This week's host: Amanda Flower
In honor of Valentine’s Day just around the corner, welcome to this week’s clash: Most Romantic Moment. After you vote for your favorite (Voting box located at the end of this post) , don’t forget to enter the drawing for a FREE BOOK! (Drawing form located on the right side bar.)**************************************************
They lapsed into a comfortable silence broken only by the clink of crockery. As J.T. waited for her to pass him another plate, he admired the line of her neck. Slender and pale, with a perfect little hollow near her collar that his lips longed to taste. Veering from temptation, his gaze roamed up to the braided knot low on her head. A blue thread peeked out from between the strands. His heart leapt. She was wearing his ribbon.
Part of him had worried that she'd find his gifts juvenile. Heaven knew he'd felt juvenile giving them, like a kid in short pants bringing his teacher a fistful of dandelions. After all, what kind of man gives a woman a leaf or a bird feather? Yet he thought Hannah might appreciate them. A woman who saw beauty in a shiny button and a wooden hummingbird should find it in other small things, too. Right?
Not knowing his sister invited Hannah to dinner, he'd left another gift a mere hour before she arrived at his home—a fruit jar holding a lopsided bouquet of yellow sunflowers.
"So…uh…did you like the sunflowers?" J.T. steeled himself as Hannah turned to pass him a platter.
Her eyes widened slightly and roses bloomed in her cheeks, but the smile that followed unclenched his gut. "I loved them. The other gifts as well. Thank you."
She bent back to her task, rummaging in the grayish water for something else to wash. "I had hoped they were from you."
J.T. forced a casual air to his voice he was far from feeling. "You got someone else courting you?"
"No." The fork she'd been scrubbing slid from her hand. "But then, I wasn't sure I had you courting me, either. I seem to recall you objecting to my suitability in the past."
"That's because I was a close-minded fool."
Her gaze shot to his face, and the open vulnerability there branded his heart. Slowly, he drew her hands from the water and dried them with his towel, aware of her eyes following his movements. He ran his palm up her arm and cupped her shoulder. Then, unable to resist, he traced the shape of that delightful hollow at the base of her throat with his fingertip. A tremor passed through her, and the nearly inaudible sound of her breath catching made his pulse throb.
Slipping his hand around the back of her neck, he toyed with the downy hair at her nape and caressed her cheek and ear with his thumb. Hannah's lashes fluttered closed. Her lips parted slightly, and he extracted his hand just enough to trail his thumb across their softness.
"I was wrong," he murmured. "No one could be more suitable."
Digging his fingers into her hair, he dragged her close and lowered his mouth.
The front door banged. Hannah jumped and tried to pull out of his embrace, but he wasn't quite ready to let her go. He might never be.
Sophie looked around. “You know, this church looks strangely familiar and I don’t understand why. I’ve never been here before. Have you been here?” She titled her head. “Maybe I’ve just been to a similar church in the past.”
Sebastian put his arm around her as they sat in the pew. “Or maybe you’ve seen photographs of this church.”
“That’s possible. I could just be thinking of all the photographs and information in the guidebook.”
He squeezed her hand. “Could it be that you’ve seen photographs of this church from your parents’ wedding album?”
She looked at him in silence and then the reality of his words dawned on her. “Are you saying--” She dared not finish for fear of crying.
“Yes, my love, your parents got married in this church.”
“But, how did you know?”
“Let’s just say I did some digging, and I really wanted to make this trip to Ireland special for you.”
She sat forward in the pew and took in the serene surroundings. “Wow. That’s all I can say right now.”
“I hope you can say more because, I have something important to ask you.” He knelt down on one knee.
She could barely breathe. Fear and happiness threatened to overtake her at the same time. She watched in amazement as Sebastian began to speak. “Sophie, I love you.” He reached for her hands and held them as he continued. “You are such a beautiful woman inside and out, and I need you in my life. I can’t imagine living my life without you in it, by my side. You are my special treasure and I am asking you to be my wife.”
Pulling back one of her hands, she wiped away the tears on her cheeks. “Will you marry me, Sophie?” He reached into his coat pocket, pulled out a small red velvet box, and opened it. She stared at the sparkling diamond ring inside. Sophie exhaled and moved away slightly. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, just overwhelmed.”
He moved to sit next to her and kissed her lightly on the lips, then leaned back and smiled.
She gently caressed his face. “You really want me to be your wife?”
“I do. Is that so hard to believe?”
“I feel like I’m in a fairy tale and am afraid to dream of a life with you.”
“The dream is real and with God at the center, we can make it possible.”
She started to smile through her tears. “Yes, Sebastian, I’ll marry you.”
He placed the ring on her finger. They kissed and tried to be respectful of the holiness of their surroundings. Sebastian turned to his new fiancée. He kissed her cheek and expressed more vibrancy then she’d ever seen from him. “I’m so excited. You’ve made me the happiest man alive.” They hugged and he twirled her around. She never wanted this moment to end.