His bid for a bride(60)

By: Carole Mortimer

‘He’s probably out there somewhere right now smiling at the rightness of all this,’ she continued huskily. ‘So I’ll ask you again, Falkner.’ She straightened, looking at him intently. ‘Why did you ask me to marry you on Friday?’

His expression softened, his eyes glittering emotionally. ‘Because I love you more than life itself. Because I thought I might be able to persuade you into marriage in a weak moment. Because I hoped that once we were married I might one day be able to persuade you into loving me. Because the thought of you going out of my life a second time is more than I can bear. Because—’

‘Enough.’ She placed gentle fingertips over his lips. ‘I’ll marry you, Falkner, but only because all the things you’ve just said about me could as easily be said of me concerning you! You’ll never know how tempted I was to accept your proposal in the hope that one day you might learn to love me! Isn’t it wonderful that we already love each other?’ Her eyes misted with tears of happiness.

‘Wonderful!’ Falkner echoed emotionally.

Thank you, Da, Skye offered up a silent prayer even as she and Falkner kissed each other as if they never wanted to stop. Thank you. Thank you!


‘WHAT are you doing?’

Skye turned to smile at Falkner as he stood in the stable doorway, her love for him glowing in her eyes.

The last year of being married to Falkner had been the happiest of her life, the two of them rarely apart, enjoying their silences together as much as they did their chats, the teasing repartee that had become such a part of their relationship. As for their lovemaking…Falkner had been perfectly correct in his claim that the damage to his right leg wasn’t noticeable when he was ‘lying horizontal’!

Skye put her arms about his waist to hug him tight as he joined her in Storm’s stall. ‘I was just explaining to Storm that he’ll have to be put out to pasture for a while,’ she murmured softly.

‘He will?’ Falkner looked surprised, knowing how much she enjoyed those daily rides out on Storm, often joining her on his own mare, the stallion seeming to have accepted that this man was now a permanent fixture in his mistress’s life. At least, he no longer tried to bite Falkner!

‘Yes.’ Skye smiled shyly up at her husband. ‘Of course I’ve explained to him that it’s only until after the baby is born.’ She held her breath as she looked up to gauge Falkner’s reaction to her news.

The two of them were so happy together, enjoyed being together so much, that the subject of children had just never arisen. But she had had her suspicions for the last couple of weeks, and a visit to the doctor that morning had confirmed those suspicions: she and Falkner were to have a baby in the spring.

A little boy, she had wondered dreamily on her drive back from the doctor, with Falkner’s blond hair and aristocratic features. Or maybe a little girl, with Skye’s own red flaming hair.

‘Skye!’ Falkner cried ecstatically as he gathered her fiercely into his arms, instantly slackening his hold as he realized he was crushing her. ‘Is it true?’ His eyes glowed with pleasure. ‘Are you sure?’

‘The doctor is—which is more important.’ She relaxed into his arms, having no doubts now that his reaction to her news was definitely positive.

‘I never thought—I can hardly believe—’ He shook his head. ‘Skye, I didn’t believe I could possibly be any happier than I am already, but this! Are you pleased?’ He looked down at her concernedly.

‘Ecstatic,’ she assured him unhesitantly. ‘I can imagine nothing more wonderful than having our child,’ she added emotionally.

‘Neither can I.’ Falkner gathered her into his arms once more. ‘If it’s a boy we’ll call him Connor, after your father.’

Skye felt that familiar emotional lump in her throat as she thought of her beloved da.

Thank you, Da; she again offered up a silent prayer. Thank you for giving me Falkner. And thank you for giving me to Falkner.