Page 42 of Hero Next Door

Now feels right. Doesn’t it? I mean, not right now because she’s busy, but I really don’t want to hold back any longer. I want her to know that I’m falling in love with her. I don’t even mind if she isn’t quite there herself yet, that doesn’t matter. She will get there, I just know it. I buzz with the knowledge that soon I will be able to share my love with her because this is right, this is definitely the best thing to do even if it is absolutely crazy.

I don’t mind being crazy for Esme, because she is also the person to make me sane.

Her face, her sweet laugh, the way that she is even seeing the positive in this situation now that the nightmare side of it is all over… it draws me to her and makes me want to cling on to her forever more. I will never understand why her nut case boss did what he did, and I don’t think I’ll ever figure it out even if we see him explain himself in court, but I do get why he wanted Esme so much. I just don’t intend to go crazy over her like that.

“Oh, are you awake?” All of a sudden, Esme spots me watching her. “Sorry, I will just finish up here.”

“No, don’t worry, you carry on.” I push myself up in to a sitting position. “I’m just having a moment to wake myself up. Don’t you worry about me, I’m happy to sit here and watch you work.”

She blushes, making my heart melt just like it always does when she turns as red as her hair. It’s something that I could watch her do forever. God, if I’m not careful, I won’t end up telling her that I love her, I will propose instead. Now that would send her running for the hills for sure. Not me though. How crazy for someone who didn’t ever plan on getting hitched a second time. Now I can see it happening with this beautiful woman whenever.

It takes a couple of moments but Esme eventually hangs up the phone and comes to sit with me. It isn’t the big romantic gesture that Frankie suggested I might do, but it feels right for us. It feels warm and lovely.

“I love you, Esme.” God, it feels so freeing to say those words aloud. “And I know that it’s soon and that I might sound like a crazy person right now, but I do. It felt different the moment I first laid eyes on you and now I know why. It’s because you are the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with.”

She leans back and stares at me as if she’s trying to work out exactly what’s going on here. I hope that she doesn’t think this is some kind of goof or something because I have never been so serious in my life. I hope that reflects in my expression, I don’t want anything to worry this woman at all. I would love nothing more than if she would let me be her hero all over again. For the rest of our lives, preferably. I will save other people when it comes to my work, but the one person that I would love to focus all of my attention on is her. My Esme, my beautiful next door neighbor.

“Really? You love me?” she squeals in shock. “Little ol’ Esme Smith? Are you serious right now? That’s crazy.”

“Why is that crazy? You are utterly loveable. Everything about you makes me fall for you more and more.”

She flings her arms around me and kisses me hard. I don’t know what this kiss means but I’m more than happy to go along with it. As long as she isn’t shoving me out of her house, I am all good thank you very much.

“I… love…” she gasps in between kisses. “You… too… so very much. I… hope you know that…”

I rest my forehead against hers and stare deeply in to her eyes, my fingers lightly stroking down the back of her hair as I do. “I don’t expect you to say it back if you don’t feel it. I just want you to know how I feel.”

“I do. I do a lot, Theo, and the only reason that I haven’t said it is because it seems crazy…” She’s speaking so fast now it’s like her words are tripping over one another. Now that her mouth has finally been freed from the shackles of oppression that Mr. Callum Jones locked her in, she can’t stop the flood gates from parting and everything spilling out. “It’s crazy but in a really good way and I have been through a lot of bad crazy time recently…”

I take her cheeks in my hands and kiss her once more. “I know, but no more, I promise you. Even if there is going to be a bit of an uphill battle until you get to where you need to be, I will be there with you every step of the way.”

Tags: Mia Ford Romance