“Takes one to know one.”
His lame comeback makes me laugh, and once we drop our drinks off at a bar top table, I tell him I’m going for the shrimp.
“Don’t eat your feelings, Sav,” he calls out after me. I flip him the bird over my shoulder and hear his laughter shortly after.
Once I grab a plate, I start stacking the mini appetizers. I’m not even sure what half these things are, considering they look like food for Barbie dolls. I spot the shrimp tower in the middle of the table and smile. Come to mama.
With no shame at all, I take the serving tongs and start piling them on my plate. Realizing I took most of it, I start wondering if I should put some back or assume the waiters will bring more. Before I decide, someone walks up beside me, and just as I’m about to tell Donny to fuck off, I smell him.
Ten years later and he’s still wearing the same cologne that always drove me crazy.
“Looks like we had the same idea, except you beat me to it.” I can hear the smile in his voice, which only makes the butterflies in my stomach flutter faster. His voice is deeper than I remember, and fuck, it’s really sexy.
Deciding it’s now or never, I turn and face him with a forced smile. His eyes widen in shock, clearly not expecting to see me.
“Oh my God. Savannah?” His smile drops, and it’s like I can physically feel his pain from seeing me again.
The corner of my lips tilt up slightly, and I suck in a deep breath, hoping he won’t notice the heat on my cheeks.
As I look at the suit hanging on the back of my bathroom door, dread rushes through me. I can’t remember the last time I wore it, but just thinking about putting it on makes me anxious. Truthfully, it’s because there will be a lot of people at this wedding who I haven’t seen in years even though I never left my hometown. I met the bride in high school, and she befriended most of our class, which wasn’t hard for her, considering how sweet and kind she was to everyone even the outcast kids. She was even elected Class President and voted Homecoming Queen. If you lived here, you knew Lena Rochester.
My mind wanders for a bit as I remove the suit from the hanger and slip into my slacks and dress shirt.
Maybe I’ll even see her.
It’s been years since we broke up—rather, since she left—but I still think about her from time to time. It’s hard not to when so many of the places in town have memories of the two of us as teenagers.
I’ve dated other women since then, but something about your first love is unforgettable. She was different and, as much as it hurts to say it, the one who got away. I knew what we shared was real and raw, and sure, we were kids, but to me, our relationship was timeless. I knew when we were thirteen that she was the woman I wanted to marry. The thought makes me laugh now, considering she’s thousands of miles away, and I haven’t seen her in ten years.
Just as I finish buttoning my shirt and adjusting my tie, a knock sounds on the door. As soon as I open it, I see my little brother, Hunter, who agreed to be my sidekick for the evening or rather my buffer.
“You look like you’re going to prom. All you need is one of those cheesy boutonnieres. Maybe your date will give you one.” He steps past me, chuckling.
I roll my eyes. “She’s not my date. We’re going as friends, and that’s it. Technically, you’re my date tonight.”
Hunter snorts. “Don’t expect me to put out now. I have standards.”
I groan. “I’m already regretting this whole disaster.”
Hunter chuckles as he sits on the couch and puts his feet up on the coffee table.
Instantly, I change the subject. “Speaking of disasters, how’s the new roommate situation going with you and Brandon?”
Brandon’s his best friend. They pledged the same fraternity in college and decided to share an apartment soon after. Hunter would do anything for him, even put up with his girlfriend, Lennon.
His face contorts, and he narrows his eyes at me. Triggered—it’s the only way I can explain his reaction.
“Where do I even begin?” Hunter grunts, clearly fired up just thinking about it. “Her shit is spread around everywhere in our apartment like an explosion went off. Tampons and her hair crap are stuffed in the cabinet under the sink that was already packed full. She leaves her makeup all over the bathroom counter and doesn’t care about the powder residue everywhere. She’s even added stupid girly touches to our bachelor pad that I can’t stand like gross smelling candles, fluffy area rugs, and photos of her and Brandon on the walls.” He groans, seriously annoyed by Brandon’s girlfriend who recently moved in with them.