He quirked a brow. Thinking of me?
He’s . . . he’s not my husband, I stammered, my hands starting to shake at the icy chill in his voice.Only because you got cold feet and left him at the altar, Luke muttered.
No. We’re not married because we weren’t meant to be, and I was smart enough to see it before it was too late. I stalked toward the desk and swiped my hand over the top of it, sending the papers flying into the air.As they floated to the floor like confetti, Luke sputtered, What the—When he finally looked up, I grabbed his chin, forcing him to meet my gaze as I pleaded, Listen to me.
His lips thinned into a resolute line, but he didn’t pull away.I couldn’t tell you about him. At first, I thought I was in town for so short a time that it wouldn’t matter, and then, well, I was running away. I didn’t want to talk about him with anyone, let alone with you. Don’t you see? I needed some time to process it all. At least give me the chance to tell you the whole story now. And if, once I’ve finished, you still want me to leave, then I will.
I released Luke’s chin but he just looked at me, silently waiting for me to go on.
I started in a rush before he changed his mind. Prescott and I met at a charity function at our parents’ country club. He bought a date with me at one of those stupid bachelorette auctions.My heart skipped a beat.
I can’t think about that. I tried to push what Sebastian said aside, but that was as successful as walking down the stairs with my ankles tied together. A shiver curled down my spine. I turned to stare at the world map above my desk. Several years ago, I’d taken a blue marker and circled all the places I wanted to visit one day. Sebastian had grabbed a red marker and joined in. A lot of the places were the same. We were thirteen or fourteen when we did that.He’d been in love with me this whole time?
I squeezed my eyes shut and, for a few seconds, just for a couple of heartbeats, let those words he’d spoken seep through my skin, invade my muscles and tattoo my bones. My right hand curled against the center of my chest and my stomach dipped like I was on a roller coaster. In those seconds, I envisioned what it was supposed to be—what my life was supposed to be like.Sebastian would tell me he loved me. We’d kiss, this time deeper and stronger than before. I’d kiss him back, and maybe we’d get caught up in the moment. Maybe things would go further, and it would be glorious and perfect. We’d go out on dates. Hold hands at school. Travel to parties together. Everyone would smile and whisper About time to one another. We wouldn’t be able to keep our hands off one another and—