A Tricky Proposition(34)

By: Cat Schield

Grinning, he hugged her hard. “And just in case you’re worried about everyone’s reaction, I cleared this with your sister and parents and my brother. The consensus seems to be that it’s about time we take things from friends…”

“To forever.” She laughed, a glorious sound of joy. “How lucky can a girl be?” she murmured. “I get to marry my best friend and the man I adore.”

Jason cupped her face and kissed her gently. “What could be better than that?”

Ming lifted onto her tiptoes and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Not one single thing.”


One year later

Bright afternoon sunshine glinted off the brand new paint on the galaxy blue Mustang parked in the driveway. Ming adjusted the big red bow attached to the roof and waved goodbye to the Stover brothers, who’d dropped the repaired race car off moments before. With her anniversary present for Jason looking absolutely perfect, she glanced toward the colonial’s front door. The delivery had not been particularly quiet and she was surprised her husband of one year hadn’t come out to see what the commotion was about.

She headed inside and paused in the foyer. From the family room came the sounds of revving engines so she followed the sound. Jason sat on the couch in front of the sixty-inch TV, absorbed in a NASCAR race. Muffin slept on the back of the couch near his shoulder.


Muffin’s head came up and her tail wagged, but Jason didn’t react at all. She circled the couch and discovered why he hadn’t heard the delivery. He was fast asleep. So were their twin three-month-old sons, Jake and Connor, one on either side of him, snuggled into the crooks of his arms.

Ming grinned at the picture of her snoozing men and hoped this nap meant Jason would have lots of energy later tonight because she had plans for him that required his full strength. But right now she was impatient to show him his gift.

“Jason.” She knelt between his knees and set her hands on his thighs. Muffin stretched and jumped down to lick Connor’s cheek. “Wake up and see what I got you for our anniversary.” When her words didn’t rouse him, she slid her palms up his thigh. She was more than halfway toward her goal when his lips twitched upward at the corners.

“Keep going.”


He sighed, but didn’t open his eyes. “That’s what you always say.” But despite his complaint, his smile had blossomed into a full-blown grin.

“And I always come through.” She stood and slapped his knee. “Now come see your present.”

She scooped up Jake and waited until Jason draped Connor over his shoulder and got to his feet before she headed back through the house. Muffin raced ahead of them to the foyer. Tingling with anticipation, Ming pulled open the front door and stepped aside so Jason could look out. The shock on his face when he spotted the car was priceless.

“You had the Mustang repaired?” He wrapped his free arm around her waist and pulled her tight against him.

“I did.” She smiled up at him and his lips dropped onto hers for a passion-drenched kiss that curled her toes. When he let her breath again, she caught his hand and dragged him down the steps. “I think you should start racing again.”

He hadn’t been anywhere near the track since he’d crashed the Mustang over a year ago. Between getting married, her taking over the dental practice and the birth of their twins, they’d been plenty busy.

“Are you sure that’s what you want?” Jason ran his hand along the front fender with the same appreciation he’d lavished on her thigh the previous night. “It’ll take me away some weekends.”

“I never wanted you to stop doing what you love.”

“What I love is being your husband and a father to Jake and Connor.”

“And I love that, too.” She nudged her body against his. “But racing is your passion, and Max is bored to death without you to compete against.”

He coasted his palm over her hip and cupped her butt, drawing her up on her toes for a slow, thorough kiss. The babies began to fuss long before Ming was done savoring her husband’s fabulous technique and they broke apart with matching regretful sighs.

“More of that to come later,” she assured him, soothing Jake.

While they were distracted, a car had pulled up behind the Mustang. Max and Rachel got out. “Get a room you two,” Max called good-naturedly, picking up the excited terrier.

“That’s the plan,” Ming retorted, handing off her son to Rachel.

“Great to see you guys.” Jason switched Connor to his other arm so he could give Max a man hug. “Are you staying for dinner?”

“They’re staying,” Ming said. “We’re leaving. They’re going to babysit while we celebrate our anniversary.” Since the twins were born, uninterrupted time together was pretty much nonexistent, and Ming was determined that she and Jason should make a memorable start to their second year of marriage.

Jason eyed Max. “Are you sure you’re up for this?”

“I think I could use a little parenting practice.”

“I’m pregnant,” Rachel announced, beaming.

While Jason congratulated Max, and Rachel cooed over Jake, Ming marveled at her good fortune. She’d married her best friend and they had two healthy baby boys. Her practice was thriving. Lily and Evan were getting married in the spring. Everything that had been going wrong a little over a year ago was now sorted out. It wasn’t perfect, but it was wonderful.

Jason looked over and caught her watching him. The blaze that kindled in his eyes lit an answering inferno deep inside her. For twenty-five years he’d been her best friend and that had been wonderful, but for the rest of her life he was going to be her husband and that was perfect.

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