It couldn’t be him.
She’d pictured this moment a million times, a lifetime ago.
Before she was married, before she was a widow, she imagined seeing him when she was looking so amazing that she would stop him in his tracks.
She’d played it all out in her mind: she’d be at her best, traveling somewhere exotic for work, dressed to the nines. She would be tall and thin and walk with a confidence that would make him remember and maybe even regret. That was what she wanted, to make him sorry he’d ever let her go. She wanted him to see what he could have had, if only.
Yet, here she was, tired and nearly broken. She was a lifetime removed from that confident woman who once plotted revenge. Now, she was a middle aged, widowed mother of two sitting directly across a hotel bar from him. Now she had her chance. And now she didn’t want it.
He was still gorgeous, in a silver fox kind of way. She spotted him immediately as he grinned at the cute bar tender. That swagger hadn’t faded an ounce. How was it that years make men better while they slowly chip away at all the polish of women? She focused intently on the drink in front of her and prayed to God he would move along before he noticed her.
She felt him behind her before he spoke.
“I’d ask your name, but I’m sure I’d know those legs anywhere.”
Good to see his looks weren’t the only thing time hadn’t touched. He was still full of cheese ball one-liners.
“Well, Alex Miller, you still think you know just what to say to a girl, don’t you?”
“And Charlie Rose, you still don’t fall for any of it do you?”
No one was allowed to call her Charlie. It was a man’s name and as a reformed tomboy she was sensitive to anything that might draw attention to her masculine side. No one was allowed to call her Charlie.
She had always let him get away with more than most.
“So Charlie, why is it that I’m running into you miles away from where you broke my heart all those years ago?”
“I’m here for work actually and the rest, my friend, is ancient history.”
“Is it? Man, still feels fresh to me.”
Damn, why could he still say exactly what she secretly loved to hear but do it in a way that sounded completely dishonest?
“Cut the crap Alex, I’m too old for it.”
“You’ve always been too old for your own good Charlie.”
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