Charles had never been so happy.
On their very next date, he made a big production of taking her out for a fancy dinner. No holds barred, bottle of wine for the table. He tried very hard not to think about how the beef had been raised and whether the after-dinner coffee was Fair Trade.
Standing outside on the crowded patio, he asked her to be his girlfriend. She laughed. “You mean I’m not already your girlfriend? I couldn’t tell. You treat me like I’m the center of the world.”
She sort of was the center of his world.
“I don’t want the evening to end,” he admitted shyly.
Veronica smiled. “It doesn’t have to. Why don’t we go to your place for a nightcap?”
“Wow,” she said. “Nice place. You hide it well. We had to take my car to get here.”
Charles suddenly realized where this was going. He tried to make nervous smalltalk in the foyer.
Veronica finally wrapped her arm around his. “You’re cute when you hyperventilate. Why don’t you show me around the place?”
“Sure!” Charles said a bit too brightly.
“Just give me a sec to slip into something more comfortable.”
She stopped when they got to his bedroom. “So this is where you sleep? Out on the patio?”
Charles shrugged. “Yeah. I like the feel of the outside air.”
“What happens if it rains?”
“I don’t know. I get wet. It’s not that big a deal.”
“Hmm. Well, this seems like a good place to stop and talk, don’t you think?”
“I love to, um, talk. What did you have in mind?”
Charles drew back and looked her in the eye. “I just wanted to say that I’ve never–“
“Don’t worry about it,” she said. “This is a skill that is a lot of fun to teach.”
And she taught very thoroughly.
The basic and the advanced course.
It didn’t take Charles long to throw in a few ideas of his own.
Veronica didn’t have much of what you’d call modesty. Once she and Charles had been an item for a while, the place you’d find her most often was skinny dipping in the hot tub.
After a while, she persuaded Charles to join her.
The rest of the family learned to steer clear of the back yard when Veronica was over, at least if they didn’t want to see a show.
Fabian was presented with an unexpected chance to prove himself. Temptation was all of a sudden sleeping over and hanging out in her skivvies most mornings.
He did pretty well. Whatever he might be thinking, he kept it to himself.
The sleeping over was the best part. Well, ok, aside from the woohoo.
When he wasn’t training at the dojo and wasn’t spending time with Veronica, Charles was sifting through his adventure spoils, looking for just the right gem. Eventually, he found it: a perfect square brilliant cut tanzanite.
When it seemed like he’d waiting long enough, he invited her out to Aldana National Park for a picnic.
“I just wanted to tell you that the time we’ve been together has been the best time of my life,” he told her earnestly.
Veronica frowned. “You make me happy too. Really. But you say that like like it’s going to change.”
“Oh, wait!” he interrupted. “Just a sec.”
“What are you doing down there?” Veronica demanded. “You have a goofy smile–“
“Oh my God.”
He drew out the ring set with the tanzanite and slid it on her finger as she stared at him with mute astonishment.
“I mean I don’t ever want it to change,” he said. “Marry me, Veronica.”
“Wow,” Veronica said at last. “I wasn’t expecting that. You have to give me some time. I have to go home and pack.”
“Huh?” Charles said. “You have to what?”
“Are you kidding? I’m moving in.”
Did you never think we’d get to this point?? Ha!
I’m serious that Veronica spends all her time skinny dipping. I’m not sure if that’s the Dramatic or Daredevil trait.
The dinner and afterward were all in the same day. Veronica changed clothes for no apparent reason. I just have changed her back just for continuity’s sake, but oh well :).
Oh, yeah, and blog template change! I love this look, but it won’t make as much sense when Charles is no longer the patron. I think that after Charles I will have pretty much wiped out World Adventures, and I expect to focus on other expansions :).