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Bruce held open his arms, and she dove in without hesitation. He swept her up with his strong arms encircled around her waist. Sandra felt her feet dangling as she held on tight absorbing the serenity ingrained in everything about Bruce.
His smile. His presence. His embrace.
“Goodness, I missed you.” His squeeze tightened as she cradled his head to her chest.
“I missed you too,” trembled from her lips as tears gathered in her eyes. She let her body sag against his.
They remained unmoved in the walkway for several minutes disregarding the other patrons. Sandra felt she could breathe for the first time in six—very long—months. She didn’t realize how much she missed him until she found herself engulfed in his embrace.
“Sir,” Sandra heard from Eliana. Embarrassed by her public display of affection she loosened her hold to free herself.
“Give us a moment,” he mumbled not moving an inch to release her.
Sandra heard Eliana’s steps fade into the noise surrounding them. “Bruce…,” she cupped the sides of his face.
“I’ve waited for months to hold you. How’s my heart?” His gaze penetrated to her core.
“My heart was beating fine until you mentioned Tahiti.” Sandra relaxed her arms on his shoulders, she felt a warm glow flow through her.
He chuckled and tilted his head back. “I knew that would get you going.”
“And you were right.” His lopsided grin was adorable but what lurked in the depths of his smokey black eyes made her want to hightail it back to Houston.
Bruce lowered her to the ground and used his thumb to dry the trace of her tears. “I hope these are happy tears because you know it hurts me to see you cry.”
“These are more than happy tears. I’m elated. I’ve always wanted to visit Tahiti.”
“I know,” his voice was smooth, but insistent.
Sandra froze, narrowing her eyes as she stared deep into the eyes of the man slowly causing her to question her sanity. His silent presence always lurked on the perimeters of her life and all of a sudden he occupied the center of nearly every waking thought. And she didn’t know when it all began or whether she wanted it to end.
“Let’s get out of here. We have another flight to catch.” His cool voice broke into her reverie.
“Wait, we’re leaving Tahiti,” she responded, turning to glance at the airport.
“Don’t you dare start pouting Sandra James.” He walked over and retrieved her discarded bags.
“But we just got here.” Sandra James, a very grown woman, stood in the walkway pouting but she’d just arrived in Tahiti. Who leaves after only fifteen minutes in paradise?
“I have something better planned.”
That stopped her in her tracks causing him to halt to keep from stepping on her.
“Better than this?” She opened her hands to the beauty around them.
Bruce walked past her and tossed a wink over his shoulder.
“Well let me shut up and get moving because now I’m curious.”