Journeys end in lovers meeting.
– William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
I stopped to pet the brass lion doorknocker’s nose for good luck before I turned the knob and pushed open Dimitri’s heavy front door. It had become a silly superstition of mine. It was startling to think how different my life would be right now if I hadn’t knocked on the wrong door a few months ago. If the dodgy Mr. Linus Fitzgerald the third had answered the door instead of a large, super scary Russian!
Some of the greatest love stories in literature are from fated encounters; Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, Anna Karenina, Rebecca. My heart lurched to think I was now living a life similar to my favorite heroines. It was fun to think fate… and a little luck… had stepped in to make sure Dimitri and I met and fell in love. I mean, what could be more romantic than that!
I tossed my backpack onto the bench in the front hall and headed upstairs. Dimitri’s text message said to meet him on the roof for dinner. I’d hope he’d be grilling some of those tasty Russian Kolbasa sausages he had me try last week.
As I neared the French glass doors which lead to the roof patio, my hand flew to my mouth.
Oh, my god!
Along the stone balustrades and on every table surface there was a cluster of ivory pillar candles. There must have been hundreds of them! The entire patio glowed with soft candlelight. There were also countless red rose bouquets arranged in large glass vases.
Dimitri stepped into view the moment I slid open the glass door. He looked devastatingly handsome in a grey pinstriped suit with a dark crimson silk tie which matched his rose boutonniere.
“Dimitri, what is all this?” I exclaimed as I clapped my hands with excitement.
Just then music floated around us. It drew my eyes to a small platform at the upper edge of the patio where four string musicians began playing Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty.
Dimitri stepped up to me and stroked my cheek. He then gave me a wink before lowering to one knee.
“Oh, my god! Oh my god! Dimitri!”
Was what I thought was happening actually happening?
His hand was strong and warm as he clasped mine. “Emma Katherine Doyle, I woo’d thee with my sword,” Dimitri raised a suggestive eyebrow as he emphasized the word sword before continuing, “And won thy love, doing thee injuries.”
My free hand flew to cover my mouth as I swallowed an excited scream of joy. Dimitri was proposing to me by quoting Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream. Could this man get any more perfect? He truly was my book boyfriend come to life.
Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a stunning engagement ring. It looked beautifully vintage, with its art deco cluster of round diamonds and pale gold setting. He slid it onto my left ring finger. It was perfect.
Dimitri’s dark gaze bore into mine. His voice lowered as he said in earnest, “But I will wed thee in another key, with pomp, with triumph and with revelling.”
I sat down on his raised knee and clasped him around the neck. “Yes! A thousand times yes!” I exclaimed, quoting Jane from the Pride & Prejudice movie.
Dimitri closed his arm around my waist as his free hand caressed my neck before grasping my hair and pulling me close for a soul-searing kiss. My lips were bruised, and I was breathless by the time he relented.
“Quiet minx, I haven’t actually proposed yet,” he said as he playfully nipped my ear with his teeth.
I giggled as I rested my head on his shoulder. “Well, hurry up!”
“Emma, I know I don’t deserve someone as beautiful and pure of spirit as you, but I swear to god I will spend my life doing everything in my power to prove to you how much I love you. Will you marry me?”
I tilted my head up as I tapped my chin as if in deep thought. “I don’t know… I may need to think about….”
Placing his arm under my knees, Dimitri swept me into his arms and carried me to the patio sofa. His body pressed down onto mine as he stretched my arms above my head. I could feel the press of his hard cock against my stomach. He leaned down to trace the edge of my jaw with his lips before growling against my mouth. “You don’t have a choice in the matter, моя крошка. You’re mine.”
He kissed me again as his powerful arm caressed down my side to clasp my thigh and pull it high, cradling his hips closer to my core.
I groaned and shifted my hips to grind against his hard shaft.
“Say it, моя крошка. Say you’re mine.”
“I’m yours, Dimitri. Now and forever.”
Leaning up, he towered over me as he shrugged out of his suit jacket. Tossing it aside, his large hands reached for the zipper of his suit trousers.
My hand covered his. “Wait! The musicians!”
Dimitri looked up in the quartette’s direction. He gave a short, sharp whistle to get their attention and motioned with his finger that they should turn around. All the musicians complied, then continued to play.
Dimitri leaned his forearm near my head as he leaned down. “Now, where were we?”
The twinge of excitement I felt at the thought of making love practically in view of four strangers really was shameful. “Dimitri Antonovich Kosgov, you are a very bad man!”
“Yes, my little librarian… and I’m all yours.”