Luke had been through battles. He had held his own entrails inside his body while waiting for a healer to get to him. He had sat waiting, the endless breath-holding, to hear if his nation was at war.
All of that was a heartbeat, a moment, a breath compared to waiting for Myst to answer. In his head, Mike taunted him. Keaira taunted him. Wil didn’t taunt – she never did – but she shook her head slowly, amused.
When I said ‘don’t be an idiot,’ Bird-brain, this wasn’t what I had in mind.
“Of course I will, Luca you idiot. Returned gods, I love you.”
Myst’s voice chases away all the others. She was hugging him, sobbing into his shoulder, so, slowly, sluggishly, he held her against him, patting her back. That was a yes. She’d taken the ring. She’d said Of course. He kissed the top of her head and tried for words.
“I thought you’d never ask.”
He laughed, more than a little embarrassed. No need to tell her that he’d thought he’d been asking, building the house. Not right now, at least. “It was time.” he took the ring out of her hand and, as carefully as if he was defusing a bomb, slipped it on her finger. His wings were flared wide, and his heart was perfectly at peace.
Nearly perfectly. He reached out an arm to the children. “Icarus. Chavva. This is about you, too.” It would always be, forever and ever, about family.
Family. He pressed Myst close to him. It was a nice word to be thinking of again. It was a nice thing to be being, again.
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