“Let’s get married.”
I glance up from my phone to find Drew standing in front of me, his gaze locked on my face. Exhaustion lines his beautiful blue eyes and his dark hair is in complete disarray, the way it usually is after hours of football practice. There’s a light sheen of sweat on his forehead, and is that … blood at the corner of his mouth?
I’m sitting on the couch, texting Owen and asking where he’s at, but the little jerk is giving me wishy-washy answers. Not that he’s so little anymore, what with the way he towers over me. He’ll be a junior in high school this upcoming school year and he’s spending most of his summer either working, at football practice, or with Wade.
Causing all sorts of trouble, I’m sure.
I didn’t even hear the front door open or close. I’d left it unlocked. We’re staying at a rental in a gated community that’s part of an ultra-swank neighborhood not too far from the stadium, but still. So not good. If Drew realized I hadn’t heard him enter the house, he’d probably be mad. He’s so overprotective of me it’s ridiculous.
And sexy. Definitely sexy.
In fact, he’s pretty damn sexy right now, glowering at me, waiting for an answer. He must’ve just finished practice—he’s all dirty and sweaty, a combination of adrenaline and frustration pouring off him. It vibrates through me, fueling my constant hunger for him to an even higher level, stealing my breath as I continue staring at him. As he continues to stare at me.
“Why are you bleeding?” I ask, because I gotta know. I hate how he’s brutalized out on the football field sometimes. As the quarterback, he doesn’t take extreme hits like other players. But at this moment he’s got blood on his beautiful face and I don’t like it.
He waves a hand, dismissing my question. Something’s wrong and I wish I knew what. But as usual, he’s not blurting everything out. Not telling me his secrets. His worries. His desires. He likes to hold these things close to his chest. Still.
But I don’t mind prying them out of him. I’m patient. I’m in love.
Soon, I will be Fable Callahan. I’ve earned the freaking privilege to call myself that, too. It’s not easy being with Drew. Yet I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone.
I try a different tactic since he’s not answering my question. “We are getting married,” I say slowly, trying to calm my riotous heart. When Drew’s all worked up like this, it … arouses me, more often than not. And I don’t think he’s in the mood for anything like that at the moment. “I even have the engagement ring to prove it.” I raise my trembling hand and hold it out to him.
He shakes his head, frustration making his mouth tight. “I don’t want to wait any longer, Fable. We’re running out of time.”
“Running out of time?” I repeat with a frown. “What are you talking about?”
Drew goes down on his knees, his chest brushing against my legs, his upper body obliterating my vision until all I can see and hear and smell is him. The scent of fresh-cut grass and sunshine clings to him, as well as the familiar scent of his soap and sweat. His nose looks sunburned. There are new lines around his eyes from crinkling them against the sun and at this very moment, I find him so unbearably handsome, even with blood at the corner of his mouth, I know without a doubt I’ll agree to whatever he’s trying to convince me to do. It’s just that easy.
And I’m just that simple.
“Training’s almost finished and preseason is going to start soon. After that, the regular season kicks off and I’ll be busy. Beyond busy. Practice, home games, going out of town, all that bullshit for months. Months, Fable, when you’re going to end up staying back at home with Owen and making sure he’s going to school, you know? And I’m not against that; we already agreed to the plan.” He pauses, his mouth settling in a hard, firm line for a brief moment before he continues. “So when are we going to fit in getting married between all that?”
I part my lips, ready to come up with an answer, but … I don’t have one. I don’t know where we could fit in our wedding what with his crazy schedule. Me, I’m free as a bird. I go where he goes.
Well. That’s not quite true. As Drew just mentioned, I have Owen to take care of. He’s in high school and I need to stay home with him. Drew needs to be in San Francisco since he’s playing professional football for the 49ers.
Yes. My boyfriend—whoops, sorry, fiancé—is a professional football player. I can still hardly wrap my brain around it.
I’m with him now in Santa Clara while he’s in training camp. He was a first draft pick and the Niners snapped him up, just like that. Lots of media attention has already been put on him. He tries his best to avoid it all, but it’s hard. He’s always been such a private person and I know he’s overwhelmed. He talks to me about it a lot and I’ve spent a lot of time lately reassuring him that everything’s going to be all right.
I believe that. I believe in us, and we’re both beyond ready to get married. And I do see what he’s saying. If the reporters are eager to talk to him now, wait until he actually starts playing in front of a crowd. Whether he does well or not, the speculation will be there, focused solely on him. He wants to avoid the spotlight.
There’s no chance that’s happening, though. He’s already in it. We both are.
“I don’t know when we can get married,” I finally answer, my voice small. “It sounds like you really don’t have the time.”