Just that, her name whispered in his soft voice and she could feel her heart begin to race. Even after all of their years together, she didn’t think she would ever get used to the way he made her feel. Her heart had pounded in the same way the first time he had walked into her bedroom when she was a teenager. At the time she had told herself it was partly due to the fact boys weren’t allowed in her room but mostly she thought it was because her bra was lying in full view on the bed. Her face had turned bright red as she shoved it out of sight.
It hadn’t taken her long to realize she had only been fooling herself. The only reason her heart had beaten so fast wasn’t because he was the first man to see her bra but because he was Angel.
A soft sigh escaped her as she was brought back to the present as he slipped his arms around her waist and pulled her against his chest. “What are you thinking? You were a million miles away from me.”
Willow turned in his embrace until she was looking in his eyes. “No, not exactly. I was thinking about our beginning.” She reached up to brush his hair away from his forehead. She didn’t really notice that the gray was sprinkled more liberally through his hair these days or that there was a lot more crinkles around his eyes. To her he still looked as handsome as the day he had purposed to her.
And even though a lot of yesterday’s had passed since then, she could still remember how it had felt the first time he had kissed her. She had thought her heart would stop the minute his lips had touched hers.
“There you go again. What is so fascinating about the past that has you so focused on it instead of the present?”
“I started thinking about the first time you came into my room and then I kind of moved on from there. But I remember I was so nervous about letting you through the door that night but when it was time for you to leave, I didn’t want to let you go.”
Ah, now he got it. “Do you think this could have anything to do with the fact our son is getting married today?”
“No.” She shook her head vehemently as she crossed her arms over her chest.
Willow lowered her head, scrunched up her nose as she bit her lip to keep it from trembling. It seemed like just yesterday their son was a baby and safe in her arms. And now, after today, he would belong in some other woman’s arms and not hers. “Why do things have to change? Why can’t we have all of our yesterdays back?”
Angel caressed the side of his wife’s face before he cupped her chin in his hand and tilted her head up. “Because if we live in the past we won’t get to enjoy our future.” He brushed away a tear that slid down her cheek. “Besides I’m looking forward to having you all to myself again.”
The hesitancy in her voice almost destroyed him. What would ever make her think she wasn’t the most important person in his life?
He let his arms fall to his sides as she stepped away from him and looked into the mirror. His heart ached as he watched her hands tremble ever so slightly as she placed the hat on her head. He had never understood until this moment why his wife had begun to wear hats a few years ago every time she went out in public. And now suddenly it was as if a light went off. Angel understood everything. Perfectly. It wasn’t just the thought of losing her son that had her in tears.
Angel ignored her squeals of protest as he plucked the hat from her head and held it out of her reach. ‘You don’t need this. You have never been more beautiful to me then you are now.” At her disbelieving look he continued, “It’s true... well okay second most beautiful time, I thought you were the most beautiful creature alive the night you gave birth to our son.”
“That wasn’t beauty, Angel. That was pain.”
“Potato, Potahto, Willow.” As she began to sputter he held up his hand. “My point is this. I thought you were a beautiful, intelligent girl the day I met you. But now that girl you used to be pales in comparison to who you are today. You’ve grown into a breathtakingly gorgeous woman in the years since then. I am in love with you. I always have been and I always will be. Nothing is ever going to change that.” He tossed the hat away from him uncaring where it landed. “And to answer your question, Yes I am.”
Willow blinked in confusion. “You am what?’ Somehow she had managed to forget her question. But of course she blamed that on Angel. That man still had a way of making her lose her whole train of thought with just a look.
“Looking forward to having you all to myself again. So let’s go see our son get married, okay?” At her nod, Angel placed a wrap around his wife’s shoulders before he guided her through the door with his hand at the small of her back.
As they walked to the car Willow gave herself a little pep talk. Sure, her life was ever changing. Her son was grown and would soon have a family of his own. And as if that weren’t bad enough, her hair was getting streaked with gray and just the other day she had noticed a wrinkle on her forehead where none had been before. But through all the changes life would bring her she must never forget that through it all there was one thing that would never change, she would always have Angel.
Just before she slid into the passenger seat Angel leaned in to whisper something very suggestive and very inappropriate into her ear.
Willow’s eyes widened as she looked up into her husband’s face. “We can do that?”
“Why not?” Angel couldn’t help but grin at the look on his wife’s face. By her reaction one would think, in all their years together they had never attempted anything like it before.
Willow answered his grin with one of her own. “Then let’s hurry because I’m going to hold you to that later.”
As Angel slid into the driver’s seat, a wicked grin settled across his face. He was really looking forward to the later part of the evening. With that in mind he couldn’t stop himself from giving the car a little extra gas as he pulled out into the street. After all it couldn’t hurt to help later come a little faster. Could it?