She said it.
The younger one, the one who was always more tentative about me in this role than the older one, said the L-word tonight.
When we put them to bed, Bear and the kids always say "I love you" to each other. Tonight, the younger one specifically said, "I love you both." Through my shock, Bear and I together said, "We love you too." There was a little more talking, and then again the younger one said, "I love you both" and we said it back.
We came out into the living room, and Bear held me while I teared up.
Bear and I were watching Family Feud on Friday night, and one of the questions in Fast Money was, "On a scale from 1 to 10, how satisfying would you say it is being a parent?" Bear looked at me, on our first night with the kids since moving in together, and asked me how I would rate being a parent. I looked at him, a little startled, and he amended it to step-parent. I've still been feeling like I don't count as anything to the kids, because I'm not their parent, and I'm not even their step-parent, I'm just Daddy's Girlfriend.
But now I don't feel like I'm nothing anymore.
She loves me. She really loves me.