“No seducing me. I need to tell you what I’ve been thinking about.”
“Okay. I’m listening.”
“I think I was wrong about the whole marriage thing. At first, I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to marry a woman that doesn’t have long left to live.”
“You know I don’t care about–”
“Shh. Let me finish, please.”
He nodded, giving her thigh a squeeze, and she swallowed hard, knowing that he wasn’t going to like her terms.
“I meant it when I said that I want you to have a lifetime of happiness, which is why I’ll say yes to marrying you on one condition.”
“Yes, you deserve to wake up beside someone every single day and snuggle up before work. You need someone to make sure you eat a decent meal in the evening and support all of your grandiose DIY projects that make sense to nobody except you. So, I’ll marry you. Not because I’m dying, but because I want you to know how important you are to me and how much I love you.”
His eyes swam with tears as he listened to her.
“As long as you promise that you’ll marry someone else after I’m gone.”
“Dammit Sophia, why do you always have to do this? Does your illness have to define every moment of our lives? I don’t want you to marry me in some sort of twisted ploy to get me to think about life after you.”
“But it is something you need to think about,” she pointed out.
“Never. There’s no after. That’s what you need to understand. There’s no before and no after, it’s just us. Forever. You’re my first, last, and every second in between.”
Although her stomach clenched as he punched out the words with what would look like aggression to anyone who didn’t know him. Perhaps, to anyone that wasn’t Sophia. But Brodie didn’t have an aggressive bone in his sculpted body.
His anger was at the situation, not at her.
“You’re not being realistic,” she accused him.
“Is that what you want? Realism? Okay.” He bowed his head and took a forkful of chicken, chewing it slowly enough to formulate his thoughts. “The reality is that one of the reasons I fell in love with you was because reality bored you. Your head was always in the clouds, dreaming up ideas to create the perfect events. It’s why your business is so successful; you think outside the box. I’m the logical one. I know you hate that, but there’s your reality. You’re the creative thinker with the big dreams. The one that makes me believe anything is possible.”
“Anything is possible,” she muttered under her breath, but not so low he wouldn't hear.
“Exactly. You have to still believe that. However much you pretend like you don’t, I know that somewhere deep inside; you do.”
“Maybe anything, except getting better.”
“Anything isanything.” He took another forkful of food and placed down his cutlery on the table.
“Will you at least agree to think about my terms?”
“Will you agree to marry me if I say yes?”
Sophia’s head nodded of its own accord and Brodie pushed his plate away, grinning from ear to ear.
He took both her dainty hands in his own and pulled Sophia to her feet.
“Holy shit, the hottest woman in the world just said she’s going to be my wife.”
“Stop it. I know what I look like.” She rolled her eyes, and he caught her chin in his hand, tipping upwards enough to bring their gazes to alignment.
“Stunning.” He drew the word out as though to make her believe it and landed a kiss on her so delicately that she almost did.