“Where are we?” Lucia asked nervously as she followed Ted’s lead as he had her blindfolded.
“Still on planet earth, I assure you,” he said.
“That doesn’t make me feel any better. Do you really have to blindfold me?”
“Yeah. Watch it; careful.”
“I’m not going to forgive you if I break my heel and sprain my ankle, fair warning.”
“I hear you.” Lucia gasped as she almost lost her balance but Ted held her. She exhaled deeply.
“Almost there; trust me, it is all worth it.”
“I’ll be the judge of that.”
“Okay, we’re here. Are you ready?” Ted asked.
“Yes I am.” He took off the blindfold. Lucia still had her eyes closed.
“You may open your eyes now.” She slowly opened them and she gasped at the view. They were on a yacht beautifully illuminated with soft lights and an intimate dinner table set up.
“Oh Ted…” Lucia said breathlessly.
“I told you it’d be worth it.”
“It totally is. I can’t believe you went through all the trouble to get this done.”
“Well, I supervised…”
“I know and it is really beautiful. Thank you, Ted,” she said gratefully.
“Anything for you, Miss Baker.”
“I hope I’m not overdressed. My mother did this to me.”
“You look perfect,” He said sincerely as he touched her chin. Lucia smiled.
“Oh gosh, I don’t know why my heart is beating this fast,” Lucia said as she placed her hand on her chest.
“I hope I’m not making you nervous,” Ted said as he pulled her into his arms and kissed her forehead.
“It’s not nerves…it’s my heart.”
“Want to go on a little cruise?” Ted asked, looking into her eyes. She nodded like an eager child.
“Great.” He guided her hands on the steering wheel.
“This is so cool. What made you come up with this idea?”
“Well, I wanted to do something I haven’t done before…for any woman. I wanted something private and serene where the only voice I’d hear is your voice and of course, mine.”
“Hmmm…you’re the romantic type, aren’t you?”
“Bourbons are romantic.”
“I see…and did my mother help you with any of this?”
“Do I have to answer that?”
“I want to know what you two talked about.”
“No, you don’t.”
“Yes, I do. Why don’t you want to tell me?”
“It’s between the two of us.”
“Huh…amazingly, my mother seems to like you.”
“And that surprises you why? I am a likeable guy.”
“Yeah, whatever; it is just that, no guy has succeeded in bringing out the tender sweet side of my mum before.”
“It is called the Bourbon charm.” She laughed.
“Yeah, that’s what she calls it too. Where are we now?”
“In the middle somewhere,” Ted replied as he turned off the engine.
“What are you doing?”
“It’s dinner time.”
“Here, surrounded by water?”
“Yeah; it’s perfect. No one will disturb us.”
“What if I disturb you?”
“Then I’ll you push you overboard,” he said jokingly with a grin.
“Huh, very convenient.” He took her hand and led her to the table. They sat.
“Did you cook this?” Lucia asked.
“No; but I can cook for you on our next date if you want.”
“Can’t wait to see the Bourbon action in the kitchen.”
“I’m not that bad, you know.”
“I’m just teasing.” Ted filled their glasses with wine. He raised his glass. Lucia took hers,
“This is to the beginning of a long-lasting prosperous and great relationship,” Ted toasted. They clinked their glasses and sipped.
‘I’m really grateful for tonight; my day was kind of messed up but you’ve put a smile on my face and heart and I can’t thank you enough.”
“Why, what happened? Has it got anything to do with work?”
“No; just some lose ends I have to tie up. Hopefully it will blow over soon.”
“You need my help?”
“No, thanks. It is under control.”
“You know you can always count on me, right?”
“Yeah I know and I really appreciate that,” she said as she held his hand. He squeezed it affectionately.
“Will you marry me?”
“What? Is that a trick question?” Lucia asked, surprised.
“I’m dead serious. Why, you think I’m joking because I’m not on one knee with a ring in my hand?” Ted asked. Lucia stared at him.
“You are serious?”
“We’ve come so far to get here and I’d love to do everything it takes to make sure we are for real this time. I know it is a big step but I’m more than ready to take it. I want to be yours, Lucia. Everything I am and have, I want to place it in your hands to keep: my heart, my wealth, my name, everything. I’ve never been this open with any woman before; never felt this vulnerable but yet so safe. I know you’re the one for me, Lucia and I do pray that I am the one for you too.”
“Oh Ted, you don’t know how much you complete me. I never felt this satisfaction within till I allowed myself to feel what I was resisting for so long. It is like you were sent right to me. At the hospital, when you first came in and I held your hand, I felt something but I didn’t know what. Now I do, it was the touch of my soul mate. Thank you for not giving up on me when I wasn’t bold enough to come out of my shell.” He kissed her hand.
“Is that a yes?” He asked.
“If that isn’t, then I don’t know what else it could be.” Ted chuckled and continued eating.
“So where is it?” Lucia asked eagerly.
“Where is what?”
“Oh, I don’t have it yet.”
“You’re testing me, aren’t you?”
“No I’m not, Lucia. I honestly don’t have it.”
“Seriously, you just know how to ruin a perfect moment, you know that?”
“Yeah, I’ve been told I’m pretty good at that.”
“I don’t think my mum told you to pull that stunt on me. It is not Baker style.”
He laughed. “No, it’s not; this is Bourbon style.”
“Well it sucks.” Lucia took her glass and sipped.
“I love you too,” he said. She glanced at him. He smiled. She shook her head.
They pulled over in front of the Baker mansion. They both got out. Ted hugged her and kissed her forehead.
“So seriously, no ring?” Lucia asked again.
“No,” he whispered. “What is a ring when love is all that matters?”
“You just didn’t say that to me, did you?” He laughed.
“Go on in. Your curfew time is almost up. I don’t want to fall out of grace with your mother,” Ted urged.
“Well FYI, you’re definitely out of grace with me.”
“You’ll come around.”
“Don’t be so sure about that. Pray hard that you’ll hear from me tomorrow,” Lucia said as she walked towards the front door.
“You’ll call and you’ll be screaming.”
“Haha…” She opened the door. She turned and waved at him. He waved at her and she entered.
“How was it, honey?” Mrs. Baker asked expectantly.
“That Bourbon guy you’re so thrilled about just gave me my worst prom night.”
“Did he? But I can see you smiling from ear to ear.”
“It is because I’m looking at you right now, mama.”
“Uh huh.” Lucia’s phone rang. She took it.
“Missing me already?” She asked.
“Haha…you wish. I think I dropped something of mine in your bag. Could you look inside and let me know if you have it?”
“Oh okay; what is it?” Lucia asked as she searched through the content with her fingers.
“You’ll know when you see it.”
“What?” The line went dead. Her hand hit something unfamiliar. She paused. She took it out.
Her eyes got wide as she glanced at her mother.
“Open it already!” She dropped her bag and opened it. She screamed.
Ted’s phone rang. He answered it. All he heard was Lucia screaming. Ted laughed.
“I told you that you’d call me screaming.”
“Oh Ted, this is beautiful!”
“As the owner.”
“Oh gosh, I could kiss you right now.”
“Well, I’m still outside if you really mean it.”
The door burst open and Ted saw Lucia running toward him. He smiled contently as he opened his arms. Lucia ran into them and hugged him tightly. She kissed him.
“I love you too, Ted.”
“It had to take a ring for you to say it?” She nodded and kissed him again.
“Excuse me, do you mind bringing the party inside?” Mrs. Baker called out. The couple looked at her.
“Let’s go,” Lucia said, holding his hand and taking him inside.