Drink margaritas and take in the sunset
Later on we’ll slip up to our king size bed
And make love, love, sweet love
You make it easy, easy
Oh yes, it’s easy, easy
Easy – Sheryl Crow (I’m so sorry to the fan who suggested this song, I deleted the email and forgot who you are! Please tell me who you are again so I can dedicate this chapter to you)
Read A/N at the end. Important message!!!
“Looks like everything is good to go” The doctor smiled at me. “Though it is a little puzzling, I can’t deny it”
“What’s puzzling?” I asked confused.
“Simply the way you only woke up when Ray was around. It was miraculous, indeed, but puzzling and in the end it was a good result. Now, if there’s any prolonging pain do not hesitate to come back okay? Don’t be a stranger Seychelles. Ray, it was good seeing you again... take care of that leg you hear?”
With one last smile to me and a hand shake to Ray the doctor left my room and I couldn’t help return the beaming smile Ray threw me. “That discharge from the Doc was music to my ears” Ray laughed. “I can’t wait to take you out. This place gets so gloomy”
“I definitely agree with you”
“Knock, knock” I turned to the doorway to see Cole standing there with a bouquet of flowers. “Man it’s good to see you awake Shell, you scared us all for a long while there”
“Cole! Come in, come in. I’m so glad you were able to catch us. I’ve been discharged already so I get to go ho-“ My smile, along with Ray and Cole’s smiles, faded. “...home. I don’t have a home anymore”
Ray cleared his throat and threw Cole a look. “Uh, come on Seychelles let’s get you out of here first then we can talk about your house. One thing at a time, okay?”
I nodded and Cole and Ray gathered anything that I had, which wasn’t much. They mainly just collected the flowers that had decorated my room and my clothes that I’d been brought in with. I was once again dressed in Sandy’s clothes. “You know Cole, Ray told me everything you did. Thank you so much, you saved my life”
He cleared his throat and shook his head. “Nah, I was just lucky enough to be checking up on you. I wouldn’t have even been able to find you, let alone get you out from under the bed, if it wasn’t for Ray here. He’s one beast of a man”
I chuckled. “That’s what I hear”
“So you’re all okay then?” I nodded. “Alright. Well, I’m helping the rescue teams with the clean ups around town so I better get going. Take good care of her Ray, it’s good seeing you both again”
He handed me the bouquet of flowers and offered me a one armed hug before shaking hands with Ray and was gone. “Ray? What am I going to do with my house? I- I don’t have enough money to-“
“Shh baby... You’ll stay with me okay? It’s already been settled and my mom is beyond thrilled to have another woman in the house. We’ll take care of your house and everything later. I promise. I’ll take care of you”
His words were so full of raw emotion and his eyes gazed almost piercingly into mine that I had no doubt everything will be okay. We left the hospital, quite slowly due to my crutches, and soon I took my first step outside the hospital for the first time in almost a week. The sun was hot and warmed my skin immediately. I sighed happily and breathed in the warm air, so different to the recycled air conditioning from inside the hospital, and I felt instantaneously better.
“Shell! Oh Shell! I am so happy that you’re alright! But look at you! You’ve lost weight darling but I understand of course after what you’ve been through” She hugged me warmly and helped me into the kitchen letting me sit on the bench chairs, “Sit down darling, I’ll get you some proper food. I know hospital food wouldn’t be very appetising”
“Thank you Sandy, and thank you for letting me stay here. I really do appreciate it, and it’ll only be until I can get back on my feet”
Sandy waved her hand almost as if shooing away the idea, “Nonsense! I’d love for you to stay here. And stay here for as long as you like. My home is your home darling”
I couldn’t help but feel such a motherly love vibe coming off from Sandy and it made me feel so warm inside. “Thank you” I whispered appreciatively.
After being fed, Sandy pulled me away from Ray and Tom to her room where she began to throw any clothes that would fit me and told me to keep them. She didn’t have any more rooms since it was only a three bedroom house and organised for me to stay with Ray in his room. She winked at me and I blushed furiously, she couldn’t know what Ray and I have done could she?
The day went past quickly and soon enough Tom was heading out for a date and Sandy was retiring to her room. “So, want to head to bed Beauty?” Ray whispered into my ear. I shivered and bit my lip. Sleeping in bed with Ray again? I couldn’t wait and yet I knew nothing could happen considering my heavily casted leg and still recovering ribs. I nodded and instead of helping me walk down the hall Ray carefully lifted me and hooked my crutches through his fingers before striding to his room and depositing me on his bed.
“Ray, I honestly don’t know what to say... you’ve been amazing to me and your mom and Tom have helped me so much. I don’t think I could ever repay you all for everything you’ve done for me” Ray laid down next to me gripped my hip to pull me closer to him.
“We don’t do things and expect to be paid back Beauty. We do these things because we all care about you. Tom and mom know how special you are to me and you’re practically family now”
“Not like a sister, I hope” I laughed.
“No, definitely not like a sister” He burst out laughing along with me.
[Five months later]
“I don’t know... I don’t think I want to go back Ray” I argued shaking my head slightly.
For a week now Ray had been bugging me to go back and visit where my house used to be. It still hurt to think about the mass of rubble and wood that had once been my family’s home for years just lying in a heap, open to the weather. It was the day after I was discharged from the hospital when I asked Ray to take me to see what had happened and I was shocked to see how extensive the damage was! We’d been able to save a few things like my clothes and a few photos that had been kept dry from the rain but the rest was pretty much gone. I’d stayed away from there since and even though I fought hard against Ray, he took it upon himself to finance the clean up.
“It’ll be okay Beauty, I promise. I just... I just wanted to show you something” He was avoiding looking into my eyes and after living with him for a few months I instantly knew he was keeping something from me.
I stared at him for a few more seconds then sighed. “Alright... but can we go there later? I have a few appointments today but we can head over there by maybe four o’clock?”
Ray pulled me closer and I slid easily across the bed sheets and into his warm embrace. “There’s no rush Seychelles. Take your time and we’ll drive there before I take you out for dinner. How’s that?”
I snuggled deeper into his arms and pressed my head into his chest. I took comfort in hearing the steady thud thud of his heart. It was easily my favourite sound in the world and had begun to become my nightly lullaby to help me fall asleep; not that it was hard to fall asleep after the rigorous ‘exercise’ we had practically every night.
“Sounds great, what did you want to have for dinner?”
I could hear the slight smile in his voice when he answered. “I’ll surprise you”
“Not sure if I like surpri-“ I was cut off by Ray swooping down to capture my lips with his. He rolled gently so that his body hovered just over mine and bared his weight on his elbows. I was caged in, and underneath the blankets the heat began to build and build until I was sure my body was about to turn to ash.
As we kissed Ray’s rough hand trailed leisurely down my hip and continued until he reached my knee. Lifting it up swiftly, he pinned it against his hip and ground his already growing bulge against the thin material of my pyjama shorts. I could feel the fluttering in my core spread further out and the tingles began to concentrate on my n!pples. He tore his mouth away from mine and kissed down my jaw to nip at the spot he knew I loved, just below my ear. Suddenly he was gone and was lying down next to me again.
“Ray...?” I panted.
“Oh... sorry, I thought you didn’t like surprises” He grinned sending me a wink and I just gaped unattractively at him.
“Ray Hodges! You did not just tease me like that! Get back here and finish what you started!” I demanded, still a little shocked and amused, but Ray simply shook his head.
“No can do, Beauty. From what I can remember you telling me last night you have an appointment in...” He glanced at the clock hanging on the wall, “fifteen minutes” Then with a final wink he stood up from bed, all those muscles rippling teasingly, and strode over to the door.
“I’ll get your breakfast ready, beautiful. Go get ready!” He chuckled and was gone in seconds.
Okay... so maybe I do like surprises.
I had a full day of personal training. Ever since the hurricane Ray had been helping out at the gym and offering his version of personal training, which was pretty much how he trained the ‘newbies back at the base’ according to him, and turned it into a boot camp of sorts. It was a major hit because no one else in town had the same sort of training and soon enough my business was doing even better than before. Both Ray and I had been fully booked most days but strangely enough he had a completely empty day today and was free to relax at home.
It was already close to six o’clock when I dragged myself into Ray’s house and showered. After my shower I dressed in a comfortable pair of grey shorts and a loose white shirt that I’d cut to hang off my shoulder and flopped onto the bed. I was so ready to just skip dinner and pass out but a tingling sensation that had the hairs at the back of my neck stand on end made me pry my eyes lids open and gaze at the door way.
“You look exhausted” Ray smirked as he leaned in the door frame.
I closed my eyes again and smiled, “You have no idea. I was supposed to finish about two hours ago but everyone seemed to keep asking me questions or needed help and there was even a last minute PT session I gave into because the girl was absolutely desperate. Everyone seemed to have gone mad today!”
He chuckled and walked inside the room until he stood in front of me so that his legs framed mine. He leaned down and kissed my bare shoulder. “Good thing you’re used to getting kicked and punched in your sessions then. Now come on, we were supposed to go for a drive”
I mentally groaned.
“Ray please, I’m exhausted. Unless you physically carry me, I’m not moving from her- Ah!” I shrieked when Ray quickly lifted me into the air and tossed me over his shoulder. “I wasn’t being serious, Beast! Put me down! I just want to stay in bed!”
I shrieked again when Ray slapped my backside and laughed heartily. We walked down the hallway and I caught sight of Sandy walking in the front door with a grin on her face. “Going out now, darling?” She asked Ray, as though my ass wasn’t just right there for everyone to gawk at.
“Yep. See you later mom”
“Bye darling. Bye Shell!”
“Sandy! Please tell your son to put me down, I just want to stay here” I called out to her but she was already walking into the kitchen and seemed to be suppressing a smile. “Ah! Everyone is mental today!”
I finally stopped struggling when I realised that there really wasn’t any point. Ray was a beast of a man, and even if I added a few more feet to my height I still wouldn’t be able to wriggle out of his grip. He only put me to the ground when we stood outside the car and I rolled my eyes as he opened the door for me and smiled widely.
“Seriously Ray... There’s nothing to see there and that’s during the day. It’s already dark and we wouldn’t be able to see anything. I don’t understand why you’re so keen to drive us there” The drive had been awkwardly silent and Ray’s playful banter seemed to have fizzled away as we drove closer and closer to where I used to live. The familiar sound of the driveway under the tyres distracted me from the silence and as we drove around the bend my eyes popped out of their sockets.
No longer was the land an empty, desolate lot. Where there was once a simple concrete slab there now stood a beautiful, simple house that looked somewhat similar to my old house but somehow was sturdier and a little more modern. It was a cute one storey house that looked almost like a cottage with a wrap around veranda that was sheltered by the roof. A warm glow emanated from the lamps that were strategically placed around the outside and I felt tears prick at my eyes.
I turned to face Ray and saw him looking a little apprehensive. A little crease dug between his eyebrows but his eyes were wide making him look nervous yet excited at the same time. “Ray... you- you did this?” I whispered.
He nodded slowly taking my hand. “Yes. You don’t mind it do you?”
My eyes widened even further, if that was possible. “Mind...? Ray, this is the sweetest and most generous thing anyone has ever done for me! I- I can’t even....” My mouth opened and closed several times while nothing came out making me look like a fish out water as I struggled to say how I felt. When words failed for another minute I rushed forward and slammed my body against his as I pulled him down to lock our lips in a fierce kiss. “Thank you... but, I don’t think I can accept it. This must’ve cost you so much! I-“
He pressed his finger to my lips and just shook his head. “Come on, I’ll show you the inside. Now, it’s not much... I mean, it just has the necessary things but we can always add everything else later”
My eyebrows quirked at his sentence. Did he just say... ‘we’? As in... I shook my head, maybe I just imagined it.
He pulled me forward and we walked up the two steps before stepping onto the veranda. He pulled out a simple silver key with a little golden bow tied to it and handed it to me. I grinned before unlocking the door and pushed it open only to gasp at the inside. Inside, the floors were all a dark polished wood and the set up was almost similar to the other house. Ray had managed to set up a lounge complete with sofas, a coffee table and TV. Further in was the kitchen, and it was just perfect.
Ray knew I was never the type of girl who fancied extraordinary and fancy things. I found no use in having a fancy car and giant house filled with breakable and expensive objects. I much preferred the natural look and feel of everything around me, which was why I loved the beach so much, and he managed to design the house to fit my personality perfectly.
He told me he changed the house a little so it had two bathrooms and three bedrooms and showed me straight to the master bedroom. Dominating the space was a king sized bed covered in pure white sheets and filling the rest of the space was a dressing table and matching bedside tables that sat dutifully on either side of the bed. On one of the bedside tables there was a simple silver photo frame and I walked over to it to see that it was one of my favourite photos of us. It had been on one of our dates that Tom decided to crash on and we were laughing hysterically at something I couldn’t even remember when Tom took the snap shot. Ray’s arms held my back to his front and our smiles were something that couldn’t be forced or faked.
It was just natural.
“This is all just amazing, Ray. I can’t believe you did all of this! And you didn’t tell me!” Seriously, how I was not able to notice this?
He shrugged and stuffed his hands into his pockets. He was avoiding my eyes again. “Well, there’s actually something I was wondering, Beauty”
I cocked my head, “What’s that?”
“I wanted us to live together. Move into here together. It’s up to you though Seychelles because I had this place built for you... but it’s what I imagined when I was designing the place and-“
“Yes” I squeaked, a grin growing quickly on my face. “Ray that would be perfect! Yes! I would love for us to live here together!”
Suddenly, it seemed as though a weight had been lifted from his shoulders, even though he still looked tense, and a bright smile lit up his face. Oh, those dimples! Will I ever be able to get over them?! He hugged me tightly and I could already imagine us living in this perfect looking beach house together. I could see how he managed to incorporate both our personalities into the house – the natural and easy flowing set up that was similar to my other house, and the sturdy, modern securities that easily took after him.
“Hungry?” He asked.
“Now that you mention it, I am a little bit” Having had a full on day, I only managed to have a quick lunch and a banana somewhere between sessions.
He nodded, “Okay, well you relax and check out the house if you want. I’ll get dinner ready”
I nodded and looked up but he was already gone. I ventured throughout the rest of the house and with every step I fell in love with it again and again. He was right when he said it was only the necessary items. There were no decorations or any other homely touches besides the single photo frame in the bedroom, and I was getting excited at the prospect of decorating the house any way I wanted.
My stomach rumbled and I noticed that Ray had been gone for some time. I didn’t hear the car so he must still be in the house... I walked down the hallway and the first thing I noticed was the lack of anything cooking, and the second was that there was a slight breeze billowing through the dining room.
“Ray?” I called out, but there wasn’t any reply. “Ray! Where are you?”
Biting my lip I decided to follow where the breeze was coming from and found that it was from an open sliding door that led out to the beach side. Unlike the old house, once I stepped outside there were little solar powered lamps that stuck out of the sand making a pathway towards the beach. What I found curious, and positively romantic, was the trail of roses that were sprinkled in the middle of the pathway leading down to the beach, so without any hesitation I followed it.
I walked over the banks of the sand that looked over the beach and once I looked down my breath was knocked out of me like a punch to the gut. Standing barefoot in the sand was Ray with a giant heart made of rose petals sprinkled in front of him and in the middle of the heart he had placed tiny tea candles to spell out, ‘Will you marry me?’
My jaw dropped to the sand so quickly I was certain I’d lost it forever, and Ray took the opportunity to drop down to one knee and pulled a black case from his pocket. I struggled to move my legs to walk closer and when I was finally in front of him he smiled and grabbed my left hand, kissing the palm before holding it before him.
“Seychelles Roberts. My Beauty. Words cannot even describe the amount of love that beats through my body every second of the day for you. You are the most amazing woman I’ve ever met in my life and I knew from the moment that I saw you, months before you even saw me, that you were someone special; that you were the woman I could see spending the rest of my life with. Being sent back home was the best thing to ever happen to me because I got to meet you” Tears were pooling in my eyes and I stifled a sob that threatened to escape as I stared deeply into Ray’s honest eyes. “Beauty... Seychelles, would you do me the absolute honour of marrying me, and making me the happiest man that will ever walk the planet?”
My eyes dropped down to the ring that sparkled in the moon and candle light and opened my mouth. My mouth wobbled as silent words filled the air. I was so overcome and my emotions were rampaging around that I couldn’t speak! Instead of trying to talk I dropped down to my knees in front of Ray and captured his lips with mine in a kiss that spoke the words that I couldn’t seem to speak.
I felt Ray slip the cold ring onto my finger and I didn’t hesitate to push him down to the ground to let my body show him what else I wasn’t able to say.
I love him.
Sorry for the wait! I had no internet for like 3 or 4 days. People have been asking me why I was uploading the same chapters and the answer is simple – I didn’t. I think Wattpad might’ve gone crazy and did that because obviously I wouldn’t have been able to what with my lack of internet.
Also, and this is very important – This is not the last chapter!!! There will be one or two more chapter safter this!!!
Yes, I know. I’m insanely sad too :( I had no idea this story would be quite as popular as it had become, but I’m glad I wrote it out for everyone :)
Also, I changed the cover back and changed the title so it could be seen better :D
For the fan who showed me the song I wrote at the beginning... please let me know who you are. This chapter is reserved to be dedicated to you :D