Word of Honor(81)

By: Alexa Aston

She caressed his cheek, a twinkle in her eye, as if she knew his very thoughts.

“Enough of that, you two,” Johamma exclaimed as she joined their circle. “I would swear if a stranger met you, he’d insist you were newly wedded.”

Merryn placed a hand upon his chest. “I cannot help it, Johamma. Geoffrey is the love of my life.” She beamed. “I do not care who knows.”

“Greetings!” Hugh called out. He and Milla crossed the great hall, their two children looking about.

“Alys, take your sister and cousins upstairs to play. We’ll call you when it’s time for the feast and games to begin.”

Alys put Nan down and let the child toddle toward her older cousins before she led the group from the room.

Geoffrey watched them leave, thinking how blessed he was to have five healthy children and good friends and family in their midst to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season. He turned and spoke to Hugh and Milla as Tilda brought a tray of mulled wine for the adults to share. They adjourned to a trestle table and spoke of their children and news that had come their way from court.

As Geoffrey basked in the warmth of the nearby fire and listened to the conversation, Merryn slipped her hand in his.

Geoffrey gazed down at his wife—the woman whose image had kept him going during his years of battle in France and while imprisoned at Winterbourne. The one he had always loved from childhood. The one who would remain beautiful to him, even when her chestnut hair had turned gray and wrinkles from laughter lined her face.

He bent and said in her ear, “We are most fortunate, my love. We were a love match from the first.”

“And we will stay a love match until the grave and beyond,” Merryn replied, entwining her fingers through his.

Geoffrey touched his mouth to hers for a lingering kiss. The taste of her mouth would always mean coming home.

Coming home to love forever and always.

The End

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