Page 22 of Unwrapped

She launched herself into his arms, kissing him senselessly, smiling like a fool. It was several moments later when she finally forced herself to pull back and look up at his face. He looked confused at first, maybe not sure of her reaction.

She closed her eyes and shook her head, still grinning.

“I love you so much, Ivan.” She said the words that she’d kept secret for longer than she even wanted to admit.

“You love me?” He was the one to ask that question now.

“More than you’ll ever know.” And she said the same thing he had, meaning every damn word.

“Delaney, I want you to be my wife. I want to grow old with you, have a family with you. Before you came along I felt like a shell of a man. You are the light of my life. Marry me?” And then he got down on one knee and lifted his hand up, showing her the diamond ring again.

She covered her mouth with her hands and nodded. “Yes,” she said behind her hands and then realized he probably couldn’t hear because it was muffled behind her palm. Letting her arms fall to her sides, she chuckled. “Yes, Ivan. I’ll marry you.”

He was off the floor and pulled her into his arms once more. For long seconds, he did nothing but hold her, and she absorbed all of it.

“This is fucking crazy, isn’t it?” He murmured the words against her head.

“No crazier than it has been.” She closed her eyes and rested her head on his chest, hearing how fast his heart was beating.

He’d been so nervous.

God, she fell in love with him even more.

“Your family may not approve. I’m certainly not up there in financial or social standings like the people they are used to associating with.”

He pulled back, this serious expression on his face. “And I’ll tell them to fuck off, that I love you more than anything else, and if they can’t understand and accept that, then they can get the fuck out of my life.”

She felt her eyes widen at the sheer intensity and truth in his words. “God, if I didn’t love you already, I would have surely fallen for you right now.”

He grinned and pulled her in for a kiss. Ivan stroked the seam of her lips until she opened for him. Delaney moaned, moving her tongue along his, knowing that there wasn’t any place she’d rather be then right here with the man she loved.

He pulled back and took the ring out of the box, grabbed her hand, and slipped the diamond on. It felt heavy.

It felt perfect.

Who would have thought this was how she’d be spending Christmas? Not only was she not alone, she was with Ivan, her future husband.


One year later

Ivan stared at his reflection without an ounce of doubt inside himself. The wedding hadn’t taken too long to arrange, and for that, he was thankful. His parents weren’t happy that he wouldn’t allow them to help.

They wanted some big lavish affair with photographers, press, and all of their friends. He told them no. He and Delaney were going to be the ones in charge of their own wedding, and that meant from the venue to the flowers, and even the cake. They’d be the ones to have the final decisions on everything.

At first, they’d been pissed and refused to talk to him.

He was more than happy with that. Spending all of his spare time with Delaney out of the office, he didn’t even notice his parents had stopped speaking to him, so it was no problem for him. Eventually, they gave in, especially after he and Delaney both got the promotion at work. Since they’d been together, they’d been working as a team on several clients and of course to impress their bosses. They came up with a plan to show how well they worked together with the best of results as well.

They were both in charge of several large clients and they’d both gotten raises. He saw how happy it made Delaney.

Staring at his reflection in the mirror, he knew he didn’t want to wait another moment to be married to her.

Leaving the room in the church, he made his way to the alter where the priest waited. Their guests mingled in the crowd, and he stood waiting.

Glancing down at his watch, for a short time, he had a little panic attack, thinking she was going to run from him.

When the Wedding March started and she appeared, Ivan knew better than anyone that she wouldn’t run.

They loved each other.

This was what they both wanted.

He waited as patiently as he could while she walked down the aisle. He only had eyes for her.

No one else mattered to him.

Just Delaney.

With each step drawing her closer, his love for her grew.

When he moved toward her, all he wanted to do was lift the veil.