“Darling, if you don’t answer me pretty soon, I’m going to keel over from the desire to hold you. Love you.”
She cupped his handsome, wonderful face with both hands, and giggled. “Don’t keel over,” she said. “I’ve done that, it’s not fun.”
“Millie,” he growled teasingly.
“Of course I’ll marry you.”
He stood and the love in his eyes was more intense. “Say it again.”
“Yes, I’ll marry you,” she repeated.
“Yes, I’ll marry you.”
She threw her head back, laughing as a great storm of joy erupted inside her. “Yes!” she shouted, and then said softly, “I’ll marry you, silly.”
He was laughing, too, and paused only long enough to kiss her quickly, briefly. “I love you, Millie. I love you.”
“I love you, too.” She stretched up on her toes, wanting a kiss that would last so long she’d become lost in him, as she had while wrapped in his arms those wonderful nights they’d shared before.
“Oh, no,” he said, catching her wrists with his hands.
Startled, she searched his face, looked for a teasing glint, but didn’t find one. Love was in his eyes, and happiness, but seriousness, as well. A stinging sensation curled around her spine. “What’s wrong?”
Walking backward, he led her to the window. “See that building over there?”
Focusing wasn’t easy with her body throbbing so, but she scanned the area, a side street of town, full of houses and... “You mean the church?”
“Yes, we are going there,” he said. “Getting married, and then we’ll return here...” he kissed the side of her neck “...and spend some time in that bed.”
A moan rumbled in her throat and desire flared inside her. His tone said that what would happen in that bed would be more intimate, more long lasting than it had ever been. “All right,” she said. “When?”
“Right now.” He scooped her into his arms. “I can’t wait any longer.”
It wasn’t until he’d unlocked the door and pulled it open, a difficult task with her still in his arms, that Millie grabbed the doorjamb. “Stop.”
He groaned, and she giggled.
“What?” he asked.
“I don’t have any shoes on.”
“I’ll carry you the entire way.”
He didn’t, at her insistence, for she wasn’t getting married barefoot—or stocking footed. However, she didn’t make him put her down until they entered the shop across the street, where the woman carried on about how lovely the traveling suit fit, and told Millie about the morning Seth had purchased it. The pinkish glow on his cheeks made her love grow deeper, if that was possible, and wearing yet another pair of boots Seth bought for her, she ran with him across the street and the field leading to the church, hand in hand, laughing all the way.
The preacher was there, as was his wife, and in a private ceremony that Millie knew she’d hold as one of her most treasured memories until she was too old to remember, Seth and she became husband and wife. She cried when Seth vowed his love, and when he slipped the bride’s necklace over her head. But when he slid a ring on her finger, a sweet sob locked itself in her throat and remained there.
Afterward, while returning to the hotel, she held her hand up, stared at how the sun glistened in the jewels. “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”
“You are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” he said, kissing her temple as they walked.
She leaned against him, cherished how his arm tightened around her waist. “I’ll treasure it forever.”
“I’ll treasure you forever.”
“You’re silly,” she whispered.
“No, I’m in love. And happier than I’ve ever been.”
She stepped in front of him, making him stop, and reached up to lay a hand against his cheek. “Me, too.”
He kissed her then, in that all-consuming way she’d been hoping he would. To the point she barely recognized that halfway through his kiss he’d scooped her up and started walking again.
She rested her head on his shoulder as he carried her through the hotel lobby and up the stairs, and laughed aloud when he plopped her onto the bed.
“Finally,” he growled.
She giggled and then held her arms open when he returned from locking the door.