The diamond was cut in the shape of a tear.
Biting her lip to stop her chin from quivering, Alexandra raised her eyes to his. "I think," she whispered, trying to smile, "I shall wear the ruby on Queen's Race day, so that when I tie my ribbon on your sleeve—"
With a groan, Jordan pulled her into his arms.
"Now that you've said all those other things," she whispered when he finally lifted his lips from hers several minutes later, "do you think you could possibly say 'I love you'? I've been waiting to hear that since you began and—"
"I love you," he said fiercely. "I love you," he whispered softly, burying his face in her hair. "I love you," he groaned, kissing her lips. "I love you, I love you, I love you…"
With his baby son cradled in his arms, Jordan stared in fascination at the tiny face looking back at him. Not certain what to say, and absolutely unwilling to give up the pleasure of holding his baby, he decided to give some parental advice.
"Someday, little son, you will choose a wife, and it's important to know how that sort of thing should be done, so I will tell you a story:
"Once upon a time, there was an arrogant, cynical man. We'll call him—" Jordan hesitated a moment, thinking. "We'll call him the Duke of Hawthorne."
Standing in the doorway unobserved, Alexandra smothered a laugh as Jordan continued: "This duke was a wicked fellow, who did not see the good in anyone or anything—especially himself. Then, late one fateful night he was set upon by bandits, and, just when it seemed his life would come to an undignified end, a knight in rusty armor charged to his rescue on horseback. With the knight's help, the duke managed to subdue the bandits, but during the attack, the knight was injured.
"The wicked duke went to the aid of the unconscious knight, but, to his amazement he discovered the knight was not a man at all, but a lady. She was small and dainty with curly hair and the longest eyelashes the duke had ever seen. And when she opened her eyes, they were the color of aquamarines. The wicked duke with the empty heart looked into those eyes of hers, and what he saw took his breath away…"
The baby stared at him, enraptured.
"What did he see?" Alexandra asked in an aching whisper from the doorway.
Lifting his head, Jordan looked at her and his heart was in his eyes. With tender solemnity, he replied, "He saw something wonderful."