God she'd missed this, this teasing between them, this undercurrent of sensuality that always vibrated between them even at the most mundane moments of their marriage.
Margaret blushed and smiled, then for some bizarre reason she felt tears spring to her eyes and they fell before she could stop them.
Sean grew serious and stepped forward. "What is it, Maggie? I didn't mean to bring up memories of us. I'm sorry if I was out of line. I just got caught up-"
Maggie whimpered and stepped closer to him, pulling his face down to hers and kissing him. "I'm the one who's sorry. I'm so so sorry, Sean. So sorry I threw us away. I was hurting so much and I was too selfish to see how much you were hurting too," she explained between kisses.
He took her wrists from around his neck and pulled away from her, his eyes closed and his breath shaky. "Wait, Maggie. Wait. I can't do this again. I can't let myself be pulled in by you again. I wouldn't survive losing you a second time, dammit."
Margaret shivered and lowered her head, pressing her mouth to his neck. "I don't want to sell."
Sean stepped back and stared at her. "What do you mean?"
"Once the ranch gets up and running, once it's successful again I want us to keep running it. Together."
"Together?" he asked warily.
"My place is here by your side. My home is here, in your arms. My father new it even when I fought it. I don't want to fight it anymore, Sean."
"Jesus Christ, Maggie. You know what you're asking me? What if things get tough and you shut me out again?"
"I won't," Maggie promised, wrapping her arms around him again, encouraged that he let her. "I've lived these few years without you. I've been so empty, so...I know what I'd be losing now. I'm not that same selfish girl anymore. I'm not."
He looked at her and cupped her cheek softly. "I believe you."
"But do you trust me? Can you forgive me?" Margaret asked, laying herself bare, terrified but terrified more of not taking this chance on them again.
"Can you forgive me?" Sean countered, his own eyes moist.
Margaret remembered the rage and pain that had knifed through her when she found out that he had slept with another woman. Now, the anger had simmered down to a deep sadness, but also a warning of what could happen to them if they ever pushed each other away again. She could see a day when that pain would ease and become locked down deep inside of her as she chose to focus on the love she would begin to cultivate with this man, the other half of her soul, once again.
"Yes," she murmured.
He shivered and pulled her close to him, lowering his head to hers so their eyes locked together. "Yes," he echoed.
Margaret started to cry again and he smiled.
"Those are happy tears now, I hope."
"Oh yes," she assured him. She kissed him briefly before meeting his gaze again. "Can we...um...continue what we were doing before?"
Sean's eyes lit with hunger. "You're sure?"
"Never been more sure." She touched his chest, feeling the rapid beating of his heart against her hand.
"I thought you might like to take things slow," Sean said and the tightness with which he spoke told her how he was simply restraining himself for her benefit.
"We've wasted too much time already, my love. I don't want to waste a single second more being afraid to follow my heart."
Sean gathered her into his arms and carried her back into the house.
"My room," Margaret urged. "So you can see that I'll never keep you out of it again. Like my heart."
He smiled and kissed her. "I love you, you infuriating, stubborn ex wife of mine."
"Show me. Show me for the rest of our lives," she urged nuzzling his neck before he set her down on the bed.
He proceeded to do just that...for the rest of their lives.