Meant for Each Other by Delaney Cameron
Kirsten is thrilled to return to the place where she spent so many summers as a child. Here she can forget the episode that nearly ruined her last year of college. Was it unreasonable to suppose that this far from the scene of her crime she would be safe from meeting the man who knew all about her worst moment?
After six months of nonstop traveling, Trey is happy to trade living on the road for the peace and quiet of Tybee Island. In such surroundings, he should be able to work undisturbed. These plans are interrupted by the appearance of a former student. Running into Kirsten is a disturbance of the worst kind: a reminder of an encounter he hasn’t been able to forget.
Author’s note: This is a revised and expanded version of a novella published years ago under a different title and pen name. It takes place before the events of Dream of Me.
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Kirsten finished rearranging the magazines for the third time in the last half hour and slumped down in the chair behind the desk. It didn’t matter what she did. Nothing was going to take away the knot of tension lodged tightly in her chest. And to make matters worse, she still hadn’t figured out what she was going to say. ‘Hey, Professor Dawson. Remember me?’ wasn’t going to get it done.
She was counting paperclips while she recited some possible opening lines when she heard footsteps on the porch. Her glance went to the door. Please don’t be him, she pleaded inside her head. This last ditch effort to avoid her Waterloo failed. The beveled glass door opened and in he came. At first glance, he looked younger and thinner. His casual dress could account for that. He’d always worn suits for his lectures.
“Hey, Lucy. I wondered if I might get breakfast sent to my room each morning.”
Mistaking Kirsten for her sister was understandable given that they both had long, blonde hair and the fact that the desk was situated in the darkest part of the room. It also explained why he was still smiling, something that wasn’t destined to last.
By the time he was standing opposite of where she sat waiting for the proverbial ax to fall, it was apparent he’d realized his error. Before she could inform him that it would be their pleasure to bring breakfast to his room, she saw his eyes narrow and his smile slowly disappear.
“We seem fated to meet with you sitting behind a desk that’s presumably not your own. What are you looking for this time?”
Her veneer of politeness fell away under this direct attack. “I happen to work here.”
“Really? What brought you to Tybee Island? Did Alabama offer too little scope for one with your talents?”
Forgetting for the moment that she needed assistance from the man towering over her, she allowed her pent-up frustration full reign. “For the tenth time, I wasn’t stealing exam questions!”
His brows soared above his blue eyes, but in contrast to her heated reaction, his voice remained level. “At least you’re consistent.”
Kirsten took a moment to remember her surroundings and accordingly lowered her voice. “That’s easy to do when you’re telling the truth. Why would I steal a test for a class I wasn’t in? It doesn’t make sense.”
“Do I really need to answer that?” he asked shortly.
“No, because it’s obvious you’re not going to believe me.”
“With some justification, wouldn’t you agree?”
“If you would take a moment to use some of that banked intelligence you undoubtedly possess…” She got no further.
He held up his hand. “Facts are hard to argue.”
She sighed heavily; she was getting nowhere. Time to try a different tactic. “Can’t we just forget it happened?”
A small smile played around his lips. “So let me get this straight. You want me to conveniently forget that you entered my office without permission and were actually caught with the evidence in your hands. And furthermore, you want me to conceal this knowledge from your present employer.”
When he put it like that, she was asking a lot. But if it were at all possible, she wanted to keep this from Lucy. “Since I can’t convince you what my real purpose was, then yes, I do. If it makes you feel better about it, my sister manages this inn.”
“How is that supposed to make me feel better?”
Kirsten came around the desk. Once again she was staring into his face asking for something she didn’t deserve. If anything, he was even more handsome than she remembered. She wished those same features didn’t also look so forbidding. “I don’t want something stupid I did in the past to cause problems for Lucy. She shouldn’t have to suffer on my account.”
Trey looked at her in silence. As happened previously in his office, he was unable to ignore the appeal in her deep-set amber eyes. The fact that he couldn’t was a source of irritation. He should be above being influenced by a lovely woman, especially one he knew to be deceitful. He laughed inwardly. Maybe he wasn’t as lacking in sentiment as he thought. In any case, her concern for her sister was something in her favor. There was no need to make trouble unnecessarily. Continue reading