He had heard so many things in his life. Yet, Julian had not heard anyone speak those words to him in...
20 years. It had been 20 years since he had been told such a thing. He had clung to that love as his entire world, held it as everything he ever believed in. It occurred to him in this moment that he had never once considered what anyone else thought of him. It had not mattered to him in the slightest, and Julian held her all the tighter as it struck him just how long "always" had been for the two of them. Her love was no less valid, and yet he had never so much as thought of it as anything more than a measure of her loyalty.
In that moment, Julian wished that he could wring his own neck.
"...Come with me, Minerva. I will not leave you alone again, not ever again. That is my promise to you, held with every bit the same weight as the first oath I made to you years ago. You- ...Minerva, please, marry me."
He did not know if he loved her in the same way that she loved him. He did not know if he was even capable of that. But he did know that none other had been there to support him as she had, that none had loved
him as she had. And to know that he was loved, to know that she held him in such a place within her heart, made Julian unable to help but cry. To be loved...he could not begin to describe how livid he was that he had denied it this long.
"My everything will be yours, Minerva, that you may never worry again. My home, my knowledge, my dedication, even my soul itself. I promise that every fiber of my being will exist to give you the life I have promised you."