The set up: Having not seen Alex Moreno in over a year Valerie Zuniga is forced to reunite with him at her cousins wedding shower. So sure she was over him, she’s in for a surprise.
Valerie concentrated hard on not wavering and stared at the mariachi band. She could feel Alex’s eyes on her and her body heated. Her heart hadn’t stopped hammering from the moment she walked in and spotted him. She’d expected some excitement when she saw him but this was a bit much. She’d been happy he was busy with the guys at the bar because she couldn’t bear to even make eye contact. She thought the shot of tequila might help settle her nerves. It hadn’t.
How was it that every time she saw him he seemed even bigger than the last? He was without a doubt the most devastating man she’d ever met. What he did to her without so much as saying a word even after all this time was absurd. She wasn’t even facing him now, and she could still feel his incredible presence weighing heavy on her back.
People began clinking their glasses. Valerie clutched her small purse and forced a smile when Sarah and Angel kissed.
She almost jumped when she felt his face at her ear and his hot body against her back. “You gonna say hello, Z?”
The suggestive murmur in such an otherwise ordinary question infuriated her as much as it spiked her senses. He’d only ever referred to her as Z when he was agitated with her for whatever reason. It was a football thing. They all called each other by their last names on the team and he’d imposed it on her but only when he was mad. He didn’t sound mad now. He sounded amused?
That was just like him. He was probably enjoying seeing her squirm. She wouldn’t let him have the upper hand. Closing her eyes momentarily, she took a deep breath and then turned to face him with a smile. “Hello, Alex.”
“So did I pour that for nothing?” Romero pointed at the shot he’d put out for Isabel.
Valerie took advantage to glance away from Alex’s penetrating eyes. “Romero, this is my roommate Isabel. Isabel this is Romero.”
Isabel softened her glare. “I thought it was Ramon?”
Valerie felt Alex’s big hand slip into hers and his thumb caress her knuckles. It took everything in her power not to tremble.
“It’s Romero.” He said flatly and pushed the shot glass toward Isabel.
Isabel gave her an exasperated look but reached for the shot glass anyway. Valerie would deal with getting scolded later. She had more blaring things to deal with now.
She licked her teeth to make sure no lipstick was on them before she spoke again and felt Alex squeeze her hand. His eyes watched her every move.
Her full attention was back on Alex. He was incredible as usual. His loose dress shirt did nothing to conceal his hard chest and bulging muscles. It was impossible not to take it all in, so she admitted, “You look good.”
“Thank you. You look amazing.” His dark eyes stroked over her. “I’ve missed you.”
She gulped. Really? Was that all it took? Just hours ago she was convinced she was over him and she now felt ready to swoon over three little words. Could she be more pathetic?
His fingers were still playing with her hand and it completely unnerved her. She thought about what she and Isabel had gone over in the car all the way there. Play it cool. Indifference is the key. You’re no longer interested, haven’t been in over a year. She’d laughed at Isabel’s unnecessary worrying. Now she was irritated at herself for not having taken the preparing more seriously. Before she could recover from his remarks, he threw yet another nerve dagger at her.
“Have you missed me?” The intensity in his eyes was exactly as she remembered. It hadn’t lessened at all. If anything it was even more acute than ever.