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Made to Measure

Written by Joan Elliott Pickart

Chapter twenty

Mary-Clair's eyes widened and her heart began to beat in a wild tempo as she drank in the sight of Connor O'Shea.

"Connor?" she said, not totally convinced he was actually standing there.

"Yes, Mary-Clair," he said, no readable expression on his face. "It's me. It has taken me this long to have all these stools custom-made to my specifications after I carefully measured distances from your height to the top cupboard in a kitchen, a closet shelf, the overhead storage compartment in an airplane, and on the list goes."

Jessica and Esther eased into Jessica's office and closed the door...almost...leaving a two-inch gap.

"But why?" Mary-Clair said, sweeping her confused gaze over the stools.

"Just to make things easier for you if you want to use them," he said. "It doesn't diminish who you are as a woman, it's simply a thoughtful gesture on my part. And this stool?" He gestured to the bright yellow one at his feet. "It will bring you eye-level with me, make you my equal physically as you already are emotionally and intellectually. This stool is for when you want to kiss me, Mary-Clair. You can use it at the altar when we get married if you choose to."

"I..." Mary-Clair started.

"Oh, Mary-Clair," Connor said, his voice husky, "don't you see? I love and respect you. You. The woman. My love for you has nothing to do with how tall, or short, you might be. Please marry me, be my wife and the mother of our children. Don't allow the pain you suffered in the past because of insensitive men rob us of our happiness now, of our future together."

Mary-Clair drew a shuddering breath, her mind whirling.

"Listen to me," Connor went on. "I shot up to six-foot-three when I was only 14 years old. From then on everyone expected more from me than I was capable of giving. They thought I should be more mature, more intelligent, more proficient at sports, just because I was tall.

"I would have given anything back then to be the same size as my friends. I understand what you've been saying, believe me, I do. We've walked the same path in the past, which gives us an edge as we travel into the future...together."

"Connor, I..."

"Ah, Mary-Clair," he said, a catch in his voice, "please. Marry me." He extended his arms toward her. "Ti voglio bene."

"Oh, Connor," Mary-Clair said, smiling through her tears, "I love you, too, and...and yes, yes, yes, I'll marry you."

Mary-Clair ran across the room, up the steps of the pretty yellow stool and flung herself into Connor's embrace.

Just as Jessica and Esther peeked out the doorway of Jessica's office, then exchanged satisfied smiles, Connor captured Mary-Clair's lips in a kiss of commitment, a kiss that spoke of their future together, of love that would last...forever.

The End

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I’m a single mom, with three grown daughters and two fantastic l...

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Joan Elliott Pickart

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