The two mothers made their exit together.
Jordan turned her towards him. ‘And you’re loved even more now,’ he said in his richly charming voice, the bedroom-blue eyes promising her it was true as he gently stroked the wetness from her cheeks. ‘I love you, Ivy, and come what may in our lives, I’ll never let you down.’
The sickening sense that what she had believed about her life had shifted into something else, and was still shifting as she gained a clearer understanding of how everything had come about, lost its grip on her. Jordan was making the present and what they shared in it far more important.
Faced with a situation that could have shattered everything between them, he had not let her down.
She believed he never would. He was a rock of solid support. She could trust him to be always there for her, no matter what.
Their relationship wasn’t a mistake.
It wasn’t a fantasy that would come crashing down to earth.
Her heart trembled at the amazing commitment Jordan was giving her. Had given her throughout this terrible showdown with Dick Thornton. Had been giving her all along, from his patient waiting in the coffee shop. She lifted a hand to stroke his cheek in awe of his masterful determination to make what felt right…really right.
‘I love you, too,’ she said huskily. ‘Thank you for…for standing by me. I’ll always stand by you in the future. I promise you that, Jordan.’
He smiled teasingly. ‘No more giving me up to save me from trouble.’
‘No.’ She managed a shaky smile back. ‘Wild horses won’t tear me away.’
A lingering niggle of anxiety remained in her mind. ‘I didn’t tell Sacha about Olivia’s blackmail problem. Please trust me on that, Jordan. I wouldn’t gossip about anything so private and hurtful. Your mother obviously thought I had, and you looked at me as though you wondered.’
He shook his head. ‘Not because I was wondering about that, Ivy. I was thinking how very wrong about you my mother was, and how very much you suited me, in every sense.’
‘Oh! ‘It was wonderful to have the trust issue so summarily dismissed. Jordan believed her as absolutely as she believed him.
‘And don’t be worrying about our respective mothers coming to open blows about their differences,’ he went on, speaking very dryly as he added, ‘I’m sure they’re both strong-minded enough to put them aside as it suits them. They’ll think about the future and they’ll want to be part of our lives when the grandchildren come along.’
She laughed in sweet relief, realising how well he’d read their mothers’ characters. ‘How many children would you like to have?’
‘As many as you want, my love.’ He grinned and added, ‘I’m certain to have immense pleasure in making them with you.’
Keeping the rose farm on didn’t seem important any more. She would, though, at least through Heather and Graham, but becoming a mother, sharing parenthood with Jordan…that was the future she most wanted…a world of their own making.
‘Now let’s go and dance,’ he said. ‘Show the whole world we are one, you and I. Because we are, Ivy. You’re my woman and I’m your man and we’re going to celebrate our union in front of everyone. That’s what this party is about and we’re not going to let anyone spoil it.’
‘No, we’re not,’ she agreed, winding her arms around his neck, her tears completely dried up by the warmth of his pleasure in her, the warmth of his love so manifestly shown to her tonight. ‘But kiss me first, Jordan.’
If eyes followed them to the dance floor, Ivy was to tally unaware of them. She was blind to anything but her love for the man who was partnering her…her life partner, whose world was her world, just as her world was his. They fitted together. And nothing—nothing whatsoever—was ever going to part them.