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.Now they were starting a family.Tyler pressed a kiss to her head in the darkness of early morning.She wasn’t the fly off and get married kind of girl and he owed his mother more than that.And what did it matter if they got married tomorrow or in four years? This was the woman.She was the right one and his heart knew that even after only two weeks.Courtney stirred against him.“What time is it?” Her voice was soft.“Three o’clock.”“You’re awake, why?”Tyler brushed his hand over her shoulder and pulled her closer.“I was watching you sleep.”She moaned against him, perhaps more in protest than with enjoyment.“Why?”“I want to marry you.”She stilled even more against him and then pushed herself up on her elbow.“You need more sleep.Go to sleep,” she said lowering herself back to his chest.That wasn’t going to do.It burned in him now.He rolled her onto her back and leaned in over her.“Not now.Not this month or even this year, but I want to marry you.”“Let’s talk about it in the morning.After coffee.I think you need coffee.”He let out a small laugh.“I’m fine.I don’t need coffee.I don’t need sleep.” He sat up and pulled her to sit too.“Do you love me?”“Yes,” she said but it wavered as though she thought he was crazy.“Between you and me, and no one else, someday will you marry me?”Courtney was tense and he didn’t blame her.Her face was still full of sleep and as she ran her hands over her it he knew she was still trying to comprehend what he was doing.“Really, we should talk about this…”“Now.” He took her hands in his.“I’m not going to run and tell my family and until I can make one hell of a to- do about it—in time—we wouldn’t mention it to your parents either.But, Courtney, someday in the not too distant future would you marry me?”“Are you crazy?”“About you, yes.”“You’re proposing to me, naked in your bed at three in the morning?”“Yes.”“I’ve known you two weeks.”“Long enough.”“But we’re not going to tell anyone, yet? This is between you and me?”He laughed and ended it on a breath, “Yes.”She wasn’t answering him as quickly as he’d have liked.Okay, in her defense he’d stumped her while she was still sleepy.“Courtney…” he reached for her, brushed his hand down her hair.“I didn’t mean to…”“I can’t imagine not being your wife.”He held still for a moment.“What does that mean?”“I’ve thought about it.I’ve been thinking about it for two weeks.” She gathered his hands in hers.“I’ll never see the faces of my children.I’ll never know when you’ve become an old man—well I’ll never see it.I may be very independent, but there is a factor that I’ll always need something—someone to guide me through my day to day.There is a lot to think about here.”“I know but…”She pressed her fingers to his lips to stop him.“But, those are fears I’ve always had.Who could possibly love me enough to take care of me forever? Who would take the time to make sure I know what my children look like? Who would…?”“I would,” he said against her fingers before she lowered them.“I would do all of that because to me it’s not a burden.”“I believe that.” Her voice trembled now and not because of sleep.“Then?”She ran her hands up his arms until they were linked around his neck.She pulled him back to her and eased him down over her.“Then, in time, when we are ready to take that step and tell our parents, I would be honored to marry you, Tyler.”He felt tears burn in his eyes, but he wouldn’t let them fall.Not now.“You’ll marry me?”“Yes.”“You glow in the moonlight.”“And you have a bad habit of talking too much,” she said as she rolled him over on his back and made love to him—him the happiest man in the world at the moment.Chapter Twenty-FiveThe home that had been Tyler’s grandparents’ house and now was Ed and Darcy’s home was loud and fragrant, again.It was Sunday and Tyler had managed to be with his family for the third Sunday in a row.Yes, this was why he’d come home.The chance to fall in love with a beautiful woman was only a bonus.Ed and Chris were setting up tables on the back lawn when Tyler arrived.“Did you decide the house was too small?” he joked as he walked out the back door.“It’s warm and beautiful.So we’re grilling tonight,” Ed responded as he leveled out the table in the grass.“Where’s Courtney?”“I lost her already.It seems as though your wife has some ideas to share with her and Avery about the gala.”Ed laughed.“Girls planning a party.She fits right in.”“Hey,” Chris shouted toward him.“Catch.” He threw him a can of beer, wet from the cooler.“Thanks.”Ed and Chris moved toward him.“I remember our dads standing out here doing this.Full circle, huh?” Tyler noted as Spencer walked out of the house, grabbed his own beer, and joined them.“And now you all have kids coming.”Ed’s eyes flashed wide for a moment and then he smiled.“We met with the birth mother yesterday.The baby is due next week, so really anytime.”“That’s crazy,” Spencer added his opinion.“Are you ready for that?”“No,” Ed laughed loud.“I’m not.But at the same time I am.I’ve never been more excited about anything in my life.”Tyler wondered if there was more to it the way something danced in Ed’s eyes.Then he thought about Courtney’s feeling that they were expecting too.He wondered if the night would grow even more eventful.Courtney had a bowl of potato salad, she’d helped Tyler’s grandmother make, in her arms.Authentic German potato salad, his grandmother had told her in a deep full, muddled accent.Darcy had held open the door for her and told her the location and number of steps to walk down.When she hit the soft grass at the bottom she stopped.She could sense Tyler standing right in front of her.“You’re beautiful,” he said softly as he moved in and kissed her on the cheek.“It’s the potato salad.”She heard him breathe in the fragrant whiff [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]