Sunday: December 29, 2024
11:07 AM; LOS ANGELES, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, FAMILY ROOM
“You know what’s… crazy?” Jensen asked as he walked into the room.
“Hmm?” Bo lifted his gaze to the taller man’s face.
“Three years ago today, Jamal drove me to the hospital to meet you for the first time,” Jensen said. He squatted down in front of Bo, crossing his arms over the blonde’s thighs, his right hand curled in a loose fist. “You were in the hospital with alcohol poisoning. He had been terrified he was gonna lose you.”
“I was stupid and irresponsible.”
Jensen shook his head. “You were grieving,” he said. “You wanna know what he said to me on the drive there?”
“ ‘This is my boy we’re talking about. He’s having a hard time, and it’s your job to make sure he bounces back. You protect him with your life, because I cannot lose him.’ You are… so damn important to him, Bo,” Jensen whispered.
“He needs me, I need him… We’re both important to the other,” Bo said.
“I know.” Jensen cocked his head to the side. “The thing is, when I first saw you, I didn’t think I would be able to get you to bounce back. You were in rougher shape than Kathy was when I was growing up, and I had no idea how to handle it. But in the months we spent sobering you up, I realized just how much I cared about you, how important you were to me. I didn’t want to lose you, either.”
Bo smiled softly, laying a hand on Jensen’s cheek. “You saved me, Jens. I’m not going anywhere as long as you’re not.”
“I… I want to make sure you mean that. Forever,” Jensen said. He uncurled the fingers of his right hand, clearing his throat as he used his thumb to flip open the lid of the box in his hand. “Bo Eli Austen… will you marry me?”
“Oh, my… Jensen,” Bo whispered.
“You don’t have to say yes. It’s okay, I promise,” Jensen said softly.
Bo held Jensen’s face between his hands, tilting his head back. Bo leaned down to kiss him. “Are you crazy? I don’t have to say yes?” Bo asked as he pulled back. “Yes, I will marry you. You just had to give me a second to breathe.”
Jensen grinned. “Sorry,” he apologized. “Umm… it’s a wedding band,” he said as he pulled the black ring out of the box. Two rows of black sapphires curled around the entire band. “Mine would match it, I just wasn’t going to buy it until I knew… you were going to say yes. You don’t have to wear it yet if you don’t want to. We’ll use them at… the wedding,” he said slowly.
“First, you’re still crazy,” Bo said, carefully taking the ring from Jensen. “I want everyone to know I’m engaged to you. Second, you don’t need to buy yours,” he added, fitting the band over the ring finger of his left hand.
Bo chuckled quietly, leaning over to pull open the drawer of the end table. He pulled out a small box and handed it over to Jensen. “I was going to do it on New Year’s Eve. I–it’s literally the same ring.”
Jensen opened the lid of the box before narrowing his eyes on Bo. “Is this one of those things where you hacked my phone to see if I was planning something?”
Bo shook his head. “No. I showed it to Mom, like… last April. She loved it.”
“Y–you knew you wanted to marry me back in April?” Jensen asked.
“Of course I did. I showed it to her when she was at the house for my birthday,” Bo said simply.
“I asked her which one she liked the best at Thanksgiving. I had, like, five options. She chose that one,” Jensen said. “Oh, your mother’s sneaky as hell,” he added, pulling the ring out of the box. He stared at it for a moment before sliding it over his finger. “We’re gonna get married, Eli,” he whispered, lifting his green eyes back to the blonde’s face.
Bo smiled. “I know,” he whispered back. He threaded his fingers through Jensen’s hair as the taller man leaned up to kiss him. “I love you, Jensen.”
“I love you, Eli,” Jensen breathed.
“Step one, we go tell the girls. They’re upstairs. Step two, I call Jake and then Cecilia and tell them,” Bo said, his eyes brighter than Jensen had seen them in weeks. “Step three, we call my parents and invite them out for lunch or something. We tell them there. And… step four, we tell Kathy, Dallas, and the Taylors?” he asked.
“Yes,” Jensen whispered. “Jamal won’t be back in L.A. until next month. The, uh, second, I think. We tell him, then?”
“Yes,” Bo agreed with a nod.
“Okay.” Jensen smiled. “God, Eli, I fucking love you.” A soft smile formed on the blonde’s face. “Yeah?” Jensen nodded. “I fucking love you, too.”
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