Falling Hard

Falling Hard by Marilyn Lee Read Free Book Online

Book: Falling Hard by Marilyn Lee Read Free Book Online
Authors: Marilyn Lee
She glared at me. Then she sank down on the floor and started crying as if her heart was broken.
    I crossed the room to kneel beside her. I gently removed Tommy from her grip, and put him back in his crib. Then I knelt on the floor next to her.
    “Isn’t that what you wanted, Tanya? To be with him?”
    “No.” She moaned and buried her face in her hands.
    My heart started pounding so fast that I could hardly breathe. I reached out a hand to comfort her.
    She sucked in a breath, flung herself into my arms, and sobbed uncontrollably.
    I held her for a long time, gently stroking her hair. “I don’t understand,” I said, helplessly. “Where’s Jim?”
    She pulled away from me, but didn’t stand up. “He left in a huff when I told him that Tommy and I weren’t going back to California with him.”
    “Why didn’t you go with him?”
    “Why do you think?” She banged her fists on my chest.
    “I don’t know what to think.”
    “Because I don’t love him! I never did.”
    “Oh, I thought I loved him. But then I got to know you, Tom.” She lifted a trembling hand to touch my face. “You stood by me when I needed you most. You didn’t have to, but you did. You sent me roses and gave him the credit. You held my hand. You made me believe that everything was going to be all right.”
    She dropped her hand away from her face. “And then when little Tom was born and you and I well...you were such a different type of lover than Jim. You were gentle and considerate, but still exciting. Each time you touched me I could feel how much you loved me. At least I thought you did. But now—”
    “But now what?” I demanded.
    She lifted her head and looked at me, her beautiful eyes filled with tears. “You weren’t even willing to fight for me. You were just going to let us walk right out of your life. I don’t mean any more to you than I did to Jim.”
    I grabbed her hands and placed them flat against my chest, so she could feel the pounding of my heart. “That’s not true, Tanya. When I tried to keep you away from him, you told me I had no right to make your decisions for you. So what was I supposed to think except that you were angry with me because I’d tried to keep you from the man you loved?”
    “But I don’t love him!” She snatched her hands away and buried her face in them.
    I gathered her hands in mine and placed them against my chest again. “I didn’t know that,” I said softly. “I only know that I love you more than I’ve ever loved any woman—more than anything. Your happiness matters to me. I was letting you go, because I was doing what I thought you wanted.”
    She gaped at me in astonishment, and I thought I’d made a mistake by telling her how I felt. Then she took my face in her hands and looked deep into my eyes. “Oh, Tom! Do you really mean it? Do you really love me, too?”
    “Too? You mean…oh, Tanya! Wait— wait right here.” I scrambled to my feet and ran to the rocking chair. My coat was draped over the back of it. I searched frantically through each pocket, and then finally found what I was looking for.
    I returned to the doorway and knelt beside the woman I loved. I opened the small box and offered her the ring. “Tanya, I love you and Tommy with all my heart. There’s nothing more in the world that I want than for us to be a family. Will you make my dream come true? Will you marry me?”
    “I thought you’d never ask, Tom!”
    “Will you?”
    She nodded, her eyes sparkling as I slid the ring on her finger and kissed her.
    “Look at that—a perfect fit.” I winked.
    She drew me into her arms and whispered, “I love you so much, Tom.”
    And so Tanya chose me. Sometimes I lay beside her in bed, afraid that I’ll wake to find it’s all been a dream. At those times, my life seems too perfect to be real. Then Tanya wakes up and snuggles close

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