Bride for Nolan

EXTENDED EXCERPT

“So, um…” Nolan said, his eyes skimming all the supplies she’d set out. “What’s for lunch?”

Tilly laughed so hard she snorted. “You’re incorrigible!”

Nolan grinned and shrugged.

“Actually, I need you to stop at Silas’ for a few items for dinner,” she said. “Do you think you could do that around lunchtime? I’ll make you a smoked salmon and soft cheese sandwich as a thank you.”

Nolan pretended to swoon. “Oh, maybe that’s what I want for breakfast,” he moaned. “No! Waffles, eggs-whatever, something-mushrooms and a salmon sandwich. Now that sounds about right!”

“Don’t be silly, you’ll spoil your lunch and dinner.”

“Speaking of dinner…” Nolan waggled his eyebrows at her.

Tilly sighed and rolled her eyes. “If you must know, braised beef, soufflé potatoes, green beans with Hollandaise sauce, and potage santé.”

“Potato Santa?” Nolan looked positively perplexed.

“No, potage santé,” Tilly corrected, then sighed. “Soup.”

“Oh. Um, are we expecting company or something?”

Tilly blushed and dropped her head toward her bowl of waffle batter so he wouldn’t see. “No, I just wanted to make you a nice dinner. The list is there on the table.”

Nolan picked up the scrap of paper, and Tilly peeked up at him as he read it. His eyes grew wide and she knew he’d spotted the first item on the list. It would have been impossible for him to miss it since she’d written the word heavily in all capital letters.

Clearing her suddenly tight throat, she said, “And for dessert, I’m making apple pie.”

He looked up at her, a smile playing at his lips, but she could tell he wasn’t sure if he should act happy or surprised.

“Really?” he whispered.

Tilly lifted her head and met his gaze. She’d never been more certain of anything in her life.

“Really.”

Nolan broke into a grin and rushed to her, pulling her into his arms. Instead of feeling wary or frightened, as might have happened before she’d fallen so helplessly in love with her new husband, Tilly had never felt more at ease. She laughed and threw her arms around his neck, smiling up at him.

For a moment, Nolan seemed utterly carefree, but then a shadow crossed his eyes. “Are you sure?”

Tilly’s gaze and smile never wavered. “Absolutely.”

“May I kiss you?” he asked, his eyes dropping to her eager lips.

“You’d better!”