He pulled her close and without a word, wrapped his arms around her. He buried his face her in her hair, taking a deep breath, smelling the clean fruity scent that was her, and felt a calm settle inside him.

Her hands stroked up his back and his eyes filled with tears. His lips opened on a shaky breath as hers pressed a kiss on the edge of his jaw.

He looked up, blinking furiously to rid the moisture even as his lips trembled, and his arms tightened around her. He could feel each breath she took, each beat of her heart echoed his.

He closed his eyes, squeezing them hard.He hadn’t dared to dream of this day, and now he could hardly believe it. He could touch her, feel her, hold her, smell her, see her. It felt unreal and it scared him to the core.

He felt more than heard her laugh. Her hands cupped his jaw as she pulled back her face to look at him. His eyes moved over her face taking in the wide shining eyes, glistening with tears, the mouth, lifted in a trembling smile and relief etched in every line.

He stroked a thumb down her cheek, catching on her lips, slowly tracing their outline.

“I love you”

A tear caught on his thumb, as her smile widened.

“I love you”

He pressed a kiss on her forehead.

She closed her eyes, as though her every nerve concentrated on that single point of contact.

” I am never letting you go. I will tie you down and lock you up, and don’t you dare resist. I will keep you no matter what. You are not escaping my sight for one second. And you better write that down because I am going to do it. ”

He bit back a laugh at the fierce look on her face.


And then he laughed at the disbelief on her face.

“Oh sweetheart, I am not going anywhere. Ever again. So tie me up if you want. You have me. Forever.”

She locked her arms around him, and he winced at the force her tiny body held as she squeezed hard.

” I have waited a lifetime to hear you say that.”

“And now you can hear that for the rest of your life.”