Page 88 of The Keeper

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“I’m glad you love your ring, but more than that, I’m just glad you loveme, Billie Hirsch,” he says, taking my hand and bringing it to his lips for a kiss.

Oh, the romance of it all.

I’m really grateful this is being captured on video because now I’ll have it forever. I can never grow tired of reliving this beautiful moment—of the start of us.

“I do love you…so, so very much.” Pushing up on my toes, I reach for his lips with mine. “Did anyone ever tell you that you’re a real keeper, Calum Lefleur?”

“I might’ve heard it a time or two, but never from anyone who mattered…until I met this insanely talented, brilliantly gifted, gorgeous drummer for an up-and-coming garage band, I found one night after I moved to Vegas. ThankGod, I found her. She’s the only person I care to hear saying it from here on out.” And then he takes my chin in one hand, the other low at my back, tilts me deeply, and completely owns my lips. On the kiss scale? A verifiable ten.Better be some pictures of this.

But again, that’s so my Calum. He can be assuredly predictable and utterly surprising at the same time. Which makes me all the more mad for him. He’s simply perfect just being himself. I’d never want to change him anyway.

We remain on the beach, his strong arms holding me so close I swear I can feel his heartbeat, or more likely my own, thundering away in response to being in his arms. We turn our faces to the ocean for the impending sunset, watching together as the waning autumn sun slowly slips down over the water. Of course, it’s a spectacular display of oranges and pinks and every shade of violet the color spectrum has to offer, as if fully aware this is an occasion for celebration.

Mother Nature really does know how to put on a show.

We stay until the sun has disappeared below the horizon before Calum takes his guitar in one hand and my hand firmly in his other. He’s not stopped touching me once, and I don’t think he will for a while.

Which is perfectly fine with me. I don’t want him to stop touching me…ever.

We walk back to the house hand in hand to share the news with my crazy family and to light the Menorah.

But it’s a real good guess they already know.

This whole time they’ve probably been glued to the living room window, taking turns at the telescope my dad has set up in there.

Sounds about right.


song of the year

Fourteen months later.

Grammy Awards, Los Angeles

By some miracle of scheduling, I didn’t have a game today, and I don’t have one tomorrow, so I’m free to celebrate with my wife-to-be and her family after she and Love Scrum take home the lion’s share of this year’s Grammy Awards. Not even a question. It’s happening—they’re winningbigin multiple categories. They’ve already won Best New Artist, and Best Soundtrack for the songs they did for Kit’s film, and the show is not over yet.

But I’ve won big, too. Bigger, I think.

Because I’m marrying Billie over Valentine’s Day weekend in ten days, nineteen hours, and twenty-six minutes from this moment. My whole family will be there and so will hers. Also, many of my teammates (former and current) and their plus-ones will be joining in the celebration. Contrary to how I started out in Vegas, hating being there and having no friends, that’s all changed in the past year. Never would I have imagined a huge celebrity wedding event with my name attached to it, but it will be that. Billie’s parents’ Hollywood connections will be there, along with Kit’s actor celebrity crew and other big names in the filmandin the music industry. Crazy. But that’s what happens when you fall in love with a famous person. And Billie is. Her name is everywhere, and her fans are many. When Love Scrum exploded on the music scene, it blew up. Pretty much overnight. Lots and lots of attention. Which is part of the reason why we’re actually having two weddings. The big celebrity event in Malibu at the exclusive Maramigos Ranch will follow a very small intimate ceremony on Billie’s parents’ terrace overlooking the ocean and the beach where I proposed to her.

Or, more correctly, the beach where I did everythingbutpropose to her.

Like a clueless fuckin’ idiot.

Yeah, she told me later I never asked her the actual question;Billie, will you marry me?I remedied it and asked her again the next night at sunset on the terrace.

Kind of important, don’t you think? Yes, but also not a surprise I screwed up the proposal a little—or a lot—depending on who’s telling the story.

Aw, hell, at least it all worked out in the end. Billie said yes to my non-question, told me she thought it was perfect the way I did it, and continues to amaze and captivate me the longer I know her. Yet I’m still learning and working on finding new ways to show her how much I love her and how proud I am of her each and every day.

I don’t plan on stopping because the past year has been like nothing I ever imagined would fit into my well-ordered life. But it did. It’s also been more than anything I never knew I needed in my life at the same time.

I leased a house for us in the Malibu Hills owned by a big-wig producer friend of Billie’s parents who had to relocate to the UK for the foreseeable future to produce a series of franchise films. He wanted someone trustworthy living in his house. “House” not being an accurate description for the place. It’s a massive complex overlooking the coast with ocean views in one direction and city lights in the other. Lots of room for Billie to work on her music with the band in its own recording studio. A state-of-the-art home fitness center and yoga studio for our use. Tons of nature trails surround the property for mountain biking and hikes in the cooler mornings, an infinity pool for when it’s hot, and an outdoor fireplace area for lounging and watching sunsets together snuggled under a blanket in the evenings. We’ve done more than watch the sunsets out by the fireplace. What can I say, it’s private and romantic, so sometimes we get carried away.

More often than not, if I’m truthful.

Pretty crazy for a Canadian lad who spent months out of every year in the frozen north for his whole life.

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