“I’ll tell him,” he said, leaning forward to kiss her cheek. “Give my love to Kalila. I take it she is still busy with her studies?”
Aaralyn frowned, marring her perfect features. “Yes, she is. I have not a clue as to why she wanted to have an education. Alas, she inveigled it out of us. Anyway, we must go; Elandra has a dress fitting in an hour.”
Ellie grimaced, which Aaralyn judiciously ignored. Aaralyn held Robert briefly in a one-armed hug, which he returned. She turned and left the house.
“So that’s Aaralyn,” Beth said after the door closed.
“It is,” Robert confirmed with a smile. He came closer to her, wrapping his arms loosely around her waist. “We have quite a while until Jay gets here. Do you want to go and see your mum?”
“When do you want to go?”
“Not now, in a little bit. Will you make me some lunch first?”
“Of course. What would you like?”
“Bacon, if there is any. And bread and butter, please.”
“That can be arranged. Come on,” he said before kissing her and leading her to the kitchen.
She sat down at the breakfast bar and watched Robert move around the kitchen. He opened the grill and got some bacon out of the fridge.
“Three?” she shrugged.
He nodded and placed three rashers on the grill. He came to sit opposite her. He seemed nervous, for some reason that Beth couldn’t work out. She watched him curiously. When his eyes met hers, she blushed and smiled slightly. He was thinking about something, she could see it in his eyes. She frowned slightly.
“What’s wrong?” she asked him.
“Nothing’s wrong,” he said quietly.
Beth frowned again, but he wasn’t lying. He just wouldn’t. He seemed to reach his decision and reached over, taking one of her hands in his. Everything that followed was in slow motion.
Robert reached into his pocket and pulled something out, pausing a moment before placing it on the bar and sliding it across to her. Beth looked at the little box, then up at him, unable to help her shocked expression.
“Open it,” he whispered.
Beth was paralysed, unable to move or speak.
“Open it,” he said again.
She pulled her hand from his, slowly. She picked up the small, blue box, feeling the velvet underneath her fingertips. She glanced up at Robert. He was holding his breath, his eyes glittering with hope and anticipation.
She opened the box and gasped, her hand shooting up to her mouth. The glittering diamond stuck on the thin band was exactly what she had suspected, but it still shocked her.
“Marry me, Beth,” Robert said softly.
She looked up at him, still unable to speak. The silence that settled was buzzing with anticipation.
“Yes,” she whispered, her throat thick with tears of happiness. “Oh, Robert, yes, I’ll marry you.”
He was beside her in less than a second and he was squeezing her in his arms. His lips found hers and she could feel his overwhelming joy.