“Sierra?” Jaime blinked as if to restart her brain. No way. How could this gorgeous creature before her be Sierra looking incredibly sexy in a black cocktail dress that fit her like a second skin, Jaime thought. Her wavy auburn hair a slight bit longer but the color exactly as she remembered. And those eyes, those intense perfect sapphires simply dazzling against the night’s sky. 
   Still uncertain, she slowly filled her lungs with the salty night air. The ocean always had a calming effect on her and even though she hadn’t been near the sea in awhile, the familiar sounds and smells still intoxicated and soothed her. She’d been staring out into the vast emptiness questioning her existence when she caught the hint of a familiar scent. Spice with a hint of spring flowers. Kenzo. Sierra.
   “I can’t believe this,” Jaime said in awe. “Is it really you?”
   “Yeah, it is.”
   Without thinking about the consequences of the last time she’d touched Sierra, Jaime opened her arms wide as Sierra flung herself into them and let out a small cry. Holding on tightly, Jaime hugged Sierra with the passion of years lost, afraid to let go—afraid that if she did, Sierra would somehow disappear again.
   A tidal wave of emotions slammed into Jaime knocking the breath from her chest. Joy. Sadness. Longing. Fear. Each emotion pounded into her until she began to drown from the overpowering sensations. When the realization hit that they would all eventually lead to heartbreak, she finally broke free and gasped for air, severing their fragile connection. 
   “What’s wrong?” Sierra asked placing her palm on Jaime’s face. “You’re pale.”
   “No…nothing. Shocked I guess.” Oh, God don’t touch me right now. I can barely stand as it is.
  “Why? Didn’t expect me to be here?”
   Sierra removed her hand as Jaime swayed, suffering the loss instantly. “Honestly…no.”
   “It is our reunion.”
   Jamie tried not to stare. Sierra’s black strapless dress was a perfect fit. Dipping at the neckline, it offered Jaime an enticing look at Sierra’s generous cleavage. Sierra was nothing like the skinny teenager she remembered. Sure, she’d been attractive back then. But now, she was drop dead gorgeous.
   Realizing she’d been staring at Sierra’s breasts, her eyes traveled upward until they focused on Sierra’s. Those eyes were exactly as Jaime remembered—razor sharp and laser blue. When Sierra narrowed those eyes, instinct warned Jaime to take a step back.   
   “Well, aren’t you going to answer my question?”
   “No…I…” Jaime wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of emotions. Sierra wasn’t supposed to be here. What should she say or for that matter do? Should she apologize? Say it was all a mistake. Think damn it!
    “How about I go first?” Sierra said placing her hands on her hips. “Let me start with, I am so mad at you.” 
   Jaime looked away. “I know. I’m sorry.” This was exactly the reaction she’d expected, though it didn’t make it easier to deal with. Maybe an apology was in order.
   “Sorry? You’re sorry? You leave without so much as a good bye and that’s all you have to say to me after all this time?”
   Wait. What? Sure, Sierra had every right to be mad at her for the kiss and for lying to her but to be angry because she left? “Come again. You’re mad at me for leaving? Who walked out on who?”
   “I may have walked out but at least I came back!”
   “What are you talking about? No you didn’t. I waited a week to hear from you. Jesus, Sierra. You said you couldn’t trust me. That you never wanted to see me again. You couldn’t even look at me,” Jaime said her voice breaking.
   “I did come back.” Sierra took a hesitant step forward but didn’t touch Jaime. “Look, I know what I said. I never meant—”
   “Excuse me,” someone said as they approached Jaime, unmindful of the conversation they’d interrupted. “Aren’t you Jaime Rivers the author?”
   Jaime stared at the two young giggling women. Talk about bad timing. “Yes,” she said trying to hide her frustration.
   “I knew it,” the other one said excitedly. “You write the Flynn Russell series. I love those stories.”
   “I’m glad you liked them.”
   Jaime turned to find Sierra standing back a few feet watching the exchange with interest. She didn’t want to be rude to a few of her fans but she really wanted to hear what Sierra had to say. She was about to politely ask the two women if she could get their names and leave them a signed copy of her book at the Reception Desk but three of their former classmates had walked out onto the deck and engaged Sierra in conversation. They were all hugging each other in greeting but Sierra’s eyes still remained locked on Jaime. Jaime rubbed her arms as if cold, the distance in Sierra’s gaze dissipating the heat once felt between them. She wanted to approach her again but not with all those other people around.
   “Could I get your autograph?” The taller one asked, holding out a napkin with the dining room’s insignia on it and a pen. 
   As Sierra turned and wandered away with a few of their classmates leaving no more chance for further discussion the familiar void that always seemed filled when Sierra was near returned once again, submerging her into nothingness.

   “Yeah, sure.”

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