On a Wednesday (One Week #2) by Whitney G.

“Well, there you are!” She looped her hand in mine, pulling me onto the roof. “Surprise!”

In an instant, silver streamers and pink glitter fell over me. Loudspeakers began blaring a hip-hop version of the birthday song.

No, no, no …

I placed a hand on my chest as my heart raced into overdrive. My stomach churned, giving me the onset of a panic attack.

Bright flashes blurred my vision, loud applause sounded from every angle, and before I could make sense of all this, a giant, six-layer cake with “2-8” rolled in front of me.

Someone handed me a paper bag from my left, but he disappeared before I could see who it was.

Hyperventilating for several seconds, I tried to believe that this was a joke. None of my true friends would ever do something like this.

“Happy birthday to my favorite person in the entire world,” my boyfriend, Graham, was suddenly stepping in front of me.

“Here.” He moved the paper bag away from my mouth and kissed my lips. Then he handed me a small stress ball instead.

I squeezed it like I planned to squeeze the neck of whoever planned this event.

Looking around, I noticed my coworkers, Graham’s fellow executives, and several members of his family.

And Kyle.

Kyle really is here …

“Are you surprised?” Graham asked.

“I’m something.”

Everyone laughed.

I clung to the ball.

“I know that you’re not a big fan of parties or events like this,” he said. “And I hope you won’t mind that Alonna and I wanted to throw you something to make you happy, since it’s been a rough year for you.”

I nodded.

“I also hope you won’t mind that I couldn’t think of any other way to do this, since I also feel that I should’ve done it long ago.” He looked into my eyes. “Probably the first night we met.”

“Huh?” I raised my eyebrow. “What are you talking about, Graham?”

“This.” He gently grabbed my wrists and got down on one knee.

A chorus of gasps followed.

“I know that we’ve only known each other for six months, and that I’ve been the one insistent on taking things slow, but I want you to know that it’s because I fell pretty hard for you on day one.”

The rooftop was utterly silent now, save for the wind and a few squawking seagulls in the distance.

“I’m in love with you, and I want you to be mine for the rest of my life,” he said. “Courtney Nicole Johnson, will you marry me?”

I looked around the roof, and my eyes immediately met Kyle’s. His eyes were narrowed, and he was glaring at me, almost daring me to say yes right in front of him.

His lips parted as the seconds passed, and he looked as if he was about to rush over and pummel Graham into the concrete.

“Courtney?” Graham squeezed my hand again. “Courtney, what do you say?”

“Yes,” I said, looking at him again. “Yes, Graham. I’ll marry you.”

The rooftop erupted in cheers and applause, and Graham stood to his feet and pulled me into a hug.

Kissing me, he lowered his voice, “Should we wait until the honeymoon, or break our celibacy pact tonight?”

He didn’t give me a chance to answer that. Instead, he pressed his lips against mine, and I tried to get lost in his kiss.

Thankfully, music began to play as he let me go. I was saved from having to come up with anything to say.

“Congratulations!” “Can’t wait for the wedding!” “You’re so damn lucky to land Graham Callahan, girl!” The guests wished me well one by one.

“I have a present waiting for you downstairs,” Graham whispered into my ear. “I’ll be right back.”

“Oh my god! Oh my god!” Alonna rushed over to me. “So? What do you think about the party?”

“I think you should protect your neck before I get ahold of my keys.”

“Allow me to enjoy one final spin, then.” She laughed and started to twirl in front of me. Then, suddenly stopping, she sucked in a breath the moment she caught sight of Kyle.

“Oh my god … I swear, I didn’t invite him here, Court. I swear.”

“Someone did.” I whispered. “Why would they do that?”

As if on cue, Kyle strode toward me. “I need to talk to you in private.”

“Whatever it is, it’ll have to wait.”