Status: In Time

To Caress My Day

Chapter 184: Besotted

“First of all, I would like to start by thanking you for being marvelous to my daughter.” Araceli began, reaching out to place a hand over Seth’s. They were sitting on the couch in her living room with their knees facing each other. She had managed to sneak in a private moment alone with him tonight by assigning her husband and daughter to the kitchen and putting them to work on tonight’s dinner. There were things she wanted to voice to Seth without an audience...or an intervention from her child. “I know we hardly know each other that long, but a mother knows when her child is overjoyed, and my Tahliah is overjoyed with you. I don’t need years to be able to see it. It’s all over her face.”

A fast grin spanned across Seth’s face. He was consoled that her sitdown with him wasn’t what he had dreaded the most. She wasn’t exclusively telling him that he wasn’t suitable for her daughter! Placing his hand over hers, he said. “In that case, I can’t imagine how my face must look to my own family.”

Araceli smiled warmly, her warm brown eyes reminiscent of her daughter’s. “I think they’d agree that the same goes for you as well.” She tilted her head to the side and proceeded. “I also wanted to thank you for taking care of my Tahliah in both London and in your country. I know my stubborn daughter and she doesn’t approve of that kind of financial support from anyone including myself, but I know deep down she’s just as indebted as I am that you did.”

“You don’t need to thank me, Araceli. It was no trouble at all. I WANTED to do it.” Seth assured her then rolled his eyes at the image of his girlfriend. “Despite how hard I had to fight to get her to accept it.”

“Get in line, Mr. MacFarlane.” Araceli sighed tediously, shaking her head in displeasure at the perseverance her child possessed. But that’s not what she wanted to go into right now, it wasn’t important. “Seth, I also wanted to really thank you for all the trials you encountered to keep your relationship with my daughter unknown from the public’s eye. I know you do it all for her, and not for yourself. I can imagine it’s a taxing ordeal to keep up with among all the other active things you have going on in your life, but you have remained lenient and understanding with Tahliah despite how challenging it must be for you to not publicly express your love for her, and I cherish your generosity.”

Moved by her speech, Seth quietly stared at her first at first. He hadn’t known this woman for a week yet and she already got him figured out. “I’m sorry, I...I just didn’t think anyone noticed I loved her yet…”

“It’s not that hard to see. You’re like an open book. And don’t worry, Tahliah is the same to me as well, not just you” Araceli laughed tenderly, giving his hand a squeeze. “Continue to tolerate a while longer, Seth. Tahliah will be ready for the world to know much sooner than you think.”

Squeezing her hand back in gratitude for her kindful words, Seth reduced his voice to a whisper. “I wish I could believe that, but it’s difficult, Araceli. It becomes an unbearable ordeal when all I really want is to shout from the nearest rooftops for the whole world to hear that we’re together. Forget the fact that we’ve only been together a few months! Personally, it feels more like over ten lifetimes to me and I’m ready to make this OFFICIALLY official.”

“I’m glad to meet a man that is just as besotted with daughter as she is with him!” Araceli shared, her heart soothed. After her daughter’s first boyfriend, she was already finished with these men who insisted they loved her Tahliah, but never demonstrated it. It was she who was always putting in the efforts. “I can see why my daughter fiercely loves you.”

“And I love her just as much.” Seth added before pausing. There was something on his mind, but he wasn’t sure if this was the right time to do it. Her mother was here right in front of him favoring her daughter’s choice in love, but...Twigs could walk in at any given point and learn his secret. Glimpsing over his shoulder to the vacant hallway that led into the kitchen aided in his decision-making and gave him the boost he lacked to go through with it. Returning his attention back to Araceli who was about to get up, he tightened his hold on her hand and professed. “Araceli, I want to marry Tahliah.”

Araceli was so floored she fell back into the couch and gaped at him as if his head morphed into a massive goldfish. Her mouth opened and closed for a while before words finally imparted from her lips. “Already!?”

Refraining from wincing at what sounded like an objection, Seth valiantly nodded. “And I know what you’re gonna say. It sounds too soon and too insane to be true, but it is. I want to marry your daughter. In the short time we’ve been together she’s shown me that she is the woman for me.”

Trying to fathom this sudden surprise, it all sunk in the moment Seth presented a ring box from his pocket and popped it open to reveal the engagement ring he had chosen for her daughter. Once again, she was gaping like a fish down at the most magnificent ring she’d ever seen. Clasping a hand over her mouth in reverence of the craftsmanship implemented to make the ring, her next breath was literally hijacked from her body. “Seth, this lovely! I’ve never seen anything like it! It’s out of this world!”

“Thank you.” Seth grinned, unwinding a little at the shimmer in her brown eyes.

Lifting her eyes to his, she tentatively asked. “May I touch it?”

“Of course!” Seth replied, handing the ring box over to her and observing how in love she was with the ring.

“My god, it’s immaculate, isn’t it?” Araceli gushed as she took the box. All of a sudden, her ears perked up to the sound of someone coming down the hall. Bursting into panic mode, she accidentally dropped the ring box onto the floor where it bounded out of her reach and came to a rest on full display for the person about to enter. “OH NO!”

“I GOT IT!” Seth declared, flinging himself onto the floor and scrabbling to get the ring.

Not knowing how else to help, Araceli elected to stand by the entryway and obstruct Seth from plain view so that no one would see him jamming the ring box back into his pocket again. Luckily for her, it was only her husband and not her daughter. Her rigid shoulders slouched in relief as she rested a hand over her brow. “Oh good, it’s only you!”

“It’s only me? Is that how you greet your man these days?” Luther mocked her before regarding that Seth also seemed comforted to see him as well from where he stood behind her. “Um...why are you two so happy to see me? Is something going on here that I missed?”

“Where is Tahliah?” Araceli inquired, stepping forward to prop her hands on his arms to try and sneak a peep over his shoulder for her petite daughter while standing on her tiptoes.

“In the kitchen.” Luther reminded her with a curious look in his eyes. “Where she’s been this whole time since you left. Why do you ask?”

“No reason.” Araceli concluded, settling back into the living room with Seth. Reclaiming her seat on the couch, she beckoned her husband over. “Come, darling! Sit with me.”

“Sure.” Luther shrugged, still sensing something fishy was going on as he took a seat beside her.

Turning to Seth, she gestured to her husband. “Please, would you kindly show my husband what you just shared with me?”

Brown eyes sprinting between his wife and his step-daughter's boyfriend, Luther narrowed his eyes on Seth and teased. “What exactly did you SHOW my wife, hot shot? It better be a magic trick.”

“Even better.” Seth grinned, exhibiting the ring box from within his pocket again. He was beginning to feel like those newly engaged women that had to show off their ring in every daily task they undertook, because he was fancying showing it off himself...and it wasn’t even his to wear.

Luther’s jaw dropped in astonishment. He had readjust his glasses just to be sure he was inspecting what he thought he was. “Well goddamn!”

Araceli fastened herself to her husband’s arm and grinned from ear to ear. “What do you think?”

“That one helluva rings, that’s what I think!” Luther glorified, a broad smile of approval on his face formed before it vanished. “Hold on, that is for Tahliah right? You’re not here to propose to my wife, are you? Cause she’s already married!”

Seth laughed and shook his head. “No, sir! This ring is 100% for Tahliah.”

The trio fell into silence to idolize the ring. They were engrossed in their own wonder of it until Luther spoke up and checked them. “But it’s only been a few months that these kids have been together. Isn’t marriage too soon for them?”