Adam's gaze strayed to his jeans wadded up on the floor, and his heart fluttered with renewed nerves. “Wait.” He didn't move with Rhone. With a tug against his partner's hold, their twined fingers separated. “Give me a minute.” Looking into Rhone's pale eyes, Adam worried the inside of his lower lip. “I'll...” While pointing at the door, he took a step back. “I'll make sure everything is locked up tight, and then I'll join you.”
Rhone's stare narrowed, but when he opened his mouth, he just said, “Okay. Don't be long. I'll get the shower going.”
After Rhone disappeared into their bedroom, Adam gathered up the used convenience packet of lube, tossed it in the trash can under the desk, and then emptied the contents of the front pocket of his jeans into his hand. Among the loose change and a folded slice of wrapped gum, the band of black enamel with a thin line of matte silver running down the center winked up at him like the brightest of stars.
God, Adam had something so great going with Rhone right now. More than he ever could have imagined or hoped for when their relationship had changed from best friends to lovers two years ago. More than he would have dared dream twelve years ago when Rhone caught Adam trying to steal his cell phone and offered him a job in his business--Quinn Security and Investigations--part of which Adam now owned, along with Rhone, his brother, Canin, and Canin's wife, Kasey.
Adam loved Rhone so goddamned much. He shook just thinking about pushing for a change in their relationship and possibly scaring Rhone away.
You want it, Reyes. You've wanted Rhone for your own in every way from practically the day you met.
In his mind, Adam could hear Rhone on the night their relationship took this new, intimate turn. “Be the man I know you are and tell me what you want
Now, Rhone's voice drifted to him through the walls of their apartment. “Adam? Where are you? Get your fucking sweet ass in the shower right now!”
Adam let his jeans fall to a heap on the floor, then dropped the change and gum too, and slipped the band on his thumb. “I can do this.” He psyched himself up under his breath, strode through the bedroom, and then into the bathroom before the shaking got so bad Rhone would think he was ill rather than nervous and excited.
Rhone shoved the shower curtain open right then and stopped Adam dead in his tracks. “There you are,” he said. A quick smile turned his face from harsh lines to breathtaking. “Damn, I was about to go see if you were installing new locks. What was the holdup?”
Adam took his fill of the big, tan body before him, slick with water. God, the man was so stunning, he tongue-tied Adam, as he often did when they were naked together. Wires and plans tripped in Adam's brain, and instead of exhibiting suave and cool, he thrust his thumb in Rhone's direction and blurted, “Will you marry me?”
Rhone stumbled into the shower wall at his back.
“I got this ring for you.” Adam rushed forward. He slipped the band off his thumb and held it up. “It's not an engagement ring... Well, I guess technically it is. I didn't know what I was supposed to get you as a symbol of my proposal; obviously not a diamond, although I suppose I could have gotten you something with a diamond, but I don't think that's your style, so I didn't. You don't even have to wear this if you don't want to. I guess it's more a wedding band than an engagement ring. Oh God”--heat flamed up Adam's nudity, and mortification chilled it in reverse--“that assumes you're going to say yes, and you don't have to.”
Clamping his runaway mouth shut, Adam forced himself to take a deep breath and get control of his words. “There's no pressure, Rhone. I love you and want to be with you, no matter the circumstances. I want to marry you, though, if you'll have me. I'd like our commitment to be official.” The guy still hadn't moved a muscle since Adam had sprung the question, and Adam's stomach started to knot up in tight bundles. “Rhone?”
Rhone jerked to life, and his gray eyes swam with wetness that didn't have anything to do with the shower. “Christ, baby, are you kidding me?” He leaped over the edge of the bathtub and stumbled right into Adam's arms. “Yes.” Rhone captured Adam with a clinging, slow kiss, and Adam's heart seized painfully with that one small word. “Fucking goddamnit, of course I'll marry you. Jesus, you shocked the hell out of me, though. Maybe more than the first time I realized I wanted you as more than a friend. Give me that.” He took the ring out of Adam's hand and slipped it on his finger.
A perfect fit.
Adam brushed the pad of his thumb back and forth across the metal, letting the heat from Rhone's body absorb into the ring and into him. “It looks nice on you.”
Clearing his throat, Rhone said, “Yeah, it does.” He lifted Adam's bare hands and looked each finger over. “What about you?”
Stricken, Adam's mouth gaped. “I don't... I didn't...”
“Right. I'm an idiot.” Rhone closed Adam's mouth for him. “Of course you didn't buy one for yourself. That's my job. I like what you chose.” He dropped his focus back to the new piece of hardware on his tan hand, and his voice thickened with emotion. “The colors are like your eyes and my eyes. I'll get you the reverse. The silver around the black. It'll be like showing the world that I'm protecting you, and you're protecting me.”
Slashes of heat burned across Adam's cheekbones. “I was kind of thinking that too when I saw this one in the store.” He lifted Rhone's hand and nuzzled into it. “Thank you for saying yes.”
Dipping down, Rhone planted kisses on each line of red marring Adam's cheeks. “Honey, you don't have to thank me. I'd have married you the night we hooked up and any night since. It's not legal here, though, and I want it to be legal. I guess that's why I didn't ask you before.” His pale eyes darkened to slate, and he nodded, as if to himself. “Yeah. We'll go to one of the states where it is legal...”
Adam linked his hands at the small of Rhone's back. As he looked up at his fiance, he knew every bit of adoration coursing through him shone in his eyes.
He listened to Rhone slip into his take-charge, organizing mode, and took mental notes regarding the to-do lists he created out loud. When Adam got a chance, he slipped in, “Whatever you want.”
Adam didn't need to say anything else right now.
Rhone had said yes.
The details didn't matter.