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“I love you. I love you. I love you.” If she had to say it a million times, she would gladly do so. She needed to make up for lost time.

Luke’s lashes fluttered. Morgan let out a startled gasp. Luke’s unforgettable hazel eyes flickered open.

“Luke! Oh my wonderful Luke,” she cried out, wiping away a river of tears.

“W-what happened?” he asked, his voice raspy.

“You had a blood clot. They think it was from the accident. You’re very lucky, Luke. They managed to get to it in time.” She let out a sob. “We could have lost you.”

“You’re here,” Luke said, his eyes full of questions.

“Yes, I am. And I’m not going anywhere either, so if you’re thinking that you’re going to toss me out on my ear, then think again. I love you, Luke Duvall. My love for you is greater than anything I’ve ever known. It’s greater than pride or fear or self-doubt. I don’t ever want to be away from you. Not ever again.”

Luke flashed a shaky smile in her direction. “Wow. I think it’s almost worth it to be hospitalized just so I could hear you say those three little words to me so many times in a row.”

Morgan began laughing and crying and sniffling, all at the same time.

“You scared us all to death. And I made a bit of a speech to your father so I could be the first person to come in here.”

“Really?” Luke asked. “I wish I’d been a fly on the wall for that one.”

“It was fairly brilliant. And I was very brave.”

“I’ll bet you were,” he said with a grin. “Morgan, can you do something for me?”

“Anything.” And she meant it.

“Can you just say it one more time? Just one more time,” he whispered.

“I love you,” she said in a firm voice as she leaned over his bedside and placed a tender kiss on his lips.

“Hallelujah!” Luke cried out in a rousing voice that caused the nurse to poke her head into the room and shoot them a warning glance.

Morgan and Luke burst into laughter. Luke reached out and pulled her closer to his hospital bed. He laced his fingers through hers. “Thank you, Morgan.”

“For what? I didn’t do anything.”

“Yes, you did. You made all my dreams come true simply by loving me.”

“Oh, I do love you, Luke. Wholly. Unabashedly. Without reservations. Thank you for giving me a second chance to get it right.” She placed a tender kiss on his cheek, joyful in the knowledge that together she and Luke would use their love to light a path through the darkness and extinguish all the shadows.


Morgan raced around the cottage in a frantic fashion. Luke would be arriving at any moment and she still had a few small things to figure out. Every last detail had to be right. There wasn’t any room for error. So much was resting on these romantic details. Their entire future for starters.

Lord, I know I’ve been asking for a lot favors late

ly. But this one is pretty important. I just need a favorable answer from Luke. A huge, resounding YES would be wonderful.

The doorbell dinged and she looked around her to make sure everything was set up perfectly. Morgan took a deep breath and pulled the door open. Luke stood there looking tall and handsome. “Hey, beautiful,” he said, flashing her a pearly smile.

The moment he entered the cottage Morgan’s nerves got the best of her.

All of a sudden, Morgan forgot every single last thing she’d planned.

“I have something for you,” she blurted out. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a ring box.

“What is it?” Luke asked, clearly not catching on that she was about to do something over-the-top.

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