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Authors: Carla Cassidy

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BOOK: Lost in His Arms
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The flickering candles blurred into golden blobs as tears sprang to Elizabeth's eyes. “Only on one condition,” she said softly. “I get all of you, as well.” She reached up and placed her palms on either side of his beautiful face. “I want your dreams and your hopes, and I want your fears and your sorrows.”

He swept her into his arms for a kiss that filled her, made her complete and let her know that she had finally met her match, found her soul mate, the man who would light her days and nights with love.

Epilogue

“I
hear you just took a full-time job at Morning View Elementary School.” Erica Taylor McCarthy sat across the picnic table from Elizabeth.

Elizabeth nodded and bit into a potato chip. “Starting in September, I'll be teaching third grade.” She directed her attention to the distance, where Richard, Talbot and Andrew were playing catch.

It was hard to believe that almost a year had passed since Richard's surgery. Richard had just completed his first year of college and looked healthier and happier than Elizabeth had ever seen him.

“Has Richard decided what he wants to do yet?” She turned back to look at the woman Richard had
married nine months before, a woman who was now seven months pregnant.

Erica smiled. “Not yet. Believe it or not, he's really enjoying his part-time work with the construction company. I wouldn't be surprised if eventually he starts up his own construction business.” She smiled again and patted her bulging tummy. “Now that he knows this is a boy, he wants to build a big, elaborate tree house in the backyard.”

Elizabeth laughed, then directed her attention back to the men. A smile curved her lips as she watched her son jump with hand overhead to catch a wild ball thrown by Talbot.

Initially, she'd worried about Andrew and how he would handle her relationship with Talbot. But Andrew had been surprisingly accepting of Talbot in his mother's life, and Erica in his father's.

He shared a true father-son relationship with Richard, but enjoyed a closeness with Talbot, as well. She'd heard Andrew boasting to his friends that he was really lucky. He had the best dad
and
the best stepdad.

Elizabeth's diamond ring caught a shaft of sunlight and sparkled brightly. While Richard and Erica had enjoyed a huge wedding with all the trimmings, a month later Elizabeth and Talbot had gotten married in a small, simple ceremony.

She had been Mrs. Talbot McCarthy for eight months—the happiest months of her life. And the
happiness had only increased when three months after the wedding she found out she was pregnant.

Andrew was thrilled at the prospect of not one, but two siblings soon to arrive. He intended to be the best big brother in the whole wide world.

She smiled as the guys finished their game of catch and approached the picnic table where she and Erica sat. “Did you guys work up a healthy appetite?”

Talbot sat next to her, looking disheveled from his earlier exertions. “I think I worked up a healthy case of exhaustion.” He caught his breath and grinned at her. “That kid has some arm on him.”

“Yeah, but I need to practice batting,” Andrew replied as he grabbed a handful of chips from the opened bag.

“We'll do a little batting practice after we cook the hamburgers,” Richard said. He grabbed the platter of patties and smiled at his son. “You gonna help me cook these?”

“Okay,” Andrew replied.

“I'll come with you,” Erica said. A moment later the three of them walked the short distance to the grill.

Talbot took the opportunity to kiss his wife. “How are you doing? You feel all right?” He placed the palm of his hand against the swell of her stomach. “Hello in there. Everything okay?”

Elizabeth laughed and covered his hand with hers.
“We're both doing fine. And we've never been happier.”

He smiled the sexy smile that fired a flame inside her. “You've never looked prettier. You positively glow. I've always heard women do that when they're pregnant.”

Elizabeth smiled at him. “That's not a pregnancy glow. It's a love glow.”

“I love you, too.” He leaned forward and kissed her again, gently, softly. “You are the best thing that ever happened to me,” he said when the kiss ended.

“I feel the same way.”

For a moment they sat side by side, watching Richard, Erica and Andrew cooking the hamburgers and laughing together.

“He's a different man than he was a year ago,” Talbot said softly.

Elizabeth smiled at her husband. “We're all different than we were a year ago.” She knew she was. Being married to Talbot had opened a new world of sharing as she'd never shared before, and that sharing had created a wonderful, special bond with the man she loved.

“Will you be disappointed if this baby is a girl?” she asked.

He eyed her in surprise. “Why would I be disappointed? I'd love a little girl just like her mother, with butterscotch hair and bright blue eyes.”

“And what happens if she has bright blue hair and butterscotch eyes?” Elizabeth teased.

“I don't care if she has purple hair and orange eyes. I'm going to love her as I do you—with all my heart.”

Tears sprang to her eyes, tears of joy. She was so incredibly lucky. Her life was filled to the brim with happiness. Her hand reached for his and she smiled as his fingers curled around hers.

She had a sister-in-law who was sweet and kind, an ex-husband who was one of her best friends, a son who was well-adjusted and bright, and Talbot—the man who made her heart sing with passion and laughter and love.

ISBN: 978-1-4268-8370-5

LOST IN HIS ARMS

Copyright © 2001 by Carla Bracale

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the written permission of the editorial office, Silhouette Books, 300 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017 U.S.A.

All characters in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. They are not even distantly inspired by any individual known or unknown to the author, and all incidents are pure invention.

This edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

® and TM are trademarks of Harlequin Books S.A., used under license. Trademarks indicated with ® are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Canadian Trade Marks Office and in other countries.

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www.eHarlequin.com

*
The Baker Brood

‡
Mustang, Montana

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Sisters

BOOK: Lost in His Arms
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