He strode back to his seat with added pep to his walk; he saw all the men looking at him and smiled.
He noticed Al looking at him and cocking her brow at him. Walking over he kissed her and sat down, the males rolled their eyes, not believing he was making them wait.
‘You okay? You looked a little pasty.’ Al checked him over with her eyes and couldn’t see anything wrong any more, just love and adoration shining from his beautiful brown eyes.
‘Nah I’m fine, just a bad case of gas.’ He waggled his brows at her.
She shuddered and barfed loudly, ‘Thanks for going to the loo, don’t think the Ritz is ready for your farts baby.’
David laughed loudly, ‘Yeah we’ve been on the receiving end of them and they ain’t nice!’
Liz snorted, ‘Hell David you were the one that gassed us the other night in the car! Odour Pepe Le Pew has nothing on you.’
That started everyone laughing and throwing about who they thought did the same as David. Al was in the thick of it.
He took the chance and with her distracted he dug the ring out of his pocket and took it out of the box, taking a deep breath, pushed his chair out and dropped to his knee, and waited for her to turn; those sat near him and across from him, stopped laughing and grinned. Little Hector was bouncing up and down with his hand over his mouth.
Al noticed the table going quite and frowned, glanced at Tico, saw him kneeling and asked ‘Honey, have you lost something?’ Moving the tablecloth out of the way, totally missing the ring in his fingers.
‘Mi amour.’ He said quietly his other hand grasping her hand and squeezing.
‘Huh.’ And that’s when she noticed the beautiful ring in his fingers, her jaw went slack. She’d thought he’d pop the question in the next few days even a week but not that day, she took in the table and everyone was grinning at her.
‘Mi Corazon, I’ve told you how much I love you and what you mean to me. Since we met you have made my life glow and sparkle again, bringing colour back into it, and the laughter, lots of laughter! Alice, would you make me the happiest man alive and do the honour of marrying me querido?’
A hush had descended not only on the table, but the whole room, and Tico was now holding his breath, she’d said she’d say yes, but he needed to hear it!
Al was stunned her gaze fixed on the beautiful ring he offered her, she could feel the hand that held hers was sweating and trembling, he was nervous! Her heart pounded, trying to break out of her chest and launch itself at him; her eyes started to fill with tears, and she prayed she wouldn’t turn into a blubbering wreck!
‘Oh for god’s sake Ally say something! You’re killing us!’ David whined.
She tore her eyes from Tico’s and realised they were all waiting for her response, blinking she turned back to Tico ‘My heart is yours and yours alone honey, I’ll marry you whenever and wherever you want to.’ With that she threw her arms about his neck and hauled him in for a mind blowing kiss that had the whole room whooping and catcalling.
When she let him go, he picked up her hand, kissed her finger and slid the ring onto it, kissing it again. ‘You’re mine miel and I’m never letting you go.’ He just managed to say as Hector threw himself at his pappy and Ally, shouting his happiness and knocking Tico to the ground in his haste.
Al laughed then screamed as she found herself lifted off the chair and into Richie’s arms and once more thoroughly kissed, ‘Congrats Ally, you’ve made us all happy.’
‘Yeah you may be able to control this mob, where I’ve failed.’ Carol laughed, hugging and kissing her. Al let out a very unlady like snort at that, but thanked her.
With that everyone else gathered to congratulate her and Tico, and Hector too, hugs and kisses and some tears from the women followed, the others in the room stood and clapped them, making Al smile and blush.
Liz and Anna grabbed her and they had a three way hug, laughing when Jon moaned about being left out. No comment was made as the children were there, but the promise in Liz’s eyes told him she’d make it up to him later.
Finally Tico reclaimed his fiancée and kissed her soundly before sitting down with her on his lap. The waiters appeared and began to serve champagne, compliments of the hotel, and sparkling non alcoholic wine for Richie and the children so they could join in a toast to the newly engaged couple.
The man in the corner saluted them too, then hurried out, he’d scored big time here! His friend at the news station would kiss his feet for the exclusive photos of them getting engaged.