprised that he was okay with the idea of you asking me to marry you, to begin with.”
“I wouldn’t say he was okay with it,” I said dryly. “He didn’t’ think for a second that you’d take me back, because you were the one who broke up with me last time. So, he said that if you said yes, then he’d trust your judgment.”
“Really?” Her face lit up.
“Really. He thinks very highly of you, Snow. And so do I, for that matter. But if the wedding is in September, we’re moving in together as soon as we can. We’ll start looking for a place immediately, because I don’t want to just have a stolen night here and there with you.”
“No more stolen moments, stolen weeks or months.”
We both smiled and kissed with a passion that exploded in the atmosphere around us. We made love again and again, fast, then slow, driving each other to the brink of ecstasy. I was so far gone for this girl. And I just knew this was the start of forever for us. Because the kind of love we had, had forever written all over it, I just didn’t realize it, to begin with.
“Mom, Dad, we’re engaged!” Snow announced, smiling ear to ear as we entered the lounge room where her parents and sister were congregated.
Snow’s mother gasped and immediately came over to hug her daughter and then me, and then admired the ring.
“You have great taste, Knox - it is a gorgeous ring!” Mrs. Davis beamed. “Congratulations to you both - I’m so, so happy for you!”
Snow’s dad came over to where we were standing, too.
“Congratulations,” he nodded. “You managed to pull it off,” he added dryly in my direction.
Snow started laughing. “How do you mean he managed to pull it off, Dad?”
“Let’s just say that when he asked me about your hand in marriage, I agreed to it, thinking that it was wishful thinking you’d take him back, Mel,” he admitted, and I couldn’t help but feel more than just slightly smug, because Adam Davis was eating his words right now.
But I was going to be gracious about this toward my future father-in-law, and not rub it in too hard. I might have been feeling slightly cocky right now because things were going my way spectacularly, but I wasn’t stupid.
“Let’s just say I was quietly confident, Adam,” I had to say, and couldn’t help but smile, and his eyebrow rose in amusement.
“I love him, Dad,” Snow chimed in, showing her father her ring, and my heart swelled inside my chest, knowing that she was as proud to be mine, as I was to be hers.
“Hmmm. Nice ring. I hope it’s real, because my daughter deserves the best,” he teased, and we all laughed.
“Rest assured, Adam, I agree with you on that point.”
“How did you propose?” Snow’s mother asked with a big smile, looking me right in the eyes.
Fuck - I couldn’t tell her and Snow’s dad that we were both naked, in bed, about to completely ruin each other, couldn’t I?
Snow’s cheeks flushed bright red, and her eyes widened.
“Um... we... walked on the beach...” I started at the exact second as Snow started saying something, too.
“We went out for dinner...”
We both stopped and looked at each other, smiling guiltily. And that blush on Snow’s cheeks was now running all the way down her throat and chest.
Adam’s eyes narrowed. “Which is it?”
“We went for dinner and then walked on the beach, and the conversation sort of led from one into the other,” I quickly fabricated a story, before Snow could start speaking again. Damn - this guy was like a bulldog who’d sniffed out a bone.
Mrs. Davis looked highly amused, but she and her husband both seemed to have bought the story. Well, either that, or they were too polite to say what they were really thinking.
“Congratulations, Mel,” Hailey walked over, giving her sister a hug, sounding teary. “I’m so happy for you - you deserve all the love and happiness in the world.”
“Thanks, Hailes,” Snow smiled at her sister as Hailey lifted her hand to admire the ring as well.
“You have good taste, Knox,” Hailey nodded her approval in my direction. “Welcome to the family - bro!” But then her smile faltered a little. “Sounds like I’m going to be the spinster in the family with both Ar and Mel getting married.”
“You’re twenty-two, darling. You’re still so young,” Mrs. Davis said gently. “You just haven’t met the right person yet. And when you do, he’ll sweep your feet out from underneath you.”
“When you’re much older, of course. Because I don’t think your mother can cope with all three of her girls leaving the house in such close succession,” Adam added, sounding the closest thing to being emotional I’d ever heard him, all of a sudden, and we all laughed.
Snow and I gave each other a loaded look because we both knew that there was a shitload of unresolved feelings still between Connor and Hailey, that her parents clearly knew nothing about.
“So, when’s the wedding?” Mrs. Davis asked, looking on the verge of happy tears, linking her arm through her husband’s.
“September,” Snow sighed happily.
“We’ll wait until after she graduates,” I clarified, and Adam nodded.
“And... we want to be respectful towards Aria as well. We are not planning on telling anyone other than you guys and Knox’s parents about our engagement, until after Ar’s wedding. She has put so much effort into this wedding of hers, I want her to fully enjoy the spotlight,” Snow smiled.
“That’s such a generous but wonderful idea, Mel,” Mrs. Davis nodded in approval. “So, you’re not telling Aria either right now?”
“No. Let her focus on herself and her big wedding, and we’ll steal the spotlight in the new year.”
“Well - I couldn’t be happier with both of my future sons-in-law,” Mrs. Davis was really getting teary-eyed. “Welcome to the family, Knox. I’m so glad Mel found someone who makes her this happy.” She stepped towards me and hugged me again.
“Thank you so much, Mrs. Davis - it means the world.”
“Call me Ari, please. No more formality,” she insisted, and I nodded.
“Welcome, son. Remember - life doesn’t often give you second chances. But when it does, you have to hold on and fight for what’s yours,” Adam said, stretching out a hand. “There’s a good reason why there are no expressions about third chances in existence, and you sure as hell won’t get any with Mel,” he said bluntly, as could be expected.
I shook it firmly, taking his warning to heed.
“I know exactly what I have right here, Adam, trust me. She’s my entire world.”
And that was the truth. I didn’t need any more chances, because life had already given me more than what I’d ever deserved. But most of all, I knew that Snow and I would both hold on - like we did that day in the ocean when our paths crossed again. And this time, I’d never, ever let go of her again.