Alex sat down but he was distant. He wouldn’t look at me. “I know you are waiting on me to leave,” I said.
“It’s what you do,” Alex snipped.
I sighed. “Do you want me to promise to never leave you?”
He turned his blue eyes on me and I saw tears building up in them and I just wanted to kiss them away. “You promised me you’d never leave me before.”
“In a dream?”
Alex nodded. “It was after we’d had sex for like the third time. You professed your love even though you didn’t know me really. Said you’d never leave me. That even though you didn’t remember me you’d never leave. But you did. That night, every night since. And then I find out you’re my fucking soul mate and when I tried to make it real, you left me again.” Alex shook his head when I started to interrupted. “I know it was a misunderstanding, now, but it hurt. It still hurts Nox. Every night since I’ve known you you leave me.”
“So is that what you want Alex? You want this to be over? To be done with me for good. You tell me something that you think will devastate me so that I’ll end it?”
Alex looked down. “Maybe subconsciously.” He spoke almost too quiet to hear him, “I don’t want you to leave me.”
I got up and I grabbed Alex’s right hand and slipped the ring off his finger. He was glaring at me now, but I got down on one knee and I did the only thing Alex might understand how fucking serious I was. I held the ring in the palm of my hand, I didn’t have a fancy box. “I’ve loved you for as long as I can remember Alex. You were my first everything, and I’ve had a lot of everything in between then and now, and I know without a doubt I want you to be my last everything. Marry me?” by this time we had an audience, people were watching us.
I was publicly declaring my love for him and doing the big human thing. And Alex stared at me like I had done something completely out of character. “Nox…”
The whole place was waiting on a bated breath and I started to panic. My heart was racing and I felt the familiar sting of rejection and I knew I’d made a mistake. I closed my eyes and felt the tear slide down. Alex brushed it away with the tip of his finger and leaned down. “Yes,” he whispered for my ears only and took the ring from my hand and slid it on his finger. “But we need to talk about this.”
The crowd cheered and Alex pulled me up into his arms and wrapped his arms around me. It wasn’t a happy embrace everyone thought it was, it was Alex comforting me panic attack and I knew it. He spoke softly in my ear, “Aren’t we a pair of fucked up idiots.”
I nodded against him as I took the smell of him, and the warmth of his body into me. He was my home – forever and always.
Alex pulled me to my feet and grabbed the brownie, “Let’s walk.”
I took my coffee and we left to another round of applause.People always like the sappy. We walked a few blocks before Alex laughed, “This is not what we talked about.” He lifted his hand with the ring on it holding my own.
I gave him a weak smile. “You needed a big gesture Alex. I can’t get any bigger than that. Nothing has changed except your acknowledgement that you heard me when I said I’m not going anywhere. That’s all this changes.”
“Not exactly how I expected my proposal to go,” Alex said.
“And how was it supposed to go?” I asked dryly.
“Well first of all I was supposed to be doing the asking, and you were supposed to done up all fancy and we’d be out to eat at some expensive restaurant and I’d have it all planned out perfectly. You, me, candles and mouth watering food. Instead I get a coffee and a brownie I don’t even like.”
I laughed, “Sorry to disappoint you. So, this is my commitment to you Alex. Nothing more. Slow and steady still. When you want to do the thing, you ask me,” I said simply.
“Get married, the whole human ceremony and all that.”
“What, Venatori don’t get married?”
“Not in the same way. Dorian’s married in that sense, the whole wedding and all that. But his parents aren’t. They are married by human law, for taxes and record purposes, they signed a piece of paper that said they were a union and that their property was joint, basically all that it is for us. Our stipends adjust based on family size, our living arrangements and such. But it’s paperwork.”
“So this is just paperwork to you?”
“That is not what I said. If you want the big wedding, the fancy ball room reception with the cake and the band, and the presents. I’m all in, Alex. I won’t wear a dress, but I’ll wear whatever else you want me to, I’ll walk down the aisle and my Dad can even give me away. I get you’re traditionalist about this all. I want to make you happy. You can wear my ring on the other hand. Alex, that was my promise to you. I’m not going anywhere, and the only way I can prove it to you is to do the big thing. I proposed. You agreed mostly to keep me from freaking out, I get it. But I’m not going anywhere.”
“Anyone ever tell you, you talk too much?”
“All the time.” I grinned at him.
“I promise you, when I’m ready to do the thing, I’ll propose the right way.”
“Was mine really all that wrong?” I asked.
Alex wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me against him. “No pretty boy, it was perfect. Perfectly timed, in the perfect place, at the perfect moment. We have a lot to work through.”
I nodded. “But we can do it together,” I added and Alex hummed his agreement as he stuffed a piece of brownie in my mouth.