Chapter 10

When Spinelli went off to play with his new electronics and Jake and Cam took their naps, Elizabeth started straightening the den. Jason grabbed a trash bag and helped. She loved his domestic side and refrained from teasing him about it most of the time.

"Elizabeth?"

"Jason."

"Will you marry me?"

"What?"

Jason set the bag down and pulled the final gift from his pocket. He opened the box and showed her the two carat diamond ring. "I got a ring this time so I thought it might go better." She didn't speak and that didn't help his nerves. "I know, I've asked before. But Emily said something about the third time being the charm. I don't really get that but if that means you're more likely to say yes…"

"You're rambling."

Jason blew out harshly. "This is hard! Now are you going to marry me or not?"

She couldn't hold back her smile any longer. "Yes!"

"Yes?"

"YES!"

He quickly scooped her into his arms and kissed her until they were both breathless. Elizabeth's hand shook as he placed the ring on her finger. Another kiss and soon their clothes joined the torn wrapping paper on the floor. Jason lifted her in his arms and braced her against the wall. "I love you."

Elizabeth groaned as they became one. "I love you."

-gh-

Word of the engagement spread quickly and Sonny invited them to use the banquet room at Greystone for the ceremony. Carly was not happy but insisted on catering the reception from the MetroCourt. Emily was so enthusiastic with planning that Elizabeth soon turned the whole thing over to her. When Jason asked why, she explained that Em knew what she liked and this way she could devote herself to making her sexy fiancé happy. He wholeheartedly approved.

Audrey offered to keep the boys while they honeymooned and they made plans to see Italy together. A week seemed a long time to be away from Cameron and Jake but Elizabeth rationalized that she and Jason needed the time away after all they had been through. It wasn't just the last few months. From their first night at Jake's the odds had been against them. The people in their lives had interfered and their timing was lousy. Now everything was different and a few days alone together was the perfect way to mark their new beginning.

Elizabeth couldn't quite wrap her mind around the fact that every dream she had thought lost was coming true. Jason, Cameron, Jake, Italy, even her art. Telling the truth about Jake opened the door and, while some of the consequences had taken their toll, she would be eternally grateful she'd had enough courage to walk through it.

-gh-

Jason was going over coffee invoices when Sonny knocked on his office door. "Come in."

Sonny greeted him with a handshake. "I want you to know that the last of the Ruiz family has been accounted for. Except the priest but our guys will keep an eye on him."

"Good."

The boss gave him a thoughtful look. "Do you miss it? Not so much the danger but the thrill?" The other families weren't happy with Jason's career change but Sonny had enough power to keep in them in line.

Jason leaned back in his chair. "Honestly, sometimes. Then I see Elizabeth and our sons and I know I made the right decision."

Sonny flashed his dimples. "You did. I just wanted to make sure you know it."

The mostly legal coffee importer returned the smile. "Yeah, I know it."

-gh-

April 7, 2008, was unseasonably sunny and bright. The last of the winter snow had melted and buds were forming on the trees. Of course, it could have been dreary and sludgy and Elizabeth wouldn't have cared. Today she was marrying the man she thought she could never have.

Her ivory dress was simply cut and her bouquet was small but elegant. Her hair was piled carefully on her head and her makeup was light but complimentary. She felt beautiful and couldn't wait to see her groom.

Jason waited at the end of the aisle in a dress shirt and slacks. Emily had insisted he forego the jacket and tie despite Carly's protestations. Jason had never loved his little sister more. He stood with hands held in front as she appeared. While Emily was lovely, his attention never left the entrance.

Elizabeth appeared and their eyes locked on each other. When asked who attended the ceremony or what vows she made, Elizabeth would blush and honestly reply that she had no idea. While her friends teased her, she didn't care. All she saw was Jason.

Jason couldn't remember either but he didn't blush. His fixed stare was enough to end any attempt at ridicule.

They didn't cut the cake or dance or toss the garter like most couples. Jason worried that Elizabeth would miss those traditional touches when Emily first told him but Elizabeth stopped his concern with a hand on his thigh and a smile. They weren't traditional and they didn't pretend, especially not on their wedding day. Elizabeth did toss the bouquet and Emily caught it. Nik's grin bothered Jason but his bride distracted him with a kiss and a whispered promise about the night to come. He didn't give the prince another thought.

-gh-

Waking up in her husband's arms, seeing his chest bathed in the Venetian light, Elizabeth wanted to pinch herself. Instead she peppered that gorgeous chest with kisses. Jason soon woke up and returned the favor.

When they were both sated, he rolled onto his side and propped his head on his arm. "Happy?"

She stayed on her back and smiled at the ceiling. "Deliriously."

Jason traced her breast with his finger. "I know I'm not the right man for you. I should have let you and the boys go. But…"

She stopped him by placing her hand over his mouth. "No regrets, remember? And you are the right man for me. You're the perfect man for me."

He wished he could agree. "You know that last night I had to take care of something for Sonny. You know what that means."

Sonny's interruption hadn't gone over well at all. It had been their first fight and, while she still wasn't pleased that Sonny called during their honeymoon, Jason had more than made up for it once he got back. "I do. I know that you can't ever leave that life completely. I know that's why Jake was kidnapped. But I also know that without you my life is empty. No one loves me the way you do and I need that." She poked him in the chest. "And no one loves you the way I do."

"And I need that. In fact, right now, I need …" he teased as he leaned over her again.

She cut him off with a calculated swirl of her hips. "Oh, I need too," she said huskily. "I really need."

Note: And so it ends. Thank you so much for reading! Special thanks to those who review, follow, and fave!