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“Preston, I’m not so sure about this,” Emma whispers from behind me. Her fingers tighten around mine as I lead her to the tall fence.

I turn around to look at her, only seeing part of her face through the darkness. The moon tries to illuminate the night, but the trees surrounding us make it hard. “Since when are you unsure about breaking and entering? If my memory serves me right, it was a year ago that I caught you hopping this same fence to crash Peyton’s party.”

Emma rolls her eyes, using her free hand to give me a playful shove. “At least then the club was open. It feels wrong for everything at Pembroke to be so dark.”

I nod in agreement, leading her to a spot I think would work to hop the fence. My mind goes back to a year ago when I first laid eyes on her. Even that night, I knew something was special about Emma, and I’ve known every day since in the year we’ve been together.

And what a year it’s been. From the moment we won the Super Bowl, life has been full speed ahead for the both of us. Emma signed a major podcast deal. The podcast officially released last month and debuted at number one for all podcasts in its first week. I had the honor of being her first guest on the show, where we let it slip that we’d officially bought a house together in Manhattan—one right next to Beck and Margo.

“Right here looks good,” I tell her, stopping at a spot in the fence that’s slightly on a hill, making it a little less distance to climb.

“Babe, I just really don’t think this is necessary.” Emma’s eyebrows pinch together with uncertainty.Contents belong to NovelDrama.Org

Her reaction makes me smile. “Don’t bail out on me now, rebel.”

My heart leaps in my chest at the nickname I gave her a year ago to the date. Little did I know then that the woman who threw a heel in my direction would end up becoming the love of my life. She’s made my life better in countless ways in the year since we met, and tonight, I wanted to return back to the place we met on the one-year anniversary.

“Imagine the headlines if we get arrested tonight,” she quips, placing her hand against the fence. She supports her weight against it as she pulls both her shoes off.

I hold my hand out, taking the heels from her. “We’re not going to get arrested.”

One of the curled pieces of her hair falls in her face as she shakes her head at me. We’d gotten dressed up for a nice dinner at one of our favorite spots here in the Hamptons to celebrate the anniversary. I hadn’t told her about my plan to break into the club until we were on our way here. Seeing the look on her face when I told her was priceless.

And she doesn’t even know everything I have planned for the night.

“Are you going up first, or am I?” Emma asks, placing her hands on her hips.

I can’t help but smile, loving how she’s going along with my plan even though she thinks there’s a chance we could get in trouble. “I’ll go up first with your shoes. You come after so I can help you down.”

She raises an eyebrow at me. “I don’t seem to remember needing help last year.”

This makes me laugh. “I wanted to help you, baby. But you came flying at me before I was able to finish counting down.”

“You know I don’t have patience.”

I close the distance to her, pulling her body flush to mine. “It’s one of the many things I love about you.”

She rises to her tiptoes and plants a kiss against my lips. “Good. Now, stop procrastinating and climb the damn fence. I want to see what Pembroke looks like empty.”

I lean in and give her one more kiss before backing away with a sigh. She was just saying she was unsure about breaking in, and now she’s encouraging me to get to it. God, I love her.

“I’ll let you know when I’m ready,” I tell her, holding her shoes by the thin heels so I can still climb the fence.

“Sure thing, babe.” She giggles, letting me know that as soon as my feet are on the ground on the other side, I need to be ready for her to hop over.

I make quick work of getting to the other side of the fence and landing smoothly. My eyes quickly scan my surroundings with a smirk before I train them on the top of the fence.

Just like I suspected, Emma’s already impressively climbed the fence in a knee-length white dress and waits at the top. Unlike the first time we met, when I couldn’t see her features because of the dark, tonight I can see all of her thanks to the full moon.

She waits for me with a smile on her face. She pulls her bottom lip between her teeth, and I know her well enough to know she’s going to jump at any second, even though I haven’t given her the green light yet.

“Okay, jump on one, two…”

“Three!” Emma yells, pushing her body from the top and falling right at me. Her heels drop to the ground as I make sure I catch her in my arms, not wanting her to get even a single scratch from my idea to break into the club.

“Do you ever listen?” I say, my chest rising and falling in quick succession from the rush of adrenaline.

Emma shrugs, backing out of my arms to grab her shoes. “You already know the answer to that, so I’m not even going to answer. You love me whether I listen or not, and that’s all I care about.”

I nod. She’s right.

I cock my head toward the back door of the club, the one I know happens to be unlocked tonight. “Should we sneak in?”

She lets out a giddy squeal before enthusiastically nodding her head. She must realize how loud her sound of excitement was because she throws her hand over her mouth. “Yes,” she whispers, all the fear of getting in trouble for breaking in seemingly gone.

I hold my hand out to her, hoping she doesn’t feel how clammy it’s gotten with nerves. I had one drive to win a Super Bowl in under three minutes, and I still didn’t feel as nervous as I do at this moment. All I can do is hope she doesn’t notice as I lead her toward the back door.

“It’s so quiet,” she mutters as we reach the building.

My heart hammers in my chest as my fingers wrap around the door handle. Emma doesn’t seem to notice, thank god, and she begins to rattle on about the tennis match we have tomorrow with Jackson and Peyton.

“I think we have the win in the bag,” she whispers as I pull the door open. “I’m ready to really kick their?—”

She stops as I pull her into the hallway illuminated by hundreds of tiny candles.

“Preston.” She looks back at me with wide eyes. “What is this?”

I can’t help but smile. “Keep walking, baby.” 𝓬ℴ𝓶𝓮𝓷ℴ𝓿𝓮𝓁.𝓬ℴ𝓶

Her fingers tighten against mine as she lets me lead her down the hallway. We follow the candles even as they continue into the room where I first started to fall for her a year ago. I press a kiss to her knuckles before dropping her hand.

She opens her mouth to say something, but the words she was about to utter get lost when her eyes land across the room.

“Oh my god.” Her hands go to her mouth as she takes in the giant, illuminated letters that spell out ‘Marry Me.’

When she turns back toward me, she finds me already on one knee with a ring box in my hand.

“Stop it.” She lets out a loud, happy sob; her hands still covering her mouth in shock.

“Emma Turner,” I begin, my mind suddenly forgetting the proposal I’d rehearsed in the mirror countless times.

“Yes,” she cries excitedly.

I laugh, my hands shaking as I hold out the unopened ring box in front of me. “You have to let me ask first, Em. I’ve planned out this long speech to ask you to?—”

“No matter what you say, it’s already a yes,” she says, grabbing my face in her hands.

I swallow, emotion clogged in my throat at how much I love this woman.

“God, I love you,” I croak, grabbing her hand. It shakes against mine as I hold the box up.

“Emma, later tonight, when my mind isn’t clouded from nerves, I’m going to recite to you the entire epic speech I had planned to ask you to be my wife. It was filled with all the reasons I love you and how you make me a better man each and every day. I’ve known since the moment you told me you loved me that I was going to marry you, and I don’t want to wait any longer to make you my wife. I had all these other romantic things I was going to say with the proposal. It was filled with all the plans I have for us and how I cannot wait to be your partner in life for the rest of our lives, but fuck, all the poetic things I had in my mind are gone, so now…” I open the box, a rush of relief coursing through me at the way she gasps when she looks at the ring. “Will you marry me? I know I suck at words, but no one will ever love you like I do, and I promise to spend the rest of my life making sure you wake up each morning knowing how loved and cherished you are and…”

“Preston, yes.” Tears stream down her face as she falls to her knees in front of me, her arms wrapping around my neck. “God, yes. A million times yes.”

I wonder if she can feel the beat of my racing heart through the press of our chests. “You will?” I ask, needing her to say it one more time.

“Of course, I will.” She kisses me, forgetting all about the ring still in its box that I need to slide onto her finger. I convinced Margo, Winnie, Pippa, and Emma’s aunt to all come with me when ring shopping. I wanted all of their feedback to pick out the perfect ring for Emma, and I hope the large princess-cut diamond set on a platinum band of diamonds is everything she could’ve ever wanted in a ring.

I wrap my arms around her, holding her close to my body as I bury my face in her hair. “I love you,” I get out, my voice shaking with how much I love her.

“I love you too,” she responds immediately, leaning back so she can meet my eyes.

With a shaky hand, I slide the ring out of the box and place it on her finger. It’s a perfect fit, and I love the sight of it on her. I’ve known she’s mine for a while now, but I can’t wait for everyone who sees her with this to know it, too.

“This is the most stunning ring I’ve ever seen,” she says, her voice full of shock.

“Only the best for the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”

Suddenly, all of our friends and family pop out from behind the letters and run toward us. It’s a frenzy of hugs and tears and congratulations. As everyone we love most shares in the excitement about our engagement, I pull Emma into my side and look down at her, marveling at the fact she’s now my fiancée.

The smile she gives me as she meets my eyes is my new favorite one of hers.

It’s one that promises forever.

And I can’t fucking wait for a forever with her by my side.

The source of this content is 𝐟𝗿𝗲𝗲𝘄𝗲𝐛𝐧𝐨𝘃𝗲𝗹.𝗰𝐨𝐦

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