Finding Dandelion(108)

By: Lex Martin

We find our seats, and a few minutes later, she jumps out of her chair to hug Clementine, Gavin and Travis.

“Did you know your brother was doing this?” she asks Clem.

My sister gives me a playful shove. “He’s been planning this for ages. He wouldn’t shut up about it. I’m shocked this is an actual surprise for you.”

My sister is her usual ornery self, but I’ve already told her how to play it tonight, so I know she won’t let anything slip.

Travis gives me a half smile and leans over to whisper, “Don’t fuck up.”

“Thanks, man. Really.” I place a hand over my chest to feign sincerity. He laughs, turning to the birthday girl to pick her up in a hug.

Nick and Daren join us, and after a few bro hugs, we take our seats.

“Dude, you okay?” Daren asks. He snagged me the tickets.

“Never been better,” I say with a wide smile. He looks at my leg that’s nervously jiggling and then back at me with a smirk. “Is everything all set at Ryan’s?”

He leans a little closer. “Yup. Sammy and Jenna have it covered. Everyone will be there by the time the game is over.” He slaps me on the back. “Good luck, Jax. Don’t have a heart attack first.”

“Thanks, brother.” I glance around. “Where’s Veronica? I thought she was coming tonight.”

He shrugs, his brows furrowing into deep grooves on his forehead. I don’t need to ask anything else. Maybe he’s figuring out what everyone else has always known, that they’re not right for each other. Because Daren and Veronica never really had that kind of connection. The kind I have with my girl.

I spend the game watching Danielle. She’s smiling and laughing, and I can’t wait to surprise her.

Her hand twines around the locket her mom gave her for Christmas. Last week she put a small picture of me in it, and nothing has ever meant more.

By half time, my palms are sweaty, and my heart is beating out of my chest. Who knew I’d be such a fucking pussy when the time came?

Clem catches my eye when Dani isn’t looking and gives me a wink of encouragement that only makes me more nervous.

Finally, the kissing cam goes up on the big screen during half time, and I wipe my forehead as I wait.

When the camera reaches us, Dani gasps in surprise before she grins and leans over to kiss me, but the sudden cheering gets her attention, and she looks back up at the jumbo-tron to read those four little words that will change our lives forever.

“Jax?” she asks, her eyes bugging out as I get down on one knee.

“Danielle, I love you more than life itself. Will you marry me?” I put the rock on her finger. She looks at it, blinks a few times and smiles. It’s not as big a stone as I’d like, but I know she doesn’t care about that.

“Oh my God. Yes, yes, yes!” She leaps up, and she’s in my arms, and the crowd goes crazy. My sister is crying, and the girls hug each other and laugh as the giant screen above our heads plays our special moment for the entire arena.

Finding Dandelion is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I know she still has a little more school, and my soccer schedule is hectic, but when we’re apart, I want her to know that she is mine and I am hers. Forever.

She turns to me, and I lean over to kiss her, the first of many yet to come.

See, there are happily ever afters. Even for assholes like me.

Also By Lex Martin

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