I hadn’t seen much of Cage today, and I was missing him. Low had convinced Marcus to stay for dinner, and I had enjoyed the company and holding Eli, but I wanted alone time with Cage. Now that they were gone and I had cleaned up the kitchen, Cage was still not back from going to get his phone that he thought he’d left in the barn.
His presents were wrapped already and tucked under the tree, so I didn’t have anything else to do. The bedroom in the barn’s light came on. What was he doing in there? I waited a minute and when the light didn’t go off, I decided I was going after him. I grabbed my wool coat from the hook behind the door and put it on. Then I slipped on my boots before I headed across the frosty grass.
I heard music. Piano music. I stopped and listened, looking around. Where was that coming from? Someone was playing a piano. Thinking about a piano caused my heart to hurt. Cage hadn’t asked about the piano yet. But he would. I didn’t want to tell him I’d given it away. But I wouldn’t be able to lie to him either.
The music started playing again. I’d heard that song before. I wasn’t sure what it was just yet because the person playing it wasn’t exactly a pianist. They did have the tune down though. I started toward the barn again, and the music got louder. Was that coming from the barn? Surely not. Why would someone be playing a piano in the barn? I glanced around again and saw nothing.
I hurried to the barn and opened the door.
There were candles everywhere. The door slammed closed behind me as I let what I was seeing sink in.
My piano sat in the middle of at least a hundred pillar candles that lit up the barn. Sitting behind the piano was Cage. He was playing the song I’d heard outside. When had Cage learned to play the piano? I couldn’t seem to register everything at once.
Then he started to sing.
“It’s a beautiful night.
We’re looking for something dumb to do.
Hey, baby, I think I want to marry you.”
Cage was singing to me, and he was singing a Bruno Mars song. He wasn’t very good at it, but hearing his deep voice as he played the song on my piano brought tears to my eyes. How had he got my piano back? And who had taught him to play this?
He glanced up from his fingers he was studying so hard and grinned. Then he started singing some more. A giggle bubbled up inside me, and I covered my mouth to hold it in. The grin on his face as he continued watching the keys so that he didn’t miss a note was adorable.
He came to the end of the song and dropped his hands from the keys and let out a sigh of relief with the smile still plastered on his face. I opened my mouth to ask him all the questions going through my head, but he walked over to stand in front of me and dropped to one knee. Oh my God. The song. He wasn’t just being ridiculously adorable. He was proposing to me. I watched as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring. “Eva, I want my always,” he said, and held up a princess-cut diamond ring with a halo of tiny sapphires around it. “Will you marry me?”
I wanted to say yes. I wanted to throw myself into his arms and kiss his sweet perfect face, but all I managed to do was start sobbing. I nodded and smiled through my tears as he took my hand and slid the ring onto my finger. Then he stood up and pulled me into his arms.
“You got my piano back,” I managed to say through my tear-clogged throat.
“Yeah, I did.”
“You played it,” I said.
“If you could call what I just did playing it, then yeah, I did.”
I pressed my face into his chest and kissed it. “It was beautiful.”
Cage’s chest vibrated from laughter. “Baby, my singing is not beautiful.”
He was wrong. It was beautiful. His deep voice was smooth and on key. It had been perfect.
“Your dad never gave that piano away. It’s been in Jeremy’s basement. Wilson bought the kid’s center another piano and gave it to them,” Cage said, pulling back to look down at me. “I was going to go buy it from whoever had it, so I went to Jeremy to find out where it was. Your daddy said you’d want it back one day. So the piano is a Christmas gift, but it isn’t from me. It’s from your dad.”
Nothing could have made this moment more perfect. Nothing. . . but that.