Relationships columnist Emma is assigned a story about interviewing her ex-boyfriends, and finds entwined once again with Alex Cassidy, the man who broke her heart, and the one she’s never quite gotten over.
As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart.
Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar. After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.
“You want to know what I remember,” he said quietly, his fingers fiddling with his cuffs as he rolled the sleeves up to his elbow, his eyes locked on the view before them.
He shoved his hands into his pockets and dipped his head just slightly, glancing at the floor before lifting it and staring out at the night sky.
“I remember everything.” His voice was low. Raspy. Intimate.
Emma closed her eyes, even though he wasn’t looking at her.
“I remember every damned thing,” he continued, gaze still straight ahead. “I remember how I thought you were so shy up until our first date when I realized you had a bawdy, brash sense of humor. I still remember the jolt I got when you first touched my hand. I remember our first kiss, our first fight.” He took a deep breath. “I remember our last kiss, our last fight.”
“Cassidy.” Her voice was a whisper.
He grinned then. She saw it out of the corner of her eye. “I love that you’ve only ever called me Cassidy.”
She shrugged. “It was all anyone called you back then.”
“Which made sense when everyone knew me best by what was written on my jersey. But you’ve kept it up even with my soccer days long behind me. And you’ve got everyone else doing it, too. Nobody ever calls me Alex.”
Emma pressed her lips together, not wanting to admit that part of the reason she held on to the old name was because she was trying to hold on to the old memories, in some tiny, harmless way.
Except there was no such thing as harmless memories. Not when it came to the two of them.
He turned to face her, his familiar features shadowed. “Ask me what else I remember.”
She started to turn away, but his hand touched her arm.
“Ask me,” he commanded.
Emma shook her head, feeling both terrified and the most alive she’d felt in years.
He waited patiently until her eyes met his. “I remember us, Emma.”