“Even if you did commit to this, how would you make it work? You can’t be around crowds. Maybe you’ve forgotten that part of your recovery plan but I haven’t. Your risk of infection is still sky high. It was supposed to be close friends and family only. We already stretched the rules to allow your friends into the bubble. Now you want to risk an entire wedding party of strangers?”
“I could be in and out before the guests arrive. I’d have a team of course but I’d stand away from them. I know how to be careful and take care of myself.”
They argued until the early hours of the morning, going back and forth and round in circles.
“I understand that you need to rebuild your life, I just don’t know why that needs to be without me?”
“Come with me she pleaded for the millionth time.”
“You know, if it was any other time, I would. But we’re busier than ever, it wouldn’t be fair.”
“I know,” Sophia looked defeated. She knew how much she was asking from him and it was so much less than he deserved, especially after everything he had done to support her in the last year. It was unfair, and the strain it was putting him under was etched into the lines on his furrowed brow.
“Okay.” He held his hands up in surrender. “If this is what you truly want, we will make it work.”
“I know how insane this whole thing must seem, and I’m sorry for putting you through it.”
“I’m okay. We have a whole lifetime ahead of us to be together, right?”
“Of course, we do,” Sophia gushed.
“You know I would never stand in your way of anything. That’s just not me.”
“I don’t want to break your heart.”
“Then don’t. Come back to me when you’re ready. I’m not going anywhere.”
“I can’t ask you to wait, Brodie. That would be selfish of me. I'm not sure how long his wedding is going to take and after that, the business might pick up again. I could be working all the time. I know that’s not the life you envisaged for us.”
“You’ve been given your second chance, Sophia. What you do with that is up to you. I’m your husband, not your keeper.”
“But we had it all planned out. Kids. A dog. What about what you want? You matter too.”
“What I want is for you to be happy and yes, of course I’d rather you stay here with me, but I know what’s meant to be will be. You’ll soon come back and when you do, I’ll be the luckiest man on earth because you chose me.”
“I’ll always choose you. A thousand times over. You’re everything to me. I’ll be back after the wedding; it will fly by.”
She melted into his arms and he pulled her in close and inhaled.
“I can’t believe I’m letting you go.”
“Don’t say that. I’ll never be gone, not in here.” She brought a dainty hand to rest over his chest and his heart beat against her palm.
Sophia’s emotions were too much to handle. She had his heart literally and metaphorically in her hands and she made a quiet vow to herself that she would protect it at all costs.
Her wedding vows ran through her mind. “There is a love that only you can give.” It was the truth and there was no doubt in her mind that this beautiful man who she was lucky enough to call her husband would always be her home.
Their love had been tested in so many ways, but today she had asked the unthinkable of him and he had pushed all of his own feelings aside to put hers first. She had no words to describe how much his acceptance of her decision meant to her, but she showed him with kisses. Sweet, slow kisses on his chest that turned into so much more when he scooped her up and pressed his lips against hers.
Scorching fire ignited in both of them. There was an urgency that hadn’t been there before and knowing their time together was limited, they spent every second until morning showing each other precisely how much they meant to one another.
Their fingertips were gentle but their breath hot and heavy as they made love to each other like it was the last time they’d ever get the chance to. Two bodies becoming one and refusing to back down. Each determined to give the other the maximum amount of pleasure and then some.
By the time morning came, neither of them had been to sleep and it caused Brodie physical pain to drag himself out of bed when the alarm went off on his phone.
He had a sinking feeling in his stomach when he looked down and saw her lying there. Her waves spread across his pillow, perfect body sprawled across the bed and her gorgeous smile lightning up every corner of the room.