Dawn was just breaking, sending early morning light into the elegant room. Slowly, Perry opened his eyes, smiling as treasured moments of the night before snuck into his awareness. He reached his arm out, hoping to find the lovely lady who'd made all his dreams come true, only to find her side of the bed was empty. That's when he heard it. Soft crying coming from the other side of the room.

Concerned, Perry raised up on his elbow surveying the room to see where the sound was coming from. Quietly, he got out of bed and put on the robe that Della had thoughtfully packed for him. He started moving as soon as he had one arm in the sleeve, tugging it on the rest of the way and tying the belt as he neared his beloved.

Della, wearing a lovely pink robe, was sitting on a pillow in the bay window, her legs pulled up to her chest and her arms around her legs. And, she was … crying.

Gently, Perry knelt beside her, wrapping her in his arms. "It's okay, my love. Whatever it is, let's talk about it. There isn't anything we can't handle together."

Della reached up and wiped the tears from her face before looking into his piercing blue eyes. Sadly, she smiled and touched his face. "I'm scared." Then, she turned her focus back to the window.

"Scared? Why? Has something happened?" The attorney was puzzled and more than a little alarmed. The night they had spent together had been magical and he didn't want anything to intrude on the delicious memories he'd always hold dear. "Della, what's wrong?"

Perry took Della's chin between his thumb and forefinger and turned her face to his. "Sweetheart, please tell me what has you so upset. It hurts me to see you crying."

Della sighed and quietly said, "I'm not sure I can explain it to you."

"You have to try. Please?"

Della closed her eyes and took a deep breath as she tried to come up with a way to adequately express her feelings. When she opened them, she started talking, baring her soul to the man who meant so much to her.

"I love you, Perry and it frightens me. I've had intimate relationships before and I know what can happen. I also know that I feel things for you that I've never felt before. That scares me even more. You're my best friend and I can't stand the thought of something happening to you or coming between us." As she spoke, tears were quietly falling down her face, somehow making her more lovely than he had ever imagined.

Perry chuckled and gently wiped her tears with his thumbs. Then, he brushed her lips with his. "Please look at me." Slowly she brought her eyes up to meet his, once again feeling the incredible power of his brilliant blue eyes. "Della, I feel exactly the same way. I've been around the block several times myself and the feelings that I have for you are something I've never experienced before either." Her face still captured in the palms of his hands, he ran his thumbs across her soft cheeks. "I've never told a woman that I love her. I love you. I have no doubts ... no reservations. I just know that being with you makes me feel better than I've ever felt before. Better than I ever thought possible. I'm not scared. I'm thrilled that we've found each other. And, last night was amazing. I can't wait to spend even more nights with you."

Perry moved his hands to Della's shoulders, sliding her around so she was facing him. "Della, we are together. We are a couple. There is nothing and no one who could come between us. I promise."

He reached up and wiped a lone tear from Della's cheek. "Please don't be sad. This is a day of joy because our future is together."

Perry rose to a standing position, pulling Della with him and into an embrace. He nuzzled her neck, still enjoying the remnants of her signature scent that had captivated him throughout the night. "Today is only the beginning. Let's see what our next adventure is going to be, okay?"

At that, Della laughed and standing on her tiptoes, reached up to kiss her handsome companion. "Okay. You're right. I guess I just got lonely and scared when I woke up before you."

"Well then, we just have to make sure that doesn't happen again," he exclaimed as he lifted her off her feet and carried her back to the bed.