Trashed / Page 77

Page 77


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“Oh.” She glances up at me. “Do I want to know how much you and Dawson spent on all this?”

I grin. “Nope. You might pass out.” Big numbers make her dizzy.

When I bought her that Prada clutch, she asked how much I spent, so I told her. She got weird. Tried to convince me she wanted me to take it back, even though she had it in a death grip. Another time, I was on the phone with my agent, discussing an offer. It was for sixteen million, and my agent thought that was lowball, so I told her to counter with twenty-five, not realizing Des was standing behind me, listening. So I tried to explain to her how a big-budget payout worked, and she just shook her head, waving me off. She doesn’t like to think about money, I’ve realized. She’s lived so frugally her entire life, never having enough of anything, and I think the shock of the change in lifestyle was just too much for her to comprehend. So she doesn’t. She’s perfectly content to let me take care of money and not tell her about it.

“So,” I ask, “are you going to sign or what?”

“It’s too much to process,” she answers. “Can I think about it?”

I pull her to me and kiss her. “Take all the time in the world, babe.”

* * *

He’s wearing a tux, barefoot, the cuffs rolled up past his ankles, jacket sleeves pushed up. Black bowtie, hair slicked back and to one side. Fucking gorgeous. Such a beautiful man, so powerful, his arms stretching the sleeves of the coat. His eyes blaze, hot and intense in that unique, incredible shade of green. I never get tired of staring into his eyes. It’s cheesy and sappy, but I just can’t get enough.

And he’s looking at me with those eyes, and an emotion I never thought a man would ever feel for me shines from him, pours off of him:

Love.

I’m fighting tears, overwhelmed by the reality of this island, the stunning, breathtaking beauty of the property and the home. I’m even more overwhelmed by what he’s got planned for this evening.

He had a catering company set up a small table, covered in a white tablecloth, right on the beach, near the surf, so the waves lapped against our toes. Torches, planted deep into the sand, flickered in a row behind us, circling us. The torches extend in a double line out into the water, forming a corridor of orange flame on the black, moonlit water. The moon is rising just now, sliding up from out of the waves, up from the horizon, huge and full and white, her light shining in a gleaming silver pathway down the corridor formed by the torches.

Fifty yards up the beach, a violinist and cellist play, surrounded by more lit torches.

Dinner is four courses of light but filling fare, a citrusy soup, a garden salad, some kind of flavorful, flaky fish with jasmine rice and steamed vegetables, and then dessert.

We share a bottle of chilled, expensive white wine that tastes great. I don’t tell Adam but it tastes just like any other wine, to me.

Once the food is finished and the last drops of wine have been swallowed, Adam stands up, one hand in his pants pocket, and leads me away from the table, into the water, toward the pathway lit by moon and by fire.

The hem of my dress floats in the water.

He stops, turns to face me, his gaze serious.

I gaze up at him, expectant. As soon as I saw the setup, I knew what this was, what he was doing, and I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s perfect. Incredible, romantic.

But he could’ve proposed to me in an airport bathroom and I would’ve said yes.

“You are my Destiny.” He leads with this, and with a smile. “I love you.”

My throat closes, and my eyes prick. “I love you, Adam. So much.”

“Hey, I’ve got this all scripted out. I’m gonna forget something if you start talking.”

“Oh. Sorry.” I lean into him, slide my arms around his back. “Continue.”

He shakes his head. “No, now I’ve lost it all. I’m gonna have to improvise.”

“You don’t need a speech,” I tell him.

“I don’t?”

I gesture at the table, the quartet. “This is your speech. Just get to the good part.”

“See? This is why I love you. I never know how you’ll react.” He takes a deep breath and lets it out. “You changed everything for me, Des. From the day I met you on Mackinac Island, you changed everything. All I knew was that I had to have you, that I had to know you. I’m so glad I jumped off that carriage. Because it’s led me here, with you.”

He takes a small black box from his pocket, opens it, withdraws a ring, and slides the box back into his jacket. He holds out the ring so I can see it, and my breath, lodged in my throat, leaves me stunned.

“I designed it myself. You are unique, and you deserve a ring as incredibly one-of-a-kind as you.” He takes my left hand, his eyes fixed on mine. “Destiny, will you marry me?”

I’m already smiling, tears sliding down my cheeks, but my smile gets bigger and the tears flow faster, and I can only nod, wait until he’s fitted the ring on my finger, and then I lunge into him, wrap my arms around his neck and kiss him everywhere I can.

Finally, I find his mouth, and we kiss until neither of us can breathe and my legs are shaky and weak from desire.

He whispers against my mouth. “Des, I need to hear you say it. Tell me yes.”

I bite his lower lip and then whisper back to him, “Yes, Torrence Adam Trenton, I will marry you.” I pull back and look into his eyes, hunger in my gaze. “On one condition, though.”

His gaze darkens, and a puzzled frown touches his mouth. “What’s that, babe?”

“Take me to that amazing bedroom up there, open all the windows, and fuck me till sunrise.”

He gathers the hem of my dress in his hand until it’s bunched around my waist, revealing the fact that I’m not wearing any underwear. His hands slide across my skin. “How about right here?”

“The band…” I breathe, pawing at his hands, even though Adam is between me and them.

Adam turns, waves at the quartet, and they scurry away. His mouth finds mine, and he devours my breath. I’m lost in his kiss, so I barely register the sound of a seaplane taking off.

“They’re gone,” Adam murmurs.

“Then take me.”

Clutching the bunched material of my dress in one hand, he reaches up with the other and unzips it. Lifts it over my head and off, drops it into the waves.

“You won’t be needing this,” he says.

I undo his belt, free the clasp of his pants, lower his zipper, and reach in and find his erection, slide my fist down his length. He gasps a breath in my ear when I cup his balls and give them a gentle squeeze. I smile against his cheek and palm his cock until he’s growling in my ear, and then I push his pants down.


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