Engaged to Jarrod Stone(60)

By: Carole Mortimer

'I was a man in the last throes of losing the freedom. I've always thought I valued above everything else, and I could be losing it to a woman who doesn't give damn for me. You were attracted to me, I knew that but it wasn't what I wanted. I tried so hard to make you admit to some feelings for me that in the end you retreated from me altogether. But whether you love me or not, whether you marry me or not, I'll never stop loving you.’

‘What about Selina?’

‘It was a form of defense,' he insisted. 'But I've never had an affair with Selina, and I certainly don't love her. I may have been a bit of a rogue in the past, but I never had an affair with a married woman.'

‘But everyone said--'

‘Everyone thought they knew, but they were all wrong. Now kiss me, woman, and stop saying ridiculous things.'

Brooke went into his arms with renewed eagerness, hiding nothing back as she showed him just how much she loved him. Jarrod was pale and strained by the time he pulled reluctantly away from her, buttoning his shirt with shaking hands.

‘I have to leave now before I forget how innocent you really are,' he said grimly. 'I haven't forgotten that you once accused me of being the type of man to take advantage of the engagement and forget about the wedding.'

Brooke stilled his movements. 'Stay with me tonight.'

He shook his head firmly, standing up to tuck his shirt back into the waistband of his corduroys. 'I can wait until we're married. Never let it be said I seduced you into marrying me.'

Brooke moved to stand in front of him. 'I would never say that. I was angry when I made that comment at forgetting the wedding. Please, Jarrod, stay with me.’

'No. I respect and love you too much to do that. It's what makes you so special to me, Brooke, that I may want you like hell, but I can wait until you have my ring on your finger.'

She had tears gathered at his words. 'Oh, Jarrod!'

‘Don't tempt me, woman,' he growled. 'Just make the wedding soon. I don't have much self-control left where you're concerned.'

She stood on tiptoe to kiss him. 'As soon as possible,' she promised.

‘Tomorrow?' he asked hopefully.

'If you like.'

They laughed together, completely confident in the love for each other.