Plays Well With Others bonus!
I’m excited to share this bonus scene with you.
Bonus Epilogue for Plays Well With Others
A year later…
The familiar coffee shop noises vanish as I stare at Fable’s latest creation. The jewelry artist sits across the table from me, and she practically vibrates with excitement, but I’m stock-still in awe.
“You’re killing me, Hendrix,” she says when the anticipation gets too much. “I swear, I’m dead. Just dead. From waiting.”
I’ve said nothing. I can’t take my eyes off this beauty in the box.
Finally, I speak. “It’s perfect,” I say, looking up. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this.”
“Oh yes, you can. Go ahead and try,” she says.
I laugh, and the mood lightens. Rachel seriously has amazing friends. Every single one of them is a gem. “You’re the best,” I say.
“All right. Let’s do this, then.”
* * *
The next day, Rachel’s closest friends assemble around her store while I wait at the coffee shop down the street for the go sign. As I stare at my phone, anticipating the signal, I think about time.
For a long while, I was sure my timing off the field had to be as pinpoint perfect as on the football field, where every second matters.
And sure, they do matter in the game.
But in life, I’ve learned to embrace the moments. Sometimes things happen faster than you expect. Sometimes they take longer.
It took me years to realize that the woman of my dreams had been the best friend by my side all along.
But once I learned it, I made sure to show her every damn day what she meant to me.
Now, a year later, I have a new way to show her.
When my phone trills with a message from Fable saying now, I am up and out of the coffee shop in a flash and heading to Bling and Baubles through the Friday afternoon foot traffic. Juliet is walking my way, and I give her a quick smile.
Peering in through the shop window, I assess the scene. The store teems with customers, as it often does.
Perfect. Rachel will love that. Fable’s helping out today, and she gives me the thumbs-up from behind the counter then turns to a customer.
I open the door and take my position.
Rachel’s not in the front. As planned, Elodie had distracted her, saying she had something to discuss in the back of the shop.
Juliet’s here, too, right behind me, her phone ready to shoot.
When Rachel returns to the front, she blinks when she spots me, then she smiles. “Oh, I didn’t expect to see you yet.”
That’s the point. We don’t have plans till later.
Or so she thinks.
“Thought I would surprise you,” I say, all casual, even though my heart is thumping hard.
“With my sister?” she asks with a curious glint in her eyes, which flick to Juliet behind me, recording this moment on her phone.
As a few customers turn to check out the two of us now. Fable keeps a straight face next to Rachel. Elodie’s ready with her camera too, to take pictures.
“Yes.” I walk toward her. “Juliet has a very important job.”
“What’s that?” Rachel asks as I reach the counter, the display between us.
“Come here,” I say. It’s a command but a gentle one, a loving one.
With a what is going on expression, she comes around the counter and stands mere feet from me in the middle of the shop, surrounded by very curious customers.
But I know Rachel won’t mind that they’ll be witnesses.
I hope she won’t, anyway.
And I hope she’s as ready as I am to take the next step.
“She’s here to shoot a video on how to propose.” I drop to one knee. “Here goes,” I say.
Rachel gasps, her hand flying to her mouth.
Her reaction is all I want. It sends adrenaline and joy spinning faster in me. It spurs me on. “You’re my best friend, my girlfriend, and my love. When I look back on the last year with you, it’s been the happiest of my life. You are my favorite person, my heart, and my home. I plan on loving you for the rest of my days, and I don’t want to wait any longer to make you mine forever.” I take a beat to give the last moment the weight it deserves. “Will you be my wife?”
“Yes,” she says immediately, and my heart soars. She didn’t even need a second to think. “Yes, yes, yes,” she adds, her voice wobbling with tears.
Beautiful, joyful, happy tears.
Then she falls to her knees, throws her arms around me, and kisses me in the store as her customers clap, her sister records the moment, and her friends cheer and snap pics.
When Rachel breaks the kiss, I slide a gorgeous, three-carat, princess-cut diamond on her finger. It’s big and shiny—a declaration.
I want everyone to know she’s with me.
For all time.
Later, I take her out to a hot new restaurant for dinner, and we take more pictures, shoot more videos. Our How To Date series has become one of the things we love doing together.
But I still love our private moments best.
Like when we go home and she cups my face, stares at her hand, and says, “I can’t wait to be Mrs. Rachel Hendrix.”
“I can’t either,” I say, as I kiss my fiancée one more time.
Thanks for reading Rachel and Carter’s romance and don’t forget to download Axel and Hazel’s standalone romance in MY SO-CALLED SEX LIFE for free NOW in KU. You’ll devour that enemies-to-lovers standalone – a spicy, fun escape filled with dirty talk, banter, a feisty heroine, a grumpy hero, and only one bed in the room! If you’ve read it, then grab DOUBLE PUCKED for free in KU! That spicy, hockey standalone is an MFM romance with a why choose style HEA, sweet revenge and lots of shenanigans! You’ll love it too!