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This is a snippet from my story The Price of Passion:
“What do you want?”
“I only want to say that I love you.”
To say she was floored is an understatement. It was the last thing she expected and it felt like a punch in the face.
“You’ve got to be joking,” she knew her laugh sounded shrill and desperate, didn’t care. “An hour ago you didn’t want to see me again. You kicked me out of my home, want to take my baby and now you say you love me?” She’d been wrong. Pain slashed at her chest so hard she hugged herself to stop it from bleeding outside her skin.
Warm, rough but gentle hands framed her face and she couldn’t, just couldn’t move away as Cooper sought her eyes with his own.
“I’m not joking.”
She couldn’t get a read on the truth. His eyes were wide and shimmering with things she’d only dreamed she’d see, desperately wanted to see. Didn’t want to believe, in case he was playing with her.
“I don’t believe you.” She hated how out of breath and pained she sounded. If he kept this up she was going to have another panic attack, and she’d believed she had them under control. Ha! Nothing was in control when it came to Cooper.
“I’m sorry, Billie. Sorry for not trusting you, for not believing in you. You’re the most honest woman I’ve met in a long time, and I wasn’t ready to trust, to risk.”
Did she dare believe it? “But?”
“Now I am.” He drew her towards him, one hand on her shoulder and other splayed on her neck, his face close enough to see the white tips at the end of his long eyelashes.
“I shouldn’t have kept the baby from you-”
Cooper kissed her finger. “I understand why you did, and I admire you for taking the chance to tell me of your love, even in the face of my rejection. Even now for forgiving me.” He hoped that was what was happening. Everything, the past two weeks of his anger and feeling betrayed, her admission of love today and his harsh negation of it, the realisation of his love for this bold, honest, striking woman, left him in a confusion of feeling that impossibly boiled down to doubt. Had he blown it?
“I forgive you, Cooper. I love you.