"Sweetheart, we're home!" Charlie Hudson announced while closing the door behind him, taking off his jacket. In a similar action, he and Rex sniffed into the air filled with an enticing scent.
Following the dog into the kitchen, Charlie said, "Mhm, this smells delicous! What is it?"
Sarah turned around to place a short kiss on his lips. Before she could turn around again, Charlie placed his hands on her waist, pulling her close to him. She could feel his warmth, smell his cologne. If she leaned in close enough, she’d probably hear his heartbeat through his shirt, loud and strong and a bit too fast. Smiling, she kissed him more fervently this time before she pulled back again, "I made tuna cookies for Rex' birthday," she declared proudly, arranging the last of the pieces of pastry cut into bone shape on the baking sheet.
Rex barked happily, while Charlie's eyes grew wide and a broad smile captured his lips. He barely managed to suppress a laugh, his heart aching with how much he loved that beautiful woman standing there, baking cookies for his dog's birthday.
Moving closer, he slung his arms around her waist from behind, placing a tender kiss on her neck,"I love you so much," he whispered into her ear, making her giggle. "Marry me!"
She stopped in her movement before turning around in his arms, meeting his eyes. An amused smile played on her lips,"You're asking me to marry you because I made tuna cookies for Rex?"
Charlie's eyes glistened and he chuckled softly. "Yeah, this is definitely one of the reasons." He released her from his arms and dropped on one knee right in front of her, pulling a velvet box out of his pocket. Sarah's hand covered her mouth, "Charlie, what..."
"Sarah, I have planned to do this for weeks, never knowing whether to ask you in a fancy restaurant or at a picknick in the park. Now this seems to be the perfect moment... I mean, could you be any more perfect?"
Rex barked approvingly at that and nudged the detective's hand holding the box.
"Right, buddy," Charlie said, opening the box to reveal a beautiful, sparkling engagement ring and presenting it to Sarah, "Sarah, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to fall asleep each night with you in my arms and I want to wake up every morning with you next to me," he hesitated for a second, his eyes searching her already tear stained face. "Will you marry me?"
She smiled and nodded, dipping her head to kiss his lips tenderly, more tears of joy streaming down her cheeks. It was as good a response as any, but finally she pulled back, saying loud and clear, "Yes! Of course! I can't think of anything I want to do more than spend the rest of my life with you."
Charlie laughed, happy and uninhibited, twirling her around in his arms, Rex barking happily at their side.
Now they not only had a birthday, but also an engagement to celebrate.