Bryn caught a glimpse of herself in the hall mirror as she
headed towards the front door, doorbell still ringing in the
Sheen of white dress, brilliant blue eyes, flushed cheeks.
A radiant bride. And she did feel beautiful, more beautiful
than she had in years. In just seven short days she'd be a
She'd be Stanley's wife.
Smiling, Bryn hummed the wedding march as she swung the front
door open, late afternoon sunlight washing over her in streaky
gold waves, briefly blinding her.
Blinking, she made out broad shoulders.
The high curve of cheekbone. A beautifully shaped mouth.
And only one man had that mouth. Her heart staggered to a
you doing here?"
"Hello, darling. It's nice to
see you, too."
Time stopped, changed, and for a split-second she was somewhere
else, spell-bound. It was just like the day she met him, the
day she reversed her small Volkswagen, and slammed into his
silver Mercedes Benz. Her car was totaled. His was merely dinged.
Bryn felt the impact again, the air
knocked out of her lungs, her lips parting in shock. "Kahlil."
"You remembered, good." He looked amused, but then,
his gold eyes always smiled when he was angry. Lifting a sheet
of paper, he dangled it in front of her face. "Now perhaps
you'll remember this," he drawled softly, giving the paper
a gentle shake.
Bryn stared at the paper blankly,
unable to read the words. Only his voice penetrated the muddle
inside her head, his voice still husky, his English formal,
the same English he'd learned as a child in an English boarding
school. "What is it?"
"You don't recognize it?"
Her fingers felt nerveless as she
clutched the door. "No."
Kahlil chuckled, the sound warm, indulgent,
an indulgence he'd shown towards her early in their marriage
when she'd been his prized American bride. "It's our
marriage license. The little piece of paper that legally
binds us together."
She couldn't speak, her throat swelling closed. He must be
out of his mind, she thought, forcing herself to look into
his face, meet his eyes.
He didn't look crazy. If anything he looked calm, perfectly
controlled, as though he knew exactly what he was doing, as
though he'd planned this surprise visit on purpose.
A week before her wedding...
Her thoughts spun, her brain fogged by shock and fear. What
if Kahlil discovered Ben? What if he found out about their
No. She'd never go back to him. Never
return to Zwar. Bryn drew herself tall, conviction making
her back straight, her determination reinforcing her courage. "I
don't understand what that has to do with us."
"Everything, darling." He was gazing down at her with
considerable interest, thick black lashes fanning his carved
cheekbones and the bronzed luster of his skin. "I've come
to see why you're getting married again when you're still married
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