Choose Us (The Archer Brothers) - Page 23
“You make it sound so perfect.”
“That’s because, to me, it is. Being with you it’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I want you to be happy, and I don’t want you to give up your career for anything. But I also want this baby. Our baby.” I place my hand on her stomach. “We created him or her, together. And while it’s ultimately your decision, I need you to know that this child is wanted. Deep down, I know you want this baby too.”
“I do,” she says while nodding. “But I’m scared.”
“We can be scared together. I’m not going anywhere.” I drop down to my knee while pulling the ring box out of my pocket. Cara covers her mouth with her hand. “The night you told me you were pregnant was the night I planned to do this. Since then, I’ve looked for the right moment, but every moment I spend with you is the right one for me. I love you, Cara. More than I can put into words, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”
She nods rapidly. “Yes, I will.” She holds out her hand. It’s shaking. “I don’t know why I’m so nervous.”
I laugh. “Because deep down, you’re afraid you won’t like the ring.” I slip it onto her finger, and it fits perfectly. She holds her hand up.
“It’s gorgeous, Nate.”
I stand and pull her into my arms. We kiss, and I wipe her tears away. “I have one more thing to ask you.”
“What is it?”
I motion in the direction of the house. “Do you want to buy a house with me?”
“Yes, but only if it’s that house.”
“Deal.” My eyes travel toward her midsection. “And . . .?”
Cara cups my cheeks. “And I think we should go see if Ryley and Evan are home because I want to share the news that we’re engaged and pregnant.”
I pick her up and twirl her around while kissing her. “God, I love you.”
“I love you too.”
On our way to Evan’s, I call Louise and tell her we’ll take the house and promise to get the necessary paperwork in order. Every time I look at Cara, she’s holding her hand out, turning it to check all angles of her ring.
“I’m going to hate having to take it off.”
“I know, but it’ll always be there, waiting for you when you get home from work.”
“Downfall of my job, I suppose.” One of many. I keep my thoughts to myself.
When we get to Evan’s, we hear laughter coming from the backyard, and as tempting as it is just to head back there, I call him first. Knowing Evan, he’s probably rigged the gate.
“Hey, Cara and I are out front. Is it cool to come back there?” I ask as soon as he picks up.
“Of course, the gates unlocked.”
Cara and I head into the back. EJ’s in the pool while Evan and Ryley sit on their back patio, enjoying drinks.
“Hey,” Ryley says when we come into view. “What are you guys doing in the neighborhood?”
I glance toward Cara, and she nods. But before I can say anything, she holds up her hand, and Ryley starts squealing. She rushes toward us, grabs Cara’s hand, and then looks at me with wide eyes.
“Nate, you did good. Congratulations!” Ryley hugs Cara and then me. Evan follows but doesn’t check out Cara’s ring.
“This calls for a celebration,” Ryley says. “We have a bottle of champagne leftover from the wedding. I’ll go grab it.”
“Just water for me,” Cara says.
Ryley halts mid-step and looks at us. “We’re also pregnant, so no drinking for me.”
“Damn, dude.” Evan pulls me into a hug, which is unexpected.
“I’m going to be an aunt?” Ryley asks.
Cara and I nod.
“And I’m getting a sister?’
“Best. Day. Ever!”
“Hey, now,” Evan says, looking hurt.
“Sorry, babe.” Ryley kisses Evan and then goes back to celebrating the news. “Oh, shit. EJ!” Ryley turns toward the pool, but he’s standing right behind her. “Guess what? Uncle Nate and Cara are going to get married, and they’re having a baby.”
EJ touches the tip of his nose. “Not it on changing diapers. Babies stink. But I liked giving a speech at my mom and dad’s wedding. Can I give one at yours, Uncle Nate?”
“Sure thing, kiddo.”
“Okay, we need to celebrate, so I’m going to run in and make some mocktails and grab some food to put on the grill.”
“Oh, more thing,” I say before Ryley bolts into the house.
“You’re having twins, aren’t you?” she asks Cara, who blanches.
“Not that I know of.”
“Phew, big fear. Let me tell you.” Ryley pats Evan’s stomach and bats her eyelashes at him. “Still love you, Archer.”
“Gee, thanks.” He kisses her nose and then looks at us. “What else is there to share?”
“We’re going to buy a house, two blocks away, and I’m going to retire and be a stay-at-home dad.” I look down at Cara and smile.