There was a gathering to be attended at the Traveler’s Arms this eve. We had finally returned home, after long months of travel. And she stood before the dressing mirror, looking lovelier than I had ever seen her after a long bath to wash the trail from her. Her cat laid upon her bed, watching closely, tail twitching as its cool gaze lighted upon us together. And I stood behind her, holding up a dress to her as she judged its worthiness to adorn her at our encroaching social engagement.
My eyes caught hers in the mirror, my heart leaping in my throat. I knew it was time, but the words that were always so easy to let fly seemed stuck. Something must have struck her about my expression then,
because she seemed a bit flush.
“Erima,” I said softly to her, my fingers brushing her soft skin where I held the dress to her front, “I’ve something I’d like to say.”
With barely a breath’s hesitation to allow her any word in before I laid myself barer to her than I’d ever been, I began.
“In this path I’ve walked, I’ve never once felt alone since you’ve shared it with me. You’ve been my friend and companion, we’ve walked through fire, pain and death as we’ve shared our journeys together. You’ve always been there, as the steel that strengthens me, the fire that forges me, the lantern that has lit the darkness I often find myself in. There can’t be shadows without light, and your beautiful heart has been a beacon to me.
And on our journey here, home, I realized that it’s not really home at all. There is nowhere that is home for me that is not near to you. And there’s no road that I’d want to walk that is without you. Whatever future we fight for, I can only see it worthy if I am fighting for it, sharing it, with you.
Erima Ward, I love you. I’d ask you to be my wife, if you would have me as your husband.”
With trembling fingers, I moved my hand to hers, and I pressed the ring I had bought for her into her palm as I bent low to press my lips against her shoulder.