Time to Run(81)

By: Marliss Melton

"She did?" said Sara gently.

"Yes. She looked a lot like you."

The observation made Sara's heart clutch.

"Would you like to be my mama?" Melody added very seriously.

Startled, Sara glanced at Chase, expecting him gently to tone down Melody's expectations.

Instead, he smiled a little smile, his blue eyes watchful.

"He has a ring for you," the little girl divulged. "You want to see it?"

The blood drained from Sara's face.

"Show her," Melody urged, with a smile replacing her sorrow.

Chase reached into the pocket of his jeans and withdrew a velvet pouch.

Sara nearly fell off the wrought-iron chair as he produced the loveliest diamond-and-sapphire ring she'd ever seen. "Figured you couldn't say no if she asked you," he admitted with a crooked smile.

As if she'd ever say no.

"You went through a lot with Garret," he added, sobering. "I hope that didn't put you off marriage."

"You have to be married if you're going to take me home," Melody explained.

Sara reeled, and yet it seemed only natural that, having been adopted herself, they should adopt this little girl.

"Her grandmother needs some help," Chase explained. "You think you can handle all this?"

Sara wanted to pinch herself. Never in her wildest dreams had she expected Chase to propose like this, certainly not with this added bonus. She shook her head, overwhelmed.

"I already brought Kendal over," he added, looking more and more worried by her continued silence. "He played with Melody last week. They got along great."

Knowing Kendal, he'd taken to the little girl instantly.

Sara's eyes grew wet. "Oh, Chase," she said, last. "You don't even need to ask. I've been yours since you rescued me. You've given me a whole new life," she added, her voice quavering. Her gaze shifted to Melody, who looked delighted by her answer. "The least we can do is give Melody a new life, too."

"I love you, Sara," Chase said, his own voice gruff with emotion. He held out the ring for her to put on.

With a smile for Melody, whose face reflected hope for the future, Sara slid her ring finger into the circle of gold. It fit her perfectly, just the way Chase fit her. Just the way their little family was going to fit.