Standing there, alone, in front of Rosenborg Castle, facing the fact he had likely been stood up by two different women in less than twenty-four hours, Noah Sheridan made an argument for why this was a good thing.
The mystery woman from last night's concert was still that type, wasn't she? She had been the holder of a very expensive VIP ticket for a sought-after concert. Though she'd worn no jewelry, she'd been extraordinarily well dressed. And her Copenhagen must-see was the crown jewels. And she was fashionably late again today, if she was coming at all.
Some mysteries were just better left unexplored.
She hadn't even had the decency to give him her cell phone info, or to take his.
And then he saw her.
Noah felt the hope that she wouldn't come—and cynicism about who she really was—evaporate like fog exposed to the early summer sun that drenched the street she walked down.
Her hair was magnificent, scattered dark curls dancing around her face. Today she was clad in snug jeans and flamboyant flowered sneakers and a light blue T-shirt with writing on it. Unless he was mistaken, the T-shirt was from the concert, though he had not seen her slip away to buy one. The outfit was casual, and not nearly as eye-catching as her outfit last night had been.
And far more dangerous.
Because it was what a woman might wear to walk in the woods, or to nurse a hot chocolate in front of a fire.
Noah's longing crystalized. It was for someone who was unique, who intrigued him, and challenged him and required more of him. As his mystery woman walked toward him and a reluctant smile lit her features, he suspected she might be each of those things. And he had a whole, glorious day to find out.
For someone who had sworn she was not even going to meet Noah today, Paula had felt almost panicky when her bus didn't arrive on schedule.
She was once again in mostly Isabella's clothes. She hadn't told her daughter exactly what was going on today, but Isabella had looked at her deeply, and Paula had blushed.
"You met a man at the concert!" Isabella had deduced. "As soon as I saw you had somehow gotten tickets, I knew magic was in the air."
"It's not magic," Isabella said, perhaps a little too defensively, at Isabella's quickly hidden smile, "He's just in town for a day. He wanted to know what to see. That's all."
"Ah. Well, you can't wear that," she'd said eying her mother critically.
And somehow—for the second time—Paula found Isabella generously acting as both her fashion supplier and consultant. Looking at herself in the mirror before she had headed out the door, she had to admit her daughter was exceptional at it. Maybe Isabella's obsession with celebrity gossip had a good side.
In the snug jeans and Carlene concert T-shirt, the colorful, playful sneakers, Paula thought she looked young. And fun. And hip.
Noah Sheridan must have believed she was all those things, because he had actually showed up. And he looked so pleased to see her, even though she was unforgivably late.
Her confidence slipped. If he hadn't already spotted her, Paula was pretty sure she would have turned and run!
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