Dead Heat: Forged In Fire Ch. 06byvelvetpie©
:: Robby and Michael ::
If someone were to have told Michael Winston that he would be this happy, he would have told him that he was crazy. He looked across the store and smiled. The tiny space was packed with people and he had been so busy that he realized that he was going to have to find a larger place. The publicity that he had received after the grand re-opening and the murder had made him a reluctant hero and the interior decoration job that he'd done for the Mayor's wife had brought him more business than he could have imagined.
And Robby. He sighed deeply. In the days since the incident, Robby had continued his metamorphosis. He retained his outer hard shell for his police work, but when he came home, he was all silk and satin inside. He laughed more often. He cried more often. He opened himself up and shared every bit of his life with Mike. Mike watched Robby's catharsis, amazed at his partner's rebirth. He couldn't be more proud of him.
The back door bell rang and he left Jerry in charge of the register to answer it. Instead of a vendor waiting to deliver product, Robby stood there, a bouquet of tulips in one hand and a huge picnic basket in the other. No words needed to be spoken; both men moved together and their mouths touched softly, Mike's arms curled around Robby's neck.
"I didn't expect to see you today."
"Why not? Can't a new detective take his honey out for lunch?"
Mike's face broke into a grin and he hugged Robby. "You passed!"
"Yep. I start next week. First shift." Robby's dark eyes met his. "I'll be home for dinner every night."
Mike hugged him again. That had been so important to Robby. He wanted to be able to come home and spend the evening with Mike, like ordinary couples. They could shower together and go to bed together. And wake up together. "Oh, Robby."
"Here, take these and come with me."
"Where are we going?"
"It's a surprise, of course." Robby handed the flowers to Mike and watched as he hurriedly dropped them into a vase and gave them a little water.
"I have to tell Jerry that I'm leaving."
"Well, hurry up!" Robby accepted Mike's kiss and watched with smile as the blond ran to give instructions to his employee, then came back to his side. Robby led him to the car and leaned close, taking a deep kiss for himself, before slipping the black satin blindfold over Mike's face.
The ride only took ten minutes but it was the most exciting of Mike's life. He kept his hands clasped in his lap until Robby reached over and grabbed one, intertwining fingers and giving a squeeze. Mike accepted his hand when they got out at their destination, melting against Robby when his partner's lips coaxed another deep kiss from his. A small set of stairs and then, the sound of keys, the clicking of a lock and the squealing of hinges.
Robby stayed behind Mike, his hands on his hips, leading him into the building. "Now, stay right here and don't touch that blindfold." He kissed Mike's soft lips again and grabbing the picnic basket and a blanket, he laid out the contents of the basket, complete with a rose. Perfect! "All right, you can take off the blindfold now."
Mike slid the blindfold off, blinking his eyes against the light and smiled. Robby had spread two blankets on the floor, one laden with food and two frosty bottles of champagne. "Wow, Robby, this is really nice, but won't we get into trouble?"
"Someone owns this building."
"Yes, someone does." Robby strode over to Mike, dropping a set of keys in Mike's palm. "You do."
The breath caught in Mike's throat. He barely heard Robby's voice saying, This is your new shop. The space was huge, with two floors and a gorgeous view of the water. He walked over to the windows and blinked away tears, gazing out over the water. Our new shop.
"You're not saying very much." Robby whispered, moving up behind his lover.
"I'm sorry, Robby. I just don't have words right now. It was so unexpected and so wonderful." Mike leaned back into him, closing his eyes in happiness.
"You've been doing so well that I knew it wouldn't be long before you'd need a bigger place." His heart was pounding in his chest, his mouth suddenly dry. "I figured that it could be your wedding present."
Wedding? The word streaked through Mike's brain and he slowly turned in Robby's arms, searching his eyes. Robby's hand opened and a thick gold band with a single diamond rested within. "Robby ... "
"I can't imagine not spending the rest of my life with you." Robby's voice cracked. "You've taught me so much, Mike. I can love you without fear and I want to give you my heart. Would you do me the honor of being my husband?"
Mike looked down into Robby's tear-filled eyes, feeling as if he was in a dream. "Oh, yes, Robby! Yes!" He shivered as the band slid onto his finger and jumped into Robby's arms. For long moments, the two men remained in the embrace, sobbing in happiness. "I love you, Robby. I love you so much!"
"I love you, Mike."