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"Dare I ask, how much this cost?" asked Vera.

"Brace yourself," warned Charlie. "It's a sixteen carat, flawless diamond, and Adam paid over a million dollars for it."

Vera closed her eyes in shock and quickly handed it back to Charlie. Holding that much money made her nervous.

"He had it inscribed," revealed Charlie, turning the inside of the band into the light so Vera could read it.

"He must love you very much, Pumpkin," reflected her grandmother.

"I know he does," smiled Charlie, putting it back on her finger. "If he loved me any less, I'd ask him to get me a smaller diamond. But, you should have heard him, tonight, Grandma. He was so happy that I liked it! He said it was a small expression of the great love he has for me."

"It's the most beautiful stone and setting that I've ever seen," admitted Vera. "It'll take some getting used to, though."

"I'm so happy!" exclaimed Maggie, hugging her young friend. "Why can't we always be this happy?!"

Later that night, as Charlie got ready for bed, she took off her engagement ring and carefully placed it inside the ornate wooden music box Adam had given her, and set it on the night stand beside her bed. She knew she was happier than she deserved to be, but with the bliss came an unsettling premonition of trouble: this ring was going to cause waves.

"And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her."
~ Genesis 29:20 ~

"A gift [the engagement ring] is as a precious stone in the eyes of [her] that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth [shimmers and sparkles]."
~ Proverbs 17:8 ~

end of chapter
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