When they woke up that next morning Mason decided to fulfill another promise he made to the boys when they were younger. He’d learned how to fish on his own considering he never knew his Dad and his Mom was always working, so this was special to him.
“Okay boys when you feel a tug on the line give in a little so he thinks he’s gonna get away and then start to reel em’ in!”
“Dad this is stupid. Why don’t we just eat some food out of the cooler we brought?”
“Well don’t you want to see how proud your Mom will be of you when you bring these bad boys to the campsite to cook up?”
“Well I mean, yea.”
“Then get to fishing!”
There was a long pause where you could only hear the sound of the river and the splashing on the fish they reeled in.
“Hey boys. I’m planning on doing something big for your Mom while we’re here. I want to propose to her.”
Coheed’s face burst into a wide smile,
“For real?! Awesome Dad! It’s about time you guys made it official!”
On the other hand Claudio looked worried and shifted from foot to foot,
“But Dad...what about Uncle Delsin? We all know he’s super mad at you, what is he gonna do when he finds out?”
Mason sighed and laid down his fishing pole,
“He can’t do anything Claudio. Your Uncle will have to learn to live with me. I understand his feelings but we’re a family now and if he doesn’t want to accept that then it’s his own fault.”
Back at camp Harley emerged achey and weary. She didn’t want to tell Mason but she was sick of camping. She wasn’t use to this whole outdoorsy thing, she liked to be at home alone in her office on the computer, writing her books. It did make her feel good to see all of them together though.
As Harley was cleaning up that morning's breakfast she heard laughter headed her way. When she turned around she saw all of family laughing hysterically,
“What’s so funny to you guys this morning?”
Coheed gave his Dad an incredulous look,
“Sweet ol’ father of mine thinks he caught the most fish when it was obviously me who caught the most.”
Claudio piped up and elbowed his brother playfully in the gut,
“You might have caught the most but they were all tiny! I think I won because I caught the biggest fish!”
Mason cleared his throat,
“Well boys obviously I was the one who won considering I’m your Father and I always win.”
Harley laughed and walked up to give them each a kiss on the cheek,
“How about you hand over those fish and we’ll cook them up for lunch.”
After lunch the family sat down to play Don’t Wake the Llama. Claudio wasn’t all there though. His mind kept wandering back to the girl you left him hanging and started dating another guy. He would periodically check his phone through the game to see if he ever got a text from her. The whole time they were there on vacation he never did.
Teenage heartbreak is rough.
After an intense round of Don’t Wake the Llama the boys excused themselves and asked to go on a hike.
It was the big moment for Mason.
Mason and Harley did a little bit of hiking themselves and went up to the pond that separates the camping grounds from the forest.
“Isn’t it beautiful? I mean other than the bugs, lack of clean bathrooms, and sleeping on the ground. It really is a beautiful place to be for a few days.”
Mason wrapped his arms around Harley and brought her close, kissing her forehead,
“Not as beautiful as you.”
Harley felt her cheeks getting red, he always did this to her ever since she was a teenager she couldn’t control it,
“Aw hush you.”
When they pulled apart, Mason took her hand and stood her up while he got on one knee,
“Harley. I have something important I want to ask you. I need you to give me an honest answer, and don’t let your answer be clouded by the fact that we have kids together.”
“Mason...are you doing what I think you’re doing?”
Mason reached in his pocket and pulled out a diamond engagement ring,
“Harley Belle. Will you do me the honor of being mine for the rest of our lives?”
Harley raised a hand to her chest and furiously nodded her head,
“Of course! Oh my gosh it’s beautiful!”
As soon as Mason stood back up he picked Harley up in his arms and spun her around,
“Oh Mason, this is the happiest day of my life! I didn’t think you would ever propose!”
“Well look at us now, we’re going to tie the knot like a good ol’ fashioned couple.”
Harley giggled and pecked him on the cheek with a kiss,
“It’s probably the first thing we’ve done the right way in your relationship.”
Back at camp Harley and Mason told the boys they were getting married and they couldn’t be happier. The family was genuinely going to be whole again. No more questions, no more disappearances, and no more wondering “what if”.
With the boys fast asleep Mason and Harley celebrated in their own little way.