“And if you say yes to marrying me . . .” He had to stop for a breath. “If you say yes, Georgie, we’re going to live the next five, six decades out together. We’re going to fight and make up a thousand times. And we’re going to have babies. I want to have babies with you, more than anything, because you make me believe I can. Be a father. Be a good husband to you.” He dropped his face into the base of her neck and was reassured by the chaotic rhythm of her pulse. “Say yes,” he whispered. “Please, baby girl. Be my wife.”
Moisture filled her eyes. “Yes, Travis Ford. There isn’t a single other person on this planet I could imagine those things with. I’ll marry you,” she breathed. “At least long enough for you to finish my fireplace—”
His laugh booming across the expressway, Travis wrapped her in a hug and swept her off the ground. “You said yes. Thank God.” He staggered a little. “I thought I was fucked.”
Around them, horns started to honk. One at a time, until it became a cacophony of noise. Clapping and whistling reached them through rolled-down windows. His relief and joy turned everything to a blur, though, and he promptly forgot about their surroundings, despite the loud ruckus taking place. He drew her hand up to his mouth, kissing her knuckles and palm, before sliding on the ring he’d been keeping in his shirt pocket, as even louder cheers and beeps erupted around them. Travis leaned in to breathe with an open mouth against her neck, his hands riding dangerously low on the small of her back. “You just wait until I get you home, baby girl.” He drew her up onto her toes, grazing her neck with the barest hint of teeth. “I’m going to put you against a wall and—”
“All right. I think we get the idea,” said a dry male voice.
Travis turned his head to find Stephen at the wheel of the minivan, the other man clearly battling a smile. “Fine, I’ll be your best man. You don’t have to beg.”
Travis swallowed and brushed the hair back from Georgie’s face. “Thanks, man.” He looked at Stephen. “I’ll make sure she knows every single day that she’s the air I breathe. That’s a promise.”
Suspiciously teary-eyed, Georgie’s brother gave a brisk nod and rolled up the window.
Leaving Travis and Georgie kissing on the shoulder, long after the traffic cleared.