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"Are you happy, Missy?" her father asked.
"Yes, but I'm tired. I'll be glad when it's over."
"I bet. I remember when your mother and I got married. We didn't really enjoy our wedding night until the next day," he said, and grinned down at her.
"I can well imagine."
"Well, it's time I danced with your mother. Others are waiting to dance with the bride."
She was hustled from one pair of arms to another until she thought her feet would fall off. Until she found herself in arms she'd dreamed of, a face that haunted her at night. Tristan smiled down at her and his arms tightened around her.
"Finally I have a chance to hold you for just one time." He laid his cheek against hers.
Her heart beat a staccato rhythm as his arms circled her. This felt right. These were the arms where she belonged. My God, Tristan, I love you, she thought and felt like screaming. She giggled as she pictured herself being scooped into his arms and them rushing out of the reception hall.
"What's so funny?" He steered her away from groping hands, waiting to snatch her from his arms.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
"No, I don't think so. It's too late for that."
"You're talking in riddles."
Looking up into his eyes, she felt them probing, searching for the answer, reading it in her eyes, she was sure. He pulled her tighter against him and danced quietly for a while, his cheek against hers, and his lips close to her neck. She felt his breath, could smell the masculinity exuding from him, his familiar cologne. If this were another time, another place...
"I haven't claimed a kiss yet," he whispered in her ear. Without waiting for herto answer, he looked into her eyes and kissed her fully on the lips.
But he didn't withdraw and her lips parted under his. Time stood still, the music and voices fading into nothingness as their lips glued together, the rhythms of their hearts blending, their bodies melding as if they belonged.
"Okay, that's long enough," an angry voice sounded, tearing them apart.
Johanna's hand flew up to her lips as if to hold what she'd just experienced. Her gaze locked with Tristan's and she read love in them and regret. Without a word she allowed Paul to lead her away.
"Johanna, what's wrong with you? You've had too much champagne. You're making a fool of yourself with that reporter. What's with you and him anyway? I thought I'd told you I didn't like him!"
She didn't answer him. Paul had spoiled the moment, but that kiss she'd treasure for the rest of her life.