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After drinks and appetizers, we all took our seats for dinner.

Bridget eschewed the idea of a head table and instead spread out the bride and groom's immediate family and attendants at the dozen or so round tables in the tent. She felt it made for a more personal reception. Jake had nixed the tradition of speeches during the meal. I loved that they were comfortable doing what they wanted in lieu of the norm.

Being considerate of my feelings, Bridget sat me at the table furthest from Shawn and his date. I did, however, have a good view of the back of their heads. He could not see me watching, so I felt free to observe them.

Which I did.

I watched as Giselle ran her hand through the back of Shawn's hair, grasping slightly at his curls. It brought back memories of my hands doing the same. During the peak of passion I had to restrain myself from pulling too hard, though he never complained.

Shawn leaned over and whispered something in her ear. Was it some dirty little comment he was so fond of making? Was he telling her what he'd be doing to her later?

Apparently not.

She frowned and removed her hand from his hair and then scooted away from him.

It was almost like he could read my mind from across the room and knew how much her possessive show of affection bothered me.

She was pouting for the rest of the main course. I could see him try to smooth things over, but she was having none of it.

Why did this amuse me so much? Had I become such a bitter bitch that I didn't want him to be happy with his date?

I turned away, refusing to watch any more, and struck up a conversation with Jake's great aunt who was sitting to my left. She started grilling me about why a pretty young thing like me was dateless at a wedding. That was the last thing I needed to hear, so I excused myself and went to the restroom.

As I exited the stall, Giselle was standing at the mirror reapplying her lipstick. She looked at me in the reflection and gave me a very forced fake smile.

"I can't believe I finally got to meet you," she said.

I just smiled.

"Shawn talks about you quite a bit. Whenever he drinks too much he gets weird and morose about that incident."

"I forgave him long ago," I said. "He needs to move on."

"He has definitely not moved on," she said with some venom in her voice. She then exited the bathroom.

When dinner concluded and the cake was cut and eaten, the tables were moved aside so that the tent was transformed into a dance floor. Dance music started playing and the vibe of the reception became even more festive.

Quite a few of our group of friends wound up on the dance floor, Bridget and Jake included. While I was dancing with the newlyweds, I saw Shawn and Giselle standing outside the tent. They appeared to be arguing. I turned away and continued dancing, feeling guilty for staring at them once again.

The winery had a large inn which was where the bridal party and many of the guests were staying. I was glad I had just a short walk to my room when the reception was over because I was starting to feel all the wine I'd been drinking.

On top of being a bit tipsy, I was hot and thirsty, so I walked over to the bar for a water. Shawn was standing at one end leaning his forearms on the counter of the bar. Giselle was nowhere to be found.

I took a sip of my water. Shawn looked up from his drink and noticed me. He smiled weakly and walked over to where I was standing.

"You were having fun on the dance floor," he observed.

"I love dancing at weddings. I'm not sure if it is the alcohol or the general feeling of happiness," I said.

I then turned to the bartender and asked for a glass of wine. If I was going to talk to Shawn, I needed something stronger than water.

"So how are you?" he asked. "Are you happy? Aside from being happy right now because of the wedding, I mean."

I looked down at my glass. "Everything has been going really well."

I couldn't really say if I was happy. I was happy with aspects of my life, but that's not quite the same as being happy in general. I had not been happy in that sense in years.

"How are the headaches, Josie? How's your elbow? I've wondered for years if you were still in pain."

"My headaches are pretty much gone. I had a second surgery on my elbow after I graduated from U of T. It changed my life. No more pain and my range of motion is pretty much normal." I held my elbow up and flexed it several times as proof.

Shawn smiled. "That's great. You have no idea how pleased I am to hear that."

I put my hand on his arm. "I told you years ago to let go of the guilt. Now you can, knowing I am fine."

We stood there without talking for a minute.

"Are you seeing anyone?" he asked.

I could have lied. I probably should have lied. I couldn't bring myself to do it, though.

"Nope," I said.

"I would never have thought it possible, but you are even more beautiful now than you were back in college," Shawn said, moving a couple inches closer to me.

"Don't. Please."

"Don't what?" he asked, taking a long sip of his drink.

"Don't turn on the charm. We are so far beyond that."

He grinned. "You still find me charming?"

I rolled my eyes. "That is exactly what you need to stop doing. Don't you have a date around here somewhere?"

Shawn laughed. "I had a date. We had a little fight, and she left."

"You don't seem too broken up about it."

"I'm not. I should have come alone to begin with."

"Why didn't you?" I asked.

"Honestly? Because I was afraid you'd show up with a date, or worse yet, engaged like your best friends. I didn't want to be the sad ex-boyfriend."

"That was a bit more honest than I expected," I said, taking a big swig of wine.

He was looking in my eyes and it was all too familiar. I knew this look. I knew what he was thinking. I knew because I was having similar thoughts.

Shawn stepped a bit closer to me so that now there was very little space between us. He reached up to my face and tucked a strand of hair that had escaped from my elaborate up-do behind my ear. I shuddered at his touch.

I turned away from him so that I was facing the dance floor. I saw that several people we knew were watching us. Morgan raised an eyebrow at me. Kurt smiled. Did they all know that Shawn and I would be drawn to each other again? Were they judging me?

I turned back to Shawn. "I hate you for making me feel this way."

"Which way is that?"

"You know which way! Let's not pretend that we can't both read each other perfectly."

"Do you really hate me?" he asked softly.

Again, lying would have been smarter than being honest, but I could not lie.


Shawn reached over and took my hand. "Want to take a walk?"

As if I could have said no to him.

Author's note:

Excited for new song!

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