Her head snapped back around, a challenge in her eyes. "And some things we forget very easily." An undercurrent of anger laced her tone.
Nate held her gaze. "Care to explain?”
"There's nothing to explain. Not now anyway." For the first time all evening her polite tone dropped away. “Let’s just leave it and watch TV.”
Leave it? After her implication, he couldn't just leave it. "Not happening. What did you mean?" Even if the best he could ever hope for with her was friendship, he needed to get past her anger first.
Lauren unexpectedly jumped to her feet, took a few steps away and whirled around to face him. "Fine. You want to talk about the past? We'll talk. You promised to write. Do you remember that, too?" She took a step closer. "That day you said we'd stay in contact, but you never bothered."
His gut winced. When he'd said the words way back then he'd meant them. He'd even tried once. He had picked up the phone, started to dial, and hung up. Unsure of just what he intended to say, Nate stood as well. "Lauren let me—"
"Don't make up any excuses.” She stepped toward him and jabbed a finger into his shoulder. “I don't want to hear it. Besides, it doesn't matter now. We've both moved on."
In one motion, Nate wrapped his hand around her wrist and pulled her closer. The sudden physical contact caused his heart rate to rev like the engine of his brother’s prized Corvette. “Bullshit.”
With his hand still wrapped around her wrist, she took a step away from him. "Soon you'll go back to wherever the military wants you. We may never see each other again. The past doesn't matter."
"Like I told you the other night, Lauren. I am not leaving." He focused on removing the anger from his voice.
A cynical smile formed on her face. "You left the marines? Yeah, right. They mean more to you then I ever did." The anger he'd heard before diminished, but sadness took its place.
Nate reached out his free hand and touched her cheek. "That's not true, and I'm no longer on active duty." The warmth from her skin managed to penetrate through the calluses on his hands. "I'm in the reserves now. Last month I graduated from the FBI Academy in Quantico."
Lauren's eyes flew open. "You're an FBI Agent? Seriously!" Her voice hit the next octave.
Surprise and shock trumped anger any day of the week. "Yeah, in the Boston field office."
"Wow, that's..." The awe in her voice trailed off. "That doesn't change anything." She took a step back, and his hand fell away.
With the increased distance between them, again the sunshine he'd felt bathed in a moment ago disappeared. "I don't believe that." In two steps he closed the distance between them. Before she could move again he made his move. He let his lips brush against hers.
Home. The word lit up in his head. Regardless of the years gone by, he belonged right here with this woman. He always had.