As children, Dakota and Sonny were the best of friends. Young love blossomed after the sweet gift of candy hearts one Valentine's Day, but it wasn't mean to be. Sonny's mother dropped the bombshell that they were moving to NYC, and their boyhood romance came to an end. Fourteen years later, that romance is reignited after a chance meeting at the New York City ballet. Will outside forces keep these destined lovers from finally finding their happily ever after?
Dakota looked down at his watch as he waited impatiently for Sonny to show up. He was in a private dining room and had paid the hostess extra to make sure he and Sonny wouldn’t be disturbed.
The hostess returned. “Mr. Jean-Pierre has arrived.” She stepped aside and Sonny appeared.
Dakota’s heart skipped a beat at the beautiful sight before him.
“Oh my God,” Sonny said with tears in his eyes.
The hostess left to see about the meal Dakota had ordered when he arrived.
Sonny hurried over to him and damn near jumped into his arms. Their lips met and it seemed like the weight of the world had been lifted from his shoulders. He felt Sonny’s heart beating too as he pressed his body into his and deepened the kiss. Sonny broke the embrace slowly. “It’s you.”
Dakota just couldn’t believe the sight before him. “Yes,” he said. “Please have a seat.”
Sonny scooted into the booth and Dakota sat down across from him. “I can’t believe you’re here.”
Dakota’s heart continued to race. “Imagine my surprise when I saw you dancing on stage tonight. You were excellent.”
“Thanks,” Sonny said. “Did you come alone or with someone?”
“I came with some friends from work,” Dakota answered. “I sent them on once I recognized you.”
“The flowers are lovely, thanks.”
“You’re welcome.” Dakota couldn’t believe how wonderful Sonny looked. Time had been kind to him.
“So what have you been up to?”
“I’ve been working,” Dakota answered. “And searching for you.”
The smile left Sonny’s face. “Oh. I’m sorry for not getting in touch with you all of these years.”
“I waited, but neither I nor my family ever heard a word. It’s like you guys disappeared from the face of the earth.”
A waiter arrived with their food and placed a plate in front of them. “Baked chicken, macaroni and cheese, and green beans,” Sonny said excitedly. “You remembered.”
Dakota nodded. “How could I forget? You wouldn’t eat anything else.” He paused. “Why didn’t you write or call?”
“My mother didn’t think it was wise,” Sonny said sadly. “How can I put this? She thought the relationship between us was getting a bit serious.”
“Oh,” Dakota said.
“She thought it would be best if I met some girls, dated, and maybe have some kids.”
“You don’t have to explain anymore,” Dakota said. “I understand.” He paused. “Did meeting girls work out?”
Sonny pursed his lips and shook his head. “I dated a couple in high school, but I never got serious. There was always something missing.”
“You,” Sonny answered.
Dakota smiled and cut into his meatloaf. “I’ve missed you too.”
Sonny scooped some macaroni and cheese onto his fork and ate it. “So you’re a consultant?”
Dakota nodded. “People come to me when they’re thinking about starting a business. I help them plan a budget, teach them about hiring employees, and design their office space to their specifications.”
“You were always so good with things like that,” Sonny said as he pushed the green beans around on his plate. “Are you married?”
Dakota shook his head.
“In a committed relationship?”
Dakota smiled and shook his head again.
“Seeing someone exclusively?”
“No, not at the moment,” Dakota answered. “How about you?”
Sonny shook his head this time. “I never could hook up with the right person, so I just gave up.”
“Are you serious? You’re twenty-four years old and gorgeous. I bet there are thousands of guys beating a path to your door.”
“That’s a bet you’d lose,” Sonny said without further information. “Do you live in Queens now?”
“Yes. I moved there about three years ago,” Dakota answered.
“How is your family?”
Dakota chuckled. “As insane as ever. Mark and Joseph are married, and Dwayne is trying to hold on to his bachelor status.”
“I remember how they used to love to play football.”
“They still do,” Dakota said. “We get a game together every now and then when I go back home. Wow, wait until they find out that I’ve run into you.”
Sonny sighed. “They’ve probably forgotten all about me.”
“I doubt that,” Dakota said. “You’re quite unforgettable.”
Sonny cheeks flushed. “Have I changed much?”
Dakota shook his head. “You’ve just gotten taller.”
“Not as tall as you, and where did you get those muscles?”
“I’ve always had them,” Dakota said teasingly. “They were just under the baby fat. Your hair is shorter.”
“Keeps it out of my eyes when I twirl,” Sonny said. “I live in Queens too. Near the subway station over on Essex.”
“I know the area,” Dakota said. “I’m not too far from there.”
They finished their dinner and had dessert. Afterwards they walked to the subway together, surprised that that got off at the same stop. “You live around here?”
Dakota pointed. “About four blocks in that direction.”
Sonny chuckled weakly as they walked. “It’s amazing that we haven’t run into each other before now. I guess fate had a reason for keeping us apart.” They arrived at his place. “Would you like to come in for a drink or something?”
Dakota nodded. “I would very much like to have a drink or something.”