When life got quiet like this and it was nothing but her and Oliver in his large, plush bed, Felicity could almost pretend like everything was perfect. His head was pillowed on her stomach, his fingers playing with the hem of his shirt that she wore. He liked when she wore his clothes. Felicity knew that it was a dangerous mindset, but then again everything that they did was dangerous. She shouldn’t be there and yet she couldn’t bring herself to leave.
“Felicity,” Oliver said, pulling her from her thoughts.
He had that strange sound to his voice again and she knew that she probably wouldn’t like what he was going to say. But she responded with a hum anyway, encouraging him to continue as her fingers stroked through his close-cropped hair.
“If I asked you to marry me right now, would you say yes?”
Her eyes flew open in a gasp and his hand fell to her thigh, stroking her soft skin soothingly as if he knew exactly what he was doing. Felicity had no doubt that he’d been planning this conversation for a while. Oliver did and said very few things that weren’t deliberate. But Felicity was almost certain that falling for a courtesan was not among his plans for life or he wouldn’t have been dreaming of whisking her away. And that’s just what it was. A dream. She knew that she should nip that dream in the bud. She should tell him that this was her life and it was what she had to do to survive. There was no other life for someone like her, even as far away as America where she and Oliver were both from. Paris was her home now. The Moulin Rouge was her home. But somehow the words died on her lips.
“If you asked me to marry you right now, would you mean it?” Felicity asked instead, tracing the line of his strong jaw, feeling the bristle of hair beneath her touch.
“With every fiber of my being,” Oliver said.
She closed her eyes again, wishing that he had said no. It would be easier. Felicity knew what should happen next. She should leave and never return. Find another benefactor who knew better than to fall in love with a harlot. But that would make him seem like the only fool between them which was entirely untrue, because she had broken all of the unspoken rules as well. But she had to tell him that men like him didn’t marry women like her, for his own sake. Pushing up on her elbows, Felicity had every intention of doing so. Then his head lifted and he fixed her with that intense blue gaze that captivated her all those months ago as she danced for him. Oliver was waiting for her answer. He truly intended to make her his wife. With a sad shake of her head, Felicity didn’t bother to hide the tears that filled her eyes.
“Can’t you be happy with what we have?” she asked, a lone tear sliding down her cheek.
Oliver turned, hovering over her with his hands braced on either side of her head. He bent down, kissing that tear away from her cheek.
“All that I need to be happy is you,” he whispered.
Felicity let out a soft breath, the truth in his words carving a hot path down to her very soul.
“You have me,” she said in spite of herself, her voice as quiet as his.
Oliver pulled away, his eyes searching her face.
“I could give you the world, Felicity,” he said.
She gave him a tremulous smile, reaching up to cup his cheek.
“You already have.”
Oliver let out a soft sigh, finally lowering himself to kiss her. He didn’t ask her to marry him. Felicity felt grateful, not because she would be forced to refuse him, but because she had a feeling that she’d accept him. And that was the most terrifying thing in the world.