I look around his garage only to find it empty. Yes, there are a few cars in the bays to be worked on in the morning, but there isn’t a human in sight. Which is weird considering me messaged me to meet him here.
“Knox? Are you here?”
As soon as the words leave my mouth the sound of the main garage door opens, nearly making me jump. I look over to my right only to have the setting Nashville sun blind me for a second. After I get my wits about me only do I realize that Knox not only drove into the garage, but he did it in my Mercedes S-Class.
“What’s this?” I ask.
He pulls the car to a stop. “Your ride awaits.”
I tilt my head, very confused by this whole situation. “Is this why I couldn’t find my keys to this car this morning? I thought I lost them.”
A devilish grin grows on his handsome face as he exits the car. “Technically you did…after I hid them last night so you had to drive the Prius to work.”
I walk over to him, shaking my head with every step. “What am I going to do with you?”
“I have an idea.”
As soon as I get in his orbit, Knox pulls me in, kissing me like he hasn’t seen me in days, not hours. Not that I’m complaining. The day that I say one bad thing about this man kissing me, someone needs to slap me.
I can’t believe after over a year together, these kisses and stolen moments feel just as good as the first time we shared them. Yes, they may be different in some ways. Back then I don’t know if either of us knew what we found. Now? Now we know it’s forever.
I might not have a ring on my finger yet, but I know what forever feels like. And this is it.
Knox groans as he slowly pulls away. “As much as I hate to stop kissing you, if we don’t get going, we’re going to be late.”
I raise an eyebrow. “Late? For what? We don’t have anything tonight.”
He reaches back in his jeans pocket and pulls out what looks like to be one of my eye masks. “Consider this a late addition to our social calendar.”
“Are you going to tell me where we’re going?”
I look over to Hazel, who is sitting in the passenger seat, blindfolded, and judging by the face she’s making with just her lips, not too happy with me.
That’s fine. It will all be worth it in the end.
“For the tenth time, no. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.”
She lets out a little “hmph,” which makes me laugh. My laugh of course only makes her lips do that little angry face again.
“Can I at least get a hint?”
“Nope,” I say, turning up the radio before putting my hand on her thigh. “Just a few more minutes. I promise.”
Hazel finally sits back as I turn the car toward our destination. Pulling all of this together without her knowing was nearly impossible. Thank goodness for Izzy, and of course Whitley, Jake, and Trent. No way could I have pulled this off without them.
Well, I haven’t pulled it off yet. That will happen in roughly ten miles.
“Oh, I like this song,” Hazel says, scooting toward me to put her head on my shoulder. I normally don’t listen to pop music—give me country any day—but when Hazel’s in the car, she always wins the battle for the radio. I don’t know the song, but it’s a ballad about love and finally finding the one.
It’s like somehow her playlist knows what’s about to happen.
As I start to pull up to my destination, I quickly look around to make sure my friends are in their positions. Whitley and Jake are across the road, doing their best to hide behind a road sign. Trent is next to them, video camera already rolling. Each of them give me a small wave and a thumbs up as I bring the car to a stop.
Here goes nothing.
“Are we here?” Hazel asks.
“We are, but don’t move,”
I had every intention of popping out of the car and helping Hazel out. Except I don’t move. I’ve rehearsed what I wanted to say a million times in my head, but all of a sudden, I can’t remember a fucking thing. Do I even have the ring? I quickly pat my pocket, which has the te—tale feel of a ring box.
Just tell her how you feel. Tell her how much you love her. Tell her that she’s it for you.
With one more breath for assurance, I walk around the car, open the door, and take Hazel’s hand as I guide her out.
“Can I take this off yet?” she asks, allowing me to guide to her to the front of her car.
“Just…a….minute,” I say, making sure she’s exactly where I want her. I look across the road, only to get a thumbs up from the crew. “Okay, take it off.”
She does, and just like I hoped, it takes her a second to figure out where I’ve driven her. “Is this?”
I nod. “This is the exact spot I first met you. You were standing right here, leaning against your car as I came driving up in my tow truck. And I remembered thinking, fuck…she’s gorgeous.”
Hazel laughs, though I also think she’s starting to cry. “Were you talking about me or the Mercedes?”
She has me there. Well, slightly. “I don’t know if I ever told you this, but I only came to take this job because dispatch told me it was a Mercedes. But the second that I stepped out of my truck and saw you, I didn’t give a shit what kind of car it was. Or even if there was a car. All I saw was this beautiful woman and immediately my world was rocked.”
Now the tears are really coming. “Hazel Montgomery, we haven’t had the most conventional relationship. We started off pretending. Well, kind of. I know you wanted it to be. But let me tell you this, I’ve never pretended to love you. I didn’t think I could love someone like I love you. And I promise, if you’ll have me, I will love you with my whole heart for the rest of our lives.”
I pull the ring box from my pocket and open it up, displaying the ring that I’ve spent the last year saving up for. I hear Hazel gasp as I go down on one knee, which I take as a good reaction. Yes, Hazel might be a billionaire, but I wasn’t about to use her money to buy her an engagement ring. And from the look on her eyes right now, I did good.
Thank you, Whitley.
I take her hand as I go down on one knee. “Pretty girl, will you marry me?”
She starts nodding furiously. “Yes. Yes, Knox I will marry you.”
I quickly put the ring on her finger and stand up, scooping her in my arms as I kiss her. I hear cheers from across the way, though I don’t look up to see if they are making their way across the street.
She said yes...
Part of me still can’t believe that this is my life. I swear it was only yesterday that I was a guy covered in grease towing cars with a pipe dream of owning his own shop. Dating anyone serious was the furthest thing from my mind.
Funny how one event can change your life.
Hazel pulls away, but doesn’t let go of the grip she has around my neck. “I love you.”
I lean in, giving her one more kiss. “Not as much as I love you.”
Thank you so much for reading this bonus chapter for Knox and Hazel!
Want more from the Rolling Hills gang? Then read the next book in the series, Run Run Rudolph! Yes, it might be set at Christmas time, but Trent and Hollie's story can be read and loved any time of the year.