By special request, here is Brent’s POV from the first scene in Forgotten Yesterday where he sees Ruby for the first time in the restaurant.
(c) Renee Ericson – 2014
It’s been years since I’ve even been back in Illinois, let alone to Chicago. Strangely, this trip hasn’t been as bad as I anticipated. I’m not even nostalgic. It’s just another town, another game, and another meal with a few teammates. We could be anywhere.
The bustling restaurant is late with our meals and I have a feeling my food will be cold or overcooked. These places never get my order right and I don’t even know why I bother ordering anything other than pasta. They can’t fuck up noodles.
“Hey, Brent,” Johan, one of my closest teammates, addresses me. “Paul says there’s a great view of the city from a bar right next to our hotel. In the Hancock Tower. You game?”
“Sure,” I reply vacantly. “I’m game.”
I know exactly where he’s talking about. It’s the Signature Room. I was there once…a long time ago.
“Food’s here,” Mike announces, his gaze resting behind me where I can sense the tray being set up.
“It’s about fucking time,” Paul states only for my ears.
“No shit,” I agree.
The waitress carries the first plate around the table to where Mike is sitting.
“Porterhouse, medium,” she says, placing the plate in front of him.
What was that?
My ears perk at the timbre of her voice.
She circles back to the tray, picking up another entrée, and then comes back to where Johan is seated.
Her small frame is like so many others—great body, but nothing to really “wow” anyone in that uniform. Although, her ass is quite nice. That’s plain to see. Her delicate hand sets the meal in front of Johan, sitting next to me.
“New York Strip, medium well,” she says.
The sound of her voice fucks with my blood pressure at a closer range. A chill races along my skin and every muscle in my body tenses.
I close my eyes and take a deep breath, trying to push away pricking memories coming to forefront. It’s just my mind playing tricks on me.
But I have to know. I need to make sure.
I dare a look as she reaches for another plate at the tray.
The line of her cheekbone and that long, sensual neck. The chocolate hair, piled on top of her head, and the delicate wisps falling around her ears. Her petite nose, coral lips—she glances up—and those melt-my-heart, I’m-in-fucking-trouble, brown eyes with a mesmerizing amount of amber flecks.
It can’t be, yet, it has to be.
She sidles up next to me.
“Filet mignon with a parmesan crust, medium rare,” she says, placing the plate in front of me.
Her distinct sound rings in my ears. Her closeness. Everything.
There’s a pounding that echoes loudly in my chest, reverberating through my every cell.
She turns toward the tray and my hand snatches her wrist on its own accord.
“Excuse me?” I say, unsure what to say.
She glances over her shoulder and those steal-my-entire-fucking-soul eyes trace their way up my arm meeting my own. Her pupils dilate and her entire body stills.
We’re both caught in a moment of surreal recognition.
Her chest rises and falls rapidly as she closes her eyes, cutting off the window to the only place I’ve ever wanted to dive into in my entire life.
“Ruby?” I beckon, loosening my grip. Shock resonates between both of us. “Wow. I had no idea you were back in Chicago.”
“Brent,” her lips say my name, slicing into the restaurant hum like a dagger, causing my heart to pause. “Hi. Yeah. For a while now.”
She takes back her hand, getting straight to work, and sets the final plate in front of Paul. There are words echoing from her mouth, but my brain is unable to register…anything.
In the blink of an eye, she’s gone.
Did that just happen?
I stare at my steak, the one she placed before me, unable to cut into it, my appetite lost. Peering over my shoulder, my eyes search for Ruby, craving one more look.
I let her go already.
She let me go, too.
Fate said it was time to part.
What kind of message is fate telling me now?