Chapter Fifty-Six

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Unity Card was a success, but the victory was not nearly as sweet without having someone to share it with. Ashley still had no idea what exactly it was I did for a living. I told her I was in research and development at Unity, which although was not a complete lie, it was definitely not the whole truth. I did not like lying to her and it was becoming ever more difficult to keep it up. I had done several interviews for national media groups that somehow slipped under her radar. I had to leave the house in disguise whenever I was with her just to avoid being recognized, and my phone kept ringing at all hours of the night. For all she knew, I had a really demanding boss. The worst part about it was that I finally had enough money to live a lavish lifestyle with her, but I was living in a crumby one-bedroom apartment. I still had my one bedroom on the second floor, but that was not my primary residence. I only hung out there when I was with Ashley, but that was about to change. 

"Ashley," I said, as we sat down on my cheap sofa, "I feel like I'm at a point in my life where I'm finally happy. There's just one thing that's missing." 

"What's missing?" 

"I'm not exactly sure, but I was hoping you can help. Here, I have something for you." 

I pulled out an envelope and handed it to her. 

"What's this?" 

I did not say anything, I just sat there and watched her open it. "Is this the card that I gave you in Banff? I can't believe you saved this." 

"Just open it." 

'Dear Ashley, 

We were just kids when you came into my life and gave me this card. I had no idea how my life would turn out or how important that meeting between us was. Now that we are both adults, I'm glad you are still a major part of my life. It would be a great honour if you would continue to be a part of my life until we grow old together. Will you marry me?' 

"OH MY GOD YES!" she screamed out. 

"It's a little cheesy I know, but..." Before I could finish my sentence, she threw her arms around me and planted a kiss on my lips. 

"Don't you want to see the ring first? You might change your mind?" 

"Nothing will make me change my mind. I love you," she said as tears of joy rolled down her face. I took out a small box from my pocket and presented her with a beautiful solitaire diamond engagement ring. She was speechless.  

She immediately slid the ring on her finger and looked at it. 

"Perfect fit," she said, still crying. 

"You know, I couldn't afford the real Cubic Zirconia, so I went with this instead," I said jokingly as I winked at her. 

"Shut up. This is gorgeous. I hope you didn't spend too much on it, I don't need anything fancy."  

"Oh really? That's too bad actually because something tells me your life is going to get a whole lot fancier," I said with a mischievous grin. 

"What are you talking about?" 

"I'm not exactly sure how to tell you this, but... well, maybe it would be easier if I just showed you." 

"Showed me what?" 

"Come with me, I want to show you something." 

"Another surprise? What are you up to?" 

"Just follow me please." 

We went into the elevator. I scanned my key fob against a sensor and pressed 16. 

"What's on the sixteenth floor?" 

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