An unlikely encounter...but he'll take it!
It seems like fate...or something! When Miles Brislenn spies the girl he had a crush on in high school--at his ex-wife's wedding, no less--he can't let the opportunity pass. He might not have had the courage to talk to Renia Milek back then, but he definitely does now. And that's not the only thing that's changed. Gone is the rebel Renia used to be. In her place is a beautiful woman who's reserved, cautious...and holding on to secrets.
For Miles, this second chance with Renia is too important to let her past stand in their way. He'll do whatever is necessary to help her accept her choices and move on--even if that means a salsa lesson or two! Because now that he's made the first move, he wants the second to be hers.
Rey needed to sit down.
No one else knew it, but Miles could tell.
He'd been watching Rey--Renia--since before the ceremony. Cathy, already in her gown with makeup and hair done, had dragged him over to get their photo taken. He'd protested the entire walk down the church hallway, feeling more like Cathy's recalcitrant child than her ex-husband, as she pulled him along by his arm. His smug feeling at having convinced Cathy she couldn't go into the sanctuary to get the photographer vanished the instant Rey turned around and he looked into those large brown eyes.
He'd dreamed about those haunting, sad eyes all through high school.
Vows said and bubbles blown, Rey was still smiling at every wedding guest who came up to her and asked for a photo, putting her hand on their backs and nodding. She would guide them to the beautiful stained glass window or the dark wood of the pews, patiently pose them and snap the photo. By the time the camera clicked on one posed group, another set of wedding guests would be waiting to have their picture taken, then another.
The ceremony was over and guests had an hour to kill until the reception officially started. People were starting to get twitchy, so Cathy had taken it upon herself to offer up Rey's talent to them and Rey, with a cool smile that didn't quite make it to her eyes, was playing along.
Did she know he was watching her? Probably not. Rey hadn't noticed him when she'd seen him every day for a year and a half and she hadn't recognized him when he'd stood in front of her lens with his ex-wife. He'd either changed so much since high school that he was completely unrecognizable, or Rey's glances at him in English class had never been long enough for her to create a memorable mental image of him.
Miles shook his head at his ego. She'd looked through him in high school and was looking through him now. If he hadn't learned how to stand up straight when uncomfortable under the stare of the toughest drill sergeant ever to run basic training, he'd have ducked his head like an embarrassed boy and stammered his way through the photo session.
Every grown man dreams of collapsing into an awkward heap in front of both his high school crush and his ex-wife. Cathy had given him a bump on the hip when they were having their picture taken--she'd known him long enough to know something was up.
Maybe he should have spent the ceremony watching his ex-wife marry the man of her dreams or admiring his daughter standing in her maid-of-honor dress with her head held high and back straight. The ceremony was touching. Every guest, even his mother, was crying. She loved Cathy.
But, instead of watching the wedding, he'd concentrated on Rey in her light gray pantsuit and camera at her face. She managed to take pictures at all the important parts of the ceremony while blending into the background. The guests never seemed to notice her or the camera as it clicked away.
He was certain the wedding photographer was the Rey he'd loved from afar so many years ago. Unrequited teen love had meant her face was etched into his brain and nothing--not even twelve years of marriage--had been able to erase the image. But time had done more than age her. It had changed her.
The Rey he remembered from high school had been impossible not to notice. Tight white tank tops had invited every teen boy in Chicago to look, and skirts that barely covered her ass had encouraged them to touch. Only her eyes had hinted there might be a softer, less dangerously sexual teenager under all the makeup. Now, she was an elegant woman with chestnut hair tied in a fat bun and...