Wife for a Day(75)

By: Kate Walker

When he finally released her, her heart was racing, her whole body on fire, the yearning ache that had started up inside her clamouring for appeasement. But there was one more question she had to ask.

‘Do you think your parents will be able to accept me…?’

It was Ronan’s turn to stop her words with a silencing finger.

‘They’ll only have to look at you to love you as I do. Lily,’ he went on, when her concern still showed on her face. ‘They know that Davey wasn’t responsible for what happened to Rosalie. And when they find out about the baby they’ll be overjoyed to welcome you into the family. Our child will never take my sister’s place, but he or she will give my parents someone to love, to help fill the space she left behind. As my wife…’

‘Your wife!’ Lily echoed the words on a note of awe. It didn’t seem possible that she could be Ronan’s wife but this time for real, that their marriage could be a proper one.

It was as she lifted a loving hand to touch his face that she remembered and regretted her wild, foolish gesture outside the club in Leeds, when she had flung her ring into the canal.

‘Ronan!’ It was a cry of distress. ‘I don’t have a ring! I…’

‘I’ll give you another one,’ Ronan soothed. ‘A real wedding ring, one given with love in a true marriage of minds and hearts, not as it was before. We’ll have another wedding ceremony too—just the two of us, perhaps with my parents and Davey. And when I promise to love and cherish you, this time you’ll know that I mean it.’

Once more she was caught up in his arms and kissed until her senses whirled. And this time the fires that lit inside her could not be subjected to any form of control. This time they raged through her, making her shudder in urgent need against the hard wall of his chest.

‘That marriage…’ she muttered underneath the heated demand of his mouth. ‘The one with hearts and minds—you forgot something.’

‘And what was that?’ The husky laughter that threaded through the words told her he knew only too well what she meant, but he still wanted her to say it.

Her fingers slid under the hem of his sweatshirt, a wicked smile curving her lips as she felt his uncontrolled reaction, the tensing of strong muscles, the shiver of response.

‘You didn’t mention bodies. Hearts and minds and bodies. An emotional, intellectual and very physical union        . That’s the sort of marriage I want.’

‘Me too,’ Ronan agreed, his voice raw with a need that mirrored the one she was feeling. ‘I want that sort of marriage too. Would you like me to show you how much?’

The smile Lily shone up straight into his burning eyes was positively beatific in its unconcealed happiness.

‘I thought you’d never ask!’ she sighed. ‘And, yes, I’d like that very, very much!’

And as Ronan swung her up into his arms and carried her out of the room her greatest happiness came from knowing that this time she would be his wife not just for a single day but for ever after. For all the days of the rest of their lives.