Stand-In Bride's Seduction(59)

By: Yvonne Lindsay

Rina looked at Sara who nodded. “Yes, I was.”

“Then will you accept my remorse, my heart and my love?”

He dropped down onto one knee on the dusty road and pulled a ring from his pocket. A new ring, totally different from the one he’d given Sara. One Rina fell in love with almost as much as she already loved the man who offered it to her. The large central diamond—flanked by matching shoulder-set, emerald-cut stones—flashed fire in the sunlight.

“I never really understood what love was until I realized this morning that I’d sent away from me what was most true and precious in my life. Will you let me spend the rest of my life making my foolishness up to you? I love you, Sarina Woodville. Will you marry me?”

For the second time today, she heard her name on his lips and this time, it sounded as sweet as she’d ever imagined. Her heart, broken and shattered only moments ago, began to beat strong again in her chest. Hope filled her, making her light-headed, as if this wasn’t real. As if she was only dreaming.

She stepped forward and knelt on the road in front of him, the stony road digging into her knees, reinforcing that she was very much awake. Tears, this time of joy, ran down her cheeks.

“Yes, I will marry you. I love you, Reynard del Castillo and don’t you ever forget it.”

“I won’t,” he promised, reaching out to wipe away her tears and to cup her face tenderly in one strong hand. “I love you. You and only you. And I will love you forever and remind you of it every single day of our life together.”

He took her hand and slid the ring—her ring—upon her finger. It was a perfect fit. Then, he helped her to her feet, brushed the road dirt and grit from her knees and kissed her. It was only the sound of sniffling that drew them back to reality. Together they turned to Sara who was wiping tears of her own from her cheeks.

“Rina? Are you sure?” she asked.

“I’ve never been more certain of anything in my life,” Rina replied.

“Then I wish you both the best of luck.”

Sara dashed forward and hugged her sister tight before doing the same with Rey. “You have a lot to live up to,” she admonished. “You had better treat her right or you’ll have me to answer to.”

Rey smiled and looked at Rina. “Don’t worry. She is my everything.”

Rina and Rey stood together, arms entwined about one another, as Sara got back into the taxi and it drove away. Rey reached for Rina’s suitcase and dragged it behind them as they went into the cottage.

When the door closed firmly behind them, an apparition—a woman in eighteenth century dress—straightened from the flowers she’d been tending, and smiled gently before fading away.

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