Tempting Love - Haley & Eddie (Crossroads #5)

By: Melanie Shawn

Haley rocked forward in the seat as the truck came to a stop. Her first instinct was to take off the blindfold but she resisted. Eddie had gone to a lot of trouble to plan whatever he was doing and she didn’t want to ruin it.

She felt the truck rock as Eddie got out and shut the door, and the next thing she knew, he was at her side, helping her out of the truck. Instead of setting her down on the ground, he picked her up and carried her like a groom would his bride. Haley’s arms flew around him and she nuzzled her face into his neck. She honestly didn’t care if this was the surprise. Being held in Eddie’s strong arms while she kissed his sexy neck was definitely her idea of a good time.

She felt his neck vibrate against her lips but she had no idea what he was saying because she still had the earbuds in.

He stopped and set her down. She was a little unsteady on her feet. The ground was not even. She waited. She could sense movement around her but she was scared to reach out so she stood still. While she still had the blindfold on and the earbuds in, she felt Eddie take her hand. For a second, she thought he was going to lead her somewhere, but then the blindfold came off and the earbuds popped out.

The sun was bright, so it took her a moment to see anything at all. She lifted her hand as she squinted. Then she heard a short blast of air. Hot air balloons. Quickly looking behind, away from the sun, she saw the most beautiful hot air balloon sitting on the grass a few yards away.

She turned back around with tears in her eyes over the fact that he’d remembered how much she loved hot air balloons and had gone to this much trouble to surprise her. When she did, she saw that not only was Eddie standing in front of her holding her hand, but her parents, sisters, cousins and their wives, friends, and Emily were all there too.

When she looked back at Eddie, he dropped to one knee and she covered her mouth in shock as tears fell down her cheeks. Staring up at her with love pouring out of his eyes, he said, “Haley Sloan, I love you. You are the sweetest, sexiest, most loving and kind person I’ve ever met. You have the biggest heart and you give of yourself totally, selflessly, never wanting or asking for anything in return. But you deserve everything and more. That’s exactly what I want to give you. I know that I haven’t always been what you deserved. But if you give me the chance, I will spend the rest of my life making it up to you. And you know I’m a package deal.”

Haley smiled, and there were scattered chuckles in the crowd as he waved Emily over to them. She ran up the small hill Haley and Eddie were on and stopped beside her dad. Eddie wrapped one arm around Em and with the other took out a ring.

“Haley, you have been a part of us, this family, for years. So we were wondering…” He gave a nod to Emily.

“Ok,” Em chirped, her pink sundress swishing back and forth as she wiggled excitedly. There was more laughter from the crowd. Emily smiled up at Haley as she said proudly, “We were wondering if you want to make it official?” Then she gave her dad a high-five and ran back down, stopping beside Chelle, to whom she also gave a high-five.

Haley was laughing through her tears as she looked back at Eddie. He was smiling, but when their eyes met, his face grew serious. “Haley, will you make me the happiest man on the planet, not to mention the luckiest, and do me the honor of being my wife?”

“Yes,” Haley said, tears pouring down her face as Eddie slipped the most beautiful antique ring on her finger. Her friends and family burst into applause, cheers, and whistles.

As soon as the ring was in place, Eddie was on his feet, lifting Haley up in the air. He kissed her as he walked up the hill to the hot air balloon basket.

He set her in it and hopped over the side. She looked up at him, asking, “What about them?” pointing to all of their loved ones who had gathered.

“They’ll be there when we get back,” Eddie said, motioning to the pilot for takeoff.

Haley’s fingers wrapped around the basket as they lifted into the air, Eddie stood behind her with his arms wrapped around her.

“I have one more surprise,” he said against her ear.

She looked back at him in disbelief. “You do?”

He nodded, smiling. “I already set the date for our wedding.”

“You did?” Now she was really in shock.

“Yep. Last week while I was up at Whisper Lake, I booked the chapel for December twenty-fifth.”

Just when she thought she was all cried out, more tears sprang up in her eyes. “We’re getting married on Christmas?!”

“If you want to.”

“Of course I want to.” Haley still couldn’t believe that he knew her as well as he did. “What did I do to deserve you?” Haley asked, repeating back to him the same thing he always said to her.

“You loved me when I didn’t deserve to be loved.”

Eddie leaned down and kissed her softly as they floated into the sky. Haley knew that she would love this man forever…and now they were going to make it official.