With a curse he looked down at the ear plugs in my hands. “If we get in an accident because I have these bloody things in, then I’m blaming you.”
“You won’t. Just keep your eyes on the road.”
“Trust me, I don’t want to watch the peep show in the backseat.”
“Peep show?” Alyssa said, joining us again.
“Someone really needs to stop interrupting conversations,” Jaymeson grumbled then stomped to the car and got in the front seat.
“Hey.” I tugged Alyssa’s hand. “Can we talk?”
“On the way to the airport.” I opened the car door for her. “Jaymeson has ear plugs in.”
“Is that even safe?”
“It’s not super dark yet.” I shrugged. “We should be fine. Besides it’s not as if you and I can’t hear, I just…” I swallowed back the dryness in my throat. “It’s important that we talk about something.”
“Fine.” She gave me a weak smile and got into the car.
Wow, that was a great start.
I waited until we were on the highway and then grabbed Alyssa’s hand. It seemed like we’d lived a thousand lifetimes together. I mean, how many shitty things had we dealt with together over the last year? I wanted to marry her. I really did. I wanted to be with her forever. I think part of me was still scared of commitment, not that I actually wanted to say that to the girl I loved.
Anyone — and I do mean anyone — in my position would be feeling the same thing. After all, I went from drug-addicted, suicidal maniac to sober, group-counseling marriage material — all within the course of a year. It was fast, and I knew that. In the long run I didn’t want to be the type of guy who jumped into marriage just because I loved someone — not when I wasn’t sure I was actually able to offer all of myself without hesitation.
Because marriage didn’t just affect me, it affected her and I’d be damned if I put her through heartache she didn’t deserve.
“Lyss,” I began, my voice cracking.
“Don’t,” she whispered. “I just, I know you want to talk Demetri, and I know we need to discuss things. I’m just not in the mood to fight, you know? Not after seeing such a beautiful ceremony. Not after experiencing what we did last night. Can we just… not talk?”
“I think that’s the first time a girl’s ever asked to make out with me…” I joked.
Alyssa rolled her eyes but I could see a small smile forming on her lips, she pressed them together and looked out the window.
“Trying to hide your amusement?” I grasped her chin and tilted her face towards mine.
“Ass.” She sighed, lips trembling.
“Come on, you love this ass.”
Full-on laughter escaped her lips. “Ugh, I hate how easy it is to forget when I’m hurt or angry or upset with you.”
“I don’t ever want you to feel like you can’t talk to me, Lyss, but honestly? I’m glad you don’t stay upset for long. I’m not sure my heart could take it. You’re my entire world; therefore, all my focus is always going to be on making you happy, and trying to distract you from moments when I’m a complete jack ass.”
She sighed heavily. I waited for her to say something; instead she kissed me lightly across the mouth. “Kiss me, Demetri Daniels. Make me forget I’m upset with you.”
“My pleasure,” I whispered against her pink lips.
I was naked.
And I was already pregnant.
So I should have been totally fine with the fact that Alec specifically asked for me to wear nothing. He even gave me a time limit. Five minutes and he was coming back into the hotel room.
The man was insane! He’d helped me out of my dress then turned when it fell from my body. He’d said something about ’do overs’, which to be honest, I wasn’t really sure I was comfortable with. As far as I was concerned, I didn’t want a ’do over’, I just wanted him.
A knock sounded at the door.
I took a few deep breaths and answered, “Come in.”
The door opened and closed so fast I jumped in my chair.
“Perfect,” Alec’s dark voice radiated throughout the room causing me to tremble in my chair. He took a few steps toward me and then stopped.
I watched as his eyes drank me in — all of me.
Uncomfortable, I started to shift in my chair.
“Don’t.” His voice was hoarse; he tugged his shirt from his pants and began slowly unbuttoning. With each button my breathing picked up until finally he threw his shirt onto the ground.
And my husband was a god. Guys shouldn’t be so good-looking; they shouldn’t have such ripped abs that they looked airbrushed. His blue eyes darkened as my chest rose and fell with effort to remember to breathe.
“Look at me,” he coaxed.
I licked my lips as he unbuckled his belt and then dropped his pants to the ground leaving nothing but his briefs and muscle… if he got bored with singing he could always support us by being an underwear model. I gripped the chair as he walked toward me.
I expected a kiss.
Instead he traced the curve of my face with his fingers and grabbed my hand. “I said a ’do over’… what I meant was…” He closed his eyes, his jaw flexed. “I wish I would have waited until tonight to see you like this for the first time. Regrets suck, you know that? But in the end, I can’t bring myself to regret being with you, to regret giving myself to you, or to even regret that we got pregnant.” His eyes opened. “Look at me, Nat.”
“I am.” My voice shook.
“Good.” His smile was slow, his voice purposeful. “I vow to always look at you like this.” He knelt so that we were at eye level. “I vow to love you forever. I vow to take care of you when you’re sick. I swear to love you even when you put on weight. I promise to protect you, to provide for our family… but the biggest promise, the biggest commitment I believe a man can make, is to vow to treasure his wife above all else. So, right now, my ’do over’, my gift, my vow, my promise, my oath — is to keep you first. When I wake up, my first thought will be Nat.”
He reached for my head and cupped my chin. “Nat, the first word on my lips, the first person I think of in the morning, and the last person I think of when I close my eyes. My world has shifted — I don’t want to be in the center. Instead, I want to revolve around you. I choose to make you first and me second. I choose to put your needs above my own. Never will you have an insecure day. From this moment on you’ll always be perfectly secure in who you are, because my love for you won’t have it any other way.”
Warm tears streamed down my cheeks. “I like that promise.” I tried to keep myself from full-on sobbing… pregnancy hormones and all that.
He wiped some of my tears and then kissed me hard on the mouth, only pulling back to say “I love you” over and over again. Alec picked me up from the chair and carried me to the bed, kissing every inch of my body until I was so high from his touch that I was convinced I was going to explode.
“What’s your name?” Alec asked as his lips grazed my ear. He hovered over me and moved his left hand up my thigh.
“Your name,” he growled, pulling my body underneath his so that we fit perfectly. That’s what I’d been missing, his body and mine moving together in perfect sync.
“Not good enough.” I felt lost as his body left mine. And then his mouth was on the inside of my thigh. I nearly jumped off the bed.
Clenching the sheets between my hands, I tried desperately to hold on to my sanity — but that was basically impossible, especially with a naked rock star in bed with me.
My world exploded just as Alec asked for the third time, “Your name?”
“That’s my girl.” He chuckled and then all la
The ride to the airport went way too fast. I wasn’t ready to stop kissing Alyssa. Hell, I wasn’t ready to go on tour yet, but I’d screwed around long enough for the last year. It was time to finally go back to work.
We made our way through security without being recognized by too many people. It helped that we were technically supposed to be at my brother’s wedding still. We’d planned it that way so we didn’t get hounded. Besides it was around nine at night, so the airport wasn’t exactly buzzing with lots of people.
Alyssa and I were able to board early since we were in first class — something I always insisted on when we flew together. I couldn’t care less where I sat, but I wanted her to be comfortable and happy. Shit, I’d learn how to fly a plane if I knew it would make her happy.
“Can I get you anything, Mr. Daniels?” The flight attendant smiled at me and completely ignored Alyssa. I reached for her hand just as she stood up and walked past the flight attendant, going into the tiny bathroom and locking the door behind her. “So?”
I sighed. “I’m good with water, though I think my girlfriend may need a shot of whiskey after she realizes what I’m about to do.”
“About to do?” A confused expression crossed the flight attendant’s face.
“Yup.” I nodded. “I need a favor.”
She smiled. “What kind of favor?”
I grinned in return and nodded my head. “The big kind.”
By the time the flight took off I was nervous as hell. The flight attendant got everything ok’d by the pilot, which meant I was really going through with my insane plan. To make matters worse, the flight was completely booked — over three hundred people were going to be witness to my display. Hopefully Alyssa would be receptive, or it was going to get a hell of a lot more awkward for everyone.
Once we were at our cruising altitude, the flight attendant nodded her head at me.
I stood and pretended to stretch. Alyssa was so absorbed in her magazine she didn’t even notice that I’d opened up the storage compartment and pulled out my ukulele.
Shaking like someone who’d never done a live performance in his life, I walked to the front of the plane where the flight attendant held up the PA. I grabbed it and cleared my throat.
“Hey, everyone…” I sounded like I’d just hit puberty. Great. “I was just wondering if I could get everyone’s attention for a bit. You see—” Alyssa looked up, her eyes widening in horror. Determination soared through my body. “You see there’s this girl.”
“Always is,” a man said from the front row.
I laughed. “This girl, she’s everything to me, and well… I want her to know how much I love her — she needs to realize that she’s my life, my soul, my everything — but here’s the thing. As a musician, it’s hard for me to convey with mere words what I really feel. I mean, how does a person describe the sunset to someone who’s never seen it? How do you describe love when what you feel is so incredible that you can’t form words? Honestly, I’m convinced words that describe how I feel about Alyssa — they only exist in Heaven, not here. So, with that being said… Lyss, I choose you.”
I dropped… handed over the PA, pulled off my hat and sunglasses and began strumming my ukulele. Clearly people were beginning to figure out who I was, considering gasps were heard and then camera phones were lifted into the air.
When we’re born into this world, we don’t really get a say. Little boys and little girls handed brand new families. There comes a time in life when we finally get to choose. And I choose you. I choose you.
I walked slowly down the aisle and got down on one knee as I continued to strum the song by Andy Grammer, hopefully he’d be cool with my cover.
We can’t give our two cents of how tall we want to be, we don’t get an opinion on our ethnicity, but the one we spend our life with, that we get to choose. I choose you. I choose you.
I choose you to be by my side.
I choose you to hold me at night.
It’s the biggest decision, I’m about to get right, and I choose you. I choose you.
I played the next verse as people began to hold their cell phones in the air waving them back and forth like they were at an acoustic concert. Alyssa watched me sing, tears pooling in her eyes.
Everybody has one. A choice they have to make. Half human half heaven, that decides the family tree.
I repeated the chorus and then stopped playing at the bridge. This time I put the ukulele down, reached for her hands, and finished the song a cappella.
I was worried I wouldn’t know what to do when I was in these shoes, kneeling here it’s clearer than the sky is blue, that I choose you, I choose you. With so little we control, thank God it’s in the rules, we get to choose and I choose you.
My voice cracked at the end as I released her hands and reached into my pocket. Shaking, I pulled the box out and opened it, revealing the Tiffany’s ring I’d bought a while ago.
Alyssa gasped and put her hands over her face.
“Lyss,” I whispered. “I’m not eloquent. We can agree on that. I’d like to think I’m romantic, but honestly, right now — I’m just done. I can’t… I can’t put into words how I feel, what you do to me, how much I love you. Love seems like such a weak word. It doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about you. You’ve started a fire in me, and I’m freaking obsessed with the slow, painful burn. I choose you. I choose us. Will you be my wife? Will you choose me too?”
Holy shit. I was about two seconds away from passing out.
Alyssa nodded and then her arms flew around my neck as she knocked me over onto my ass. “I can’t believe — I can’t! Agh, I love you!” Her lips found mine and the plane erupted into cheers as I held her body tight. “You ass,” she whispered into my ear.
I fell back laughing as she grabbed the box from my hands and put the ring on her finger. Her smile fell.
“What?” I reached for her face. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” More tears streamed down her face. “It’s just that… this is the ring I wanted. Did Jaymeson tell you? How’d you know?”
Embarrassed, I looked down.
I kissed her mouth and sighed against it. “Jaymeson didn’t tell me. I saw the ring in the window, and I couldn’t stop looking at it. For some reason it drew me in and I knew I had to buy it, because I had the same reaction when I met you.”
“You wanted to buy me?”
“Among other things,” I teased. “But mainly, I just wanted to be near you. I wanted to be in your atmosphere. You drew me to you and I was hopelessly lost the minute you told me your name, and again when you made me taffy, and again and again. Every kiss was like a part of my heart was getting ripped from my chest, and in return a part of you was getting fused with my soul. I never want to be apart from you, Lyss, and that’s the truth.”
We helped each other to our seats as people congratulated us, and more clapping ensued.
“I don’t get it.” Lyss’s brow furrowed. “Why were you being so shady in the hot tub?”
“Panicked. I had the ring in my pocket, so I didn’t want you to know that I was getting ready to propose soon.”
“So you decided to freak me out instead?”
“Never said I was the smartest rock star on the planet.”
“Nope, but you are the hottest.” She grinned and grabbed my hand. “I love you Dem.”
“Love you too, sweetheart.”
I drove back from the airport faster than the speed limit allowed, but I was bored as hell and horny as a teenager. There were willing females still waiting at the hotel — and I was going to be the one they were willing with.
I slammed on the brakes as a deer ran out in the middl
The temperature was oddly warm, especially for Oregon. I could almost believe it was California, you know, if you took away the crisp bite that was still present in the air.
Finally, I took the exit for Canon Beach, counting down the minutes until I was able to park the car, grab a couple of tequila shots and a willing woman who’d most likely Tweet about our one night stand the minute it was finished.
My gut clenched at the thought.
I ignored my gut, just like I ignored my heart and everything else in my damn life. I didn’t do relationships. It was like a sick four letter world to me. No way was I going to end up like my parents, divorced, unhappy, bitter, and about one plastic surgery away from dying on the table with a permanent smile on my plastic face.
I shuddered as I pulled into the parking lot and half-jogged toward the hotel. I pulled open the door to the lobby and ran right into another person.
“Apologies,” I muttered, then paused.
Priscilla’s giant brown eyes stared back at me turning into raging storm of irritation before she rolled them and pushed against my chest. “Just watch where you’re going next time.”
“I said I was sorry,” I snapped.
“You’re right.” She crossed her arms. “Apology accepted.”
“Have fun with whoring around tonight.”
“Wait.” I grabbed her arm. “Kind of harsh, don’t you think?”
She peered around me and smirked. “Kind of honest.”
I turned to see where she was looking and saw not one, not two, not even three, but around ten girls all in short skirts and skanky heels sipping wine at the hotel bar and throwing me sexy glances.
With a grin I waved.
All ten waved back.
Priscilla groaned and moved past me.
I reached out and grabbed her arm again, totally not on purpose. It was more of a reflex, or something.
“What?” She jerked back. “You need help with the harem?”