“Oh, Luke. All I want from this moment forward is to spend the rest of my days loving you. Cherishing you. Honoring you. Say yes, and make me the happiest and most grateful woman in the world.”
She opened a blue velvet box. A candy ring pop sat inside.
Luke’s hazel eyes went wide. “Are you asking me to marry you?” Luke asked.
Morgan nodded. “Yes, Luke, I am. Marry me. Love me. Trust and believe that I will never again doubt what we share. Walk through life with me.”
“Wow,” he said, seemily bowled over by her proposal.
She squeezed his hand. “You don’t have to answer right now. Think about it. And don’t forget that I’m a chef. Being married to a chef totally rocks. You’ll never have to cook another meal in your life,” Morgan teased.
Luke dramatically swiped his hand across his forehead. “Phew. Because we both know I can’t boil water.”
“No pressure,” she blurted out, feeling anxious all of a sudden about Luke’s answer.
“There’s only one answer, baby. Yes. Of course I’ll marry you. Gimme that ring.”
“It’s not official until you put it on.” Morgan took the ring pop and slid it on his finger. “Oh, it looks great on you.”
“You really shouldn’t have gone all out on the ring. This must have cost a fortune.” Luke held his hand up high and wiggled his ring finger.
“It’s a family heirloom,” she teased. “Consider yourself very fortunate.”
Luke stroked his jaw. “In a very strange coincidence, I was going to pop the same question to you tonight.”
Morgan’s jaw dropped. “Seriously?”
Luke reached into his pocket and pulled out a cedar wood box. He got down on bended knee and looked up at Morgan. He flashed her a brilliant smile, then flipped the lid open. A gorgeous, sparkling emerald cut diamond winked up at her.
“This was my grandmother’s ring. I inherited it when she passed away. She was a strong, loving woman, much like yourself, Morgan. She’d be proud to have you wear her ring. And I’d be even prouder to call you my wife.”
Morgan squealed, then covered her mouth as emotion took over. Tears slipped down her face and she couldn’t speak for a moment. She had prayed that she and Luke would have a happy ending. There was no man in this world she could imagine being more loving or loyal or God fearing than Luke. And she vowed to never take him or his love for granted. She was in this until death parted them.
“I love you, Luke Duvall. There is nothing in this world I want more than to be married to you. I will happily be your bride. Yes, Luke.” She shook her head as her raven hair swirled around her shoulders. “I’ll joyfully marry you.”
Luke reached for her ring finger and placed the sparkling gem on it. Morgan looked down at her ring finger and let out a sigh. “Oh, it’s stunning.”
Luke leaned down and placed his lips on hers in a touching, tender kiss. “I’ll never get sick of hearing you tell me that you love me.”
“After everything I’ve put you through, I need you to know in no uncertain terms how I feel and what I want for us.” She smirked at him. “I assure you, Luke, my intentions are honorable.”
“My mother will be very pleased to know that. She’s pretty crazy about you. And you should hear the way dad raves about you. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but he’s pretty much referring to you now as the most celebrated chef in Savannah. Then he casually drops in the conversation that you’re his son’s girlfriend.”
Morgan giggled. “Oh, he’s too sweet. What a teddy bear.”
“How are you feeling about your own father now that the dust has settled?”
“I have to admit, I’m still a little confused and hurt about it. I have no idea if we can ever mend that relationship, although I’m happy that I got swabbed for my DNA. If I’m a match I have no qualms about giving bone marrow to my sister.”
“Love doesn’t fix everything. I’m going to help you work through the things that are still bothering you. If you want to seek out a relationship with your father, I’ll support that. If you decide it’s too painful for you to pursue it, I’ll support that also. That’s what marriage is—a partnership. It doesn’t erase our pain or our pasts, but it gives us each other to walk through life with.”
“I’m so blessed to have you.” Morgan sniffled as a wave of emotion crashed over her. They were getting married! She was the luckiest woman in the world.
“We are blessed,” Luke said with a nod of his head.
“I don’t need a fancy wedding or a bazillion guests. I want our families and closest friends there. I want to walk down the aisle to you, secure in the knowledge that nothing can ever tear us apart. I want our joy to radiate in the church like a beacon.”
Luke palmed her cheek. “We’ve been through the fire. And we may have gotten a little bit singed by the flames, but we’re here, loving each other and ready to dedicate the rest of our lives to one another.”