When I wake up in our soft feathered bed, my head still aches. I groan, reaching a hand up.
“Hey,” Magnus says quietly, hurrying over from the window where he was standing looking outside at the garden. He presses a kiss on my head. “Hey baby, there you are. You scared the hell out of me.”
“I fainted,” I tell him as if he doesn’t know already. He nods at me, patient as always.
“I found you out in the hallway,” Magnus says, and up close, I can see the dark circles under his eyes and the lines of stress around his mouth. “You’ve been down for hours, Cassie. I wanted to call the doctor, but mother said you were okay.”
I look at Magnus and I feel like a fool. I never should have kept it from him, to begin with.
“Magnus, I’m so sorry,” I tell him, squeezing my eyes shut as tears begin to fall. “I’m so sorry.”
He leans forward, clasping my hand between his on the thick blankets. The fireplace outlines him in gold, like a halo of soft light. I wonder if he’ll be mad at me. The same fear that kept me from telling him about the baby in the first place almost keeps me from it now too.
“Tell me what’s wrong,” Magnus says concerned, bringing my hand up to his lips and kissing my fingers gently, one by one. “Please. Cassie, are you sick? I need you to tell me what’s wrong so I can fix it.”
“I’m okay,” I tell him, shaking my head. I let out a long breath. “I’m not sick.”
Magnus stares at me as if he’s trying to see through me, to figure out if I’m telling the truth.
“You’ve been avoiding me all day,” he says. “What else could it be?”
“I’m not sick,” I reassure him. My hands tremble in anticipation. “Magnus, I’m pregnant.”
He stares at me for a moment, blank-faced. He lets go of my hand and I can’t breathe. I should have known he didn’t want the baby. I should have left the manor when I had the chance. I want a family with him so badly but maybe he doesn’t want the same things and I need to accept it.
“Pregnant— you’re pregnant,” Magnus repeats in a stunned voice. He stands, rubbing a hand through his graying dark hair. “A baby. My baby.”
“Our baby,” I say in a quiet voice, nodding. “We’re having a baby.”
Magnus turns to me, staring at me with wonder in his eyes.
“Cassie,” he says, striding back over to where I’m tucked under the covers. His eyes are glittering with unshed tears and his face is glowing. “Have I told you that I love you?”
He hasn’t, not with words but with his actions he tells me every day how much he loves me, but I’ve never told him either. It was just something we both knew to be true. Sometimes the words aren't necessary because you feel the love in your heart but it doesn’t me I wouldn’t like to hear it.
“I’m a hard-headed man and sometimes I don’t use my words the way I should but I never want you to doubt that I love you. I love you, Cassandra Langley.”
“It’s nice to hear,” I tell him, letting my bright smile break over my face. I pat his cheek gently, rubbing a finger over his dark stubble. “And I love you, Magnus St. James.”
“A baby,” Magnus says again in a rough voice. He sits at my side again, staring intently into my eye, and takes my hand. “Cassie, a month ago I asked you to marry me.”
“We were both a little tipsy after Piper’s cocktails,” I answer him, confused. “You didn’t mean it.”
“I wasn’t as drunk as you thought,” Magnus tells me, pressing my hand to his mouth to kiss my palm gently. “I meant it then and I mean it now. I want you to have my last name if you’ll take it. I want you to have me and I want you to be mine, forever. Will you marry me, Cassie?”
“You want the baby, then,” I say, letting out a breath.
Magnus looks at me, his dark eyes wide and full of love. The gray in his trim beard glimmers in the evening light.
“Of course, I want this baby, our baby,” he says with a huge grin on his handsome face. I love that face more than anything, I love that he’s not so serious anymore and smiles openly with me. “I want everything,” he continues, laughing happily with me.
I can’t help but smile at him.
“To answer your question, yes. Yes, I want to be your wife,” I tell him, blinking away my tears. There’s nothing I want more than to be in this man’s arms every day and every night for the rest of my life. “I want to be with you forever, Magnus.”