We're at the last chapter of The Publicity Stunt. I hope you guys enjoyed the ride! Chapters 29 and 30 have been posted at the same time.
Mary sighs happily, pulling Francis's arms around her tighter. "I'm glad you're back home."
"I'm glad I'm home," Francis replies. Because Bash gave me a lot to think about actually... And then we both followed Dad home and got a lot more than we bargained for.
"So, how was the final fitting?"
"It was great," Francis says. "Bash chose well, I think Kenna's going to love it. In fact, speaking of Kenna, I have to bake her some cookies."
Mary chuckles, turning to face him. "Why?"
"Bash wants to have sex in a hot air balloon-"
"She's afraid of heights when they're not connected to the ground."
"The way he said it, she'd rather have sex than be scared of being in the air," Francis replies.
Mary laughs in disbelief. "Okay, well. They do them, I guess," she says with a slight blush as she wonders if they could be just as adventurous.
Francis takes a sharp intake of breath, turning to he lays on his back and looks up at their ceiling. "Uh, we also talked."
Mary snuggles into his chest. "Hmm, really?"
Francis nods, thinking about the ring in the drawer of his bedside table. She was asleep when he got home, stuffing the item into the drawer quickly as she moved around and settled back to sleep. Then he got tired as it was four in the morning and he went to bed, feeling her latch onto him immediately in relief.
"I want to marry you," she mumbles tiredly.
He grins then frowns when she snores a little. "Don't you go sleeping again!"
"We've just had sex," she says with a laugh. "You wore me out..."
"Excuse you," he jests. "I, who got back at four this morning, went to walk and feed our beloved dog. You've been here all night and all morning!"
Mary shrugs with a smile on her face. "What can I say? Our bed is really comfortable. I'm glad we're not as vigorous as Kenna and Bash to break ours..."
Francis laughs loudly, pecking her cheek quickly. "Okay."
She yawns, pressing a kiss on his bare shoulder. "Go on, you were talking about marriage."
"Yeah," Francis mutters. "Dad was just saying not to make the mistakes he did, obviously. Uh, then he and my mother gave me my mother's engagement ring."
Mary turns to him in surprise. "Wow. They must love you a lot."
"I am their eldest together," he says with a small smile. "Dad continued with some stuff about being patient and that the woman was always right... The more he talked, the more I thought about getting married since we've more or less promised to get married."
"That's nice," Mary mumbles, her eyes closing as she slowly drifts off into sleep.
But Francis knows what will get her wide awake as he asks, "Will you marry me, Mary?"
Her eyes snap open and she sits up, looking down at him in shock. "What?"
He rolls over to his side, retrieves the ring and rolls back, opening it up to reveal a Cartier diamond ring. "My mother's ring." He blushes. "She can't think of someone else more worthy to wear it."
Mary's eyes water and she shakes as she stares down at the ring, swallowing hard. She knows how happy people are being married and she definitely wants it. Her heart is suddenly loud in her ears and she wonders if it's too soon but... they're Mary and Francis. Everything is at their pace because they've got something special.
"Give me a second," she whispers, shooting out of her bed with her phone.
She hurries into the family bathroom and calls Kenna.
"This is the future Madame de Poitiers, how can I help you?"
Mary snorts then rolls her eyes. "Francis proposed."
"A few seconds ago?"
"What did you say?"
"I told him to give me a second," she squeaks out.
Kenna screams. "Mary, you idiot!"
"I love him," Mary breathes out. "But what if it's too soon?!"
Kenna groans in annoyance. "Honey, you gave him a fucking promise ring. And there is such a thing as a long engagement."
Mary grins. "Okay. Sorry for calling. At this point, I can only use your future marriage as reference."
Kenna lets out a soft chuckle and she sighs happily. "I'm glad for you Mary. Now, go and say 'yes' to your gorgeous man and make him yours forever."
"Yeah..." Mary whispers.
"I told you he was marriage material."
And then the phone line cuts and Mary leaves the bathroom and pads into their bedroom where she sees a disheartened Francis staring down at the ring as he mutters how stupid he is to have scared her off.
Mary inhales deeply. "Stand."
Francis's eyes meet hers in surprise and he does, coming to stand in front of her. He raises his brows when she pushes him down and he lands on one knee, looking up at her grin.
"Now, try again."
Francis beams. "Mary Josephine Stuart, will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?"
Mary tilts her head to the side, wriggling her fingers. "Yes."
Francis slips the ring onto her finger and she pulls him up for a long kiss before he lifts her into his arms, making her squeal in happiness. "God, I love you!"
She laughs, kissing him again. "I love you too."
"Ooh, say that again."
Francis's voice deepens as his eyes darken. "Mrs Valois."
"Do you have something to tell us?" Bash asks, sharing a knowing smirk with Kenna.
"I hate you, Kenna," Francis mutters. "Since you've been together, you've made him worse."
"Congratulations!" Kenna cries out, hugging the couple tightly as she giggles. "Oh, yes. Bask in the magic of marriage. This feels amazing."
"Okay, get off you weirdo," Mary says as Bash pulls Kenna back onto his lap.
Francis blushes furiously. "We want to tell friends and family ASAP but then we'll keep quiet because we don't want to ruin your big day."
"Oh, ruin it if you want," Bash says, receiving a hit from Kenna. "I'm just there for the sex that-"
"Ignore your brother," Kenna says with a grin. "He's glad I accepted a damn hot air balloon trip so now he can care less about everything that's been planned to make our wedding perfect." She smiles tightly, giving Bash a glare which makes Mary giggle to herself when she knows all the surprises Kenna has in store for Bash.
Francis snorts, giving his brother a mock glare. "So rude!"
"Right?" Kenna agrees, smacking Bash. "Anyway, now I can organise the final details of our wedding shower."
"Our 'what' now?" Mary asks, eyes wide.
Bash clears his throat. "So, she wants this event where people will give us gifts at the party instead of at the wedding because we won't be present enough to go around and accept all of the amazing presents we'll get so, this is just an informal event-"
"Like a rehearsal dinner," Kenna finishes. "I'll add your names to the banners."
"You don't have to-"
"It's done," Kenna cuts Francis off. "It's just friends and family. Mary our families are technically each other's so the de Guises will be there and all the Stuarts from the highlands and all the Beatons from lowlands. Oh and obviously the Valois-Angoulemes, de Poitierses and whatever surnames you have hidden away on your birth certificates."
Mary chuckles nervously. "Okay."
"Great!" Kenna claps. "It's next week."
"What?" Francis and Mary question.
And that is the end, hehe. We'll be having the wonderful announcement and wedding shower in the first chapter of... The Reality Stunt. It won't be up for a little bit but keep a lookout for it!