Using school and work as an opportunity to surprise is temporary live in girlfriend he sets everything up. The dinner table is set for two and has several candles used as a center piece. The lights in the apartment are kept as low as possible with some candles found here and there. Soft music plays in the background. It is nothing that can be recognized by lyrics, but rather by instrument. It's a symphonic piece, nothing special but meant to be soothing. The smell of dinner wafts through the air as it is waiting in the oven. The mastermind of this lovely occasion, Robert, has his back towards the door as he attempts to set the final piece into place. A box is arranged on a plate, the box containing the jewelry that he purchased from Scarlett. The only thing not inside of it is the ring which is currently in his hand as he debates what to do with it.

School and work are definitely good times to set up surprises. Hope has been working late at both for the last few days. Venturing out later as the days grow longer. When she returns to the house, she lifts her hand to knock. Then recalls that she has a temporary key, and opens the door. The music can be heard as the door swings slowly open, and she blinks. "Bobby? I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" Which is silly because what would she be interrupting? Dinner with his sisters?

The only problem with his master plain and indecision is that he's lost track of time. The sound of his name catches the man off guard, causing him to startle. The ring falls to the floor with thankfully is carpeted so it makes no noise. "Of course not, Hope." He hasn't resorted to calling her nicknames just yet, preferring her name to anything. "I wanted you to have a good night tonight, is all." Robert offers her a smile before he crouches down onto a knee to pat the carpet. It has to be around somewhere.

Jacket is removed, bag of books is set beside the door. Hope edges into the house, curious when the sound of his voice comes from a different position all of a sudden. "What on earth are you doing on the floor?" She takes a few steps in order to get a better look at him, tilting her head slightly.

There is a very clear and reasonable explanation to all of this. He doesn't go into detail at first because it is a rather long story and he's just been caught being clumsy. It is far from the smooth way that Robert likes to be. "It's actually rather comfortable down here," he comments as his hand continues to move. Finally hitting pay dirt, Bobby grabs the ring and looks up - striking his head off of the table in the process. This causes him to lose focus on what he's doing, so when Hope walks closer to him she'll see him rubbing his head while on one knee. With a cubic zarconia ring in his hand.

Which catches Hope just standing there. Staring at him. Eyes wide. Her hand settles to the table, and she seats herself in the nearest chair, all without taking her wide eyes off of him. "Bobby… what on /earth/?" This has got to be some sort of joke, she's certain of it.

If only he could see things the way that she does, but alas that is not happening. Robert flashes her an award winning smile as he tries his best to play off the whole injury thing. "What?" Perhaps by playing coy she won't comment! "Is there something wrong with this? Should I have not done it?" Even if he's asking her he is still smiling, still loving - still holding the ring in his hand and not realizing it. The ring may not be a real diamond but it does look pretty much like an engagement ring.

"Well of course there's nothing wrong with it if it's how you fell, but don't you think it's maybe… a bit soon?" Hope, eyes still wide, is trying her best not to choke on her words. Then she manages to stammer out, "N-not that I'm s-saying n-no or anything, you just caught me by surprise." Surprise and a half even.

Now he's just confused. "Hope, this is how I feel. I did this for you because I wanted to." Again, though, they're not on the same page. He wants to spoil her and to protect her, so this is what this evening is about. His free hand reaches out for hers, ironically her left. "If you're not happy or it bothers you, you can tell me. I just thought…"

When her left hand is taken, Hope switches her focus from his face to her hand. "Bobby?" Her voice is quite trembly as she speaks to him. "You make me happier than I've been in a long time." Her right hand comes up to gently touch his cheek. A fleeting touch that is extremely light, before her hand fallst to her lap. "It's soon, it's /very/ soon, but if it's what you want… then of course."

It does register that something isn't quite right. This is just dinner and the offer of protection courtesy of Scarlett. Yet Hope seems so emotional that he can't help but question what he's seeing. Even with this, the touch to his cheek pulls his attention. She's so beautiful and he can't help but be happy this close to her. "You really believe that it's too soon?" She's agreeing though, but something catches in his mind. Too soon for dinner? Robert looks down at his hands, one on her left and the other holding a fake diamond ring. Oh.

In about 2.5 seconds, Hope is going to feel like a jackass. In about 2.5 seconds, her cheeks are going to be such a deep shade of red it will be difficult to distinguish them from a tomato. In about 2.5 seconds, she's going to draw away from him and run off to lock herself in the bathroom. But first, she says, "Don't you?" Then she sees the look toward the ring, the change in his facial expression, and at exactly 2.5 seconds after he speaks, she starts to get to her feet. "I should… uhm… go get ready for dinner…"

It is a wonderful thing that 2.5 seconds is .5 seconds too slow. Immediately he's looking at her, not upset in the least. It isn't as if he can back down now and he isn't about to make her cry. Before she can get up and leave him, Robert stands slightly, wrapping his arms around her in a loving embrace. "For this? No, I don't." He's honestly never cared for a woman so deeply that isn't related to him. "I think that I want nothing more than for you to wear this ring." That /is/ the purpose, after all. "At least until I can get something better."

Embarrassed. Utterly and completely. Upset? Not really, as it was her own folly to think it was something more rather than wait for an explanation. Before she can bolt, Hope is wrapped up in his arms. "Oh, Bobby… I'm /sorry/. I just saw… and well…" A smile is given to him, and she tries to laugh it off. "It's beautiful, and I'd be happy to wear it, something better in the future or not."

He takes a moment to ensure that she doesn't bolt by keeping one arm secured around her. The ring is offered up to her with a grin. Were he more romantic he would be putting it on her finger himself. "Now I feel bad that it isn't actually a diamond." The truth is that Mellie might squash his dreams of being able to save up for something real any time soon but Robert doesn't realize this. "Please don't apologize." He has to catch his breath before he looks her square in the eyes. "I need to ask proper. Hope Tyler, will you marry me?" Someday.

Unable to bolt, she takes the ring and slips it on her finger. "I feel bad that I mistook your intentions, but you /have/ to admit that it did seem as though…" Hope's cheeks are still a deep pink. The squared look in the eyes causes hers to widen again. "I… er… yes! Someday." Even though they've only been actually dating for a few weeks. Chalk it up to being young and impetuous?

He's not quite as young but he does have a habit of acting before thinking. "Someday is all that I ask for." So this is not his ideal way to actually propose to any woman, let alone Hope, but at least there aren't any drunk or high little sisters ruining the moment. "You've just made me the happiest man alive. I love you." The tone of his voice, the expression, everything about Bobby shows that he means what he is saying. He then leans down to to kiss her gently as he believes the situation warrants it. They have agreed to someday take marriage seriously after all.

Someday could be any time from a week from this point, to years from this point. Hope is not even going to hold him from it, since she's most positive that he only changed his game-plan due to her misunderstanding. But when he says those three words, ones that he's never spoken before, all she can do is smile at him. His tone tells her that he's being serious, the kiss just solidifies that thought in her mind. "I love you too," she says, softly.

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