Hayden places his hand at the small of my back and pulls me close to his chest. His cologne brings back so many fond memories of all the time we spent together and how much it used to drive me insane. I used to steal his letterman jacket just so I could keep the smell of him with me at all times.
“I’ve missed hearing you sing,” he says with a smile as we begin to slow dance.
I look up into his eyes and feel as if I’m dreaming. I didn’t even realize I was singing aloud to the music.
“Habit,” I say with a shy grin. Acting and singing on stage are my bread and butter, yet him saying he misses hearing it has me blushing with embarrassment.
“You used to hum all the time when we would study together, and once I got to college, I realized how much I needed it to focus,” he admits. I blink up at him, wishing I had the guts to tell him how sorry I was for hurting him and why I did what I did. I ended things before our first semester was over, and I can’t even imagine how that affected him—well, maybe I can—except I had Donny and practice to distract me.
“I still do that when I’m reading over my lines,” I say with a grin.
He chuckles. “Guess some things really don’t change.”
“You have,” I reply with a smirk, wishing the tequila would shut up. He spins me around and pulls me back close to his body.
“You have no idea, sweetheart.” His voice drops low, and I swallow hard as we make eye contact again.
My heart erratically beats, and I’m afraid I might say something I regret. “I’ve missed you, Hayden,” I admit, feeling the emotions bubbling up. “You were my best friend for so long and then…”
He gently places a finger over my lips. “You’ve had way too much to drink. It’s cute, but I don’t need drunk Sav truth bombs right now. We do have a lot to discuss, though.”
A rush of guilt washes over me as I remember what I did to him. “Hayden, I—”
Before I can finish, Veronica pushes her way between us.
“Hate to cut in, but…” She looks over her shoulder and rolls her eyes. The passive aggressiveness in her tone isn’t lost on me either.
My mouth falls open, and before I say or do something embarrassing, I rush out the door as fast as I can without giving Hayden a second glance.
Some things really are better left in the past.
“Veronica,” I grit between my teeth. I could slap a NOT INTERESTED sticker on her chest, and she still wouldn’t get the picture. “You were rude.”
“I was rude?” she counters, trying to wrap her arms around my neck, but I swiftly peel them away. “You’re supposed to be here with me.” Her whiney voice is like nails on a chalkboard, and I cringe.
“That doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to dance with other people. I think you have the wrong idea about us,” I tell her, but I don’t explain further before I rush off and make my way out of the ballroom to find Savannah.
Talking to her again after all these years has my emotions all over the place. I’d always had feelings for her, even if they weren’t reciprocated, but hearing her say she missed me has me focused on the past ten years without her in my life. It’s been hell.
Savannah was always an amazing singer, and when I heard her angelic voice again, even if she was muttering the words, I was brought back to our high school days. Anytime we’d study, she’d hum so beautifully, and the next minute I’d have her on her back, ripping off her clothes. There was always something so damn sexy about her studying and humming. And fuck if I don’t want to do the same to her right now.
I find her stumbling down the hallway as she hugs the wall. With one hand holding her body up, she’s attempting to lift her leg and pull off her shoe.
“Shit,” I hear her mutter when she misses the grip of her heel. “Fuck. Goddammit shoe.”
I hold back a chuckle and come to her side. “Need some help?”
Savannah looks up at me and exhales. “I can’t get this stupid foot off my shoe. It’s glued on or something.”
Her slow speech has me laughing. She’s so drunk and doesn’t even know what she’s saying. “Let me help.” I kneel in front of her and slightly lift her bare leg. I effortlessly release her shoe and hold it up like a prized trophy. “Got it.”
Her foot hits the floor, and she drops about six inches of height. “Think you can sweet-talk the other one to come off?”
“Let’s give it a whirl,” I say, holding out my hand. She loses her balance and holds herself up on my shoulders. “You okay?” I raise my brows and notice how close her cleavage is to my face.