The hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and I know he’s entered the room. It takes every ounce of willpower to continue to nod and smile in a conversation I’ve suddenly lost track of.
“It took a lot of years but I did it. CEO. It’s official next Tuesday.” Her self-assured grin grates, and I want to ask if it really was hard work, or just her parent’s connections.
I never got on with any of these people at school, and I really don’t give a damn about what they’ve been up to since, but somehow since walking into this reunion I’ve regressed into the pushover I used to be.
The prickle on my skin subsides and I risk a glance in his direction. He’s caught up in conversation with an old mate. It may have been twenty years, but I’d recognise him anywhere, even though his shoulders are broader, his hair greying a little. Somehow he’s sexier than ever, and my heart races just looking at him.
This was not how I’d planned tonight. I wanted him to be older, uglier, unattractive. I wanted to look at him and wonder why I’d wasted so many years of my life on a fantasy.
“What about you? Married? Kids?”
I suppress a scowl as my attention is pulled away.
“One kid,” I say. “And a marriage that didn’t last.”
“Sorry to hear it. Still makes for cheap babysitting, doesn’t it?”
I frown. “Pardon?”
“Well, your kid’s at their dad’s tonight? If you were still married, he’d be here too, you’d have to fork out a fortune to pay someone to watch the little bugger.”
I force a smile. “My daughter’s precious. And she’s at Uni, flats in the city with friends.”
It’s satisfying to see their eyes so wide. “How old is she?”
“Woah. You married young. No wonder it didn’t work out.”
A waiter offers champagne and I take a glass. My marriage lasted from my daughter’s tenth birthday to her twelfth, give or take a few months. It didn’t last because I’m still obsessed with her father, even though I’ve not seen him since the night he knocked me up.
Heat pools between my legs at the memory; the tender way he held me, the warmth of his mouth on my nipple, the confident stroking of his fingers between my legs.
Back in the present he catches my eye across the room, and his face stills. What does he remember?
I can still feel the way his lips brought my body alive, trailing down my torso to the spot between my legs I hadn’t known existed, his tongue doing things I’d never imagined possible.
Now he crosses the room and I take another mouthful of champagne, wishing I could wash away those memories, how full I felt with him between my thighs, his chest crushing my breasts, our lips locked. I don’t want to remember how I clung to him as he thrust between my thighs, how I moaned my pleasure to the stars, decorations to our own private celebration.
Does he remember that? Or does he only remember the fight we had the next day, as he spoke of all the adventures we could have together, while I only wanted to stay home?
His voice is deep, and my body responds instantly, heat pooling in my groin, nipples tingling.
“It’s been a long time.”
“You’re looking good.”
“You here with anyone?” I ask.
He shakes his head. “Relationships don’t work for me. Always wanted a family, just couldn’t seem to see it through.”
I lick my lips. This is my cue to tell him. For her sake. For his.
But how can I announce he has a daughter, here, at our high school reunion?
I couldn’t tell him back then, because he wanted to roam, and I didn’t. He’d left by the time I realised I was pregnant, and I didn’t want to be the one who forced him to come back.
I wanted him to come back on his own.
“You want to catch up later?”
My heart soars at the hope in his tone.
He scrawls a number onto a napkin and holds it out to me. Our fingers brush as I take it, an electric shock causing us both to jerk away.
“Guess some sparks don’t fade,” he says with a laugh.
I smile. “I hope not.”