12 Days of Gabriel–A series of vignettes told from Gabriel’s POV:

Mad for You #12

I fancied I could feel Emma’s heartbeat beating inside me. The connection between us made me think of the fairy tales my mother favored reading to me so long ago. Being in Emma’s arms, feeling her breath become mine, proved the magic I felt seven years before was still real.

Everything changed in life, but not this.

I wasn’t wrong about loving Emma. She was everything I strove to be—strong, dignified, and loyal. She had the stare of someone who could look herself in the mirror and not flinch. No matter how much scorn had been dumped on Emma, she dared anyone to stop her from achieving her goals. One had to earn their way into her inner realm, but once you were in—she’d die before she betrayed you.

Lost in Emma, far from the monsters of my past, I could believe contentment would eventually be mine to have—only as long as I had this glorious woman by my side.

“Emma? Where do we go from here?” I whispered in her ear, praying that I wasn’t alone in feeling two halves become whole.

Her arms hugged me tight. I felt the fine tremors running through her. I didn’t have to check to know if they ran through me. Emma Adams had become part of me long before she could ever have guessed.

I knew I’d never be free of her as long as I drew breath.

Whether Emma felt the same…

Despite my best intentions, I still screwed up royally. Even if Emma did manage to forgive me, I also knew our path was only bound to get rockier. Despite my polished veneer, I seethed with tension and frustration against my past, my family, and my future. I was always one step away from becoming a Gordon in every respect.

I didn’t want that.

Blood would tell, as it always did, but at this one moment, strung between the possibility of something better and oblivion, I prayed to get the chance to try.

“Wherever we go, we go together, Gabriel.”

I closed my eyes. Peace. Finally.