Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
The Commodore held Lauren’s hand and studied the ring on her finger. He cut a sharp glance to me, then Lauren, and back to me. She didn’t notice. She went right on guzzling her margarita as if the Commodore wasn’t trying to vaporize me with his glare.
"That’s quite the rock," he said. "Only two reasons a man buys something like that: he’s making up for shortcomings or asking forgiveness."
The unspoken question lingered over the table while a mariachi band played holiday tunes, circulating through the resort’s restaurant.
"My sister, Erin, helped me pick it out," I said, reaching for my water glass. "She’s a geologist. She actually talked me out of a larger stone. Erin said this one," I nodded to Lauren’s hand, still in the Commodore’s grip. "Was flawless. Perfect. Rare. And I knew it was the one for Lauren."
The Commodore stared at me, his expression clearly articulating his contempt for my response. And as much as I disliked this exercise, I expected it. Lauren had told me more than a few stories about her absurdly protective father and brothers, and I was the guy they’d never met.
The guy who intended to marry his daughter.