WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM SMOKE & MIRRORS (THIRDS, BOOK 7)!!
Prompt: This is kinda a spoiler, but I wouldn’t mind reading about Sloane asking Tony permission to marry his son.
He could do this.
Sloane lifted his fist to knock on the door and froze, panic bubbling up inside him.
Oh, God, I can’t do this.
What if Tony said no? What would he do then? Would Tony say no? Why would he say no? Let’s see, how about we start with you breaking Dex’s heart more times than you can count? Or how about your inability to protect Dex when he was kidnapped and tortured? Or when you went feral and tried to kill him? How about the fact you infected him, and succeeded in killing him?
Okay, he couldn’t think about that last part. He’d fucked up several times, and maybe he hadn’t always been the perfect boyfriend, but he loved Dex, and a number of those events had been out of his control. Maybe not the breaking Dex’s heart part, but he hadn’t meant to. He’d never meant to hurt Dex. Sloane loved him. Needed him. For fuck’s sake, he’d almost lost Dex. He had lost Dex. As long as he lived, he would never forget how Dex looked, fighting for his life. Or the feel of his lifeless body in Sloane’s arms. The memory alone brought tears to his eyes, and a lump to his throat.
Sloane pulled his smartphone out of his pocket, and tapped his pin into the locked screen. His pulse immediately steadied, and he smiled down into the face of the man he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Dex loved taking selfies with Sloane, and the rest of their team. It drove Ash crazy. Sloane chuckled at the thought. The fact Ash hated it just made Dex more determined, and sneaky. There was no escaping when Dexter J. Daley had you in his sights. Escaping was the last thing Sloane wanted to do. He’d been caught, or rather his heart had been caught, and he’d never been happier. He wouldn’t waste any more time.
“Why are you lingering on my doorstep?”
“Holy shit!” Sloane gave such a start, his phone leaped out of his hands. Lucky for him, his sergeant had amazing reflexes. Tony caught the phone, noticed the photo of Dex and Sloane squished together laughing, but didn’t say a word as he handed it back. In fact, Tony’s expression remained stoic as usual.
“Thanks.” Sloane returned his phone to his pocket, and took a deep breath, exhaling it slowly. “Um, hi.”
Tony narrowed his eyes. “That bad, huh?”
Crap. Sloane threw his hands up in front of him. “Oh, no, it’s not like that. I swear.”
“Seeing as how Dex isn’t with you, I’m going to hazard a guess and say he doesn’t know you’re here.”
Sergeant Anthony Maddock was intimidating and scary at the best of times. When he was in Father Mode, he was deadly. The man was so still and calm, ready to strike at any moment. Sloane tried to smile. Tony’s frown deepened.
“Can I come in?”
Tony stepped to one side, and motioned for Sloane to enter. Maybe Sloane should have just called? Or, maybe he should suck it up and stop being such a coward. In the living room, Sloane shoved his hands in his pockets as Tony took a seat on the couch.
“Whenever you’re ready.”
“Thanks.” Maybe he should take his hands out of his pockets. But then where should he put them? He crossed them over his chest. No, that was a defensive pose. He uncrossed them. Oh, God, he was such a dork. “Sarge—”
“You here on official business?”
“What? Oh, um, no. Sorry. Tony.” He was still getting used to that. “I’m here because, well, you know I love Dex. I hope you know. You do know?”
“I would hope so, seeing as you’re living with him.”
“Yeah, I mean, yes. I love him. A lot. He’s… everything. I can’t—and don’t—want to imagine my life without him. When I’m with him, I don’t just feel happy, but at peace. He’s the most amazing man I’ve ever known.” Was he rambling? Shit, he was rambling. Why was he telling Tony how great Dex was? It wasn’t like Tony didn’t know his own son.
“That’s really nice. I’m glad to hear it. You didn’t come all this way to tell me how amazing my son is.”
“No. I um, wow, this is hard,” Sloane said, letting out a shaky laugh. Was he this nervous because of what he was doing? Or because it was Tony? His boyfriend’s dad also being his sergeant didn’t exactly make things easier. He just didn’t want to fuck this up for him or Dex, and he certainly didn’t want to disappoint Tony again.
Sloane looked up, surprised by the man’s warm smile. “Yeah?”
“You don’t need my approval.”
“I don’t?” Sloane blinked at him. He released the deep breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding.
“No. But I really appreciate you asking anyway. If that’s what you were going to ask.”
Sloane rushed over to Tony and dropped down beside him on the couch. “Yes!”
Tony’s brows shot up. “Easy there, son.”
“Sorry. I’m just really excited. Tony, I want to marry your son.”
“I already said yes.”
“You did? Right! I—Wow, okay. Um, thank you.”
“Wait here.” Tony stood and walked off, leaving Sloane sitting there both relieved and a little foolish for having worked himself up. Of course Tony would be okay. He loved Dex and wanted his son to be happy, and although Sloane was still learning, he did make Dex happy.
“Here.” Tony handed Sloane a small black box.
“What’s this?” Sloane opened the box, his eyes going wide at the silver ring tucked into the black foam padding. “Oh my God. Is this…?”
Tony nodded. “It was John’s.”
“I don’t know what to say.” Sloane swallowed hard. He looked up at Tony, his heart squeezing at the sight of unshed tears in Tony’s eyes. The man quickly wiped them away. From what Sloane had come to learn of the man, there were three people in Tony’s life who could get through that armor of his, Dex, Cael, and John Daley.
“Are you sure?” Tony had been guarding this for so long. Did he really want to give up a piece of his best friend?
Tony nodded. “John would have wanted Dex to have it, and I know Dex will take good care of it. Just like I know you’ll take good care of Dex. Make him happy. He deserves it.”
“I will. Thank you.” Sloane stood and threw his arms around Tony, closing his eyes and smiling when Tony hugged him back. They remained that way for a few seconds before Tony pulled back. He gave a sniff and straightened, his armor back in place.
“I don’t do wedding planning, just so you know. I especially don’t do wedding planning when Dex is involved. I would warn Lou ahead of time so he’s prepared. I will, however, offer somewhere for you to hide and have a beer during that time.”
Sloane chuckled. “Thanks, I appreciate that.” For now, he was going to concentrate on asking Dex.
When he reached his car, he sat behind the wheel, looking down at the ring, knowing what it would mean to Dex. Sloane couldn’t help his dopey grin. A part of him couldn’t believe he was going to do this, while his heart wondered what the hell had taken so long.