Epilogue

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I stare, dumbfounded, completely entranced by the woman sitting across the bar.

I stare like I never have before.

She's running her fingers through her light blonde hair, obviously aggravated. She's speaking to someone on the phone. And as much as my mind tries to rationalize the polite formalities of minding your own damn business, I find myself eavesdropping on her conversation.

"I was able to schedule a lunch with him," she murmurs, staring intently at the martini before her. Him? Damn it. "Yes. He was- taken with me. He asked me to lunch."

My brows turn down in confusion for a moment as I lean back in my seat, looking down at the ground, wishing the ridiculously obnoxious drunk wasn't blabbering to the bartender so loud.

"I know... Thank you, Mrs. Monroe."

Mrs.? My eyes flicker up to her face once more and I again take in the fact that no woman has ever had an effect on me like this... Not even Casey.

"I understand," she murmurs, sighing. I watch her hang up, grinding her teeth angrily and ponder the fact of whether her conversation was about a love interest or not. Either way, I really don't care. I need to talk to her.

"Rough day?"

As soon as she pins her gaze on my face and then further down, I begin to feel like my birthday may not be so terrible. She's staring, giving me the exact reaction I had been hoping for since she sat down at this small bar.

"Uh, yeah. You could say that."

God, this woman. A small smile forms on my face as I try to get a handle of myself, standing. Her eyes are cautious as I make my way over to her so I utter, "Do you mind if I move over here?"

"N-Not at all."

I set down my scotch and take a seat beside her. Within seconds, she's introducing herself, shocking me slightly.

"I'm Genevieve."

Fucking love that name. "You have a beautiful name. It's what caught my attention when you spoke before."

Complete lie. It was her voice, her hair- her lips. Basically everything about her. As she blushes, biting down on her goddamn lip, I nearly convulse.

"Really?"

"Yes."

"And your name is?"

How the hell haven't I introduced myself? "Tristan. Tristan Maddox."

Her eyes widen in acknowledgment and I know the look well. She recognizes the name.

"You're engaged to Casey Mathews."

I try to take a breath to calm myself. I've been trying to think about anything but Casey Mathews. "No, not anymore."

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be. It will be nice to be regarded as someone other than her man for the moment." Holy shit- did you just actually say that? "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it to come out as rude as it did."

I'm blabbering once again as I try to not sound like a complete asshole. "So, Genevieve, tell me- do you live here?"

If not, please let it be in the United States.

"No, no... I live in Chicago."

I'm ridiculously pleased for someone who's just met this girl. As she sets down her martini, swallowing, I find my eyes wandering over her body, wanting to look everywhere at once.

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