“If I had a hundred kingdoms, I would trade them all for you, my dearest love. I
was nothing until you.”
“Sheridan bit back a teary smile at his quip, afraid to believe him, afraid to trust him, and unable to stop herself because she loved him. "Look at me," Stephen said, tipping her chin up again, and this time her glorious eyes looked into his. "I have several reasons for asking you to walk into that chapel, where there is a vicar waiting for us, but guilt is not among them. I also have several things to ask of you before you agree to go in there with me."
"What sort of things?"
"I would like you to give me daughters with your hair and your spirit," he said, beginning to enumerate his reasons and requests. "I would like my sons to have your eyes and your courage. Now, if that's not what you want, then give me any combination you like, and I will humbly thank you for giving me any child we make."
Happiness began to spread through Sheridan until it was so intense she ached from it. "I want to change your name," he said with a tender smile, "so there's no doubt who you are ever again, or who you belong to." He slid his hands up and down her arms, looking directly into her eyes. "I want the right to share your bed tonight and every night from this day onward. I want to make you moan in my arms again, and I want to wake up wrapped in yours."
He shifted his hands and cradled her cheeks, his thumbs brushing away two tears at the edges of her shimmering eyes. "Last of all, I want to hear you say 'I love you' every day of my life. If you aren't ready to agree to that last request right now, I would be willing to wait until tonight, when I believe you will. In return for all those concessions, I will grant you every wish that is within my power to grant you.”
“The Earl and Countess of Langford!"
That announcement caused an immediate reaction among the inhabitants of the ballroom, who began looking at one another in surprise and then turned to the balcony, but it was nothing compared to the reaction among the small group of seven people who'd been keeping a vigil of hope. A jolt went through the entire group; hands reached out blindly and were clasped tightly by other hands; faces lifted to the balcony, while joyous smiles dawned brightly and eyes misted with tears.
Attired in formal black evening clothes with white waistcoat and frilled white shirt, Stephen Westmoreland, Earl of Langford, was walking across the balcony. On his arm was a medieval princess clad in a pearl-encrusted ivory satin gown with a low, square bodice that tapered to a deep V at the waist. A gold chain with clusters of diamonds and pearls in each link rode low on her hips, sawying with each step, and her hair tumbled in flaming waves and heavy curls over her shoulders and back.”
“Looking at you has been my favorite pastime from the moment you asked me to describe your face," he said solemnly, looking straight into her eyes.”
“Courage was an admirable trait in a man. In a woman, he decided, it was a pain in the ass.”
“Lying in bed, she would alter the plots of the novels, the dialogue, and even the situations and locales to suit herself, but she never, ever, changed her imaginary hero. He and he alone remained ever constant, and she knew every detail about him, because she had designed him herself: He was strong and masculine and forceful, but he was kind and wise and patient and witty, as well. He was tall and handsome too--with thick dark hair and wonderful blue eyes that could be seductive or piercing or sparkle with humor. He would love to laugh with her, and she would tell him amusing anecdotes to make him do it. He would love to read, and he would be more knowledgeable than she and perharps a bit more worldly. But not too worldly or proud or sophisticated. She hated arrogance and stuffiness and she particularly disliked being arbitrarily ordered about. She accepted such things from the fathers of her students at school, but she knew she wouldn't be able to abide such a superior male attitude from a husband.”
“and gains at the gaming tables spread from White’s”
“If you were a bird, and lived on high,
You'd lean on the wind when the wind came by,
You'd say to the wind when it took you away:
"That's where I wanted to go today!”
“She suspects her husband, Jake, might be gay."
"Did you suggest she ask him?"
Mom laughed. "Of course not. Business is slow.”
“A first class professional nutcracker who might have done a job about a week ago; stolen some bells.”
“إن الحقيقة بأكملها لن تُعَرف أبدًا، لا ظلانهم يكذبةن، بل لأنه يستحيل عليهم حكايتها كلها.”
“One never really knew just how taxing pain was till one was free of it and could feel the difference.”
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