“You know I’ll say yes,” I tell him. “I’ll always say yes to you. To new adventures and beyond.”
He kisses me and then grabs my hand.
“Okay then, come on,” he says.
He leads me away from the tents of the dance floor and into the woods behind the field.
“You know we have a bed in the cottage, right?” I whisper as we disappear from the crowd and into the shadows of the trees. The ends of my dress are gathered in my hands but at least I’m wearing white Converse on my feet.
“Which is used as a staging area and has people milling about in it.” He stops and presses me back against the smooth bark of a birch tree. “Besides, this is where we first told each other that we loved each other. Seems only right to consummate that love here. And maybe I’ll tell ye again.”
He brushes a strand of hair of my face, the red catching the gold of the sunset beyond the trees. “I love ye, Valerie. I’ll love ye till the end and beyond.”
I swallow the lump in my throat. “I love you, too.”
I wrap my hands behind his neck and he places a searing kiss on my lips. “Ye don’t mind if your dress gets a little roughed up, do ye?” he murmurs.
“You know I’ll take anything you can give me,” I tell him as he starts kissing my neck, sending flutters down my back, while he bunches up my dress around my waist.
“Then I’ll give ye everything I’ve got,” he says. “Always.”
“Always and forever, mo chuisle mo chroi.”
The pulse of his heart.