Love’s Glory Excerpt
Colin stood leaning against the oaken railing, staring at his husband. His face was radiant with joy and his honeyed-green eyes glowed with such a wealth of love and tenderness that Joshua’s breath caught in his throat. His skin tingled as goosebumps swept over his entire body, and for a long moment he stood staring, too stunned to speak or move.
“C’mere,” Colin whispered, and Joshua stepped toward him on legs which suddenly felt too weak to carry him.
When he stood before Colin, his bridegroom reached to stroke his hair then, as he had done so often in their life together, he slowly twisted one of Joshua’s dark curls around his index finger. “Have I told you that I adore you?” he asked, his voice low and breathless. “Well, if I haven’t, hear it now: I adore you.” He cupped Joshua’s cheek in his other hand. He hesitated and his gaze moved beyond Joshua’s shoulder as if recalling a memory. “I never dreamt I’d feel love like this, Josh. After Kathy died I didn’t even want to feel it. Love was a dirty word to me.” He breathed out an ironic laugh. “Hell, I didn’t even say ‘I love you’ to my mom.”
He dropped his eyes for a moment then lifted them to meet Joshua’s. “I know what people thought of me. Even you thought it. Charlottesville’s champion stud muffin. But that wasn’t my life, Josh. That wasn’t me. My life was twelve- and eighteen-hour days catching bad guys, then home. Stop at McCafferty’s for a stout, then home. Snag some guy for the night then kick him to the curb in the morning. There was no meaning! I’d think about my life, and all I could feel was sadness.”
He drew in a deep, trembling breath. “And God, Josh, I was so lonely. You’ll never know how alone I felt, having no one to love. No one who needed me. No one who really loved me.” He huffed out a quick laugh. “Hell, no one who even really knew me!” His thumb caressed the upswept angle of Joshua’s cheek, wiping away the tears that glistened there.
“I didn’t want to fall in love with you, Josh. Christ, I fought it! Fought it so damned hard! But I couldn’t not love you. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t not love you. You were everything I’d ever needed without knowing I needed it. And now? God, Josh, I’m so happy knowing that I’ll spend the rest of my life with you beside me… loving me… letting me love you.”
Weeping, Joshua fell forward into his arms. “Oh, Colin,” he choked out, “I love you so much.”
“Well you’d better,” Colin whispered, holding Joshua in an iron grip, “because you’re stuck with me now.”
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