I flew across the carpet to answer the door. Flinging it open, I didn't even give Gareth any warning before I jumped into his arms and wrapped myself tightly around him. My ankles were locked behind his back, and I peppered him with kisses.
"Whoa. Why don't you greet me like this every time I come over?" he laughed, carrying me inside and then closing the door behind him with his foot.
I pulled back and stared at his gorgeous face. "Because it's not every day we celebrate our three year anniversary."
Gareth's eyes opened wide in surprise and then a guilty expression crossed his face. He glanced away, and I smacked him on the shoulder. "Gareth Eugene Brown, you better not have forgotten it's our anniversary today."
He met my gaze and his whole face transformed. The wide, sneaky smile he reserved for special occasions appeared, and he squeezed my butt. "Of course I didn't forget it. Lord, woman, do you not know me by now? How many birthdays and anniversaries have I missed yet?"
"Well, there's only been two of them. Maybe this year it slipped your mind."
Gareth sent me an affronted glare. "Not a chance. In fact, you need to go get changed. I have a special evening planned."
I slid down his length, eliciting a small groan from his throat. "How special? Like, how fancy should I dress?"
"Just wear something nice, but that you're comfortable in." He shrugged.
I threw my hands up, mumbling beneath my breath, "Men," before disappearing into the bedroom. I wasn't really that annoyed. Gareth didn't care what I wore. He always told me to be comfortable anytime we went anywhere. Plus, he wasn't the type of guy, despite having grown up with money, who dressed fancy anyway. He was the most comfortable in a pair of jeans and a pullover, but, like today, he would sometimes wear khakis and a polo.
After five minutes of scouring my closet, I finally picked out a pair of dress pants and the blue cashmere sweater his mom gave me for Christmas last year. Gareth always told me it made my eyes stand out. I hurried back out to the living room to find him sitting on the couch flipping through a magazine Jackie had left out on the coffee table.
"I didn't know Vanity Fair was your thing?" I joked.
He lifted his head and he drank me in. Tossing the magazine back where he found it, he rose and closed the distance between us. "Are you kidding? I have to stay up to date on all things fashion. Speaking of, you look amazing."
I wrapped my arms around his neck and leaned up to kiss him. "Thank you. You don't look too shabby yourself. So, what's this special evening you have planned?"
Gareth's smile was big, his laugh even bigger. "You know good and well that no matter how many times you ask me that question my answer is always the same. You'll just have to wait and see."
I answered with a grin of my own. "It never hurts to ask, you know. Maybe you'll surprise me one day and actually tell me."
"Don't get your hopes up," he said. I kissed the corner of my down-turned mouth to smooth his rejection. "You ready?"
"I just need to grab my purse and jacket." He released his hold on me, and I picked up my pocketbook from the kitchen table and grabbed my coat from the closet by the door. Gareth reached for my hand and led me out to his car.
The sight of Fall and Halloween were back. Carved jack-o-lanterns dotted neighbor's porches, Fall themed flags swung in the evening breeze, and even a graveyard scene littered one of the yards in preparation for trick or treat coming soon. It was a beautiful evening with the stars just starting to shine.
As we traveled through the city, and head out of town onto a familiar road, my excitement grew. I turn my head to look at Gareth in the driver's seat, and I can't hold back my smile. He flashes me a quick grin before turning onto the dirt drive of 1870 Farm. My gaze travels along the road lined with giant oak trees decorated in orange lights. We make the turn in the bend and the giant farmhouse comes into few. Hay bales are stacked on each side of the door with pumpkins lining the top bale and then staggered down each bale before a pile that laid in front.
"I can't believe you brought me back here. I loved this place. It was the best first date I ever had." This was the first time Gareth had brought me back here since that night three years ago. It was one of our many firsts. First date. The first time we'd made love. The first time it hit me that Gareth was special, and I could see myself with him for the long haul.
"This was the place where I started falling in love with you."
I hugged him tightly to me, and refused to let go of his arm while we strode across the yard and through the front door.
"Welcome, how may I help you?" a different woman than the one from three years ago greeted us.
"I have a reservation for a private dining area for Brown, please."
The woman looked over her paperback and her gaze returned to us. "Yes, follow me, right this way."
My gaze took in the farmhouse as she led us to a separate area. The last time Gareth and I had been here, we'd eaten a buffet style dinner outside with the rest of the visitors. He really did go all out tonight. I didn't even know they offered private dining. The hostess opened a set of wood and glass French doors with white curtains to display an intimate room with a single two-top table.
The matching white tablecloth was spotless and the candlelight danced around the room casting soft shadows in the corner. A large bouquet of red roses stood proudly in the middle of the table erupting out of a beautiful frosted glass vase.
"Thank you," Gareth told the woman after we were seated.
"Veronica will be assisting you this evening. She'll be in to take your drink order in just a few minutes. Enjoy your evening." She turned and left, closing one side of the door behind her.
"Gareth, this is wonderful. Thank you so much," I reached across the table for his hand.
"You know I don't ever want you to forget how special you are to me. How much I love you."
My heart soared. "You tell me every day. I could never forget. I love you more than I ever thought possible."
"Happy anniversary, baby." He leaned across the table, and I met him halfway to press my lips to his.
I sat back in my chair, my stomach full of the most delicious meal I'd eaten in my life. Veronica, our server, had come out with a rosemary chicken stuffed with goat cheese and asparagus topping a rice pilaf with a side of steamed squash and zucchini.
"Oh my gosh, that was so good. I need to try and find a recipe for the chicken, because it was out of this world."
Gareth chuckled. "Are you sure that's something you want to tackle. I mean, it's not that you're a terrible cook, but..." he trailed off with a twinkle in his eye.
I gasped, not entirely in anger, because he and I both knew cooking wasn't necessarily my forte. I crossed my arms over my chest with a mild huff. "I'm not that bad. Just for that comment I'm going to make this and you're going to eat every single bite, or...or, no sex for a week."
He covered his chest with his hands. "You would do that to me? The man you love? Threaten to take away that sweet, sweet pussy of yours?"
"Shhhh, not so loud," I giggled. My cheeks flushed and I glanced around to make sure no one heard him. "What if someone walked by?"
Gareth rose from his seat and circled to my side of the table. He tugged my hands and pulled me to standing. His arms wrapped around me and he nibbled my neck. "Then they would have heard you being a very bad girl by threatening me."
He nipped and sucked at my skin before traveling up my jaw and then my mouth. We swayed back and forth while he slipped his tongue between my lips. Every time Gareth kissed me it was like the first time. Sparks always singed across my skin. He was the perfect lover. Always took care of me. Showed me how much he loved me. I moaned against his mouth. A small cough behind him broke us apart.
"I'm sorry to interrupt, but I was wondering if you were ready for your dessert yet?" Veronica's cheeks were pink and there was a shy smile on her face, but she didn't make eye contact with us. I wiped my hands on my pants and Gareth and I both returned to our seats.
"I can't eat a single bite more," I said.
He ignored me. "Yes, please. You can bring it now."
Our server nodded and hurried out the door.
"Gareth, there's no way I can eat anything else. I don't want it to go to waste," I implored.
"Whatever you don't eat, I will. Or we can take it home. It's fine."
Within a few minutes, Veronica had returned. She set the plate in the middle of the table and disappeared without a word. I stared after her thinking it a little rude considering how polite and helpful she'd been throughout our meal. I turned back to Gareth, but his eyes were on the small chocolate cake she'd put between us. "She practically ran out of here."
His gaze lifted to meet mine. The expression on his face gave me pause. His brow crinkled and he wriggled his lips back in forth in a worrying gesture. "Gareth?"
My eyes dropped toward the table and something caught my attention. Something shiny. I sucked in a breath, and my head jerked up to see him staring at me. My whole body started to tremble. He reached out and plucked up the ring that had been lying on a chocolate candied ribbon. My vision of him became blurry. Then, Gareth was kneeling on the ground next to me, my shaking hand in his. His beautiful toffee colored eyes bore into mine.
"Olivia Louise Perkins, from the moment I saw you at that diner three years ago, I knew, without a doubt, that you were someone special. Someone I wanted to get to know. You carried so much light inside you, that it shone through your eyes. I wanted nothing more than to bask in that light." He took a breath, and I choked back a sob. "You've taught me more about love than I ever thought I could know. Your kind and generous heart is one I wish everyone had. You make me laugh. You make me want to be a better person. I want to grow old with you. Have kids with you. I want to make the world envious of the fact that I get to be with you. For the rest of my life. Livvie, I love you with everything that I am. Will you marry me?"
I nodded, because I couldn't get words out of my throat. Gareth slid the ring on my finger, which loosened them. "Yes, oh, my god, yes. I love you so much."
I clutched his face between my palms and leaned down to press my lips to his. Together, we stood, and the clapping started outside the room. We pulled apart to see several people looking through the door at us, all of them smiling, and a few women wiping tears away. I wiped my own away and waved a little, but Gareth blocked my vision of them. He stood directly in front of me and this time the kiss was more. It was full of his love, his hopes, and his dreams. I answered his kiss back with mine.
Finally, we reluctantly pulled away from each other. I brought my hand up and stared at the diamond on my finger. It was absolutely stunning. The small round diamonds surrounding the large, cushion cut sparkled off the candlelight. The simple white gold band set off the rest of the ring. It was something I would have picked out for myself in a heartbeat. Gareth knew me so well.
"My parents are dying to hear from us. I told them it was happening tonight," he said.
"Oh, we'll have to call them later then."
"Later?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.
I sent him my sexiest smile. "Much, much later."
Gareth's answering grin sent a spark straight to my core. My clit throbbed. It only took a single look from this man to make me wet. And now I got to spend the rest of my life with him.
"I think we should probably hurry up and pay so we can get out of here then. What do you think?" he asked.
"Oh, I think you're definitely right." We stood and I leaned close. "Tonight I plan on blowing your mind with the best sex you've ever had. Guaranteed."
"Then let me get on this." He pulled his wallet out faster than anything I'd seen and tossed a wad of cash on the table. He practically ran out of the room, tugging me behind him. We passed Veronica on our way out and Gareth hollered over his shoulder, "Keep the change," and I couldn't stop from giggling. I loved this man.