Excerpt 2: When You Were Mine

You remember Alex and Valerie’s first meeting in Forever Mine? Ever wondered what was going on in Alex’s head? Well let’s go back to that as Alex recalls that day.

“Very nice,” he said under his breath still ogling her as he approached the booth where Sarah sat eating alone. “Is that Valerie?”

Sarah flinched, nearly spilling her drink, and looked up at him wide-eyed and already blushing. He apologized for startling her. Feeling guilty about obviously embarrassing her, he had mercy on her and brought his attention back to Valerie instead. She was still at the buffet.

“Well”—he smiled—“I’m partial to brunettes, but a cute little blonde every now and then could do a body good.”

“That’s really romantic,” Sarah said.

Alex turned back to Sarah, picking up on the sarcasm in her tone, and slid in next to her with a playful smirk. “You think so?”

As usual, Sarah timidly attempted to pretend he hadn’t unnerved her by sitting up straight and playing with her food. “I didn’t think you were here today.”

“I just got here,” he murmured, feeling a little evil about how easily intimidated by him Sarah was, but no way was he going to tone it down now. This was too much fun. “You missed me?”

Her cheeks tinged with color instantly, and he had to smile.

“No,” she said again, doing her best to stay composed. “Valerie asked about you, actually.”

That made him turn in Valerie’s direction again. She was already  ambling toward them with a full plate. She wore a big smile and looked him straight in the eyes, self-assured, so unlike her cousin.

“Did she now?” he asked, raising a curious eyebrow as he took Valerie in again from top to bottom.

Valerie put her plate down on the table and sat across from him.

Sarah immediately introduced Alex to Valerie then turned to her cousin with a humorous smile. “I think you know who Alex is, right, Valerie?”

“Of course I do.” She reached her hand out to shake his, squeezing firmly. “I’d have to have been buried for the last few years if I didn’t.”

“Really?” Alex said, his eyes going from hers to her smiling lips, and then it dawned on him. “I remember you now.” To his surprise, he caught the slight roll of Valerie’s eyes. “I saw that.” he said.

“I wasn’t trying to hide it.”

Her laugh was sultry—sexy—inviting. Just like that, she had his full attention, and he laughed too, unable to take his eyes off her. They were even bigger this close.

“You don’t think I remember you?”

“Nope,” she said simply and dug into her food.

He watched as she ate without a care, and for a moment, he was distracted by her tongue wiping her bottom lip clean. He cleared his throat, remembering what she’d just said about him not remembering her. “You wanna bet?”