Breaking All the Rules
Kate is getting married in a month. Richard, her fiancé, is a lawyer: rich, successful, and very good-looking. She’s definitely in love with him. No doubt about that.
So when Sam, a good friend and her high school crush, returns after eight years of traveling, she doesn’t care. After all, he never actually asked her out, and then he went traveling without her, contrary to their plans. She only agrees to go to dinner with him in order to hear all his news, so why doesn’t she tell him she’s getting married? And is he still bothered by the tragedy eight years ago?
Sometimes life just gets too complicated, and Kate finds she keeps having Very Bad Ideas, which lead to even more complications. Just three days before her wedding, she finds herself in a situation that demands the biggest decision of her life.
“Katy? Is that really you?”
God, they weren’t going to give up then. With a sigh she straightened up and pushed a strand of long dark hair out of her eyes. The butter knife still clutched in her hand, she glanced over her shoulder in resignation, prepared for the onslaught of criticism.
“I thought it was you. You haven’t changed a bit.”
Kate’s mouth fell open as she found herself face to face with a tall, slim young man, his thick messy dark hair falling over his deep velvet brown eyes. Eyes that had always had the ability to turn her legs to jelly. She put a hand out to steady herself on the table and licked her suddenly dry lips.
“Sam,” she managed, her voice emerging as a squeaky croak.
“Hello, Katy.” He smiled at her, the deep brown eyes crinkling enticingly at the corners. “It’s so good to see you.”
“Sam,” Kate repeated, unable to tear her eyes away from his. “What are you doing here?”
“I’ve come home.” Sam grinned at her and ran a hand through his hair. “Thought it was time I settled down. Got a job, that sort of thing.”
“You’ve been travelling all this time?”
“Yeah, pretty much.” He glanced around him with interest. “It’s kinda weird being back here, actually. This all seems so…so…”
“Boring?” Kate supplied the word. “So boring after India, and Australia, and wherever you’ve been the last eight years. Where have you been, Sam?”
“No, not boring.” He ignored her question. “Just normal. Normal and sort of…well, just normal.”
Kate stared at him, her heart pounding uncomfortably in her chest. Sam was the last person she had expected to see at the WI fête. The last person she had ever expected to see again. She had stopped hoping for that a long time ago. Slightly self-conscious, she hooked a strand of hair behind her ear and looked up at him.
“So you’re back for good then?” she asked. “Does your mother know?”
“Of course she does.” Sam grinned at her again. “I’m staying there for now. I’m off up country to see some friends tomorrow, and back again on Thursday. Then I shall get a job.”
He sounded so pleased with himself, that Kate couldn’t stop the corners of her mouth from twitching.
“A job? You have one lined up?”
“Maybe. I have a few possibilities.” Sam moved a little closer. “We must have a proper catch-up. What are you doing on Friday night? I’ll be back by then; let’s go for a drink and a real chat.”
“Friday? I can’t do Friday. I’m going out.”
“Cancel it. Come out with me. We have eight years to catch up on.”
“I can’t cancel it.”
“Course you can. Who are you going out with? Is it Jenny? I bet you’re still best friends.”
“Jen will be there.” Kate nodded. “But I can’t cancel it; it’s a party.”
“A party?” Sam’s eyes lit up hopefully. “Can I come with you? It’d be great to see all the gang again.”
“You can’t.” Kate shook her head firmly. “It’s a Hen Party.”