"I can't believe you did this," Portia cries, throwing her arms around him, "It's beautiful."
"Now you'll be able to play while you are here," Rainier says with a smile, "I've made a copy of my key for you, so you can come in any time you like."
"To play piano?" she asks with a teasing smile.
"If you like. But I was thinking more about coming home from work and finding you here waiting for me."
"And what am I wearing in this fantasy scenario?" Portia laughs.
"Mmmm, I'll let you surprise me," he answers.
Portia giggles and takes him by the hands, "Your gift is downstairs. Get your luggage, we need to meet my father."
"Bill bought you a Ferrari?" Rainier says when they approach the car parked in his pot.
"No," Portia says, "That's yours. Happy Birthday. From me and Dad."
"Portia, I can't accept--" he protests, but she covers his mouth with her hand.
"You can," she says, "I know you want to. And I'm not letting your silly pride get in the way."
"All right," he says, getting into the car beside her, "It's a beautiful gift." He'll speak with Bill about this later, but for now he decides to enjoy the ride.
They drive across town to Beverly Hills, to her house, where they meet up with Bill. Then they pack all their luggage into the waiting limo which takes them to LAX.
Rather than throwing Portia a huge birthday party, she Bill decided on a a more private family celebration at their vacation house in Hawaii. Portia, of course, would not dream of celebrating her 18th birthday without Rainier, so it's the three of them together for the weekend.
"Bill, about the car..." Rainier says, getting Bill alone on the porch while Portia showers.
"You aren't going to try to refuse the gift," Bill says.
"It's too much," Rainier protests.
"That's what I said to Portia when she told me her plans. Not that it's too much for me, you understand. Drop in the bucket. But I knew you'd want to turn it down. But, she turned her puppy eyes at me and it was 'Daddy, please,' for weeks. And I'm not going to be subjected to her tears when you give it back. So, you're keeping the car."
"We have that in common," Rainier laughs.
"We have that and a lot more," Bill observes, "And we've had our disagreements, too. But you've been there for Portia when she's needed you, and you set me straight when I failed her. You've made yourself a part of this family. And I'm glad to have you. My daughter could not have chosen a better man."
Rainier intended to have Portia with or without Bill's consent, but having it is certainly better than not. He finds himself unexpectedly moved by Bill's blessing; his own father was gone long before he died, and never did give Rainier the approval a son needs from his father. Getting it from Bill comes a bit a late, but it means a lot more than Rainier would have anticipated.
"What are you two up to?" Portia asks, joining them on the porch, giving Rainier a chaste kiss in greeting.
"I'm taking my drink and heading out to the hot tub," Bill answers, "I suppose you two can entertain yourselves for awhile."
With Bill out of the way, Rainier pulls Portia into a tight embrace.
"This feels like a honeymoon, doesn't it?" she asks, "After all the waiting, all the build up to this day..."
"Except we won't be taking your father along on our honeymoon," Rainier laughs.
"C'mon," she says, taking him by the hand to lead him up to their room, "I have a surprise for you."
"Another birthday gift," Rainier says when the surprise turns out to be the lingerie she's wearing under her clothes. "Do you mind if I unwrap it?"
The long wait is at last over, and she is finally, legally his love. And though they had made love before, in some distant past, before he knew her true age, this time feels like the first, or even better, if there is such a thing. Because they had waited so long, and had grown so close in the waiting, learning each other, falling in love.
"Happy birthday," she sighs, wrapping her legs around him.
"And to you, my love," he answers.
"Maybe we should come back here on our honeymoon," Portia says.
"You're making plans for our honeymoon when we aren't even engaged," Rainier laughs, and Portia pinches him, gently, just enough to deliver the slightest twinge of pain.
"I expect you'll be proposing soon enough."
"I was going to wait for you to graduate," Rainier says, "Are we joking around now or is this a serious conversation?"
Portia rests her head on his shoulder, "It doesn't matter," she sighs, "I know you're the one. And I know you know it, too. You said so yourself. We can wait until I graduate to make it official, as long as you know you are mine, and I am yours."
"Je sais," he whispers, "I've known that for awhile now."