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He wasn’t meant to be on my radar, he was definitely the off-limits guy.
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My ass was in the air, hands on the ground for balance.
I could feel the stares, eyes focused on me and the skirt that had inched up my thighs revealing my long legs—and let’s be honest—half my ass. The passers-by did nothing to help but seemed content to gawk.
“Come on you piece of—”
“Well, well, well… if it isn’t a damsel in distress.”
I froze, heart pounding, my hands still holding tight to the heel stuck in the grate.
It couldn’t be. Anxiously biting the inside of my cheek, I stared ahead as reality set in, determined to ignore the familiar voice from behind.
Life was being a right bitch if she thought it was fun having my heel wedged between unforgiving metal and having him arrive at that very moment.
Attempting to wriggle the shoe some more, I only met resistance. It was firmly stuck, and no amount of heaving was going to loosen the fucker, my trembling fingers failing to undo the clasp.
“I remember that ass very well indeed,” the voice continued, and my face flushed with a mix of emotions. Some part love, but mostly humiliation with a healthy dose of murderous intent.
If I could only get this damn heel free, I’d wedge it in his eye, and I most certainly don’t mean the eye on his face. The bastard deserved a little punishment, and I knew just how to do it.
A pair of polished black shoes came to a stop in front of me, and I clenched my teeth hard, so hard they felt like they’d snap. Just another thing I could blame on him. Relenting, my gaze traveled the length of his body.
Still, with the same shit-eating grin he’d always had.
“Relax, Britta,” he said, bending down so we were level. “Let me help.”
I hadn’t a chance to answer before his hands had already moved to my ankle, fingers gently brushing against my skin. I shivered, and I don’t think I hid it well. I loathed that he still had that effect on me. And worse still, he knew he had that effect on me.
Roman tightened his grip, turned my foot on a slight angle and with a sharp pull, my heel was set free from the evil clutches of the street. Instead of letting go, his hands affectionately slid up my calf, his thumbs gently caressing, reminding me once more of what we used to have.
“You’ve changed your hair,” he said, attempting to distract me. It worked. My hand went to touch my tresses. It was now a lot shorter than what Roman would remember. Even the color had changed, back to my natural brown shade. Boring, but me.
“Out with the old,” I said. Clearing my throat, I was determined to block the sappy emotions. I made to stand, pulling away from his touch.
“So…” he said, eyes alight. “How are you?” Roman slid his hands into his pockets and watched closely, observing any move I made.
“Good,” I stammered, although I didn’t know why. Roman made me nervous and I couldn’t control it. “You?”
His neck twitched. “Ah, really good, actually.” He swayed a little on his heel. “I’m engaged.”
“Are you seeing anyone?” he asked, breaking through my thoughts.
Perhaps he’d noticed my mouth agape. Maybe he’d seen my wide-eyed shock. Maybe… just maybe… he’d been able to read my mind.
“Britta? Are you seeing—”
“I’m engaged, too!” The lies slipped from my strawberry-coated lips so easily. And now it was his turn to be shocked.
“Oh?” he said, hoping I’d elaborate but not wanting to seem too eager to ask. “Maybe you can bring him to the wedding. I sent an invitation. Did you get it?”
My mind briefly wandered to the trash bag that would now be sitting in the landfill. Somewhere in that trash bag, among the food scraps, is the torn up, once beautiful card cordially inviting me to the wedding of Roman Hopheart and Rebekah Johnson.
He sent me an invitation!
To his wedding!
Is he mad?
Roman was my first love. I’d given the asshole everything. He was my first kiss. My first love. And then, one day after four years of what I thought was a stable relationship—solid enough to be talking white weddings and picket fences—I found him kissing my best friend in our newly renovated kitchen. That best friend just happened to be Rebekah no-moral-compass Johnson.
Everything I wasn’t.
After many tears, fantasized bloodshed… and more tears, I had accepted that you can’t help who you fall in love with, and we had let bygones be bygones. And now the pair were getting hitched.
Not that I cared… much. The sex was blah. Too self-absorbed in his own pleasure.
“Invitation?” I raised my brows in deliberate shock. “I’m sorry, I never received it. But that’s fine, I don’t need to co—”
“I’ll have Bek send you another.”
“But you’ve gotta bring your new man,” he said with an almost disbelieving smile.