“That’s no excuse.”
He hangs his head. “I know. I promise it won’t happen again. I’ll be better for you. I’ll do anything. I’ll go to therapy.”
“It’s not just about me. You have to do it for yourself. You have to want to be better for yourself, not just for me.”
He swallows. “I know. I want it for myself, too. Those few days with you gave me a glimpse into what life could be like. I’ve never been happier than when I’m with you. If I had known that life could be like this, I would’ve dreamed of nothing else. And I hate myself for ruining it. Hate myself for how I treated you. If you let me, I’ll work every day on showing you that I can be better. That I want to be better. Just please—” His voice cracks, and he rubs at his eyes furiously. “Please give me another chance. I need you. I need you more than you need me, but please—”
I shake my head, and a look of panic flashes over his face. “Daisy—”
I raise a hand to quieten him. “You’re wrong, Burke. I need you, too. And I—I want to be with you. Being with you showed me what happiness looks like.” Hope replaces the panic on his face. “But I need your word that you’ll never ice me out like that again. We need to communicate. If I hurt your feelings, tell me.”
“I will. I promise.”
“Good. And I’ll do the same. I should’ve tried harder to talk to you.”
He shakes his head. “I wasn’t ready, Daisy. You didn’t do anything wrong. But I know now that I was a proud fool.”
“You were. But you’re my proud fool.”
The smile that spreads over his face takes my breath away.
“Can I please kiss you now?” he asks, almost shyly, and my heart swells.
“Of course you can.”
He stands up and walks around the table, and then his lips are on mine and I know I made the right choice. Burke isn’t perfect, and neither am I. But together, we can grow. Together, we can heal from our past pain and build the life that we want and deserve. We’ll be okay, as long as we’ve got each other.