"Aren't you going to say 'hello'?" he asked.
"I...what...why are you here?" The question seemed inane. Her mind disconnected from her vocal chords.
"You don't sound happy to see me."
His voice hadn't changed. Nor had the distinctive Belfast accent mellowed. It could still stop her pulse and then send it into double time.
"Aidan..." The name came with a rush of breath. Seeing him here, so close she could feel the power emanating from him, took her ability to think.
The corner of his mouth lifted into a half smile. "You look beautiful, Kerry. The dress suits you."
Kerry's rapid pulse was making her dizzy. "My sister...she got married today."
Aidan laughed. "Flannery--that pint sized, punked out fiddle player? Married?"
"Well, she grew up." Kerry wanted to walk away, but Aidan was a magnet that held her. She'd never been able to resist his compelling gaze, the roughly hewn turn of his jaw, the sensuous line of his lips. His tall, lean body was like a spring wound tight--ready.
Aidan had changed, but the changes were subtle. His face and body had matured, as though he had been thrown into the forge of life and come out tempered, hard but more resilient. The one aspect of him she hadn't expected was the way he could, with a word and a look, threaten to dissolve every promise she had made to protect herself from him.
"Aidan, you shouldn't have come here." It was a statement and a plea. His proximity shook her. The scent of him filled her with hot-sweet memories and made her want to touch him.
"Did you think you could hide from me forever?" He took a step toward her. She instinctively stepped back. "Fame makes for a small world, Kerry."