sense of security. She should have realized that he might not be feeling what she felt. She wanted to beg him to give her a while longer to prove her love to him, but she had no right to ask anything of him. She nodded. “Jacob and I will leave in the morning.”
The hurt in her eyes tore at his heart. He hadn’t meant to cause her pain. “No,” he said softly.
Shaking his head, he gave her a small smile. He brushed away the loose strands of hair that the gentle breeze was blowing across her delicate features. “That’s not what I meant … or what I want.”
Confused, she studied him. And then he spoke, his voice a gentle caress.
“I got some land, a few head of cattle, and I’m planning on building a house at the top of the rise that overlooks the log house. The house’11 have turrets and bay windows, a porch going all the way around, and my bedroom will have French doors that lead out onto a balcony. I’d be real honored if you’d share it with me as my wife.”
Tears sprang to her eyes. “The honor, Jake Burnett, will be all mine.”
He cupped her face in his hands. “I want you to understand what I’m asking, Reb. I want it for the rest of my life. I have to know it’s for the rest of my life. I’ve been holding my heart at bay since you came back, and I don’t want to do that. But if I set it free and you leave again, it’ll kill me. And that’s a hell of a burden to put on someone.”
“Long ago before you ever asked me to marry you, you were my friend. Then you became my husband, the father to my child, my lover. But it took me going to Montana to make me realize that you were my love