"I love you, Alice Geraldine Griffiths."
And Alice met his eye. The sad smile had changed; there was warmth in her expression again, and she looked at him with such affection that, for a moment, a response to his declaration seemed unnecessary.
"What?" asked Frank, chuckling. "Why are you smiling at me like that?"
She paused. Then—
Frank’s eyes grew wide. Nonetheless, almost immediately, he replied: “Yes.” Then he shook himself. “I mean, no. I mean—yes, but… you weren’t supposed to ask me. I’m supposed to ask you! Look, look, I’ve…” He pulled away, disappearing into the adjacent bedroom for nearly a minute. When he returned to the kitchen (a bewildered Alice had removed the now empty kettle from the fire), Frank carried a small black velvet box, wrought with potential.
Alice grinned. “That’s not earrings, is it?”
"No," mumbled Frank. "I was waiting for September first, because that’s the eight year anniversary of when we met, and…"
"Well, then, it’s your turn, Francis. I proposed last time."
He grinned and opened the case. For a moment, Alice did not say anything. The ring that sat there had a gold band and a round, un-mounted diamond that winked at Alice in the orange lamplight. She smiled and held out her hand expectantly.
"Will you marry me?"
Frank slipped the ring onto her finger, and she did not take a moment to see how it looked there, before she pulled him into another deep kiss—deep and sad and overjoyed all at once. She fell back upon the pillows, and in the brief seconds that their lips were separated between kisses, she managed to whisper, “I love you, you know.”
"I love you too."
—TLAT Ch. 29