Married at Midnight

By: Gerri Russell

Was she . . . married?

There had to be an explanation. Ellie staggered toward the wall beside her, searching for the light. She flipped the switch and recoiled from the brightness. When her eyes adjusted, she looked again toward the bed. Blond hair lay against the white cotton of the pillow. “Wake up. Whoever you are, wake up!”

The man groaned and twisted onto his back, pulling the blanket with him, covering his lower half. He dragged his arm over his face, shielding his eyes from the light. “Too bright. Turn it off.”

A day’s growth of beard stubbled his square jaw and upper lip, giving him a roguish look that was a little more appealing than she cared to admit. No wonder her drunk self had been attracted to him. Looking farther down, she saw that his chest was broad and chiseled and covered with a smattering of golden hair. The man was definitely something to look at, but she needed to know more. She stepped toward the side of the bed, leaned down, and poked his shoulder. “Please. We need to talk.”

His arm lifted, exposing his eyes. He gave her a devilish smile that held infinite promise. “Come back to bed. We can talk later.” He patted the empty mattress beside him.

The sight of him rocked her. She hadn’t looked into those dark-green eyes since high school. And that voice . . . her body had always responded to that deep, rich sound. An uncontrollable warmth spread through her. She hadn’t seen him in eleven years. Even so, she could feel her nerves stretching in anticipation.

Never in her wildest dreams had she imagined herself this close to, and certainly not in bed with, the man who’d once broken her heart.

And yet she’d spent the night with him, or at least she thought she had. She vowed in that moment never to drink tequila again.

“Connor Grayson. What are you doing in my bed?”

Damn, he still looked good after all these years. In her fantasies, she’d hoped the next time she saw him he’d be bald and pudgy. Instead, Connor was handsome, muscular, and incredibly sexy, with not a gray hair in sight.

He blinked, then searched her face. After a long pause, his brows drew together as though he suddenly recognized her. “How in the hell did you get in my room?” His voice was no longer sexy, but hard.

“Your room? This is my room.” At least she hoped it was. A quick glance at her hairbrush on the dresser left her not only dizzy but relieved that this truly was her room. Why had she brought him back into her life? He was not someone she trusted. So why were they together . . . like this?

As Connor appraised her from head to toe, Ellie pulled the sheet more tightly around herself. As she did, the unusual weight of the ring pulled at her finger. Had she indulged in more than a fling with Connor Grayson? Because not only was there a ring on her finger; he sported a shiny platinum band on his as well. “We did not get married last night,” she said in a strangled tone, and she heard the doubt in her own voice.

The last thing Connor Grayson had expected when he’d planned his trip to Las Vegas was to come face-to-face with his past. That past stared at him with wide, accusing eyes. If anyone should feel abused and irate in this situation, it should be him.

Eleven years ago Ellie Hawthorne had torn out his heart from his chest and ground it beneath her heel. Deep inside, where nothing and no one touched any longer, he still felt betrayed. And even though they both lived in Seattle, they’d never been in contact again after they’d graduated.

But why here and now? How had she known he’d be in Las Vegas? “Have you been spying on me?”

“What are you talking about?” Ellie asked, her voice sharp. “Did you not hear me?” She waved her finger beneath his nose. “Why am I wearing this ring? Why were we in bed together? What happened last night?” She asked her questions in a rush, then released a sharp breath and sagged down on the edge of the bed.

She raked her fingers through the wild tumble of burnished-gold locks he remembered oh so well.

“Oh God. Why did I have more than one drink last night?”

Connor didn’t answer. He stared down at the platinum band around his ring finger. “What the hell? As if dating you in high school wasn’t bad enough. A lifetime together would be torture.” Connor tried to pull up even one memory from last night. How had he ended up with Ellie Hawthorne when every instinct in his body had been tuned to reject anyone like her?

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