Divine pleasure. His heart was almost singing with joy. Corinne had chosen him. The lady Corinne ... had chosen him!
And as well as delight, Eric felt a strong sense of gratification. Gratification because Corinne’s kidnap and his looking after of her had led to her making a choice that would bring her perpetual happiness. After living with Lord Dachshund for what he presumed to be a long time, she deserved this happiness. And he was also gratified because his plan of bringing her such happiness had succeeded. He had not risked his life, or the safety of the inhabitants of Dachshund Manor, in vain.
He drew away from her kiss, though continued to hold her in his arms. A small part of his mind tried to tell him that he was spinning, when he clearly wasn’t, though any dizziness that he felt wasn’t actually unpleasant.
Corinne smiled, and light exploded in Eric’s private, personal world.
“I could not be happier if every day in the future is like one of the days from the beautiful dream from which I have awoken,” she told Eric, and he guessed that she was referring to her time without all of her memories. Corinne’s next words were instructions - instructions that Eric would be glad to follow because her desires were exactly the same as his own. “And so, ... do not change, dear Eric. Do not change your treatment of me; do not change the atmosphere that exists during our activities. I fell in love with the man who has looked after me so well these past few days. Pray, do not change.”
Eric took Corinne’s hand, removing one of his arms from around her, and lifted it to kiss it.
“I do not intend to, my lady,” he whispered. “I will be as I have always been.” He kissed her hand again. “I love you, my lady Corinne. You could not know my happiness. I would oblige you even if our intentions weren’t so wonderfully similar. Let our lives continue to be blessed by the fantastic, magical spirit of Love.”
“His magic has arisen in you, Eric. I cannot foresee a day when I will not be enchanted by you.” She slipped her hand out of his and as his returned to her waist, hers moved to tenderly stroke his cheek (an indescribably pleasant sensation) and, her expression softening yet intensifying, she murmured “I am so fortunate to be yours now, Eric.”
Eric smiled softly at her.
“I would wish for you to have always been mine but that would be selfish and greedy of me and would mean that I did not deserve you. I am amazed and profoundly delighted that you have chosen to stay with me in my humble cottage after Ikidnapped you and took away some of your memories - it is barely credible, my darling. I am so grateful that you do not hold these acts against me. And I am also sohappy that you have escaped the misery that Lord Dachshund brings you.”
Corinne kissed Eric on the cheek.
“You are such a sweet man, Eric. Such a sweet and honest, caring man. So slow to realise what a wonderful character you have.”
“I am slow to realise any such trait in myself for I am in the presence of one with an angelic character,” Eric whispered, leaning in so that his and Corinne’s face were close and that their breath tickled each other’s cheeks.
Corinne’s eyes shone, as though they were catching the sun’s last warm rays as it sank for its repose. Eric gazed at the sight for a few seconds to absorb it and retain it in his memory for days when he was much older and he treasured Corinne even more before closing his eyes and kissing her. Today would, without a single doubt in all the land, remain in his memory as the most special in his entire life.