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Chapter 1: The Proposal

I fidgeted with the ring box, turning it around and around in my pocket. I’d pry it open just a little bit, then let it snap shut, then turn it around again. Every minute or so I’d start to take it out of my pocket to look at it, but then catch myself and stop. I had to make sure I didn’t take it out of my pocket; I didn’t know when Josh would show up, and I didn’t want to ruin this whole night by having him catch me with the ring out.

For about the thousandth time I second-guessed whether he’d like the one I chose. It had been hard to make a decision; everything either looked too showy and ornate and effete, or else too plain to do justice to the gravity of what it represented. I think I’d chosen well. I hoped I had. Oh well, too late to change it now.

I’d been saving for the ring, and for the wedding, since before the marriage equality law had even passed. I didn’t want to have one of those engagements that went on for so long that it began to seem like neither party had any intention of actually following through with a wedding. I wanted to be in a position where I was at least close to being able to afford the wedding before I popped the question, so we could set a date that resembled the foreseeable future. It had been hard to save for it; Josh and I were saving up to convert the shed in the back of our garden into a home office, so that took most of our leftover money at the moment. It had been hard to discreetly hide a bit extra away for the wedding, but I’d managed a decent amount so far.

I’d been a bundle of nerves ever since I’d decided that it was time to take the plunge and booked this weekend out of town to pop the question. When Josh had asked what the occasion was, I must have been entirely unconvincing when I told him it was just because I wanted a break from work. But he hadn’t dug any deeper. Every day of our holiday I’d been on edge, worrying that I was going to let something slip and ruin the surprise. It was probably stupid to worry; Josh probably knew that it would only be a matter of time until I proposed, and the instant I’d told him about this trip I’m sure he’d probably put two and two together. I can be pretty predictable sometimes.

Still, I wanted this to be the perfect unexpected surprise. A magical night he’d look back on forever.

Having made the decision, I was also terrified that something was going to go horribly wrong with the big moment. As though, having officially made the decision that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Josh, he’d suddenly realise he didn’t want me after all and would turn me down. But I think that ultimately the nerves had been a good thing; it meant I was more attentive to his needs, more ready to examine my own behaviour when I made him annoyed or upset. And the couple of times that he’d had a bull around to fuck him in our bed, the extra anxiety of losing him had made my cuckold libido rage even harder than usual.

As I saw Josh wander up the beach to the restaurant, my stomach jumped with nerves, but I couldn’t help smiling from ear to ear. He was so fucking stunning. Today his short shorts showed off his slender, tanned legs, and his scoop-necked t-shirt revealed just enough of his smooth, golden collarbone to make me want to reach out and touch it. He was slim and toned — a total twink — with smooth honey skin, and jet-black hair and stubble. As he saw me he smiled his wide, supermodel smile, and waved.

He strolled up to the restaurant, and I stood up to meet him. I took him in my arms and kissed him. Slowly, tenderly, maybe a little too long for this public spot we were in. “Hey, handsome,” I greeted him. “How was your nap?”

“I couldn’t sleep in the end,” he replied, sitting down at the table across from me. “I read my book for a while. Where did you end up going?”

“Just for a walk. I just needed to chill on my own for a bit.” Honest, but evading any further explanation. “You ready to eat?”

“So hungry,” Josh said, clutching his stomach in faux starvation. “You?”

I was so nervous I didn’t think I could eat a thing. “Yup. Famished.”

We’d spent almost every minute of the last couple of days together, so we didn’t have much news to catch each other up on. Josh talked about the book he’d been reading, and told me about the hermit crab he’d seen on the beach earlier. We talked about our plans for our final day here — we hadn’t taken the kayaks or the paddle-boards out yet, which we were keen to do before we had to leave.

“Honey, I got on the apps before,” Josh told me.”I found a guy staying here, in the main hotel. He said he could be up for fucking me later tonight. You keen?”

I felt my dick respond to the question, starting to thicken slightly. At the same time I felt a little disappointed though, which was unusual for me. Even though I love to watch him get fucked, I guess I’d been hoping that this night in particular would just be about the two of us.

“He’s about your age. Looks pretty fit. Likes the idea of having you watch.” He paused for a second, seeming to sense my uncertainty. “We don’t have to though, no big deal.”

“Maybe, let’s see how we feel later?”

Dinner was phenomenal, as always at this restaurant. Afterwards the waiter came by to ask if we wanted dessert, but tonight neither of us were keen — me because I was still a bundle of nerves. We settled up the bill, and decided to go for a walk down by the beach.

The sun was just starting to set as we set off down the beach. Shades of pink, peach and orange lit up the horizon. It was perfect. A moment exactly like I’d pictured in my mind since the day I’d first realised I was in love with Josh.

I gently grabbed onto Josh’s arm, to stop him and turn him to face me. “Josh, there’s something I want to say to you.”

“What is it?” For a moment a look of concern flashed over his face.

I took a deep breath, and tried to remember all the things I’d dreamed I’d say in this moment. “Josh, you are everything to me. You’ve brought me so much love, so much fun, so much intense excitement. I never thought I’d meet anyone like you; I never dreamed for a second that I could be so lucky to ever meet a man as perfect and as beautiful as you are. You’ve made my life amazing, and I never ever want to lose you. I want to spend my whole life with you.”

I dropped to one knee — clichéd, I know, but it seemed right in the moment. I reached into my pocket, and pulled out the ring box. “Joshua Castillo, it would mean the whole world to me if you agreed to be my husband.”

Josh looked shocked for a second. For a moment my stomach started to sink as I panicked that I’d misjudged horribly. But then a grin spread slowly across his face.

“Of course,” he replied. Then, “What took you so long?”

It took a couple of seconds for the words to sink in. He actually said yes. Of course he said yes. How could I have even doubted it? I felt a smile start to bubble out of me, rising from my chest and taking over every muscle of my face without any conscious intent, or ability to stop it, on my part.

Josh put out his hand. “So you gonna put that ring on it, or not?”

My hand was shaking uncontrollably as I slid the ring onto his finger. Once it was on, I just stared at it for I don’t know how long. The ring I bought, the ring that signified his willingness to be my husband, right there on his hand. This had actually just happened.

I looked up and saw that he was grinning just as hard as I was. I got up off my knee, swept him into my arms and kissed him. “I love you so much.”

For a while we just stood there, in each other’s arms, making out in the golden glow of the sunset. Eventually I stopped, pausing to study his beautiful face as I pulled away. I took his hand, and together we walked slowly down the beach. As I looked out at the last stripe of pink as the sun descended, and then back at the face of my husband-to-be in the dim light, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was.

I realised then that I had no idea what to do next. Everything had led to this moment, and I hadn’t given any thought to what to do after it was over. “What do you want to do now, babe? Do you want to arrange to meet that guy you were talking about?”

Josh thought about for a second, then shook his head. “Nah. I’d rather be fucked by…” He grinned. “…my fiancé.”

I lit up, and kissed him. “We should get going then. Should I call a taxi?”

“No,” he said. His grin got bigger, and his eyes darted sideways - the look he always gave when he was contemplating mischief. “I want to get fucked by my fiancé, right here on the beach.” With that he turned, and started running up towards the dunes. I stood and watched for a few seconds, in awe at how lucky I was right now. 

“You coming?” he called back to me.

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