All I Ever Need Is You(Sullivans,book 14)(72) by Bella Andre
Kerry stood up beneath the fairy lights and the moon and took the microphone from a grinning Brooke. “I’ve been putting on weddings practically my whole life.” She hadn’t planned a word of this, but that didn’t matter. Not when every word she spoke into the mic was coming straight from her heart. “I thought I knew what love was, because I watched it every day. But it turned out that I didn’t really know anything. I didn’t know what love really was until I met...”
She stopped, put the mic down, and turned to Adam.
“Until I met you.”
Tears were falling down her cheeks, and Adam was right there, brushing the streaks of emotion away.
“I never knew, either,” he said, “not until you.”
“I want everyone to know how much I love you, Adam.” Her throat was clogged with tears and emotion. He hadn’t wanted to keep their relationship secret from anyone anymore, and she’d been wrong to try to keep his family—and him—in the dark. “I know I probably ruined everything every step of the way—”
His kiss stole the rest of the words from her lips…and gave her everything she’d ever wanted.
Adam was all there was for Kerry as they stood on the beach, surrounded by his family, the water lapping against the shore and the stars shining down over them. His arms around her, his mouth on hers, the way he just kept telling her he loved her with a kiss that swept all the way through her soul.
When they finally came up for air, she was shocked to realize that all of the Sullivans were applauding like crazy. Absolutely losing their minds over her declaration of love for a man they all adored.
But she knew that no one would ever adore Adam more than she did.
“I’ve been wanting to dance with you again for weeks.”
Adam drew Kerry close, loving the feel of her heart beating against his as they danced to the music filtering down to their private spot on the beach.
“So have I,” she told him, “but I have so many things I need to tell you, too. Things I’ve never told anyone else. Things I never wanted to own up to about myself, not until I almost lost you.”
“You never even came close to losing me.” And it was true. “You’re the partner I never knew I needed, Kerry. The other half that actually makes me complete. You and I, we’re good alone. But together? Together we’re unstoppable. That’s why I would have worked forever to win your heart. And I would have waited forever for you, too.”
She stopped dancing, but didn’t let go of him. “That’s what I couldn’t understand.” Her eyes were so big, so full of emotion as she said, “Even now, I’m sure it’s going to take me a while to really, truly believe that you love me as much as you do.”
“So much, sweetheart.”
She smiled then, such a bright and beautiful smile that she nearly turned night into day with it. “I love you that much, too.”
“I know you do. Your love runs deep, so deep and strong that I’ve always been astonished by it.”
“I could never understand how my father...” She took a shaky breath, but pushed ahead. “How he could have left the way he did, how he could have left at all if he loved me. I know I told you I had dealt with it, that I wasn’t letting it ruin my life, but now I can see that wasn’t entirely true. Because a part of me couldn’t believe that I would ever be enough to make the people I loved stay. After he left, I think I spent pretty much my whole life trying to be prepared for everything, to make sure I could avoid every possible crisis. But avoiding all those potential falls meant I could never let myself appreciate the amazing things all around me. Most of all, you.”
“Did you just call me amazing?” he teased, wanting to see her smile again even as she got everything off her chest.
Her laughter made him happy. So happy that he wondered how he’d managed to live thirty-four years without hearing it. “Beyond amazing, Adam, enormous ego and all.”
Now he was the one turning serious. “My ego and I made a lot of assumptions about you and me, thinking that just because I was one hundred percent ready to be in love, you must be one hundred percent ready to love me back. I’m sorry for barging into your heart like a bull in a china shop.”
“You once told me that two people don’t have to be completely the same or look at everything the same way, for a relationship to work. These past weeks with you have been exciting and frustrating and happy and crazy-making. And the truth is that I can’t wait for seven more decades just like these with you. Everything might not always be calm and easy, we may get messy and raw sometimes, but I know that as long as I’m with you, they’ll always be wonderful, too. So, if you ask me, barging like a bull into my china shop sounds just perfect. I don’t want to change one single thing about you, Adam, and I couldn’t stand it if you tried to be someone you aren’t.”
A violin was playing a romantic melody, one that floated across the still lake water to them, as she said, “Marry me, Adam. Be mine forever.”
He kissed her soft then hard, teasingly then deeply, over and over again.
“Is that a yes?” she asked.
“Not just a yes,” he told her, grinning like a fool. “It’s a hell yes to marrying you and having picnics with our kids under the oak tree of our rambling old house during the day and making love beneath the stained-glass windows upstairs every night.” He kissed her again. “And that’s me saying yes to holding hands as we rock together on the front porch.” Another kiss, one filled with pure love. “But you should know that I’ll never stop making you blush by kissing you in front of the whole world and asking you to dance at the most inappropriate times.”
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