VI: The Devils in the Dark

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On a small vacation, the pair stole away to a cabin, hidden away in the northwestern part of the mountains. He remembered telling Morris and Archer to handle business while they were gone. Jacob set up a picnic for her that afternoon, and they enjoyed a meal together in the serene landscape deep in the heart of the Whitetails. As they talked, Jacob remembered asking her why she loved him, and he even wondered if she had any doubts about their relationship. Age was always a factor for him. His timid nature about being in something long-term stemming from the fact that he hadn't ever had an opportunity to find someone. Let alone, someone like her. Damaged with physical and mental scars, he was convinced he would never find love.

Jacob loved her voice, or when she laughed. He loved the way her dark hair was pulled over her right shoulder. Her natural beauty was striking and didn't rely so much on the mask of makeup. Her skin was so soft under his fingertips when he touched her. He loved the way she blushed when he brushed the stray tuft of hair from her viridescent eyes.

"Listen, I know I'm not perfect. Ask anyone out there and they say I don't deserve you. But I..." He fumbled on his words, trying to remember what Faith told him to say. It was frustrating, wanting to make this perfect for her, wanting to make sure he didn't fuck any of this up.

"Nobody's perfect, darlin." Diana grinned, playfully placing a kiss on the tip of his nose. "But to me, you are. If we're talking about deserving anyone here, I think I'm the one who doesn't deserve you."

He scrunched his face, begrudging himself to think that he enjoyed it when she did that. As her compliment settled, he lightly blushed. Jacob shook his head with a grin. "Diana, I love you. I can't imagine what my life would be like without you."

Diana snickered. "Well you don't have to imagine it, because if I have my way, I'm not going anywhere."

Jacob laughed. She was always saying she 'wasn't going anywhere' before she left the veteran's center where they often slept. He hated the mornings after, especially early on when they were sneaking around. She worried what John and Joseph would think of her, Faith too. Once they made things official, she would still have to leave for her patrols, clean-up one of the outposts or work out in the Bliss fields to earn her keep—even though he'd told her she didn't have to do that anymore since he would look after her. Her persistence, her determination to maintain their territory was admirable. Not to mention, her strength and endurance to physically train with him on a run or hunt in the woods or sparring with him and his men made him love her even more.

"What's on your mind, love?" Diana asked, scooting closer to take his hand. She laced her fingers together with his.

Jacob closed his eyes as her thumb stroked the back of his palm. He was lulled back down to a low simmer as he tried not to let this moment throw off his train of thought. It was astounding how she had the magical touch, so delicate, able to pull him back down to earth when his mind got the best of him. "These past few months have been the best moments of my life. Being with my family again, being with you most of all. I've slept the best I have in years. I feel like I have a purpose here and have been doing the best damn work, if I may say so." He grinned with pride. "I'm... I believe I'm the luckiest man to have found you." Jacob squeezed her hand slightly, "I know this might be moving too fast, or you might think I'm crazy, but..."

"What are you doing?" She asked, when he moved away from her and brought himself up to a knee. There were stars in those stunning eyes as Diana scooted up to sit. It was a bit comical that in this position, Jacob was still taller than her. "Jake?"

He gazed down at his girl and cherished the sight of her, as she blinked in awe. They'd finished each other sentences and had been on the same wavelength for so long that he was sure she already knew what he was about to ask. Of course, that didn't make it any easier as he got closer and closer to his end goal, to the inevitable question he was to propose.

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