Ten Seconds to Fall

Lucy doesn't know what to do with herself after graduation. That is, until she stumbles upon The 10 Second Fiesta.


11. today, and maybe always

I drove us home and brought him upstairs, leaving him to fall on the bed while I got a bag of frozen peas from the freezer. I sat on the bed beside his head and pressed the frozen greens to his chin. He squeezed his eyes shut against the pain.

"Thank you," I said.

"I would defend your honor any day," he smiled. "Not that I think I'll have to. Where did you learn to throw a guy like that?"

"I took a self defense class after-" I swallowed, then finished. "After my mom was assaulted and all of her pre-existing mental issues became full on text book psychosis."

He just nodded. He seemed to always know when I needed him to not ask further questions. Just took me at my word and didn't press.

I played with his hair and he looked up at me, his eyes full with something.

"I really do love you, Lucy," he said.

"I love you, too, Jude."

I leaned down and kissed his lips, letting myself sink into the bed beside him.

"How would you feel about not sleeping on the couch, tonight?" I asked in a whisper.

"That is a thought," he smiled and ran his hand through my hair.

"You don't want to?" I tried not to let my disappointment show through.

"My parents always taught me that some things are left for marriage," he said. "What can I say? I'm an old fashioned romantic."

I sighed and dropped my head onto his shoulder.

"I hope I didn't hurt your feelings," he said.

I shook my head.

"I don't want to do anything you don't want to do," I said.

"Oh, I want to," he laughed, "but I want you to make an honest woman of me first."

I laughed with him and asked, "Was that a marriage proposal?"

"Well, we did establish our mutual feelings of love and respect," he laced his fingers through mine. "Let's not forget the fact that I'm completely dependent on you, not just emotionally, but also financially. We both know the business would collapse without you."

"I'm not joking," I said.

"Neither am I."

"Let's do this, then," I sat up on the bed and he sat up after me.

"You're serious about this?" He asked.

"Jude, I want to spend my foreseeable future at your side," I said. "I would love to be your wife."

He leaned forward and kissed me gently.

"Slow your roll, my love," he said. "It's ten pm in a small town in Texas. There's no midnight chapel to run to."

"There is a JP at the courthouse across the street in the morning," I said.

"Or afternoon," he said. "Call Kali, and you two go get a dress and get ready in the morning. I'll get Lew to help me find a suit. We'll meet at the courthouse at noon, and then it's done."

I smiled and threw myself back on the bed, having difficulty containing my excitement.

"I'm going to the living room," he said and kissed my forehead. "I'll see you in the morning. Go ahead and call Kali."

I grabbed my phone from the edge of the bed and looked up Kali's number as the door shut.


"Okay, so, let me get this straight," Kali said as we shifted hangers of dresses down a metal pole in a vintage shop the next town over, "you went dancing, he got in a fight with some loser - that you actually won - and so you felt like getting all romantic, but he turned you down, and now you're getting married to get in his pants."

"That's not why we're getting married," I said and pulled a pretty white dress off the rack.

"It sounds like that's why you're getting married," she eyed me suspiciously.

"We're getting married because we're already sharing our life together, and we want to keep sharing our life together," I said.

She just kept eyeing me.

"We want to make it official."

More eyeing.

"We were going to eventually get married anyways, but yes, maybe I'm rushing it a little bit because it's difficult living with this stupidly charming man and not feel incredibly lonely in his bed without him there. I'm marrying him now to get him into bed, but I'm also marrying him forever and always because I love him."

She smiled.

"As long as we're clear on that and you're being honest about it."

She took a dress off the rack and handed it to me, "Try this on."

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