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Reunited in New York

Written by Teri Wilson

Chapter Eight

He was gone.

Laurel’s worktable was neatly organized again, every last scrap of fabric had been returned to its proper place and her world was back to normal. For the first time in weeks, she could get some work done in peace.

And she had loads to do. Now that everyone had seen the diamond tutu, the ballet company’s board of directors had asked Laurel to design new costumes for every dancer in Ivanov’s production. Dozens, in all. She had a new title and a new salary to go along with it. Overnight, she suddenly had everything she’d always wanted.

Almost everything.

She tightened her grip on the pencil in her hand and tried to swallow, but the ever-present lump in her throat refused to budge. It had lodged itself there this morning when nine o’clock had come and gone, and Ronson hadn’t shown up.

Not that she expected him to. There was no reason for him to be there. At the end of the day yesterday, she’d told him point-blank not to come back. She’d handed him the precious garment bag, aimed her gaze at a spot someplace over his head and said goodbye as firmly as she could manage. If she’d looked him in the eye, she’d never have been able to go through with it.

He hadn’t argued with her. He hadn’t even said goodbye. He’d just turned around and left.

She tried to block the miserable scene out of her head as she worked on a few sketches for the corps costumes. A bit of beading here, a puff of tulle there, but nothing was coming together. Nothing felt right.

She tore the page from her sketchbook, crumpled it into a ball and tossed it at the trash can. It missed and landed on the floor.

Laurel sighed, wound her hair into a makeshift bun and speared her pencil through the middle of it, anchoring it in place. She couldn’t get anything right today. Her mind kept spinning back to her parting words with Ronson. She wished she’d been brave enough to tell him how she really felt. She wished he’d said something…anything. She wished he’d at least told her goodbye.

Maybe that’s why she’d expected him to walk back through the door this morning. She’d mistaken his silence as some kind of promise. A vow.

What a ridiculous thing to do. There were no vows left between her and Ronson. Once upon a time, maybe. But not anymore.


She looked up from her sketchpad, convinced she was hearing things, certain that she’d conjured the sound of his voice simply by wishing very hard.

But she hadn’t. He was right there, standing in the doorway with the garment bag in his hands, just as he had on every other day of the past month.

“Ronson.” She swallowed. “I didn’t expect to see you today.”

“I know.” He walked inside the room and nodded toward the bag. “There’s a problem with the costume. One of the diamonds came loose, and I thought you’d want to take a look at it.”

“Oh.” She pasted on a smile and tried not to let her disappointment show on her face. He was here about the costume. Of course. What else did she expect? “No problem. I’m sure I can fix whatever is wrong.”

None of the diamonds should have fallen off. She’d anchored each one of them onto the satin so securely that she wasn’t entirely sure she’d be able to remove them after the costume had been worn and the stones were supposed to be returned to Drake Diamonds.

If gems were already coming loose before the costume had been worn, she was in trouble. Big time. Maybe she wasn’t cut out to be a fashion designer after all.

“Here you go.” Ronson hung the garment bag on the rolling rack, but didn’t unzip it.

Laurel did the honors instead, but as she pulled the zipper down, white tulle spilled out of the confines of the bag. There wasn’t a glimpse of red or a flash of diamond in sight.

Just miles and miles of delicate, finely spun white.

Bridal white.

Her heart gave a little tug, and she leaned against the worktable for support.

“What is this? I don’t understand.” She turned to glance at Ronson, but he was no longer standing beside her.

He was down on one knee instead, holding a shimmering diamond in the palm of his hand. But it wasn’t a loose diamond, like all the other stones she’d held in recent days. This one was attached to a ring.

She inhaled a ragged breath. Was she dreaming? “Ronson?”

“Laurel.” He smiled, and it was a smile too bright, too full of promise to be anything but real. This was no dream. This was her life, their life—not as she’d imaged it would be all those years ago.


“I thought maybe your next design project could be a wedding gown.” Ronson’s voice broke, and he had to pause to collect himself before he continued. “Since you didn’t get to wear one last time.”

“I love wedding gowns,” she whispered.

But she didn’t love them as much as she loved this moment. Not as much as she loved him.

Laurel had loved Ronson Ward for as long as she’d known him. When she’d promised to love, honor and cherish him for all of her life, she’d been just a girl. But she’d meant every word of that promise, that sacred vow.

Nothing could take that promise away. Not an annulment, and not the pain that followed. She’d been hurting so much, for so long, but she’d never forgotten that vow. She’d never forgotten what it felt like to stand beside him and make those promises. So full of light and love.

Looking down at him on bended knee, holding a diamond ring in his hand after all this time, she felt that way again. But this time, she was a woman, not a girl. And Ronson was man.

This time, they were ready.

“Laurel Martin, will you marry me?” He took her hand and slipped the ring on her finger. “Again?”

“Yes,” she whispered on a sob.

Ronson straightened, wrapped his arms around her and lifted her clear off her feet.

He spun her round and round, and the diamond on her hand flashed, catching her eye. She stared at it in wonder.

Laurel had never worn an engagement ring before, nor a wedding band. There’d been no rings last time. She hadn’t cared back then, and she wouldn’t have minded not having one this time either.

But she liked the way it sparkled, telling the whole world her heart belonged to him. She wanted everyone to know…everyone, but especially him…

Her heart had belonged to Ronson all along.

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About the author

I grew up as an only child and could often be found with my head in a ...

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Teri Wilson

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