I’d forgotten how beautiful Eddy was.
She had the most intriguing face--coppery brown eyes that appeared to see everything and bow-shaped lips that made me want to kiss her again. Granted, the first kiss was more like the soft brush of a butterfly’s wing, so fleeting and yet I had not forgotten, even if she had.
For now, I was content to sit beside her and listen to her speech. She was standing with her hand resting on the back of my chair. Her left hip brushed my arm as she shifted from one foot to the other. With each subtle movement, tendrils of her perfume drifted to me, and she smelled of summer--of nectarine blossoms, honey, and rosemary. Around me, the other guests laughed at just the right spots, loving her over-the-top flirtation and intimations that there was always more to Laney than met the eye. And then she reminded us of how she knew all of this... “I’m her cousin. She is my sister...and I love her so very, very much.”
Laney and Mads were in their impenetrable bubble of love. Of course, they were. Their circle was complete now. And I hadn’t seen Mads look so...relaxed, so happy...well, not for a long time. Though Laney had her back to him, she was leaning into him, resting against his chest as he looped an arm around her.
“And so...because I love my beautiful cousin so very much, and because her husband is now my family too, I ask you all to join me in raising a toast to Laney and Mads.”
When she was done, she slid back into the chair beside me. I refilled her now-empty glass. “That was a great speech,” I commented.
“You think so?”
“Much better than mine.”
She smiled. “You were nervous.”
“I didn’t know what to say,” I countered, “which is ludicrous when you consider that Mads is like a brother to me.”
“I wasn’t sure what I was going to say.” Eddy adjusted one of her shoulder straps. Her skin seemed to shimmer in the sunlight. “I’d planned to write a proper speech and all, but...well, that didn’t really work out.”
“You spoke from the heart.”
“So did you.”
“Yes, but yours didn’t include any embarrassing tidbits.”
“Tidbits?” A slow, amused smile crossed her lips. “I like that.”
“Well, Mads got around...”
“Didn’t we all?” she mused. And then she winked at me, her full lips curving into the naughtiest smile I’d seen in a long time.
I glanced away. No matter how intimate we’d been on Sankt Hans aften, I had the feeling she would be too much for me.
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