“I beg your pardon?” he asked, closing the door and planting his hands firmly on the hips of his borrowed breeches.
“I’ll admit I don’t know very much about such things, but aren’t you at least supposed to ask me?”
“You want to do this now, Ivory, really?” She stood with her arms defiantly folded at her chest. Maddox rolled his eyes back, walked towards her, and took her hand. “My love, my absolutely perfect and ideal woman, who…”
“You’re mocking me,” she growled, pulling her hand away.
Maddox snatched it back and fell to one knee before her and lowered his head. When he looked up at her, he pulled his sword from his belt and laid it at her feet. “When a knight pledges his loyalty and obedience to his queen, he lays his sword at her feet and declares his love only unto her. Let me be your knight. Allow me to seal that love and loyalty by accepting me, not only as your champion, but as your mate.”
“Pick up your sword. I have no use for a knight. It’s simpler than that.” Her voice softened. “All I want is what I’ve read in books. I want what I saw in my uncle’s eyes when he gazed upon my aunt as she sat quietly at her embroidery, or as she tended her flowers in the garden,” she said, as she took his hand and pulled him to his feet.
He leaned in over her and pressed his brow to hers and whispered, “Should you ever sit quietly at needlework or tend roses, I shall look upon you in such a way that you will feel the warmth in my soul upon your skin, and the love in my heart will burn like the brightest light within your bosom.”
Ivory was overcome by a gentle warmth so deep it rose up in her like the flame of a single candle held against the blackest night. Her cheeks flushed. “I suppose that will do.”