Home > Forever and Always (Forever and Always #2)(4)

Forever and Always (Forever and Always #2)(4)
E.L. Todd

For a long time, Sean just stared at me from across the table without saying anything. I met his look with a smile, waiting for him to speak.

“I can’t believe how beautiful you are,” he said. “I don’t know how I was so oblivious before.”

The waitress returned with our beverages then walked away. “That’s because you’re an idiot.” He smiled at my comment. I sipped my wine as I looked at him. “You aren’t bad to look at either.”

Sean laughed. “So I tell you how beautiful you are and all I get is, ‘you aren’t bad to look at?’”

I shrugged. “I think you are the most handsome man I’ve ever seen.”

Sean nodded. “That’s better.”

“I mean it.”

“I know you do.”

He drank from his beer while he continued to stare at me. I met his look with a smirk on my lips. I enjoyed the attention he was giving me. Other men I had met often seemed immediately smitten with me, but Sean never was, but now the man was infatuated with me. I loved it. When I walked into the bar, heads immediately turned to look at me and I knew Sean noticed it. A few men were still staring.

Sean noticed the gawking. “Now I’m going to have to deal with people looking at my girlfriend all the time.”

I shrugged. “Get used to it.”

He laughed. “You aren’t conceited at all.”

“You are confusing arrogance with confidence.”

Sean smiled at me then looked down at his glass. “I’m glad that you are doing so well. Ryan told me how hurt you were when you arrived here. I’m really grateful that he took care of you.”

“When did he tell you that?” I asked.

Sean sighed. “I’ve been calling him to check on you—make sure you were okay.”

I stared at him for a moment. “You’ve been doing that the whole time?”

He nodded. “I would have called you instead, but I knew you didn’t want to speak with me—and rightfully so.”

“I had no idea.”

“I called him the day after you left, wanting to make sure you were with him—somewhere safe. I admit I was hurt that you just took off without saying a word to me. I was ready to apologize for everything after I cooled off for a day, but you were already on the other side of the country.”

I felt horrible. “I’m sorry, Sean.”

“It’s not your fault,” he said. “I understood why you left. I was the one who messed everything up.”

“Please don’t blame yourself. In the end, if that hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t be together now. I guess it was the greatest thing that ever happened to us—for me, at least.”

Sean rested his hand on top of mine. “This is the best thing that has ever happened to me too.”

I immediately thought of Penelope, but I didn’t want to ask him about her. They hadn’t been broken up very long, so it was unrealistic that he would be completely over her, but I didn’t want to hear him say it. I decided to leave it alone. He would forget about her eventually, and I didn’t want to wait anyway. We were both happiest when we were together.

“When did you know?” I asked.

A man in a suit approached a piano on the stage and began to play softly. The light music echoed around the room. The tables were filled with couples talking privately, and the dim lighting of the bar made everyone feel relaxed.

Sean met my gaze. “I don’t know,” he said. “I think I’ve always known. Even before you left, I started to realize how much I needed you—always. When we were apart, I thought about you constantly and realized how much I missed you. It was the morning after you left that I went to your apartment to try to work things out. I wanted to be with you then, but when I found that you were already gone, I knew how much I’d hurt you. Ryan and I thought it was best if I left you alone.”

I nodded. “That makes sense. I was in a really dark place, but Ryan helped me out of it. I think I’m a stronger person from the experience.”

“I can tell,” he said.

“How are things at work?” I asked as I drank from my wine.

“It’s fine,” he said.

“Did you play racquetball with your boss?”

“No.” Sean laughed. “After he realized you weren’t coming, he called it off and started to ignore me at work.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

Sean nodded. “There is a fine line between sex and politics.”

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