Gwen walked into the Harmony book cafe and almost walked right back out again. There at one of the tables was Ethan
and Theresa and another man whose face she couldn't see. Theresa noticed her and didn't even bother to hide her
shock. Ethan looked at her too, but her attention wasn't focused on him. It was on the other man that turned around
to look at her. She recognized him immediately and she almost gasped out loud. Tony. He was here... in Harmony...
eating breakfast... with Ethan and Theresa.
After a few seconds, he broke the connection between them to turn and look at Theresa. That was all the time she
needed to gain her composure. She would not let him get to her. He was obviously a friend of Ethan and Theresa's,
with an emphasis on Theresa. When he turned back to look at her, she made sure there was no trace of a smile in
her eyes or on her lips. She wanted him to know she wasn't affected at seeing him again.
Gwen refused to stand there and look like an idiot so she walked up to the counter and ordered a mocha cappuccino.
It had been too long since she'd had a good cappuccino. No one made them like the book cafe. When she turned back
around Ethan and Theresa were gone, but Tony was still there. He raised his brow and pointed to the chair that
Theresa had just vacated. She ignored him and walked to a table on the other side of the room. She made sure her
back was to him. She didn't want to be tempted to look at him.
It wasn't a split second later that he laid a hand on her shoulder. "Hey, sweetheart." he said leaning
down to whisper in her ear. She refused to react to feel of his hand on her shoulder or the warm breath in her
ear. "Are you really going to try and pretend you don't know me?"
She looked up and sent him an icy glare. "I have nothing to say to you."
"Nothing? I'm hurt." He said placing a hand of his chest and slipping into the chair across from her.
"Mind if I join you?"
Yes, she did mind, but she knew saying it wouldn't make him go away. "What do you want?"
Antonio heard the anger in her voice, but he didn't see why she was angry at him. If anyone had a right to be angry,
it was him. After all, she had been engaged that night in New York. "Sweetheart, I'm not the enemy."
"No, you just associate with them. So how well do you know the gold digging little bitch you were sitting
with? Are you sleeping with her too?"
"Hey, watch it. That gold digging bitch your talking about is my sister."
"Your sis... Tony... Antonio, that's your name? Antonio Lopez-Fitzgerald?"
He nodded and watched the emotions play across her face. Disbelief, pain, and the last one, full-fledged, white-hot,
anger. He knew the fireworks were about to start and he tried to placate her. "Calm down sweetheart. I'm just
as shocked as you are."
Her eyes blazed. "Yeah right! How do I know Theresa didn't put you up to seducing me so she could have Ethan?"
"Hey! Theresa isn't like that!" he bellowed.
"The hell she isn't! She pretended to be my friend for months and all the while she was after my man!"
Several people turned to look at them, but neither cared. They were too angry to care. "Gwen, my sister..."
"Your sister is a lying, two-faced, gold digging whore!"
Antonio jumped from the table with lightning quick speed, grabbed her arm, and pulled her outside the cafe. He
tried to maintain his cool, but it was no use. Hearing her insult his sister made him see red. "Do not..."
he said with lethal authority. "ever talk about my sister like that again."
"And what are you gonna do? Is big bad brother Antonio gonna come to rescue poor Theresa too? God, men are
such idiots!" He watched in surprise as tears started to pool in her eyes. She was hurting and his heart ached
for her. He pulled her into his embrace and for a moment she let him hold her. But then she pulled away and sent
him a withering glare. "Don't. Don't ever touch me again."
"Fine. You want to wallow in your anger, then you do it. But don't give me tears of pity, because you and
I both know you would have lost Ethan anyway as soon as he found out you cheated on him - with me."
"Who the hell asked for your pity! You Lopez-Fitzgerald's are all the same. You stick together and wouldn't
think twice about destroying someone else's life. You all make me sick."
He walked toward her and she backed up a step. "Us Lopez-Fitzgerald's do stick together. Because that's what
families do. Now I have no idea what happened between Ethan, you and my sister and frankly I don't care. But I
do care that you seem to be blaming me and the rest of my family for it. I had nothing to do with whatever the
hell happened between you three. Our meeting in New York was totally by chance. What we did after meeting was by
choice - both yours and mine. So don't go getting on your high horse with me. It won't change a damn thing."
Gwen's eyes had widened to the size of saucers. He figured he was probably the first man to ever speak to her that
way. Damn, why the hell did she have to be Ethan's ex-fiancé? It just complicated the hell out of things.
"How dare you talk to me that way! Do you know who I am?"
He stepped closer and stopped when their bodies were an inch apart. "Yeah, I do sweetheart. You're the woman
that I made love to in that New York hotel room. You're the woman that left me in the middle of the night without
a damn word. You're the woman that has invaded my damn thoughts every waking minute of every damn day for the last
six months. So yeah, sweetheart I know exactly who you are. The real question is, do you know who I am? Because,
Gwen, I'm not my family. I'm me."
After that was said, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her. His tongue traced the soft fullness of her lips
and a tiny shudder ran through her body. He groaned as she opened her lips to him. He knew there were a thousand
reasons why he should stop and pull away, but for the life of him he couldn't think of one. In fact, he couldn't
think at all.