Author: marina

Chapter one

I don't know how I am supposed to act at a time like this. Seated to my right is my loving father Declan Armstrong while to my left sits my ex. The ex I also happen to still be madly in love with and her new boyfriend. Gracious!

I don't know how I have managed to smile throughout the entire conversation with them even though I know deep down I would rather be anywhere but here.

For the last five minutes, Henley, the girl I fell deeply in love with two years ago also my ex now has been smiling to something lover boy on her side keeps whispering in her ear. I on the other hand have had two glasses of champagne and tried as much as possible to look anywhere but them which has proven to be the hardest thing.

Just a few months back, I was where the douche is sitting. It hurts so much how she has moved on so fast. I can't deny the feelings I still have for Henley. I don't actually believe there is a day I have been over her since she left even when I convinced myself I had. Now that I see her again, she is so near yet so far. Suddenly the need to win her back overwhelms me.

I avert my eyes from the couple when they start kissing to the centre of the room. I hadn't realised the event had hosted so many people until I looked at the dance floor. My eyes dance around the floor catching gazes of two to three women who send me their best flirtatious smiles.

It is crazy how I see young beautiful women every day but never get chance to admire any like Henley. No sooner do I think of the ridiculousness of my situation than my eyes meet with another gaze. It isn't planned. Infact there is something different from her gaze.

Something about her grabs my attention in an instant. Brunette hair flowing down her head in waves. I can't get myself to stop staring at her. When I linger my gaze in her direction for long, she gifts me with an award winning smile that makes me giddy all over a sudden. Foreign to the feeling, I avert my eyes away from the enchantress back to my dad who happens to be saying something.

I nod my head in return fighting to calm my throbbing heart. I hadn't noticed the change of my heartbeat until now. God forbid it isn't because of the brunette. Dad gets up from the table and so do I. I need a refill and some fresh air.

I excuse myself ignoring Henley's gaze which holds concern or not. I walk straight to the other side of the room picking a flute from the passing by gold coated server.

Never in the last few months has any woman had as much effect as just one gaze on brunette has on me right now. I shouldn't be at this party in the first place. I should have made an excuse to skip it but the need to see Henley overpowered. I hate the vulnerability she has on me despite how long we have been apart.

A light tap on the shoulder startles me forcing me to turn around to the intruder. Fortunately or unfortunately, my eyes meet with the same brunette from earlier. I am sure as hell I look like a fool for gaping slightly. She is everything any man would ever ask for in a woman and I rarely describe women that way.

Now that she stands a breadth away, I realise her hair is a smooth dark brown. Her eyes a light blue just like an ocean. Beautiful to look at but also dangerous. The cherry lipstick on her pouty full lips gives it an alluring look. Inspite of the need to stop myself, every self control withers when I glance down at the long black evening dress with a deep low cut between her breasts that accentuates her figure in all the right places. I suck in a breath.

"Hey." she smirks. She must have noticed I was checking her out shamelessly not bothering to be subtle about it. Hell! I look like a pervert.

"Hey." I reply casually.

"Della." she introduces kindly.

"Crescent." I reply.

When her eyes meet mine again, there is that pull that drives me to her immediately.

"I am sorry but have we met?" I ask curiously. I know I wouldn't forget such a face. It is that unforgettable.

"I don't think so Crescent." she answers. The way she says my name in a her soft voice has me intrigued. If we haven't met before, I think it is good we have met now.

"White wine, how classy? Afraid to get a little tipsy?" I tease glancing at the flute in her hand.

"I can handle my liquor well. It is my brother I am worried about." she replies looking over at a group of people a few steps from us.

"Is he your date for the night?" I ask.

"Yes. The one over there in a gray suit." I look over at the guy and realise the resemblance in most of their features. Tall, brunette hair and almost the same smile.

"How convenient." I mutter.

"So how about you? Where is your date? I am not sure she would be entertained by you talking to strangers." Della raises a brow curiously. Maybe if I had one, she wouldn't be so thrilled by me talking to a very attractive woman.

"Unfortunately I have none." I pout. She scrutinizes me for a second, her gaze innocent but so intimidating.

"How about the blonde next to the other guy? Do you like her?" I follow Della's stare to the table I was occupying. It is surprising she has me figured out so quickly. Guess playing it cool hasn't really worked in my favour.

"Your eyes says it all." she points out.

"She is my ex fiancè." It is her turn to be surprised.

"I didn't expect that. You guys were engaged." she murmurs.

"I know how crazy it sounds but that is how complicated the world is."

"The guy besides her, is he her new boyfriend?" she asks. I nod.

"That is hilarious. I can't believe you had to stand them all night and act fine." Della frowns. Even her face with a frown looks beautiful. I really should stop looking at her.

"You still want her, don't you?" Della cocks a brow. I sigh knowing how complicated my feelings are and how stupid my answer might sound.

"I am still angry at her. Really mad but I know that if she said one word, I would be on my knees begging back for her." I admit.

"Aw, she's got you by the balls." she smiles.

"You could say that. It is the truth even when I don't like it." I say. I am still angry how Henley and I left off with things. Everyday I think it is fucked up I still think of her but I can't stop. I love her too much to let her go.

"Oh Crescent. Come on then." Della takes the glass from me putting it back on the tray of another server before she leads me to the dance floor.

"Music soothes away pain somehow. I always listen to it when I am sad." Della explains when we begin swaying to the music.

"I don't know. I have never tried it." I voice.

"Well you are now." she shrugs. I watch her beautiful smile play on her lips as we move to the rhythm of the soft music. Slowly, thoughts of Henley and her douche of a boyfriend vanish away replaced by the feel of Della"s hands soft in mine and her addictive perfume.

It is not everyday a beautiful stranger walks to me and grabs my attention like she did. In this moment, I feel peaceful and calm things I haven't experienced since the night started.

When the music ends, I smile down at Della.

"It worked." I say.

"Told you."

When I glance back to our table, Henley and her boyfriend are nowhere to be found. I feel my blood boil with anger before I feel a soft touch on my shoulder.

When I raise my eyes at her, she doesn't say anything. She can already read through me and I hate it. She sends me a tight lipped smile instead. The look in her eyes is not pity and I am thankful for that.

"I need to find my brother. It is getting late and I need to get home." Della mutters. So fast? It feels like we have just met and she is leaving already.

"It was nice meeting you Crescent." With that, Della walks away.

My eyes follow her through the crowd and like a little stalker, I watch her find her brother until she exits the room. Many thoughts make way to my head. I could follow her and ask for her number. That was a bad idea though because until now, Henley was the only woman on my radar.

There had been a few one night stands but nothing compared to what Henley and I shared. Della was different from the other one night stands I had, she was something more. It is a bad idea thinking about involving myself with her.

Feelings overpowered logic. On their accord, my legs move towards the exit. I speed up to catch Della before she boards a taxi.

"Della." I call. She turns around in a daze.

"Crescent, what are you doing?" she asks with a frown.

"I could drop you home if you want. It will save you some money." I say stupidly. Della raises a brow at me trying to figure out what I am playing at. Gosh, when did I become so lame at this?

"You do realize I have enough money to pay for a taxi?" she asks. She looked like someone who could afford her own taxi. What was I even thinking saying that?

"Yes. Sorry, let me rephrase that. Let me drop you home, please." This is probably the worst idea I have had all night. Della studies me one more time before she mutters an okay.

The drive to her house is comfortably quiet. When I reach her house, she takes off her seatbelt.

"Thanks for the ride Crescent." Della murmurs.

"You are welcome Della." I reply glancing at her lips.

Suddenly the air between is heats up. I shouldn't have followed her out that door. The selfish bastard in me couldn't leave down her beauty. Mirroring my actions, Della glances down at my lips.

Her eyes dance with something mischievous.

"Your intention wasn't to drive me home alone, was it?" she smirks. I am in a love-hate relationship with the way she thinks.

"Do you have all of me figured out so easily?" I question curiously.

"You are easy to read Crescent." she replies. I have mixed feelings about her answer except that is not the topic I needed both of us to dwell on right this instant.

"Is this the part I invite you up for a cup of coffee only we both know coffee is an excuse?" she narrows her gaze.

"One should never decline coffee when offered but yes, coffee is an excuse." I admit.

"So why not cut to the chase and just..."

I cut her off with a kiss. I can't wait any longer.

"So?" I ask when she pulls away.

"How about that coffee?" she offers. I chuckle.

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