“What is this all about?” she finally asked now, her voice quiet.
She set aside her knife and fork and rested her hands on the table as though preparing for a negotiation.
“What is this ab . . ? Riley I just think we should get married, that’s all.”
She swallowed. “That’s all?” she demanded. “Do you even know my middle name? What elementary school I went to?”
Because she couldn’t care less that he was K Smooth.
Because minutes after she left, he was already thinking about when he’d see her again.
Because her mind excited him as much as her body.
Because he couldn’t stand the thought of her smiling at someone else the way she smiled at him, or holding their hand the way she did his.
Because with her, he was that guy who didn’t want his girl dancing with anyone else. Little things. Big things. Everything about her.
“I can’t lose you,” he said simply.
She looked up at him, and her eyes were brimming over.
“Think about it,” he said putting down his fork. “I’ll be away for awhile. Take that time and think about it.”
“Is this because of last night? Because of Brian?” she asked, sounding desperate. “We never talked about being together exclusively and I never thought that that’s what you wanted, but if it is, maybe . . .”
“No,” he cut her off.
He finally identified the look on her face and what it meant. Panic. Hell, he should be the one in a panic. He had never thought in his wildest imagination of marriage as an option for him. Never believed there was a woman out there that would make him sign up for that particular brand of madness. And, in the abstract at least, it still sounded like madness but this wasn’t about marriage, it was about Riley. With her, he knew that boyfriend-girlfriend shit wasn’t going to be enough. He had to have her locked down.