“I’ll go grab the eggs and butter, you get the sugar and I’ll find you in a minute,” Tucian told her with a kiss on her cheek.
Amara headed for the sugar. As she was about to grab a bag she heard a familiar voice behind her. It was a man, but not Tucian.
“You look so sweet, what do you need sugar for?” He asked.
Amara laughed at the bad pickup line and turned around. A friendly face smiled down at her. She smiled back at the familiar freckles dusting the brown skin of an old friend.
“It’s nice to see you again, Amara. Remember me?”
“Of course I remember you! It’s nice to see you too, Madden. It’s been a long time,” Amara replied, throwing her arms around Madden’s neck.
“How have you been? Ready to give me another try after all this time?” Madden took her hand.
“Madden,” Amara pulled her hand back, “my feelings for you haven’t changed. And I know you had to have noticed the gentleman I came here with.”
“More. My fiancé.” Amara held her hand up to show the ruby ring on her finger.
“Well, that’s a problem.” Madden chuckled. Amara laughed with him. “I guess I’ll finally have to accept that you and I will never happen then.” He made a pretend sad face.
“Yes, you will. I’m sorry Madden.”
“That’s okay. You may have been the prettiest girl in town, but you’re not the only girl. My girl is out there somewhere. I’ll find her someday.”
“You certainly will. It should be easy with your charms.” She laughed again as Tucian came up and put his arm around her shoulders.
“And who might this be, Amara?” Tucian asked with a hint of concern.
“This is an old friend.” Amara put a hand on Tucian’s. “Tucian, meet Madden Gunderson.”
“Old friend?” Tucian asked, not taking his eyes off of Madden.
“Yeah,” Madden agreed. “I tried to steal her heart, like many other guys in this town. But I guess she was saving it for you. She’s a real heartbreaker around here. You’re a lucky man.” Madden extended his hand to Tucian.
“I definitely am.” Tucian shook his hand reluctantly. “And now, we have to go.” He turned Amara under his arm and led her away to pay for their things before she could say bye.
“It was nice to see you!” Madden called behind them.
“Why were you in such a hurry to leave?” Amara asked on the walk home.
“Who was that guy?” Tucian asked without answering her.
“I told you, he’s an old friend.”
“He said he tried to steal your heart.” Tucian struggled to hide the anger in his voice at the thought of another man trying to take Amara.
She laughed. “Yeah, he kind of did. But I didn’t ever like him like that. We went out a few times and he moved on easily to the next girl. But he always liked to tease me about it afterward. We stayed close friends for a long time. I hadn’t seen him in almost a year before today though.”
“Wherever he was, he should go back and leave you alone,” Tucian said in a low voice.
“Wait. You’re not jealous, are you?” Amara stopped and grabbed Tucian’s arm to turn him to her.
“Jealous? Never. It’s just that I never realized how small this town is. He said that many of the guys here tried to win you over. Was that true?”
“I don’t know. I guess if I think about it, I am a little bit of a heartbreaker. Between Avery and I, I think we’ve gone out at least once with every available guy here. For some reason, they all liked one of us. Maybe it’s a sister thing. Like they get to pick one.” She laughed at the thought.
Tucian didn’t laugh. “How many hearts did you break?”
“Tucian,” Amara set her bag down and brought her hand to his cheek, “I never liked a single one of them. I definitely didn’t like any of them the way I like you. The way I love you. None of them made me feel the way I feel about you. I’ve felt this way from the first time I saw you. No man in this town can compare. I promise. You have nothing to worry about.”
“Promise? No one is going to win your heart away from me?” Tucian looked at her sadly.
“I promise you. Isn’t that what this ring is for?” She held out her hand.
“It is.” Tucian took her hand and kissed it. “But all the same, I would appreciate if you steer clear of all those broken hearts you left behind.” He stared down at her with his stormy grey eyes that always melted her heart.
“I’ll do my best,” Amara agreed.
They walked hand in hand the rest of the way home.