A Summer To Never Forget

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35. Riley

If it wasn’t for Keelan asking if we were married I would have all forgotten about the ring I needed to pick up at the jewellers tomorrow.

All I needed now was a romantic way to propose to Archie. Too bad I wasn’t the most romantic person in the world. With all that had been going on with Vincent and Jasmine’s and Liam’s death, it kind of slipped my mind.

I hate to keep secrets from Archie, but I want everything to go well. I want it to be romantic, sweet and perhaps it’s a bit corny of me to think that way. Even though I know he won’t reject it, I still feel very nervous.

The ring I have chosen is quite simple, a silver band with one big stone surrounded by two smaller stones. I find it beautiful, the bigger stone stands for me and the two smaller ones on either side of the big one stand for Leah and Liam.

Simple, yet meaningful. To my absolute shame I have to confess that every time I look at the little plastic bag with the jewellers I get nervous and negative thoughts swamp my brain.

What if he says no? What if he doesn’t like it?

And more of those useless depressing thoughts. Even though we’re mates doesn’t mean he’ll accept. A lot of mates aren’t married, they find being mates is like being married and most don’t think about marriage.

To them marriage was too much of a human thing for the most of them to care for or to think about.

“What’s this? Who are you going to propose to?” I am pulled out of my musings by a female colleague who had spied the little plastic bag.

Her hand disappeared into it, intend on extracting the little box. “None of your business.” I snatch back the little plastic bag plus contents, stuffing it in the depths of my messenger bag.

She pouted at me, “Why won’t you tell me?” I rolled my eyes at her behaviour, not planning on telling her about anything. That of course only brought on the other curious looks of others on our floor, near my desk.

“Like I said none of your business.” I growl as I turn back to my desktop computer, returning to typing out my weekly report. She finally gave up in a huff and left my desk and me in peace. Printing my latest report and handing it in to my chef, I clear my desk and get ready to go home.

I was nearly out of the door when I ran into Geoffrey, Archie’s chef. Usually we just nod at each other and continue on our ways, but this time he grabbed on to my arm.

“Ah Riley wait! I have a document for Archie; he forgot it to take it with him when he left to pick up his kids.” I narrowed my eyes, those are my kids too you ass. I don’t say it out loud, accepted the document and stuffed it in my bag. Somehow Geoffrey spied the plastic bag and I saw his eyes widen

“So the rumours are true.” I glare at him, waiting for him to elaborate on the said rumours. His mouth formed the little ‘o’ most do as their mouth drops and he gasps “You don’t know?”

I snarled under my breath “I have other things to worry about than stupid rumours.” With that I extracted myself from his hold and made my way once again to the door, only to be stopped once again by Geoffrey.

“They say that you are proposing to someone, only nobody knows who it is.”

I glanced at the ceiling trying to hide my anger before turning back to him, “It’s my mate if you need to know.” He shrank back a little at my harsh words. I left before he could throw more annoying questions my way.

At home it was hard, I found it hard to juggle the kids and the fact I had to hide the ring until I had found the right place and time to pop the question.

I know that Archie knows I am hiding something from him and he didn’t know how to confront me about it. I hated seeing him like this, but I didn’t know how to deal with this so I asked for help from Sterling. He seemed more than willing to help out, he asked me to come over to his house and talk through my current plan. The plan I didn’t have. So we spend several hours, days coming up with the perfect plan to propose to Archie. In the end we decided with the classical way; a beautiful bouquet of his favourite flowers, and an awesome dinner at a chic restaurant where I would pop the question.

Now the only thing I had left to do was get Archie to agree to the date and get a babysitter to watch the kids for the time of our date. I already had the perfect babysitter in mind; Keelan. I just hoped he would agree to do it. My chance came as Archie was held back on one class and Keelan was waiting with me on him. “Keelan, can I ask you a question?” He just glanced at me from the side; he nods form me to continue. “I am going to propose to Archie this weekend at our date and I need someone to watch the kids for a few hours.” His eyes gleamed as he smiled and claps me on the shoulder, “Of course I will. I am happy to help.” And just in time too, Archie showed up. “Why are you so happy?” I grinned as I tug him against my chest. “I asked Keelan to watch the kids for a few hours as we go on our date and he agreed to do it.”

That seemed to ease Archie a little; he was worried that we wouldn’t find a babysitter on time. With this settled, Archie was looking forward to our date coming weekend. Me too, I was a little nervous that I would mess it up. I take a deep breath as I smile a little shakily at the florist as she handed me the beautiful bouquet consisting of watercress and light coloured lilies. Archie’s favourite flowers, I paid the florist who wishes me a good day as I left the shop. I had dropped the kids off at Keelan’s house before picking up the bouquet. My heart swelled as I see Archie’s eyes glisten like diamonds as I hand him the bouquet and asked him if he’s ready to go. He walks to the kitchen and puts the flowers in a vase and kisses me before slipping in the car. Checking my pocket for the box, wallet and keys, I close and lock the door.

When I pulled up to the restaurant, Archie was buzzing with excitement. It has been a while since we had a night to ourselves. Not that we blame the kids for not having time to ourselves, but they did swallow a good proportion of our time. As I called a few days earlier to make the reservation, I had told them I was going to propose to my current partner, who happened to be male. I had asked the clerk if they had problems with those things, she assured me that they didn’t. I let out a breath of relief and made the reservation. The clerk told me she had given us one of the best tables in the restaurant, she told me her chief had insistent on it.

A smiling clerk waits for us as we walked up to the raised little platform she was standing on, “Welcome to the dessert Rose, how can I help you gentlemen?” I step forward, licking my lip “I have a reservation for two under the name Woods.” Her eyes brighten as she checked our name on the list, “Please follow me.” We walk through most of the restaurant until the clerk stops in front of a table for two on a raised dais, overlooking the rest of the restaurant. Archie’s eyes nearly popped out of his skull as we take our seats and he looks around the romantic styled restaurant. “This is beautiful.” He whispered, fighting to hold back his tears. “Your waiter will be with you shortly.” With one last smile the clerk returns to her station. I grabbed Archie’s hand and squeezed it slightly, showing my support. “Hello, my name is Stephanie and I will be your waiter tonight. Would you like to see the menu or do you want to wait a little longer?”

Archie looked up at her, “We would like to see the menu please.” Smiling she handed us our menus, “I will let you pick and come back in a little while.” We both silently scan the menu “What are you getting?” Archie sounded nervous; he must have picked up on my own tension. I blow out a deep breath, “I think I will have the Carpaccio as a starter, the mushroom ravioli as the main and the chocolate cake as dessert.” Archie nodded his head as he closed his menu “Then I will take the same.” His eyes shine like stars as he glances at me with so much love in his gaze, I blushed to the roots of my hair. Not much later Stephanie popped up once more to take our orders, after penning down our orders and drinks she tells us our order will come soon.

We talk about everything and nothing through the starter and main, my hands start to sweat as we wait on our dessert. “What is it Riles? Why are you so nervous?” You will be fine. My panther soothes my nerves and I think what the heck as I finger the box in my pocket. I feel pride of my panther radiate through my as I grab Archie’s hand and slink down on one knee, making him gasp and hold his hand in front of his mouth. I look up to him and see the waiter with our dessert wait for me to ask the question. “Archron Phury Cole, will you do me the honour of becoming my husband?” I hold out the open box, you could hear a pin drop as asked that question; it was as if the whole restaurant was holding its breath. Archie is quiet for a while before letting out an inhuman sound as he flings himself at me. “OF COURSE I WILL!!” I chuckle as he cries and peppers my face with kisses. The majority of the restaurant claps and cheers for us, bringing Archie’s attention back that we’re in a crowded restaurant.

Blushing fiercely Archie hides his face in my neck as I get back up and in my chair just as the waiter brought our dessert. “Congratulations Sirs. Please enjoy your dessert, it’s on the house.” I soothingly rubbed circles on Archie’s back, making soothing noises. Archie calmed down enough to admire the ring I finally slipped on his ring finger. We enjoy our dessert before asking for the check, I pay Stephanie a hefty tip as we leave the restaurant smiling and waving at the clerk near the door.

Archie is beaming on the ride home, making me grin. Once we get home its midnight, I decide to call Keelan to let him know we will pick the kids up tomorrow. A satisfied purr leaves my chest as Archie hugs me tightly and kisses my lips repeatedly. “I love the fact that the ring represents our family.” We’re in bed and Archie is still admiring the shiny ring. “I felt like you would like this one better than a fancier ring.” I rumble in his ear, nuzzling the side of his head. Keelan smirks the next day as we come by to pick up the kids. “So he accepted huh?” He rumbles quietly under his breath as Archie beaming tells his mother, sister and our kids about the whole thing.

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