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Read, Write, Love at Seaside(87)

By:Addison Cole

They walked along the dune overlooking the beach. Leanna had on a pair of cutoff jean shorts and a white tank top, and with the morning breeze blowing her hair off of her shoulders and the sun glistening against her silky skin, she couldn’t have looked more beautiful. Wow, he’d missed her. His heart swelled with love as he took her hand and gazed deeply into her eyes.

“I want a life with you. A whole life, Leanna. Not just part-time, and not just when things are good. I want to experience your world, and I want you to experience mine. You’re my final chapter, Leanna. No revisions necessary. Live with me here, where we first met. Build a life with me.”

Her forehead wrinkled and her lower lip trembled. She trapped it between her teeth and pressed her hands to his chest. “There’s no place on earth I’d rather be.”

He lowered his mouth to hers and kissed her softly; then, with Pepper at their heels, they crossed the lawn toward the studio.

“I forgot you even had a studio.”

“It’s not really a studio anymore. The renovations aren’t yet complete, but soon…” He unlocked the arched wooden door and pushed it open.

Leanna took a step inside and drew in a deep breath. She reached for Kurt’s hand as her gaze slid along the wall of custom cabinetry to their right. Blue was right; the warm bronze, beiges, and golds of the granite brought warmth to the hickory cabinets. There were still a number of cabinets to be hung, but the project was taking shape and the studio already felt homier, more like Leanna. She looked up at the exposed-beam ceiling, and finally, her eyes came to rest on the four stainless-steel ovens and stovetops that had yet to be installed, but he knew she could visualize the end result.

“Kurt,” she said barely above a whisper. “You did this for me?” She walked farther into the room, one slow step at a time.

“We met on this property, so I thought you might want a place for your business that was meaningful.”

Leanna ran her fingers along the granite countertop. She touched the fine wood finish of the cabinetry with both hands and turned damp eyes to Kurt.

“You took a big chance on me.”

He folded her in his arms. “Did I? You didn’t feel like a chance at all. You felt like fate.”

“Fate,” she whispered. Leanna pressed her hands to his chest and gazed up at him with a dreamy, loving gaze. “I can’t believe you did this.”

“There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you. I’ve spent years living in the minds of fictional characters and wrapped up in fictional worlds. I want to spend the rest of my life wrapped up in you, Leanna Bray, living in the very real world that we create together.”