His Final Bargain(60)

By: Melanie Milburne

‘What makes you think I’d offer you forever?’

She searched his features for a moment. Had she got it wrong? Had she jumped to the wrong conclusion? ‘You do love me, don’t you? I know you haven’t said it but nor have I. And I do. I love you so much. I’ve always loved you. From the moment I met you I felt you were the only person for me.’

He put his arms around her. ‘Of course I love you. How can you doubt that?’

She tiptoed her other hand up to the stubbly growth on his jaw. ‘I’ve put you through hell and yet you still love me.’

He cupped her face in his hands. ‘Isn’t that what true love is supposed to do? Conquer everything in its path and triumph over all in the end?’

‘I didn’t know it was possible to love someone so much.’

‘A couple of weeks ago you walked out of my life and I didn’t think you’d be back. It was like four years ago all over again. What’s changed?’

‘I’ve changed,’ she said. ‘I’ve finally realised that life dishes up what it dishes up and we all have to deal with it in our own way and in our own time. I will probably always feel sad and guilty about Ewan. I can’t change that. It’s just what is. But I’m not making his life any better or worse by denying myself a chance at happiness. He would want me to live his life for him. I’m going to do my very best to do that. And my new life starts now, here with you and Alessandra. You are my family, but I have to say I need to keep a special corner open for Samantha. She’s the most amazing surrogate mother in the world and I don’t want to lose her.’

Leo put his arms around her and hugged her tightly. ‘Then you won’t,’ he said. ‘I need a mother, too, and Alessandra desperately needs a hands-on grandmother. Do you think she would have enough love to stretch to us as well?’

Eliza smiled as she hugged him tight. ‘I’m absolutely sure of it.’