In the beginning...
They had a lot to do today, but he didn't want to miss his morning run. JC rose early to get that out of the way and planned to shower and then slip back into bed with her for a while. Now that he had returned and saw her snuggled under the covers, he had to hold her. After stripping, he bent down and lifted her sleepy body onto his chest, intent on taking her into the shower with him.
Sitting on the lid of the closed commode, he held her on his lap while the water warmed. She murmured in her sleep as he nuzzled her neck and rubbed his face against her silky skin. Spencer opened her eyes when he gently tugged her nightshirt off, but quickly closed them again, moaning softly.
"Good morning, sleepy head," he murmured, kissing her.
"Mmmm," she moaned again. "Hurts."
"What hurts, baby?" he asked quietly.
"Headache," she murmured. "Head hurts."
"Badly?" he asked, his palm immediately touching her brow to check for signs of a fever.
"Aspirin?" he asked, standing with her in his arms and opening the medicine cabinet. He shook two aspirin into his palm and filled a glass with water. "Here, sweetheart, swallow this."
Spencer sipped from the glass he held and then swallowed the pills he slipped between her lips. He smiled at her grimace and gave her more water.
Cupping her cheek, he gently pulled her head against his shoulder and massaged her scalp. When the bathroom was hot and steaming, he took her into the shower, slid to the floor with his back to the water and held her against his chest. She was quiet as his hands continued to massage her scalp with gentle strokes, his lips moving back and forth across her face, his occasional soft murmurs and the warm water lulling her back to sleep.
When her breathing evened out, he reached for the soap and lathered their bodies, standing to rinse them off and then wrapped her in a towel. She woke when he lay her back on the bed.
"JC," she murmured as he lay beside her and toweled her hair. "Are you running late?"
"No," he cupped her chin, looking for any sign of pain in her sleepy eyes. "Planned to go in late this morning. It's gonna be a short day. Tell me about your headache. Does it still hurt?"
"Better," she murmured. "Kiss me, squidlet."
He kissed her. She moaned softly.
"It still hurts," he said quietly. "How bad, baby?"
"Not too bad. It'll be okay soon."
"I'll stay here until you're better," he promised, massaging her scalp again. "When did it start?"
"Woke with it," she whispered.
"JC, do you really want to marry me?" she asked suddenly, looking into the face of the man she loved more than anyone and anything in her entire life.
He was stunned and momentarily, speechless.
"Do I want to marry you?" he choked. He leaned over her, his body covering hers, most of his weight on his forearms. Cupping her face with both hands, he spoke quietly but firmly. "I want to marry you more than I want anything out of this life. I want you to be my wife, my lover, my partner, my lifelong companion. I want to love you and cherish you... spoil you and pamper you... keep you in my arms and safe. I want to make love to you... make you mine again and again. I want you in my arms when we sleep... I want you in my arms when I open my eyes each morning. Each and every day, I want you to know how much you mean to me and that I love you more and more with every passing hour."
Spencer listened quietly, her heart full, and when he finished speaking, she pulled his mouth to hers. "I do love you, squidlet, very, very much."
"Any more doubts?" he asked, looking at her, wondering why she had asked the question.
"No," she murmured.
"Spencer, Do you want to marry me?" The words were barely audible, JC's tone serious.
"Yes," she said without hesitation. "I do."
He relaxed considerably and pulled her onto his lap as he sat up against the headboard. "Why did you ask, baby?"
"I'm not sure," she said honestly. "I thought... we haven't known each other very long... what if one of your former lovers comes back into your life and you decided she'd..."
"Any woman I have known and cared for are in the past. There's only you and me, bambina, no one else."
"And marriage is forever?" she asked, swallowing hard.
"For us, it is," he swore, realizing this was the real question in Spencer's mind.
She looked at him for a quiet moment, seeing the truth in his eyes. "I'll hold you to that, squidlet," she said softly.
"After all the trouble I've gone through to make you mine, imp," he growled, "there's no way I'm ever letting you go!"
He sealed that vow by loving her with great tenderness, his body filling hers and bringing them both pleasure. Holding her tightly, he continued to caress her as their breathing eased, murmuring words meant for her ears alone, telling her again and again how much he loved her.
Spencer's heart was full. She knew JC loved her and that she'd always belong to him. "I love you, squidlet," she said softly as she rolled on top of him, nuzzling into the fur on his chest. "You're mine, all mine."
"All yours, sweetheart," he smiled, gathering her close. "All yours."
"You know," she said as she relaxed into his embrace. "After we're married... there might be a time when you'll have to remind me that you're happy you picked me."
His hands immediately cupped her bottom cheeks, delivering light stinging spanks and then squeezing gently. "I'll be sure to do that, imp," he grinned, conveying a promise he intended to keep.