Take My Hand Chapter 21

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THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS DESCRIPTIONS OF A SEXUAL NATURE. IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY THE CONTENT, PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE READING. I DO NOT CONDONE VULGARITY, BUT SOME MAY CONSIDER IT GRAPHIC. IF YOU CONTINUE TO READ, I HOPE YOU ENJOY. :)

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Chapter 21

            Carson was nearly going out of his mind waiting for Jocelyn to answer. She sat there for a few moments, her mouth hanging open in abject shock. Carson’s resolve began to weaken as he waited in limbo, between heartbreak and eternal joy. He had been so sure of his decision, but, as he sat there in the silence after his question, he began to doubt himself. Perhaps it wasn’t what she wanted. Perhaps she didn’t want to be bound to him in that way. Perhaps she had never wanted to become his mate at all, much less his wife. Doubts formed and dissolved in rapid succession in the ringing silence that suffocated him. Too soon. It was too soon to ask so much of her.

            It couldn’t have been more than a minute since the words had left his lips, yet he felt as though a millennium had passed in those seconds ticked off by the clock. His breath shuddered out as he released a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding when Jocelyn lifted a trembling hand to touch a tentative fingertip to the ring in his palm.

            “It was my mother’s,” he whispered, his voice trembling.

            She turned bright eyes to him, shining with unshed tears. Closing the ring in his palm, he cradling Jo’s face with his other hand and leaned in to kiss her forehead, her nose, her wet eyelashes, the tear that escaped the corner of her eye, the corner of her lips. He nestled his face against hers and whispered into her ear.

            “Please say something,” he nearly begged, squeezing his eyes shut.

            She gasped in a breath as though she hadn’t been breathing before and let out a nervous giggle.

            “I’m sorry, of course, the answer is yes! What other answer could there be?” she told him, her voice breathless as a wide smile spread across her face and she leaned up to kiss his lips in quick pecks. “Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!”

            Carson’s breath escaped in a relieved rush and he gathered her close in his arms, a smile spreading his lips until they ached. He couldn’t help the laugh that escaped as happiness bubbled up within him. Never in his life had he thought to deserve such a wonderful gift as this woman in his arms. Nothing he had ever done had warranted such a blessing, but he would be eternally grateful. Joy the likes of which he had never felt nor imagined consumed him as she agreed to spend every day of her life by his side, now and forever. Nothing could ever compare to this one moment.

            Drawing away reluctantly, Carson raised Jo’s left hand to slip the ring onto her finger. It slipped easily on and rested perfectly at the base of her finger, beautiful against her pale skin, glimmering in the low light of the room. A perfect fit.

            “It’s so beautiful,” Jocelyn softly said, looking adoringly at the ring.

            “I’m glad you think so,” he replied, kissing the ring where it circled Jo’s finger. “Even when times were hard, my mother refused to sale it. She told me that she wanted me to be able to give something beautiful to the woman I loved.”

            Carson smiled as he remembered his mother, finally able to remember her without the pain of her loss. He would always miss her, but he knew she would be happy for him and proud of him in this moment. That alone gave him the ability to remember her with fondness and love and happiness instead of regret and disappointment and pain.

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