Suddenly Engaged (A Lake Haven Novel Book 3)(132)

By: Julia London

It took a moment—in fact, Kyra was talking to Deenie, and Dax had to call her out—but he finally managed to get everyone to look at him. “I won’t be long. I just want to say thanks to all of you. You’ve made East Beach home.”

“But you live in Teaneck now,” Janet said.

“But this is where I consider home,” Dax said. He hadn’t counted on having to diagram his little speech for everyone.

“My God, are you getting sentimental?” Wallace asked, his hand going to his throat.

Dax sighed. “Okay, look. You all know that last summer I tried to marry Kyra Coconuts. She turned me down then, but I’m hoping that if there’s an audience, she won’t do it again.”

Kyra gasped. Deenie squealed with delight. “Are you really doing this?” Kyra asked in a tone she might use if addressing someone about to jump off a roof. “I’d given up on you.”

He was doing what he’d been dying to do since the day she and Ruby had pulled into the drive at Number Three for the second time. But he’d been patient. He’d let her see where this would go. He’d let her discover, like he had, that they were perfect for each other. And now he withdrew the ring from his jeans pocket and sank down onto his knee, almost falling over when Otto decided to move at the same moment.

Suddenly everyone was shouting. Good God, a man had never heard such a hue and cry. “Kyra, it would help if you would come a little closer,” he suggested.

Deenie pushed her, and she stumbled out, wide-eyed, clearly surprised, which gave Dax a great deal of male satisfaction. “Will you please put me out of the misery of wanting to marry you already and marry me?” he asked.

She laughed a bit nervously, which was not the response he’d been expecting. He’d expected little whimpers and sighs and stars shooting out of her eyes.

“What’s the matter?” he asked, frowning.

“I’m excited!” she said and laughed again. “Yes! Yes, of course I will,” she said and fell to her knees in front of him, trying to push Otto out from between them, but the dog would not budge.

Dax was shaking as he put the ring on her finger. “This didn’t go anything like I thought it would.”

“Nothing about us has ever gone like we thought it would,” she said, smiling up at him, her eyes glistening with unbridled happiness. “Why would it now? Oh my,” she said, looking at the ring. “It’s gorgeous, Dax. You’re gorgeous.” She wrapped her arms around his neck. “Do you know how happy I am right now? Delirious! I’ve never been as happy as I’ve been with you these last few months . . . but now? Today? I’m over the moon. I may keel over. And if I do, please know that I couldn’t wait to share a lifetime with you.” She kissed his cheek. “I love you, you old grump,” she said and kissed his mouth.

Dax felt a little giddy himself. Butterflies in his belly, the whole nine yards. “Not as much as I love you, babe,” he said as she kissed his cheeks and the bridge of his nose.

She wasn’t listening now—Mrs. McCauley put Jonathan down beside them, and Kyra was squealing with delight and holding her hand out to show Deenie the ring, and then they were almost knocked into the lake when Ruby launched her small body at them and shrieked, “You’re going to be my daddy!”

As if he hadn’t figured that out. What a coconut that girl was.