Special Agent Mitchell is feeling the pressure now that his best friend and fellow agent is engaged. He’s been dating Sam for almost a year but has yet to pop that all-important question and there’s disappointment in her eyes when he remains mum on the subject.
Samantha Arnold is a woman on a mission. If her man won’t take that next step, then she’ll just ask him to marry her. Except, things aren’t that simple. Somewhere between the euphoria from having a literary agent request her book and picking out a ring for Mitchell, Sam finds herself in the middle of a hostage situation. Of all the rotten luck.
Finding time alone to discuss their future isn’t meant to be as the Arnold family constantly interrupts. Emotions boil over with a bang at the local shooting range, proving once again their lives will never be the same again.
She ran the tip of her tongue along her bottom lip. This wasn't happening. She was in some sort of dream that would take a turn into a nightmare soon. When he remained on his knee, still offering the ring box out to her, she finally let herself think that maybe this was real. "You've said that before." Why did he choose this venue? Then again, why not? They both enjoyed the shooting range and he wasn't into any of the girlie things she liked. In fact, it was perfect and she'd enjoy telling the story.
"It's different this time. I'm not talking about in a sexual capacity. Er, well, I still want you like that." His eyes darkened and twinkled to rival the ring. "I love you, Sam. I love that you sing Christmas songs throughout the year. I love that you champion folks when I wouldn't give them a second thought or a listening ear. I love that you've made our house a home for us. I love that you're working toward your dream of being an author."
"Well, a girl's gotta have a hobby," she managed to gasp out. Lord, what if he thought she wasn't taking this seriously?
He lowered his hand and rested it on his knee. "You do so much for me that I sometimes forget to tell you thank you."
"I forget too!" Unable to stop herself, she finger-combed his hair into some semblance of the order he usually kept it in. "I know everything you do is for us and the life we have together. I love that you'll lay down your life to protect me, though I don't condone it. I'm sorry if I'm ever ungrateful for that."
Mitchell shook his head. "It's okay, don't you get it?"
She didn't, not really. "You're gonna need to spell it out for me, Mitchell Mitchell." No way would she let him skate through this without saying the actual words.
"You know how much I hate it when you call me that," he said softly around a growl. He grabbed her hand and held it in a firm grip. "No matter what happens -- good or bad -- I'll always want you. I want to be in whatever world you're in, for the rest of our lives, however long we both shall live."
He shook his head. "I've done a lot of thinking over the last few days and the one thing I keep coming back to is this: I can't imagine a life without you in it, by my side, doing things to infuriate and frustrate me, doing things to support me and love me, doing things that bring me to my knees with sorrow or make me jump for the joy of it."
This time when tears misted her eyes and she blinked, they fell to her cheeks. "And?" Please say it. I need to hear those words. Her hand shook in his. Her knees wobbled so much she feared she'd be on the floor with him soon.
Mitchell grinned. It took ten years from his face and sent fire coursing through her veins. "You're going to make me go there, aren't you?"
"Yes." She nodded. "I think I deserve it." No more shortcuts or insinuations or things implied.
"You do and so much more. I'll strive to do better and know I will as your husband." He brought her hand to his lips and placed a gentle kiss to her middle knuckle. "Samantha Louise Arnold, will you marry me?"