"I can't cook."
They were the first words that came out of Cynthia's mouth as she stared at Ash, her boyfriend of nearly six years.
The night had started off normally, a stroll around the lake in the forest that surrounded Celestic Town, their home. She supposed that she should have seen the signs, what with Ash acting as nervously as he was.
But here they were. The stars reflecting off the still waters of the lake, Ash standing before her, velvet box in hand, looking at her expectantly.
It was like a scene from a fairytale.
And all she could do was stare with her mouth agape, trying to make sense of it all.
"Ash, I can't cook! At all! I'm pretty sure it could be considered a bio-weapon! I mean, why?! Why me?!" She asked, unable to stop the flow of words, her eyes blinking rapidly as they began to water.
Ash smiled and closed the box, pulling Cynthia into a hug. "I don't know, maybe because I want to spend the rest of my life with you?" He asked, laughing slightly at her panic stricken expression.
"Me?! Are you sure?!"
"I have thought this through, you know? This isn't a spur of the moment thing." Ash assured her. "Cynthia, you're the only one I want to be with. You understand that right? Unless... You think I should just marry someone else?" He pondered with a teasing tone in his voice.
"No!" Cynthia snapped, not at all appreciating the joke. "You're mine!"
"Then I don't see what the problem is?" Ash paused, then spoke again, all trace of humour gone from his voice. "Look, if it isn't the right time... Or maybe if it isn't the right questi-"
Cynthia slapped him on the arm, glaring fiercely at him. "If you finish that sentence, I swear that I WILL break up with you!" She declared. "Why on earth wouldn't I marry you?!"
Ash dragged his hand down his face and sighed in frustration. "Then why won't you say yes?"
"Because I can't cook!"
"So?! I can! Well enough, anyway!"
Cynthia faltered for a moment, then snapped her fingers and pointed at Ash triumphantly. "I'll get FAT!" She announced. "All married women let themselves go!"
Ash looked down at Cynthia's hips and smiled perversely. "I'm fine with that. So long as most of it goes south."
Cynthia growled. "You damn butt fetishist!" He wasn't taking this seriously at all, was he?
"I'm a man." Ash replied easily. "What you call a fetish, I call normal, especially with your ass."
Cynthia cursed quietly to herself for nearly getting drawn into their usual back-and-forth. "Ash, I might go crazy! I might tie you to a bed and rape you if you even talk to some other woman!"
"Still not hearing any negatives." He whispered in her ear while nuzzling her cheek with his. "I love you. I want you. I need you in my life. You and everything that makes you, you. Craziness included."
"I'll get scared. I'll get so scared I won't be able to think straight and I'll do something so stupid like running away and you'll hate me and you'll regret ever asking me to marry you for the rest of your life! You'll regret loving me, you'll regret meeting me! You... You'll look back and realise that I was a mistake!" She was closing to crying now, Ash could tell.
"You're no coward and you're no mistake! I love you!" Ash reminded her, clutching her upper arms. "And if you do panic, you think I won't chase you down and show remind you how much we love each other? I'm yours, you're mine! It works both ways!"
Cynthia covered her mouth with both her hands and simply stared at him before she began to speak again. "I-I'll get worse, you know?" She whispered. "Right now, if some woman talks to you, it takes all my control not to interrupt and send her on her way. If I say yes and we get married, there'll be nothing stopping me from defending what's mine."
She looked him in the eye, trying to convey what she was feeling, but was difficult to admit. "You will belong to me forever. No take backs. Not even a "'til death do we part". This life and whatever is next. Are you sure you want that?
"That's all I've ever wanted." Ash leaned back to kiss her, feeling Cynthia kiss back with her usual dominating vigour, despite the tears flowing freely down her face.
"You're mine..." She gasped during breaks for air, grasping the sides of his face hungrily. "Forever, got that?"
"I'm yours." He reassured her, running his fingers through her hair.
After a while they broke apart and Cynthia wiped her eyes dry. "C-Can I see it?" She asked, referring to the small box in Ash's hand.
Ash smiled and handed to her, smiling wider at her gasp of joy when she opened it.
"Ash, it's beautiful!" She whispered as she slipped it onto her finger and held it up to the moonlight.
A thin gold band with a small black gem - an onyx. Despite the simple design, Cynthia knew it was the most beautiful thing she had seen in her life.
"I know it's not the fanciest ring in the world. But I looked at a hundred of them at least, then I saw this one and I knew it was meant to be yours, you know?"
Cynthia wiped away a fresh wave of tears. "Take your pants off." She ordered with a smile, already dropping her coat to the ground.
"Take my-?" Ash tried to question, but he was cut off by Cynthia as she tackled him to the ground and sat on his chest.
"Never mind, I'll do it!" She said, her perky breasts bouncing with joy. When did she even get her clothes off?!
"Wait, is that a yes?" He asked her as she tore his clothes off.
"You idiot!" She shouted, delivering a light slap to his face which only served to turn them both on more. "You think I was going to say no?
"You were kind of worrying me back there."
"Sorry! I was panicking! You asked me to marry you, of course I was panicking! Ash! You asked me to marry you! We're going to get married!" She rolled off of Ash and onto the ground.
"We need to tell your mom, we need to tell my grandparents! Grandpa will insist on a traditional Shirona wedding, I know it! So many things to plan! Oh, I'm panicking again! Ash, I'm panicking again!"
Ash rolled on top of her and ripped her underwear off. Shame, he really liked that pair. "Worry tomorrow?"
Cynthia rolled over again, putting herself back on top of Ash, and very near the edge of the lake. "We'll worry tomorrow! Now, my handsome fiance, take your underwear off, damn it!" She shouted, rocking her naked hips into his.
Indeed, this was a happy night for the couple who were embarking onto a new stage of their relationship and life together who celebrated in the most primal and pleasurable of ways...
...That is, until a young girl showed up looking for the wild misdreavous she was sure she heard, and Ash and Cynthia were forced to hide in the lake until she left.