Now it was too late, and Joan was dead. Not because of the breast cancer that the doctors had been treating aggressively, but so far successfully, but because of an infection. Any normal healthy person would have been able to fight it off, but with her immune system depressed by the chemo, her body hadn’t stood a chance against the virulent bacteria.
And Nick, her only son, the only close family she had left, hadn’t dragged his sorry ass home to say goodbye.
“I’m sorry,” Nick said, as much to his mother as to Robby. “I should have come home more often.”
Robby’s mouth pulled down at the corners, his eyes dark with sympathy. “I get it it. I remember how everything went down. Speaking of, have you seen-” Robby’s voice cut off abruptly. “Never mind. Here she comes.”
Nick followed Robby’s gaze into the crowd. His entire body went hot, then cold when he spotted her. Sarah Decker, the reason he’d never returned to Greenwich after that last, ill fated visit nine years ago.
Just like the first time he’d spotted her the first day of seventh grade homeroom, Nick was unable to take his eyes off her as she moved through the crowd. She stopped to talk to several mourners on the way over, her light blonde hair falling over her shoulder, obscuring her face as she leaned in to listen to Dr. Hicks, the superintendent of the schools.
Nick braced himself as though for impact, summoning up all of his hard earned discipline as he threw his shoulders back and lifted his chin, standing at full attention. Gaze forward. Impervious, impenetrable.
Then she was there, and he felt his meager defenses strain under the force of her tentative smile, her teary, “Hi Nick.”
“Sarah,” he said, hoping she didn’t notice how he was drinking in the sight of her. Other than a few fine lines around her blue eyes, she looked exactly the same as she had nine years ago. Her body was still slim and modestly curved beneath a form fitting, sleeveless black dress.
With her big blue eyes and fine, almost delicate features, fair skin with its dusting of freckles, and slender frame, her beauty was in stark contrast to Nick’s dark good looks and tall, muscled frame.
They used to joke about how when they had kids their features would cancel each other out.
The memory hit him out of nowhere like a knife in his gut, and it took every ounce of strength he had not to double over.
Visit the author: Jami Alden
Jami Alden is a multi-published author of dark, sexy, romantic suspense and hot steamy contemporary romance. She lives near San Francisco with her socially well adjusted alpha male husband, two sons, and a German shepherd of questionable lineage.