Noelle had never seen a more beautiful man. He stood across the room like a deer in headlights, gorgeous. He wore a navy sport coat, khaki slacks, bright white shirt, and peach tie. Each piece of clothing seemed designed and tailored perfectly for those broad shoulders and slim hips. Time stood still as she walked slowly toward him. His eyes fixed on her advance. The closer she got, the more her heart hammered. She stopped a few feet from him and smiled.
“You look…stunning,” he said.
“I was about to say the same about you.”
He moved ever so slowly toward her, stalking her, drinking her in with his eyes. She willed her legs to take her closer. She thought she might keel over, yet strangely, she had no fear. If she did faint, she hoped she would fall into his arms. He licked his lips and leaned closer still.
If he doesn’t kiss me right now, right here on this spot, I will die.
The sleepy sound came from behind them.
The spell was broken. A different Sean Sampson appeared before her eyes. The passion in his eyes faded. Noelle found humor in the moment and laughed. From the look on his face, he did not.
“Hold that thought.” He turned toward the door behind him. “And yes, I would like a drink, if you would be so kind as to make one for me, please.”
“It would be my pleasure.” She moved toward the bar, walking in his wake. The subtle scent of his cologne was dizzying.
He groaned, took a deep breath, and knelt to Raine. He lifted the child into his arms and made his way to a chair.
He took the drink she offered and drained it quickly. She sat across from him and found her glass of Chablis quite tasty as well. Raine asked for a rare cola. When Sean approved, Noelle brought it to her. After all, everyone needs a bite of the forbidden apple once in a while, especially while visiting the biggest apple of all. She sat again and gazed at Sean. In spite of the opportunity lost, she was at peace.
Where would we be now if Raine were still asleep? Seconds ago, we were in another world.
The little girl’s timing was impeccable—just in time to bring Noelle back to reality.
“I can’t wait to get my dolly Felicity. She lived during the times the colonies gained their independence from England. Did you know that, Daddy? And she had a friend named Elizabeth. I want to get them both, since they were friends, but I know we can’t afford two dolls. Anyway, I know I’ll just love her. Did a lot of girls back then have red hair? Elizabeth’s hair is blonde. I wonder how I would look with blonde hair, Miss Noelle.”
She rambled on and was soon wide awake. She jumped from chair to sofa, sofa to stool, stool to chair, not pausing for answers to her own questions. Noelle wondered if the planned events could ever live up to her excitement and expectations.
A loud knock on the door reverberated around the room.