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Caught on Camera: Epilogue


One year later

“I’M SO NERVOUS!” I yell. I wring my hands together and stare at the field. There’s only two minutes to go, and the Titans are down six points.

“Shawn knows what he’s doing,” Maggie yells back, leaning in close and trying to talk over the deafening roar of the crowd. It’s nearly impossible to hear her with a hundred thousand fans who descended on Las Vegas to cheer on the Titans at the Super Bowl. “He doesn’t even look nervous,” she adds.

I’m glad she’s been keeping tabs on him, because I’ve been too afraid to look at him the whole game. I chance a glance at him now during a timeout, and I see him laughing. Elbowing one of his players on the sideline and patting their back. Twisting his hat backwards on his head and adjusting his microphone closer to his mouth.

He puts his hands on his hips, and his spine straightens. It’s like he can sense me staring at him. He turns around and looks at me over his shoulder, and he’s grinning from ear to ear.

Shawn holds up a finger to an assistant coach and jogs my way, waving off the security personnel who try to stop him from getting too close to the stands.

“Watching me, Lacey girl?” he shouts from eight feet below me. “I was starting to think you might be crushing on someone from the other team.”

“I’m worried,” I answer.

I didn’t think it was possible for his grin to stretch wider, but it does. I see his teeth and the wrinkles around his eyes—those laugh lines I love so much. He reaches up to the top of the concrete wall and pulls himself onto the ledge so we’re inches apart.

“Hi,” he says.

It’s reminiscent of our first kiss over a year ago, down to the camera showing us on the big screen.

A lot has changed since then, though.

I took over the chief physician position at my pediatrician’s office, and Hannaford was fired. My work-life balance has never been better.

Shawn led the Titans to last year’s Super Bowl, but they lost. A string of injuries derailed their hopes of a championship.

They bounced back stronger than ever. That loss made them hungrier. More determined. They started this season with a three-game losing streak, but they’ve gone on to have the best record in the league. Shawn won Coach of the Year, an accolade that came with a shiny trophy. He keeps it in his office at the stadium because he says he wouldn’t have won anything without his team.

He’s the most humble guy I know.

And now they’re close—so close—to finally winning it all. What he’s been working on for five years is almost here.

The Titans just need to score one more touchdown, but the clock isn’t on their side.

They have yards to go, and the seconds are slipping by like sand in an hourglass.

Still, Shawn is here with me, and there’s not an ounce of strain on his face.

“Hey,” I answer. “Is this allowed?”

“Fuck if I care. I dare them to fine me. Why are you worried?” he asks, and he pulls on my pigtail.

His voice is softer now, the same reverent tone it takes when it’s early in the morning and I’m in his arms, half-awake under the rising sun.

Late at night when he’s above me, his hands on my body and whispering words against my skin.

In the afternoon when we’re in the kitchen and he kisses me without a reason, devotion behind the press of his lips and the way he tells me he loves me every single day.

I step toward him and run my palms up his chest, letting them settle around his neck. “Because you might win a Super Bowl,” I say. “And that makes me so happy for you.”

Shawn leans close, and his eyes are as bright as a clear summer’s day. “I don’t care about the win,” he says, and it sounds like a secret he’s not supposed to tell me. He touches my cheek and dances his fingers down my jaw. “I already won by having you here with me.”

I roll my eyes, but my heart cinches tight in my chest. It always does when he tells me how much I mean to him. “It’s a bummer they don’t hand out extra points for the cheesiest lines. You’d certainly win, and this game would be long over.”

“It’s true. You know why? In fifteen years, I might not be coaching anymore, but I’ll have you. I get to have you for the rest of my life,” he says, and he rests his forehead against mine.

“Are you sure about that? Dallas tried to ask me out to dinner in the tunnel and—”

Shawn pinches my hip, and a laugh tumbles out of me. “Whose jersey are you wearing today?” he asks.


“Whose jersey are you going to wear thirty years from now?”

“Yours,” I say. “It’s always going to be yours. I love you, Shawn, and I’m so damn proud of you. Win or lose, you’re incredible.”

“I love you too, Lacey girl,” he murmurs.

He kisses me soft and slow, just like he does every night before bed. Just like he does when he brings me coffee and tells me he’s the luckiest guy in the world. Just like he does after we argue over silly things, after we fuck, after we split a piece of toast while we wait for our eggs to cook.

I kiss him back, my palms moving to his cheeks and my heart in his hands. My feet come off the ground, and I think I might be flying. It’s the only explanation for why I still get butterflies when he’s near, a thousand wings taking flight right behind my ribs.

I don’t think I’ll ever tire of that feeling.

I hear applause. There’s a whistle and catcalls. The wedding march plays over the loud speaker and I pull away from him.

“What is it with you and kissing me in front of a bunch of football fans?” I ask. “Is this going to be a tradition of ours?”

“I’m obsessed with you,” he says. “Can’t keep my hands to myself.”

“You should try, because the guys are already back on the line of scrimmage. You have a game to close out.”

“Look at you knowing your football.” He grins and pulls down on my bottom lip with his thumb. “Want to get married in Vegas tonight?” he asks, and I almost fall onto the field.


“Want to get married in Vegas tonight?” he asks again, and I stare at him.


Shawn shrugs, and a grin tugs up the left corner of his mouth. “Why not?”

“Because you haven’t proposed to me?” I say, half a question, half a statement, and he slaps his forehead.

“Oh, I haven’t? Shit.” He glances at the field, then back to me. “Hold on to that thought.” He kisses my cheek and jumps down onto the turf. He waves and jogs back to his team with long legs and tattooed arms, and I watch him go.

“What did he say?” Maggie asks, and my shoulders shake.

I’m not sure if I’m laughing or crying. Whatever it is, love balloons in my chest. It inflates as I watch him duck his head and talk to Dallas and Jett. It gets even bigger when he checks the scoreboard. It comes dangerously close to popping when he turns around, meets my gaze, and taps his heart, the spot where I know I’ll always be.

“Everything,” I answer. “He said everything.”

She takes my hand in her left and Aiden’s in her right, and we watch the next two minutes unfold. My throat burns from screaming. My fingers throb from squeezing Maggie so tight. My legs hurt from jumping up and down.

The Titans miraculously charge down the field, ten yards away from a touchdown with twelve seconds on the clock.

“Here we go,” Maggie says.

“I can’t watch.” I squeeze my eyes shut. “I’m too scared.”

“Lacey.” She elbows my side. “You have to watch. Shawn is about to win a Super Bowl.”

“You have so much confidence,” I say. I open my eyes and watch the players get in position. They crouch down, ready to take off, and I’ve stopped breathing. “Can you see the future?”

“I wish.” Maggie laughs and steps closer to me. She tugs Aiden with her, and we’re in a small cluster. “Only one down to go. Come on, Jett,” she screams.

I glance at Aiden over Maggie’s shoulder. “Who knew she was such a sports enthusiast?”

“I’m not complaining,” he says, stars in his eyes as he looks at his other half with awe. “Can she get any more perfect?”

“Okay, knock it off, lovebirds,” I say. I grin and focus my attention on the game. “We have a Super Bowl to win.”

The whistle sounds, and the ball is snapped. Jett takes three steps back, and his eyes scan the field. A defender breaks free from the line of scrimmage and charges toward him. Jett moves left then right, faking out his foe as he takes off for the end zone.

“He’s running it,” Maggie screams again. “Holy shit.”

“Go, Jett, go,” I yell until my voice cracks.

Jett spins out of a defender’s hold and narrowly avoids being taken down. Quick footwork saves him, and he’s only eight yards away from a victory.



He hits the five-yard mark, and his stride gets longer. He looks over his shoulder, the ball clutched tight to his chest. Finding no one but his own teammates, he crosses the goal line just as time expires.

The stadium erupts. The Titans swarm their quarterback, and a pile of players forms in the end zone. Tears blur my vision, and I see Shawn running down the sidelines and jumping in the air. He pulls off his headset and throws it, his hands raised in celebration.

“It’s not over,” Aiden bellows, and he points at the scoreboard. “We’re tied. We didn’t take the lead.”

“What?” Dread ices my blood, and I grip the railing in front of me. “What does that mean? Do we go to overtime? There’s no time on the clock.”

“No. The NFL permits an extra point kick to determine the game’s outcome, even if there’s no time left in regulation,” Aiden explains, and my knuckles turn white.

“So Dallas has to kick,” I whisper. “And he has to make it.”

“Yeah.” Aiden nods. “If he misses, then we go to overtime.”

My eyes find Shawn again. He has his head against Dallas’ helmet and his hands on his kicker’s shoulders. They’re leaning in close, exchanging whispered words no one else can hear.

I think I’m going to be sick.

The special teams jog onto the field. Jett and the offensive line are still celebrating, but they’re quiet now. A hush falls over the crowd as everyone waits with bated breath for Dallas’ kick.

“How many of these do you think he’s kicked in his lifetime?” Maggie whispers.

“A million, probably,” Aiden says. “He can do it with his eyes closed.”

“What about when a Super Bowl victory is on the line?” I ask. “Makes it a little more complicated, right?”

“Nah.” Aiden smiles. “Not to him. This is just another Sunday night on the field where he grew up learning how to kick. In his mind, he’s alone. There’s no crowd. There’s no press. There’s not a hundred million people watching him on their couches, calling him every name under the sun. It’s him and that nasty right foot of his. That’s it.”

The guys line up, and I hold my breath. The ball is snapped, and Justin Rodgers, the holder, catches it perfectly. Dallas takes three steps forward, his head down and his eyes on the ball. His right leg winds back and his cleat connects with the leather so loudly, I can hear the sound from here.

We watch as the ball lifts off the ground and soars toward the goalposts. It passes over the yellow crossbar with feet to spare and sails perfectly through the air. The referees lift their arms and signal the extra point is good, and the players storm the field.

Dallas gets put on someone’s shoulders. Confetti falls from the rafters. “We Are the Champions” starts to play from the speakers, and I stare at the field, flabbergasted.

A security guard runs toward me. He’s talking on a walkie-talkie, and gestures for me to lean over the railing.

“Coach Holmes wants you out there,” the man says.

“What? No. He’s with his team.”

“He requested all three of you.” He nods toward Maggie and Aiden. “We can’t have people storming the field, but family members are allowed.”

“Are you sure? How do we get down?”

“Jump.” He holds out his arms, and I burst out laughing.

“What? Are you out of your mind?”

“Lacey.” Maggie gives me a gentle nudge. “You’ve jumped off a ledge this high before. Go. Go get your guy.”

I scramble over the railing before I can think twice. I sit on the edge of the concrete wall and look down. Adrenaline courses through my blood, exactly like it did the night I ran to Shawn when he was having a panic attack, and I push myself off the ledge and into the arms of the security guard.

I’m glad no one is threatening trespassing charges this time.

He catches me with ease and sets me on the ground before motioning for Maggie and Aiden to follow. I sprint across the field and make a beeline for Shawn. I run straight into his back, my arms slipping around his waist and my cheek pressing against his shirt.

He tugs my hands so I’m in front of him, and his smile is wide and bright. “I’m so glad you’re here.”

“Congratulations.” I choke out a sob and throw my arms around his neck. He lifts me off the ground and holds me tight as he spins me around, a dizzying circle of happiness. “I’m so proud of you.”

“Why are you crying?” he asks. He wipes away a tear and cups my cheek. “There’s no crying in football.”

“They are happy tears,” I explain. “You’ve worked so hard. The guys have worked so hard. You deserve this so much.”

“Ah, shucks, baby. You’re too good to me. I couldn’t have done this without you.”

“I didn’t do anything. This was all you.”

“No.” He pulls back and stares at me. His eyes are glistening with tears, too, and I’ve never seen him so happy. “You encourage me. You believe in me. You stay up late with me and listen to me talk about lineups and plays even though you don’t understand half of what I’m saying. You taught me it’s okay to not be okay, not all the time, and you’re my safe space to go to after every win and every loss.” He pauses to kiss me soft and slow, and it electrifies every one of my nerve endings. “You’re my home, Lacey girl, and I love you so much.”

“I love you too. I love you to the stars. To the depths of this universe and every one beyond.”

“Sounds like you’re obsessed with me, Daniels. I like it. I like it a lot.”

“Don’t flatter yourself, Holmes. I just want to be in the parade next week. That’s all,” I whisper, and he laughs. I hold that sound close to my heart, in the space I know he’ll always be. “About what you said earlier.”

“What did I say earlier?” Shawn asks. Mischief laces his question, and there’s a glimmer of glee in his smile. “Can you remind me?”

“Getting married in Vegas. Is that—were you serious?”

“Do you want me to be serious?”

I swallow and nod, a chaotic bob of my head that makes more laughter burst out of me. “Yes. Yes, I do,” I say. “I want to keep you forever and ever. I want to have your name on every jersey I wear, but I want it to be my last name, too. I want to adopt eight kids with you and take obnoxious photos on Christmas with our matching pajamas.”

“All of that?” he asks.

“All of that. And lots more.”

“Is that so?” He sets me down and reaches into his pocket. He pulls out a velvet box and drops to his knee. “Guess I have a question to ask you, then.”

I gape at him. “Shawn.”

“Lacey. I know our relationship didn’t start out on the most truthful of terms,” he says. He reaches for my hand and threads his fingers through mine. “We couldn’t admit we were attracted to each other. It was fake. Purely physical. Something we joked about but never believed in until that night on the roof at my parents’ house. You looked at me, and I thought I was struck by fucking lightning. I wanted to learn everything about you. I wanted to meet your family and give you whatever resources I had to help you accomplish your goals and dreams. That was the moment I realized you would never be just a friend to me ever again. That was the moment I knew I was falling in love with you. But it wasn’t falling. It was jumping in head first, because loving you has been the easiest thing of my life. It’s been the most fun I’ve ever had, and God only knows how much fun we’ve yet to have.”

I drop to my knees and rest my forehead against his. I ignore the sweat on his arms and the pieces of blue and white confetti clinging to his shirt. I hold on to him by his collar, and I smile.

“I love you and your gentle heart,” I say softly. A crowd forms around us, but I want this moment to be just for us. Words only Shawn can hear. “I love how kind you are and how well you treat others. I love your love for your team, and I love your love for me. You make me feel like the most special girl in the world, every single day. I look at you, and my soul is happy. With you, my soul knows it’s safe. There are a lot of things I’d do over in life, but I’d choose you again and again.”

“What do you say, Lacey girl? Will you keep doing life with me? Will you stand by my side and come cheer at every game? Will you be the one I look for in the crowd, because you’re the only one I ever want to see?” Shawn asks.

He opens the box and I gasp at the ring inside. The diamond sparkles under the stadium lights and the night sky, and I hold out a shaky hand for him to slide the piece of jewelry on my finger. It fits perfectly, and I wonder how much help he had from Maggie in getting the sizing right.

“Yes. Yes, of course I will.” I lunge for him and wrap him in a tight embrace. I’m never going to let him go. “I’m so lucky to be loved by you,” I whisper as he presses his mouth against mine.

I can feel his smile in my heart. I can hear his quiet laughter and his soft sigh as I knock off his hat and pull on the ends of his hair. His thumb traces down my cheek and his palm settles against my neck. I wonder what his touch will feel like when he has a ring on his finger, too.

He kisses me again—harder this time—for all the cameras to see. There’s a flash of light in my peripheral vision and I smile as reality crashes into me, a wave that knocks me off balance.

Football game.

National television.

Super Bowl.

My fiancé kissing me in front of thousands—no, millions—of people, and there’s no place I’d rather be.

“That’s an awful lot of declarations. Flirting with me, Daniels?”

I huff out a laugh and poke his ribs. He grabs my hand and kisses the inside of my palm, his eyes a little wild but so full of love.

“In your dreams, Holmes.”


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