Elijah had gone through a lot in his life. Dealt with every decision, gotten back up, wiped himself down, and moved on. His heart fucking shattered. He hated himself for telling her, hated that she wanted to return to her life.
This woman had stumbled into his world, calling out for help, looking so fucking helpless, and he’d fallen in love with her. His dogs came to him, and he stepped back from her, needing space. Needing something so that he didn’t break down and fucking cry.
“I’ll go get dressed and start the car.”
Josie saw her cabin up ahead. Her life was falling apart.
Did Elijah want to get rid of her? She had prayed the snow wouldn’t melt, and look what had happened. It had freaking melted.
“It’s just around the corner.”
At no point during their journey had they been thwarted. Even her own clothes had been washed and dried, and that was what she was wearing now. Complete with the backpack she’d been carrying that she’d forgotten about. Elijah had stored it for her.
Should she tell him they’d been having unprotected sex and she might be pregnant with his child?
“That’s it, there.” She pointed at the cabin where her car was still parked. “This is … me.”
She reached for the door, and then turned to look at Elijah. “I had an amazing time.”
“Josie, you don’t have to do this.”
“What do you think about kids?” she asked. The words just blurted out of her mouth.
“Children. Babies. Are you still wanting a family? Do you want me to leave? I can leave, if you want me to.” Her words were all falling together. She held her hands up and took a deep breath. “I … I’ve never done anything like this, so I’m just going to let this out. Elijah, the past few days, the week, I don’t even know how long it’s been, have been the best of my life. I know it seems crazy to say this seeing as we’ve only known each other like a week, but I … I love you. I’m falling in love with you, and your dogs, and your life. I don’t want to go back. I may still have to work, but I can figure something out. I mean, you don’t have Internet access, but you said yourself that you have to come into town. I could do that.” She was panicking as he wasn’t saying anything. “Also, not that I’m trying to trap you or anything.” She couldn’t help but wince at this one. “I’m not on anything. I have no pill. We could be making a baby already.” She licked her lips.
Staring at him, she waited. He didn’t say anything.
“So, I guess I’m going to leave you with that information, and I will go into my cabin. If you would like to explore this … with me, then I’ll be expecting you to come into my cabin, if you want to … you know.”
Her heart raced but she forced herself to move. This was the first time she had done this. Stepping into her cabin, she glanced around at the emptiness of it. Her suitcase was still on the bed from that morning when she’d been ready to go hiking. She’d not checked the weather forecast. She stared down at the case, and wondered what Elijah would do.
Tears sprang to her eyes when she heard the car move. Covering her face, she tried to contain the pain. This was the first time she had been in love, and it would seem the only time she would be. He was leaving her.
“Stay,” Elijah said, startling her.
She spun around and there he was in her doorway.
“I don’t want you to fucking leave. I didn’t want to tell you about the melting snow. I’ve been wanting to get you pregnant. Don’t leave. Please, don’t fucking leave. I want to marry you, Josie. I want to have millions of kids with you. I want to build a life with you. I’ll do whatever it takes. Take you into town for you to do work.”
She shook her head. “No, don’t do that.” She rushed toward him, and the moment his arms were wrapped around her, she felt complete.
“I love you, Josie. I don’t need more time to know how I feel. I know I love you. I know I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
He pressed kisses to her lips and she broke away.
“I love you too.”
Elijah moved them back, and he closed the cabin door. He took her to the bed. She collapsed over it, and he growled.
“I don’t know what I’d have done if you’d not told me that.”
“Why did you move the car?”
“I didn’t want the dogs going crazy. So, I parked the other side of you.” He pulled at her jacket, removing it.