“God, Tilly—” He was gutted to the core, realizing why she had insisted on joining Raj for dinner and why she had never made any demands on him.
And it should all have been fucking obvious, the billionaire thought sickly, if he hadn’t stubbornly remained blinded by the past.
“I’m n-not mad—”
“You should be,” he gritted out.
“You didn’t force me to do anything. I was the one who chose to go—”
“But I should’ve stopped you from the very start,” Logan said savagely. “And I fucking didn’t. I let the past turn me into a coward, and by the time I realized I was wrong – it was all too late. When the chopper got here—”
So that was what was making the weird, loud rumbling noise she heard, Tilly realized dazedly.
“You were here, too, and I had already broken your heart.”
He saw Tilly’s lips start to tremble in her effort to keep herself from crying, but when he tried to reach for her again, she shook her head, and his arms slowly fell back. She could no longer bear his touch, he realized numbly, and he couldn’t even blame her for it.
Tilly saw the way the billionaire whiten at her instinctive rejection, and her despair grew. “I’m sorry, Logan. I don’t mean to…I would never…” Want to hurt you. But then she remembered – oh, she remembered.
The billionaire simply stepping aside to let another man take her away–
And this time, she could no longer hold anything back.
“I love you,” she choked out.
“I love you so much that I literally go down on my knees every night, thanking God because He gave me you. I love you so much that there are times I can’t help crying, just thinking of how perfect you are. I love how kind you are to Billie, and how you never made me feel I was cheap or sordid for marrying you for money, and I just…I just wanted to do anything and everything I could to help you. But when you just let me go—” Her voice broke. “And I couldn’t even make myself hate you for it—”
He saw Tilly gulp hard in an effort to control her tears, but violent sobs still ended up racking her body, and the sight made Logan want to carve his own heart out. God. He had never known he had hurt her like this.
“I’m sorry,” he said rawly. “I’d sell everything I have just to turn back time and do right by you—” His voice became hollow. “But I can’t. All I can do is make it up to you and hope to God you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me…and keep loving me back.”
Tilly’s lips parted in silent shock.
Was he saying—
Logan’s fierce gaze captured hers. “I love you.” She started shaking her head, and desperation to make her believe him turned his voice harsh and forceful. “I love you.”
“I texted Raj,” he cut in tautly. “I told him the deal’s off.” But instead of finding the words reassuring, Tilly became visibly distressed, and he couldn’t fucking understand it until he heard her speak—
“I don’t want to ever stand in the way of your dreams, and that was your dream—”
God. That she thought that, that he had made her think that—
“You’re my dream,” Logan insisted fiercely. “I was too stupid to figure out what’s been under my nose all this time, but it will be different now.”
“I don’t want you to hate me—”
“I don’t. I won’t. I never will. Because I mean what I said, baby. I love you.” He kept his gaze locked with hers, willing Tilly to see the truth in his eyes. “I wish there’s something else I could do, tear my fucking chest open to show you what’s inside my heart. But I’ve got nothing, and you don’t know how much that goddamn terrifies me.”
Logan breathed hard, the thought of what he was about to say next making him feel sick to his stomach. For almost his entire life, he had lived by his father’s rules, believing that it had been the right thing to do.
“I worshipped my dad,” the billionaire heard himself say, “and it made me blind to his faults. He could’ve picked up the pieces of his life, but he let his fears and bitterness ruin him. He still had the chance to start fresh when she left. He might have lost his wife, but he still had me, dammit. He could’ve chosen to live for me, to take another risk at life for me. But instead, he chose to drank himself to an early grave.”
Dark eyes filled with agony turned to her, and Tilly had to fight against the urge to pull the billionaire into his arms.
“Seeing how much my father suffered made me believe I had to choose between love and ambition, but living with you…being with you…loving you…it made me realize there doesn’t have to be a choice. When you have the right person with you…the bad things aren’t as fucking bad and the good things are twice as good…because I have you to share them with. Raising Liam used to scare the hell out of me, but the moment I saw you with him – hearing him laugh and call you Mama – the future stopped looking bleak, and I—” The billionaire swallowed hard. “Will you believe me if I tell you I actually dreamt of the future, and it was you, me, Liam, and Billie, and our own child?”