Hey all! Thank you for reading my book and commenting! I love reading them all, and they keep me motivated to keep going. I have wrapped up this book for now, but the story of Clay and Liz is far from finished. Keep an eye out for more stories about the dynamic duo, and follow me for notifications, as it may be another larger book or a bunch of smaller few-chapter stories (Im still undecided right now I guess I will start writing and see if it breaks or just keeps on going, hahaha)
If you have any ideas or requests for some more whumpage scenarios, let me know!
It has been a couple of months with Clay running back with the team at full health, and never felt better. And the best part is neither wonder twin has gotten injured and is breaking a record within Brvao. Not even a paper cut within the past six months. Although this great news will cause fewer grey hairs on the rest of the team's heads, along with Cerb, everyone is waiting for the shoe to drop. With any sudden movements, unexpected noises and missing visuals, the team panics and sends Cerb to find his love-struck pups. Everyone would think no injuries would mellow out Bravo around the base and other teams, but everyone knows this has to be the leading up to something. There is no golden hour that Clay and Liz are in where there is not some sort of bloodshed or bruise, resulting in the lack of relaxation overseas and at home. So although there are no extra grey hairs, there defiantly are more under-eye bags and exhaustion from everyone but the two injury-prone members. They are flourishing and have finally mastered the balancing act of work at work and home life. Although their home life does seep into the odd mission or deployment when they have a moment alone or waiting. But once those vests and helmets go on, there is nothing but business and a change in their bad karma.
Everyone from Bravo and their support team sat outside Ray's house basking in the sun, hands full of beer and good conversation flowing. Everyone is trying to forget that they were about to leave for deployment in two days and enjoy the pre-deployment BBQ tradition Bravo insists on upholding no matter the weather.
"Do you know when Jason and Liz will get here?" Clay asked as he shifted again in his chair, rubbing his hands on his jeans a few times.
"If I didn't know any better, I'd say you are nervous there, Mr Spenser." Sonny cocked his head, watching Clay scan the yard again, pausing at the patio door. "I don't think I have ever seen you nervous; what's eating at you?"
"Well, that's a lie if I have ever heard one. Spill."
"You remember what I told you in the bar a few nights ago?"
"You don't think it's too soon, right?"
"No. I don't think so. It's a bit different for you two than the normal. But if you look at it, it's been over a year since you two did not do things... well, normal." Sonny leaned forward in his chair, knowing that this was a serious conversation that Clay was wrestling with in his head and trying to keep it away from listening ears.
"Yeah, that's true. I guess if you look at it that way, and I knew the moment I looked at her."
"Awe, you sap!"
"Where is Davis?"
Sonny stared at him perplexed; that was not the person he was expecting him to ask for as the past twenty minutes as been him constantly asking where Liz was as she went with Jason to the base to put in a request for a new rifle for deployment. She insisted on going with Jason over Clay no matter how often he offered, saying she may need his little extra rank to pull as the one she wanted to get a bit bougie for the military, as they lay in bed wrapped in each other's arms, exhausted from finally finishing unpacking all of their moving boxes in their new apartment, and well then adding in some christening activities to their new bed, couch and shower.
"I think she is inside with Niama getting the food prepped for Ray," Brock said as he slipped in beside Clay on his chair with Cerb trailing close to his heels until he spotted Clay and then ran to his pup for some much-needed scratches.
"Thanks." Clay nodded as he stared into the kitchen window. Still, seeing a few extra heads, he did not want to have this conversation in front of, so he turned his focus onto Cerb, who was trying to secretly climb onto his lap to get comfy and get a little extra cuddles. When Cerb was in his tact vest, he was the scariest hail missile you did not want to cross paths with. But when he was out of the vest, he was the biggest suck around, especially at the team events where he knew he could milk every human for all the scratches, but would always make his way back to Clay, Liz or Brock to settle down with for a good lap cuddle.
"Hey, Mr. Sorry we are late."
Small hands wrapped around Clay's shoulders, tipping him to lean back more in his chair and look up at the smile hovering over his head. Liz leaned in, planted a quick kiss on Clay's lips, and froze for a moment, realizing what she did and preparing herself with a small wince and straightened up. Here comes the razing.
Clay reached up his free hand, grabbing hers and kissing the back of it.
"Oh, get a room!" Sonny barked out under a muffled laugh. This was his new favourite pastime, showing his support and love for the new couple through many razzing comments. He loved them both as family and could not be happier as, other than Jason, he was their most significant support. "I don't want to see lip locking, and you are ruining my dinner."
"Son, nothing will keep you from that steak calling your name." Jason laughed as he walked up beside Liz with a beer for her, and they both settled into chairs beside Clay and across from Sonny.
"So how did the begging go? You get approved for your new toy?" Clay asked as he shifted slightly, as much as he could with a 70lb ball of muscle lying in his lap; looking at Liz, he saw her turn her eyes to Jason and grinned. Ok, something was up.
"I don't know how she did it, but she managed to get the brass to approve two new rifles with all the bells and whistles and then new rucks for everyone." Jason smiled.
"Two? How did you manage that?" Brock squinted his eyes with a slight smirk. He knew something was up as well and also noted to himself to make sure he gets Liz to go with him next time he meets with the Brass for new equipment for Cerb. There was a dog camera he had his eye on.
"Happy belated moving day." Liz smiled as she leaned in and gave Clay another kiss to his shocked face.
"That's why you needed Jason? You got me a new rifle?"
"Of course! There was no way I would spoil the surprise, and you will need a new one for the next time we are on that range in J-Bad. I am not listening to you whine when I win and blame you sucking on your gun. This way, I can beat you fair and square."
"You will not beat me; you know that. New toys or not, I still kick your ass nine out of ten times on the range. I'm pretty sure it is my name and no one else on that scoreboard." Clay smirked as he winked at her.
"You know most couples do not buy each other these kinds of new toys to keep the relationship exciting." Sonny laughed as he shook his head.
"How are you guys so competitive and still going so strong? I will never understand your wiring, but it's obvious to anyone that you are meant to be together or that you will make everyone else with you cry." Jason joked.
Everyone laughed as Clay and Liz just grinned at each other, plotting their next moves for distraction when they were on the base range. Everyone knows when they go as a group, those two can't help but set up distractions towards each other, and things can get intense, causing the rest to either stop and watch or retreat for cover. And no one questions their seriousness and practice as they really do not need practice, and their shots prove themselves repeatedly every mission, and Jason knows they do sneak off and go to the range for some serious training.
"Steaks on!" Ray called out as he and Trent finished the meat. Davis, Blackburn, and Niama finished bringing the food, and a few support members set up plates and cutlery alongside more beer into the coolers.
As the night wound down, it was just the core members of Bravo left sitting around the fire. Cerb was cuddled at Brocks's feet, enjoying the bed of blankets Ray's kids insisted on making for him before they went off to bed with Niama, basking in the heat of the fire. Clay and Liz were cuddled up on another clump of blankets on the ground as the rest of the team were in chairs or sitting on the picnic benches playing cards beside the fire. Clay was sitting with Liz in front of him, in between his legs leaning back into him as she nustled deeper under the blanket and rubbed small patterns on Clay's hand wrapped around her waist as his other arm was stretched back, propping them up. He froze as she shifted around to get comfortable, hoping she would not lean towards his left side where his arm rested on his jeans pocket.
Davis caught his movements and watched his eyes shift to his leg, "Who wants smores? I think I saw everything we needed inside. Can you guys come to help me bring it all out? And I think we are all due for another round?"
"Smores? Davis, are you ten?"
"Oh, Sonny stops complaining; you know you want them too. Come on." Davis got up and approached the door, with a few of the team members following her slowly. The rest were still sitting by the fire, avoiding eye contact, not wanting to get up. "Now!"
With that, everyone but Clay made their way up, but as Liz shifted to get up, Clay wrapped his arm around her waist tighter and held her against him, planning a small kiss on her cheek. "Hold on."
"Ok? What's going on?"
"Liz, I… We…"
"For fuck sake, just spit it out, Spenser." Liz shot the words Clay yelled at her back in his face with a smirk and raise of her eyebrow as she taunted him. The words that sparked their first kiss always lingered between them, and they threw them at each other playfully every time the other could not come up with something they needed to say. It was their way of telling the other one to stop thinking and spit out the words they wanted to say. Usually, the ones about their feelings were always the hardest. They were trained to think over every situation in their line of work, and unfortunately, that followed them both, and they joined forces with the walls they built up around themselves to keep their hearts safe.
"I love you."
"I know." Liz turned her head up and back to kiss Clay as she wrapped one hand up into his hair, pulling him close, deepening the kiss, "I love you too."
"I know," Clay murmured back against her lips before he pulled back and reached into his pocket, pulling out a small black box but still keeping it down along their side out of her view, waiting for the right moment. "Liz, I have loved you since I laid my eyes on you. I have always seen you every day since you walked into the cage room beside Jason with a nervous smile and hands stuffed into your pockets as you surveyed your new team. I saw your nose twitch as your nervousness finally caught up with you, no matter how hard you tried to hide it and kept scanning the room, focusing back on the door. Then your eyes met mine and locked on mine as Jason gave introductions. It was that moment I knew. I knew you were the one, and I have not stopped thinking of you since. I fell in love with you at that moment, even if I did not know it then, and it has only grown stronger. When you got hurt, I could not stop thinking about how I may lose you. I know we signed up for the unknown for the future with our line of work, but I can not go another moment not having you in my life in every way possible. We are forever."
Tears streamed down Liz's cheek as the final wall broke around her heart. Successfully Clay had chipped away at the bricks she had built up, and now that the last one fell, she knew this was it. He was her forever as well. "Clay. Will you marry me?"
"What?" Clay's eyes bugged out as he looked down at their lap, where he held the black box. Liz had yet to look down and notice as she could do nothing but look up at him.
"Don't make me ask again."
"Liz, look down." Liz looked down at her lap and started to burst out laughing as Clay huffed a deep chuckle behind her. "Always have to win, hey?"
As Clay shifted his weight to have both hands on her lap in front of him to open the box, he leaned close into her ear and whispered, "Elizabeth Fox, will you marry me?"