Lucien took her hand in his, thumb rubbing over the ring that now encircled her finger. Jean sighed and rested her head against his shoulder, her free hand rubbing his knee comfortingly.
“I didn’t know how much it bothered you–me, not wearing it.”
He brought her hand to his lips and pressed a kiss to the back of her hand, her knuckle, and finally to the ring itself.
“With all the uncertainty, I liked looking over and knowing that you were mine; that you weren’t going anywhere. It’s a promise, Jean. Not just from me to you, but you to me. And it made me nervous when you didn’t wear it. Made me think that maybe you,” he trailed off, hesitant to voice his fears.
But Jean knew anyway. She lifted her head from his shoulder. “You thought I was rethinking marrying you. Rethinking us.”
He nodded and ducked his head. Jean’s chest felt tight with grief that she had ever caused him to doubt her. She resolved to never take this ring off.
Hooking her finger beneath his chin, she lifted his face and stole a kiss from him, lips ghosting over his, before leaning her forehead against his.
“I promise to love and cherish you, Lucien Blake, from this day forward. I’ll save the rest for the wedding, but you need to know I’m not going anywhere.”
The weight of her words settled over him like a warm blanket. He brushed the tip of her nose with his own as he nuzzled at her, his eyes slipping close.
“And I promise to love and cherish you, Jean Beazley, from this day forward.”
They had made their vows to each other–the only vows that mattered–and that was good enough for them.