Wanting to kiss her more than he wanted anything, Xander slid his hands back up to cup her face but as he did, he felt something beneath his fingers. Pulling the collar of her shirt open, he stared in disbelief at the diamond encrusted rose that settled at her throat.
Her collar. The one he had given her all those months ago but she’d never worn again. After all they’d been through during those first few days, Xander hadn’t found the courage to push her either.
“Did I mention that I really like it when you dominate me?” she asked him softly.
Yeah, she had mentioned that.
Xander’s throat was suddenly dry.
Realizing there was no better time than right now, Xander slid his hand into his pocket and pulled out the ring he’d been carrying around with him for the last three months.
Yes, for three months he’d contemplated popping the question but hadn’t been able to do so because he felt as though he owed her. He’d made a deal and now that he had followed through, he knew there was nothing stopping him.
He reached for her left hand, lifted it to his mouth and placed a kiss on her fingers. When he lowered it, he didn’t let go. Instead, he stared into her eyes, holding her gaze for long moments before he managed to get the words past his parched tongue.
Mercedes’s eyes widened. “What?”
“Marry me, Mercedes. You’re already my soul mate. And now I want you to be my wife.”
“Wait. I’m not finished,” he told her as he slid the ring over the first knuckle, pausing. “I crave your submission. I crave your love. But nothing in this world is more important to me than to know that you’ll be by my side for the rest of my life. I love you, Mercedes.”
A tear trickled down her cheek and for a brief moment, Xander’s heart stopped beating. He was sure he was going to suffocate from lack of oxygen since he’d actually stopped breathing. “Tell me that you’ll marry me.”
But then she resuscitated him with the sweetest words he would ever hear. “Yes,” she whispered. “Absolutely yes.”
“God, I love you. So damn much,” he whispered, sliding the ring all the way on.
“I love you, too,” she whispered against his lips. “Master.”
And just like any regular business day, Xander and Mercedes moved on to their next meeting.
The naked meeting.
Where they sealed their deal once and for all.