"You gonna put some clothes on?" Saber demanded. "I can only keep the people away for so long."

"Yeah, sure." Ryan grabbed his trousers and stepped into them, not bothering with the rest. He merely scooped them up and hustled Eve down the road. "See you tomorrow, Saber."

"Where are we going?"

"Somewhere private where we can take all our clothes off and get horizontal. My house."

"Your house?"

"Well it used to be my parents' house, but now it's mine. Ours," he said.

Ten minutes later they entered a single story house made of stone. That's all Eve saw before Ryan hustled her inside. He made his way through the house without turning on lights, leading her by the hand and helping her navigate furniture.

He came to a stop and switched on a lamp. It bathed the room in soft light, casting a few mysterious shadows. Not that she was afraid.

"Before we get naked...will you marry me? Will you stay in Middlemarch and be my wife?"

"Yes! Oh, yes."

"I love you, sweetheart."

"I love you, too," Eve said. "I've loved you for a long time."

"So you're ready to live happy ever after with me?"

"Yes."