Jacey & Chelsey

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Jacey and Chelsey won our runner-up prize with Jacey's idea for an Amazon birdwatching adventure. The couple met at the pet store where they both worked, and their love of animals has been central to their relationship ever since. Jacey's idea was to bring Chelsey on a surprise trip to the Amazon rainforest, where Jacey says you can find birds that look like they're "from another planet," from macaws to spectacled owls to purple-breasted cotingas. As dusk starts to fall on the jungle, Jacey will lead Chelsey to a clearing lit by lanterns over a beautiful picnic, where she'll get on one knee to propose.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sylvia Day wrote this story about their inspiring love, accompanied by an original illustration by Alessandra Olanow.

I wasn’t expecting you. But when you walked into my life, I realized I’d hoped for you. In a quiet corner of my heart, I think I wished for you.

I loved you the moment I saw you. Or maybe I fell into the love when you looked at me with beautiful green eyes that saw right through me. Whether your hair was platinum white or as colorful as your personality, I couldn’t take my eyes off you. I would wink, you’d smile. A teasing game between us. But you always ran, and I was afraid to chase.

So, we started as friends. With conversations and typed notes. Shared stories, detailing separate lives and loves. I didn’t complain. How could I? I would take you any way I could get you. But I wanted to kiss you; to take that step over a line I hadn’t yet been invited to cross.

Could you tell? The yearning was always there, an unspoken need.

Days passed, then weeks. Months. A year almost gone, a new one about to begin. One final evening before resolutions were made. Did I hold my breath, waiting? Did you?

Surrounded by friends, by revelry. Music and laughter. A countdown to tomorrow ended with your lips on mine. Or was it mine on yours? Whatever way it happened, it’s brought us here. Together. With years behind us and forever in front of us.

No, I wasn’t expecting you. But I dreamed of you.

And you came true.

DIAMOND FOUNDRY

 Alessandra Olanow
Alessandra Olanow

Jacey and Chelsey won our runner-up prize with Jacey's idea for an Amazon birdwatching adventure. The couple met at the pet store where they both worked, and their love of animals has been central to their relationship ever since. Jacey's idea was to bring Chelsey on a surprise trip to the Amazon rainforest, where Jacey says you can find birds that look like they're "from another planet," from macaws to spectacled owls to purple-breasted cotingas. As dusk starts to fall on the jungle, Jacey will lead Chelsey to a clearing lit by lanterns over a beautiful picnic, where she'll get on one knee to propose.