Later that night, he and I sat by the blinking Christmas tree in the great room. Suri and the other foxes had helped me put it up earlier that day. I’d brought some lights from home, but others I’d made with the help of Ivan, Janice, and Demetri: popcorn strings, cookie ornaments, pinecones, and various nuts and feathers.
Theo had declined to help, saying he had work to do. Yet he’d come in with a golden star when we were almost done, and I’d seen the pleasure in his face when he’d put it on top. By the time I’d turned to ask him about it, he was already gone.
He’d been distant to me ever since I’d moved in. The few times we’d needed to talk, he’d been polite but short. I wondered if seeing Danial and me so much in love hurt, if he remembered Tawny and missed her.
“You look tense,” Danial said. “I can fix that. Slide your feet this way.”
He proceeded to give me a foot massage. I writhed in pleasure and uttered moans as he eased all my tensions with the deft manipulation from his strong hands.
“Is there anything you aren’t good at?” I asked, sighing with contentment.
“Not many things,” he said immodestly.
I laughed. He tickled my foot, and I shrieked. Ghost and Darkness, our dogs, looked up, decided it was nothing important, and laid their heads down again.
“I have something for you,” he said. “Look under the tree.”
“Really, Danial, you give me too much as it is—”
“Shh,” he said holding his finger to my lips. “I’ll get it.”
He got up and retrieved a gift bag from the tree’s base. “Open it.”
I opened the package and took out a beautiful black velvet robe. As I slipped it on over my nightgown, I felt something in the pocket. It was red velvet box, containing a pair of stunning gold earrings. I fingered the choker at my neck with the same symbol: the gold fox head, ruby eyes glinting.
“They’re beautiful,” I said, giving him a kiss. “Thank you.”
“Put them on.”
I removed my earrings and slipped on the others.
“They look lovely. See for yourself.”
Looking at myself in the bathroom mirror, I thought it might be too much. Between the scars, the choker, and the fox earrings, I felt like I had a sign on my forehead that said “Danial’s” in huge letters. The ruby eyes winked at me in the light and I moved my head to make them flash and sparkle. “They’re beautiful.”
“I’m glad you like them,” he called from the great room.
I paused before the mirror. This was it, the moment I’d planned on telling him I would swear to be his. Like before, my uncertainties arose. I couldn’t ever leave him if I did. Not ever. Was I that sure?
Words my friend Kat had spoken earlier came back to me. Why haven’t you told him you’ll marry him? Are you crazy? You love him; he loves you; he’s rich; and he’s gorgeous! How can you even have to think about it?
I went to the bedroom door. Danial waited for me, the strong lines of his face relaxed in a happy smile as he studied the tree. His freshly cut hair feathered back except for a loose wave that fell over his forehead. I loved him so much my chest ached.
It was then or never. It was the perfect moment. Kat was right; things weren’t going to get any better. If I didn’t do it, I’d wonder the rest of my life what it could have been like with him, what I missed out on by not taking the chance.
I walked to the couch and bent over, kissing him on his lips. “They are beautiful. Thank you.”
“I’m glad you like them.” He reached for me. “Sit with me.”
I took hold of his hand and gently pushed it back toward him. That got his attention.
“Sar?” he said, alarm and wariness clouding his features.
“I have something for you, too.”
I went to my knees beside the couch. He watched me, riveted.
God, I so wanted to do this perfectly, like I’d mentally rehearsed all afternoon. “I’m yours, Danial Racklan, for tonight and the rest of my life. I, Sarelle McGarran, promise myself to you.”
He helped me to my feet, hugging me tightly. “I, Danial Racklan, accept your oath to me, Sarelle McGarran. From this day forward, you are mine to love, protect, and honor. What we have joined together no one may put asunder.”
I hugged him, shell-shocked. I’d wanted him to understand that I wanted to give him my oath, not do the actual oath there and then. “Don’t we need witnesses?” I whispered.
“No,” he said happily. “You offer your word to bind yourself to me, and I accept. That’s all there is.” He scooped me up in a quick motion. “Except for the consummation.”
He carried me into the bedroom and began removing his clothes. I removed mine, apprehensive. “What do I have to do?” I asked nervously.
“Nothing you haven’t done before with me. Come here, sweetheart.”
I went to him, my heart racing. He took my face in his hands and brought my lips to his gently, his fingers caressing me. When I tried to kiss him harder, he drew his lips aside and hugged me.
“Patience,” he whispered. “We have the rest of our lives stretching out before us. But there will never be another night like this one.” He kissed me again, chastely. “I want to remember you exactly as you are now, the way your hair shimmers, the love in your eyes as you look at me.” He ran his hands backwards, brushing it from my face. “I forgot how good happiness felt. I want you to remember this night as one of the best of your life, the way I will remember it.” He kissed me gently. “Tell me again you’re mine, that you want to be.”
“I’m yours,” I said huskily. “I want you more than anything.”
He let out a soft sigh, then his solemn expression curved into an eager smile. He eased us down on the bed and kissed down my throat, his fangs bringing moans with each light prick as he pressed his hips to me. I kissed him harder, shifting my hips under him to receive his first ardent thrust. Moments later, I slid into climax, Danial right behind me.
He kissed me again, then withdrew and cradled me close. For the first time, we didn’t speak afterward, even to declare our love. Maybe for the first time, neither of us felt we needed to say the words.
For more of Danial and Sar's love story, check out the Promise Me Series:
If your tastes run to mare erotic fare, try Make Me Behave, or Wicked Christmas Wishes!
All books available on Amazon HERE! http://www.amazon.com/Tara-Fox-Hall/e/B005YPAA4W
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