oh my god i like you. i like you a lot
“So, I found this waterfall…” + “Marry me?”
Aelin tapped Rowan on his nose three times to wake him up. She had a giddy, mischievous smile on her face that he had come to both love and fear at the same time in the many months they had spent together.
“What?” he growled. “It’s barely dawn.”
She crawled over his body and straddled him on the bed. “Okay, you might think it’s a bad idea, but I, personally, think it’s wonderful.”
“Then I’m definitely going to say no,” he scoffed.
She pressed her hands on his chest, eyes livid and clear blue as she said, “So, I found this waterfall…”
“Is that it?” he asked annoyedly, pretending not to enjoy every moment of skin touching between them.
“Yes. But we need to go. I swear it’ll be fun.”
Rowan doubted it, yet he rolled over anyways and pulled on his clothes.
A few hours later they stood over a rushing, dangerous cascading waterfall and an assortment of sharp rocks. Aelin still had that same damned look on her face; the one that said she could walk through hell and come out laughing, but Rowan wasn’t sure anymore. Sure, he would have dived in under any normal circumstances, but for fun? And with the new Queen of Terrasen, no less? He couldn’t risk it.
“I don’t think so,” he said, looking at her golden hair waving in the wind like wildfire.
She pouted her lips and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Please? You know you want to.”
“You could get hurt.”
“So? I’ll heal.”
“Aelin, I’m going to have to vote no on this one—”
—but suddenly they were falling through the air at an alarming speed, and Rowan realized much too late that she had ‘accidentally’ leaned and fallen off of the cliff and into the hundred foot dive. She screamed through the air, an undiluted sense of total adrenaline.
They crashed through the surface, burning his arms and legs in the process. When she resurfaced she was still laughing, still clinging to his body like a lifeline. “See?” she grinned, eyes sparkling. “I told you it’d be fun.”
He pulled her closer, tried not to let his own smile get the best of him. “You told me we’d go see a waterfall, not that we’d jump off of one.”
Her body was now pressed completely against his, their faces only an inch away. Rowan scrutinized the sharpness of her jaw, the curve in her cheekbone, the fullness to her lips, the beautiful set to her eyebrows. He looked at every inch of her, an overwhelming sense of belonging taking him down. He searched those Ashryver eyes ringed in gold, and before he changed his mind, he said something really, really reckless. “Marry me.”
“Wh-what?” she stammered.
Rowan could hear her heart lurch in a race. Her whole body tensed against his. “Marry me,” he repeated.
Aelin looked into his eyes, looked at every inch of him through his wet clothes and stringy silver hair, and breathed, “Yes.”
Rowan’s heart beat even stronger than before. “Yes?”
She nodded disbelievingly, droplets of water running down her face. “Yes, Rowan Whitethorn, I’ll marry you.”
And then Rowan did another idiotic, reckless thing that day. He kissed her. Fiercely. And they did so for hours on end, the emotion, bond, and love between them eating up every second of it.
Rowan suddenly realized that he didn’t care. He didn’t care what the people would think, or what kinds of rules existed between Wendlyn and Terrasen. The only thing he’d been sure of off-late was that he loved Aelin Ashryver Galathynius. Loved her with every aching, gods forsaken bone in his body. And to hell with it if he couldn’t marry the girl he loved simply because she was a queen. No one would ever know or understand Rowan like she did. And that simple fact made a bond so strong snap into place between them at that moment, that he never, not once, questioned their position again.