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By mid-afternoon, the red spots on my skin disappeared. Things were awkward between Cyrus and me so he went with Wolf and Gabe to the National Park while Isabel and I went fishing by the nearby river. I thought I could use the time alone with her to clear my head but she spent half the time talking about Wolf and telling me things about him that even I didn’t know about. I guess they really got to know each other well during the short time they spent together yesterday.

1871

Eventually, she realised I was no longer listening. Not that I was trying to be rude, but I had other things on my mind that just took over.

“Are you okay, Vee? You look out of it.”

“Yeah…just, a little fed up,” I confessed.

“Of what, me? Am I talking too much?”

“No.”

“Then what’s wrong? Talk to me.”

She wasn’t going to give up. Izzy is persistent like that. “I asked Cyrus last night if he’d like to stay in my room instead like you suggested and he turned me down and now this morning I find you and Wolf in there…doing it! And Jo and Terrance have been going at it like bunnies since we got here and it just seems like I’m left out.”

1872

“Well, I doubt Gabe is doing anything with anyone so you’re not alone there.” She joked. I wasn’t amused.

“I’m serious. I’m beginning to wonder if he’s even attracted to me at all!”

“Of course he’s attracted to you. Don’t you see the way he looks at you? He probably didn’t want to share the room with you because he’s afraid he might want to do more than just sleep.”

1873

“That’s what he said.”

“And you don’t believe him?”

“I just…I want more and not just woohoo. Since he quit working at the lab we hardly see each other and when we do it’s always for a couple of hours at the movies or at the arcade. We never get any alone time. We don’t talk on the phone at night anymore because that’s when he has his gigs. Earlier this week when I called he was just about to go on for his set and there was some girl talking to him, laughing. I was so mad. And then I started thinking about her. How long has he known her? Does he like her? What if she’s prettier than me?”

1874

“Okay…you need to stop! Cyrus loves you! He loves YOU! He’s not cheating.”

“But what if that’s the reason why he doesn’t want to sleep with me?”

“You know the real reason he’s not sleeping with you is because he wanted to wait until marriage. Makes no sense to me, but that’s his choice and you also chose to wait with him, remember? It’s normal for abstinence to make you a little frustrated but don’t let your frustration make you irrational! You’re worrying about nothing!”

She was completely right. “Why are you always my voice of reason?”

“It’s my thing. You’re the book-smart twin and I’m the voice of reason twin.”

1875

“I feel like such an idiot for thinking he would…you know. I think I should talk to him. I need to apologise.”

“For what?”

“For suspecting him, for thinking he would do something like that.” I felt like I had betrayed him in a way for not trusting him enough.

“You don’t need to apologise to him for having fears that he doesn’t even know about. Just quit worrying so much and stop letting your mind take you to crazy town when you hear another woman in the background or whatever.”

“I just feel so awful, Izzy. I need to talk to him. Talking to him is the only way I’ll feel better.”

1876

“No! If you say anything like that you’ll ruin the…” She stopped short of finishing her sentence and then looked away.

“Ruin what?”

She sighed. “Ivy, let me let you in on a little secret. It’s supposed to be a surprise but I have to spoil it a little in order to stop you from going to him with your insecurities and ruining the mood. Cyrus is planning something special for you tonight.”

1877

“He is?”

“Yes, he had this plan since we got here but with the crabby mood you were in this morning, he was having second thoughts about it. I told him I would talk to you and get you to cheer up by tonight.”

“I didn’t expect this… but um…what is he going to do? What’s the surprise?”

“I think you’re smart enough to figure it out.” She winked.

That could only mean one thing! He was ready to take the next step!

1878

I couldn’t believe it. I mean, if he wanted us to sleep together then why did he try to avoid sharing the room last night? It didn’t make sense but yet I was so thrilled!

And so nervous!

I knew I was ready, I felt very ready, but what if I didn’t do it right? How will I know if I’m doing it right? Was I really ready for this?

After a while, I realised I needed to just calm down and stop letting my mind take me to crazy town, according to Izzy. Thank goodness I have such a smart sister I could turn to. I wish I was as bold as she was. She always seems to know what she wants and goes after it. Like with Wolf – they met, felt an attraction and didn’t waste any time before becoming an item.

1879

I was genuinely happy for her. I’ve known Wolf for quite some time so I know he’s a good guy. Even though I would say they were complete opposites, seeing how they interact with each other confirms how good they are together.

Later that night while we were all outside by the campfire, Cyrus approached me. “Hey, can we talk?”

“Sure.”

1880

I could see Isabel in the corner of my eyes with a smile on her face. I guess the surprise was coming soon.

“Ivy, I’m sorry for making fun of you this morning. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.”

“It’s okay. I overreacted. I’m sorry for that too.”

“So we’re good now?”

“Yeah.”

“Great, because there’s something I want to give you.”

Give me? That sounded so funny! He had something he wanted to give me!

“What is it?” I asked, trying not to give away that I already knew what he was talking about.

1881

“Not here. Come with me. I know somewhere where we can be alone.”

“We can go to my room?” I suggested. “Isabel’s gonna stay with Wolf tonight so we won’t be interrupted.”

“Nah, I know some place better.”

1882

So I went with him. When I realised we were walking away from the rental house and headed along the hiking path I became confused. Where the hell were we going?

“Cy, um, we are really far from the house.” I was struggling to keep up. I wasn’t sure how long we had been walking. It was dark and the sound of a wolf howling in the distance cut through the silence and creeped me out.

“We’re almost there.” He said confidently.

1883

Finally, we arrived at the mysterious location. It was actually a pretty nice spot, kinda romantic. I understood why he wanted to come here but I still didn’t get why we couldn’t stay at the house where it was warm and clean. This place, in spite of the nice view, had mosquitoes and who knows what other bugs that could crawl on us. This place did not seem ideal for our first time. He didn’t even bring a blanket or anything!

1884

“So I bet you’re wondering why I brought you all the way out here.”

I nodded.

“There’s something I want to ask you, Ivy. Something I’ve wanted to ask you for a long time.”

1885

Why was he being so formal? All he had to do was kiss me and I’d be his. I’d been waiting for this for so long. It wasn’t a question anymore, I was ready!

But I didn’t expect him to get down on one knee. Or pull out a ring box from his pocket. Or open it to reveal a diamond ring!

“Will you marry me?”

1886

I stood there for a moment in shock. I was speechless. I thought he was going to ask me to woohoo with him, not marry him! This was not what I was expecting at all. This was way better!

“YES!” I screamed so loudly that I frightened a few sleeping birds out of the trees. The sound of their flapping wings against the branches filled the area.

1887

“Yeah?” Cyrus beamed as I took the ring and slipped it onto my finger.

“Of course my answer is yes! You didn’t really think I’d say no, did you?”

“Well, you didn’t seem to like me very much this morning.”

“There might be times when I won’t always like you, but I will always love you, Cyrus!”

1888

“I love you too, baby!” He picked me up into his arms, holding me close as we both giggled in delight.

I can’t believe I was freaking out because I thought Cyrus was pulling away from me while he was planning to propose marriage the whole time.

1889

I felt so dumb for being so jealous and insecure. We still slept in separate rooms that night but I didn’t mind because I knew it was only a matter of days before we would become husband and wife and that would all change. Maybe this evening or rather this whole trip didn’t turn out the way I thought it would but by the end of it I was engaged to the love of my life so I’d say it was all worth it.

1890

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