Will I see you in London? he asked.
He was alone again with Miranda. She hadn't moved at all during his vigil, save for the shallow rise and fall of her chest. "It's morning, Miranda," he said, taking her hand in his again and trying to cajole her into consciousness. "Time to wake up. Will you? If not for yourself, then for me. I'm frightfully tired, but you know I can't go to sleep until you wake up."But she did not move. She did not turn in her sleep, and she did not snore, and she was terrifying him. "Miranda," he said, hearing the panic in his voice, "this is enough. Do you hear me? It's enough. You need to- "
He broke off, unable to go on any longer. He gave her hand a squeeze and looked away. Tears blurred his vision. How was he going to go on without her? How would he raise their daughter all on his own? How would he even know what to name her? And worst of all, how could he live with himself if she died without ever hearing him say that he loved her?With fresh determination, he wiped away his tears and turned back to her. "I love you, Miranda," he said loudly, hoping that he could penetrate her haze, even if she never woke up. His voice grew urgent. "I love you. You. Not what you do for me or the way you make me feel. Just you."A slight sound escaped her lips, so soft that Turner initially thought he had imagined it. "Did you say something?" His eyes searched her face frantically, looking for any sign of movement. Her lips quivered again, and his heart leaped with joy. "What was that, Miranda? Please, just say it once again. I didn't hear you the first time." He put his ear down to her lips.
Her voice was weak, but the word came through loud and clear: "Good."Turner began to laugh. He couldn't help it. How like Miranda to have a smart mouth while on her supposed deathbed. "You're going to be all right, aren't you?"
Her chin moved only a fraction of an inch, but it was definitely a nod.
Wild with happiness and relief, he ran to the door and yelled out the good news for the rest of the house to hear. Not surprisingly, his mother, Olivia, and much of the household staff came running into the hall.Miranda could not resist giving her friend a little jab. "One would certainly never be able to tell that from watching you in action."
"Oh, I'm not saying I'm not enjoying myself." Olivia gave her a vaguely sardonic look. "I mean, really, I'm not going to cut off my nose to spite my mother.""To spite your mother," Miranda repeated, trying to recall the origin of the original proverb. "Somewhere someone is surely rolling in his grave."
Olivia cocked her head. "Shakespeare, do you think?""No." Blast, now she wasn't going to be able to stop thinking about it. "It wasn't Shakespeare."