Red Hot Reunion - Bella Andre Page 0,2


And she’d be expected to greet him with an impersonal smile. A smile that said no more than, “Hello, it has been a long time, hasn’t it?”

The sad truth was that Emma didn’t know if she had it in her to act like a composed, mature thirty-two-year-old woman. Not when all she really wanted to do was wrap her legs around Jason and beg him to do her.

Just then a good-looking young waiter sauntered her way. “Would you like a drink, ma’am?”

Ma’am? When had she graduated from Miss? Was that what Jason would think when he saw her? That

she was a shriveled excuse for a woman? Oh God. She couldn’t stay at the reunion another second longer.

She’d done her duties as organizer and now she’d have to flee. Wimping out was the only option.

The waiter’s voice cut through her frantic planning. “Margaritas and martinis are all I’ve got left right now.” She could barely focus on him as he looked her up and down and decided, “You look like a fruity-drink gal to me.”

Something in his voice snapped her out of her panic, something flirty and young that made her feel like maybe calling her ma’am had been a mistake. Maybe she wasn’t old and shriveled after all. Besides, she knew that taking the coward’s way out wasn’t really an option tonight.

Everything she’d feared for so long, everything she regretted was coming back to slap her in the face tonight. Maybe this time if she faced her mistakes, she prayed silently, she could finally recover.

“I really shouldn’t,” she said as she looked down at the drink in her hand, but she was so desperate to escape from the awful reality of her life that before she knew it the glass was at her lips.

The strawberry liquid eased its way down her throat into her belly. Had she been a fruity-drink girl all these years and not known it? And if that were true, what else had she not permitted herself to be? Fun?

Happy? Satisfied?

One sip was enough, however, to make her think about how many calories were in the glass she was holding. And the workout she’d have to do tomorrow to burn this drink off. Normally, she would never allow herself to drink anything but bottled water—empty calories were not something she allowed herself to ingest, no matter the occasion—but if ever there was a night to bend the rules, it was tonight.

Surveying the crowd, Emma turned her thoughts forcefully back to the successful party well under way.

She knew she should be pleased by how well the evening had turned out, especially considering she’d been organizing the ten-year reunion for more than a year. On any other night, she would have been right in the middle of it all, talking about jobs and kids and vacations.

Tonight, it was all she could do just to keep the smile on her face.

The waiter passed by again and said, “Need a refill?” but she had already grabbed a full glass. “Bad day, huh?” He gave her a sympathetic smile before walking away.

You have no idea,she thought, giving in to the stupid impulse that made her say, “Keep ’em coming,”

even though she could practically feel the fat molecules attaching themselves to her hips.

“Downing margaritas while checking out that waiter’s ass looks like fun. Can I join you?”

Guilty as charged, Emma jumped at her best friend Kate’s sudden arrival at her elbow. “That’s not what I’m doing,” she said, but the empty glass in her hand was evidence to the contrary, as was the wink the waiter gave her from across the room.

“Bull,” Kate said, dragging Emma over to a dimly lit table in the corner behind the DJ. “I know you’re freaking out about being at the same party as Steven, aka ‘the man you never should have married,’” Kate added with a contemptuous twist of her blood-red mouth, “but trust me, dating the head cheerleader when you’re in your thirties is desperate and pathetic. You’re the kind of classy babe his Playboy bunny wishes she could be.”

The words were out of her mouth before Emma realized they were coming. “Thanks, Kate, but I seriously doubt that most supermodels wished they were a huge failure in their parents’ eyes for getting

divorcedbefore providing them with grandchildren.” The alcohol made Emma feel bold enough to admit,

“What if Iwant to be a Playboy bunny like her? What if Iwant to drive men wild with my huge, perky br**sts and wicked ways? What if Iwant to weigh