The Cowboy Rescues a Bride (Page 49)

The Cowboy Rescues a Bride (Cowboys of Chance Creek #7)(49)
Author: Cora Seton

She’d take that as a victory.

Ned tapped his spoon against his glass and whistled for everyone’s attention. When the hubbub had died down and his father had made his way back to his table, he gestured for Fila to come join him. She placed her plate on top of the counter and threaded her way through the crowded room to stand near his chair as he pushed to his feet.

“I want to thank you for coming out and supporting Fila—and Camila—tonight.” He waited until the cheers and clapping died down. “This test run is a big occasion for several reasons. All of you who know Fila know she’s come a long way to reach Chance Creek, and an even longer way to cast off her past and embrace a new future.” The crowd grew boisterous again. Ned took advantage of the distraction to pull out a small box from his pocket and hold it up. His mother gasped.

“There’s another reason I wanted you all here tonight. A personal reason.” He leaned on his crutches while he opened the box. “I asked Fila the other day if she’d marry me. She said yes.” He waited a beat. “Maybe she’s changed her mind.” He turned to her. “What do you say? Still up for it?”

She nodded, her eyes bright with tears. Ned lifted her hand and slipped the ring on her finger.

“Good thing. ‘Cause I wasn’t going to let you get away.”

This time the clapping and shouting went on and on so long Ned thought it would never stop. Soon the cries coalesced into a single word. “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!” He didn’t know who had started it and he didn’t care. He swept Fila into his arms, leaned her back and kissed her until neither of them could breathe. When they came up for air, Mia and Camila were circling the room with glasses and champagne. He wondered how they’d procured them, but a look at Luke told him all he needed to know. As usual, his brother’s gaze was latched onto Mia like a homing beacon. There’d be another match soon if he wasn’t mistaken.

His mother’s embrace wiped away all thoughts of Luke. “When is the wedding?” she cried when she finally let him and Fila go.

Ned raised his voice over the crowd again. “The wedding is Valentine’s Day! I hope you’ll all join us!”

“Valentine’s Day! That’s perfect!” Lisa hurried off again.

Ned bent down to kiss Fila. “You all right with all this?”

“More than all right. I can’t wait to make a life with you.”

“Damn, woman.” He drew her close again. “You’re already my life.”