The Pucking Wrong Guy: Chapter 28

ARI

We lost in the first round. And even though I’d expected it, it still hurt like hell. I’d stressed for days, waiting to hear if Dallas was interested in getting me back. And when the call came from my agent, assuring me that the Knights were ready to do whatever it took to bring both Walker and me on board, it felt like a million pound bowling ball had been lifted off my chest. Now I just had to do the long wait until July to make it official when free agency kicked off.

I felt guilty that the Cobras would be losing us both, an unfamiliar feeling to be sure. They had been good to me, and I knew they wanted me to sign a contract to stay on—they’d been hounding Remi’s phone every day.

My path was set though, just like it had been all those years ago when I’d met Blake. Some things were just meant to be.

And me playing with Linc in Dallas was one of them.

But there was a lot of time between now and July, and today, I only had one thing on my mind…proposing to Blake.

Yes, she was already my wife. And no, that was never going to change.

But I hadn’t exactly proposed last time, so I’d planned something special tonight at the Griffith Observatory.

I didn’t know why I was so fucking nervous. There was only one answer she could give me tonight.

I already had that girl locked down.

But I wanted to do this for her, and I wanted it to be perfect.


Blake

Ari was always surprising me, so when he mentioned he had something special planned for the night, I hadn’t thought twice about it. Or at least he hadn’t given me a chance to think twice about it. We’d been in bed all afternoon, and I’d had so many orgasms I was having trouble remembering my name.

We drove through the winding roads, finally heading up a steep hill before I realized where we were going.

”The Griffith Observatory?” I asked, sitting up in my seat to stare at the scene in front of us. It was one of those tourist things that I should have done already, but I hadn’t ever set aside time. The observatory itself was a majestic sight, perched atop a hill, commanding a breathtaking view of the city below.

We parked the car and made our way up the steps to the entrance. The architecture was awe-inspiring, a blend of Art Deco and modern design that was both elegant and timeless.

Inside, we explored the fascinating exhibits, all about astronomy and the universe.

“You know a lot more about astronomy than I would expect,” I mused as Ari pointed out pictures of various constellations and celestial objects as we strolled through the halls.

“Mmmh, for some reason, I caught the stargazing bug when I was young…and it never quite went away,” he said with a wink.

I raised an eyebrow, but then a shot of a black hole caught my eye and I forgot what he’d said.

But the real surprise awaited us outside. As we reached the observatory’s rooftop, the night sky stretched out above us, its velvet glory sprinkled with a million twinkling stars. Ari had arranged for someone to set up a cozy little spot with blankets and cushions, complete with a high-quality telescope pointed at the heavens.

I turned to him with a curious smile, my heart skipping a beat. ‘Are we going stargazing?’

Ari’s eyes sparkled in the moonlight as he nodded. ‘We are,” he said quietly.

As I settled down on the cushions, Ari adjusted the telescope, and I took everything in. The soft glow of city lights below us, the serenity of the night, and the promise of countless stars above painted a picture of sheer perfection.

He laid down beside me and we stared into the night sky, our fingers entangled together.

“I loved you from the moment I saw you,” he murmured suddenly, and my breath skipped as I turned my head away from the sparkling heavens, and towards his face…where the view was even better.

“Really?”

He turned to gaze at me too, his hand coming up to stroke my cheek. “Twelve years old and I was done. Finished. I’d found what I wanted forever. It would seem silly if someone else told me that. But it happened to me.”

I grabbed his hand to still it, and rubbed my cheek against his rough palm.

I’d always associated that group home with the start of everything bad that had happened to me. But I’d recently realized through therapy how much good there’d been too. I’d lost Ari there. But I’d also found him too. And that was how I was going to start thinking about that.

“I haven’t gone stargazing since I left the group home,” I murmured, frowning. “I think it hurt too much, because I associated it…with you.”

“I was a cheesy fucker back then, wasn’t I?” he grinned, and I snorted, bringing his hand from my face to my chest so I could snuggle against it.

“You’re still a cheesy fucker. But I love it,” I said, leaning forward to give him a kiss.

‘Ari, do you think I’m going to be sad forever?’

Words from the past hit me hard.

“Blake, are you alright?” Ari asked, and I realized I’d been hovering above his lips…not saying anything.

“I’m not sad anymore,” I whispered.

“What?”

“I’m not sad anymore. We were stargazing as little kids and I asked you if you thought it would last forever. And all this time…it has. But it’s gone now.” Tears slipped down my cheeks. “You did it.”

He studied me, so much love in his gaze that it was hard to breathe.

“I don’t think I can take all the credit, sunshine,” he said gently.

And it was crazy that that was true.

Since that day where I’d started to take control of my life…I hadn’t cut and I hadn’t purged…I hadn’t even weighed myself. I’d told myself “I was perfect” every single day in the mirror…whether Ari was inside me or not.

I’d gone to therapy every week faithfully, even when it sucked, or it hurt.

I had shown up for myself every day.

And of course, Ari had showed up for me too.

He was beaming as we stared at each other. There was no one more proud of me than him.

But it was even better that I was finally proud of myself too.

He pushed up from the cushions, his face paling a bit as he stared down at me. “Just to let you know, we’re already married. And we’re staying that way.”

I gazed up at him, confused, before I sat up too, kneeling with him. “What? What’s wrong?”

He pulled a violet colored, brocade box out of his pocket and opened it, revealing a diamond encrusted wedding band, one that would fit perfectly with the huge rock that hadn’t left my finger since we’d reunited.

“Oh, Ari–”

“Blake, as you’re well aware, you’re already my wife. But I’ve had a speech planned since the moment I saw you on that billboard, how I was going to ask you to marry me. And I didn’t get the chance to say it…”

He grinned, because he knew as well as I did, that was the understatement of the century for what had happened that night.

Ari went on unrepentantly, and I shook my head in amusement.

“So we’re doing a redo tonight…if that’s alright.”

I nodded, already emotional, because I loved him so freaking much.

“Sunshine. I fucking love you. I’m obsessed with you. You’re all I see. You’re my past, my future…you’re everything. I saw you at twelve years old, Blake, and my soul recognized you. Realized you belonged to me. In every circumstance, in every life…I would have found you. I know that, with every fiber in my being.”

“Ari,” I whispered, the world blurring from my tears–it was just so nice that they were actually happy ones for once.

“I made you a promise once, that I would spend the rest of my life making you happy. And even though you’re doing a damn fine job of doing that yourself…it will still be my honor to ensure all your dreams come true. So, Mrs. Lancaster…”

I giggled, because it was a little odd to have a marriage proposal when you already had the groom. And his last name.

“And please remember, you only have one real option for your response,” he reminded me as he pulled the band from the box and reached for my finger. “Will you do me the honor of letting me make you happy for the rest of our lives?”

He slipped the band on my finger so it fit against my other ring.

“Yes. A thousand, million times yes,” I cried as I fell into his arms.

He made love to me after that, beneath a sky laced with glittering, hopeful stars…courtesy of paid off staff that knew the area was off limits while we had the place.

And I knew I was the luckiest girl in the world.

Nine months ago, I’d been in the wrong life with the wrong guy.

And I hadn’t realized any of it.

Ari Lancaster was proof that miracles–and soulmates–existed. And I said a thank you to the heavens every night that he’d seen that billboard that day and moved heaven and earth to find me.

Every tear, every cut, every ache. It had somehow brought us here.

And as the great Taylor Swift said, all’s well that ends well to end up with

The pucking right guy.

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