Where Dreams Come True
by M. T. DeSantis
Jared Wexler was in front of Cinderella’s castle.
Tia Bedford stopped dead on Main Street USA. The June sun baked her skin, but she couldn’t move. Ten feet away, Jared Wexler posed for a Disney photographer, one arm up in a princely wave. A brilliant smile curved his lips, and Tia’s heart contracted. Three months ago, those lips yelled at her as she yelled back, and then Jared had walked out of her life. It was all her fault.
Jared turned from the photographer and looked straight at Tia. “Tia?” He pushed through the crowd. “Fancy seeing you here. Want to find some air conditioning?”
Tia blinked. Jared wanted to be around her? It made no sense, but she wouldn’t push him away again.
“Sure.” Tia started toward the shops on one side of the street. Inside, her skin heaved a sigh of relief. What possessed her to come to Florida in June? Oh, right, she needed a distraction from the hole Jared left in her life, and Disney was the happiest place on earth.
“Cool stuff, ay?” Jared held out his arm to indicate the wall-to-wall Disney paraphernalia. He grabbed a mug with a picture of Grumpy from a shelf. “’I’m not grumpy, everyone else is too cheerful.’ I like his thinking.”
Despite herself, Tia laughed. Jared’s voice slid over her ears like the softest silk. A whiff of his musky scent caught her nose, and she breathed like a dying woman. Every touch they ever shared pulsed through her. His hands, his lips—how did she survive without him? Not to mention his humor.
She pointed to the mug. “Happy must drive him nuts.”
Jared winked. “I’ll bet.” He replaced the mug, took Tia’s hand, and tugged her across the store to a display of bracelets. He plucked one off the wall and held it up. Pictures of the Disney couples dangled from the chain. “This would look good on you.” He brushed the pads of his fingers over her wrist.
Shivers racked Tia’s body. The ache in her chest grew unbearable. Before she could think, she stood on tip-toe and pressed her lips to Jared’s. Jared wrapped his arms around her, bringing the world into focus. His lips tasted like salt and summer and promises made.
Forever, love, magic—how did one fight ruin it all?
Tia broke away. She couldn’t do this. “I’m sorry.” She spun and darted toward the door.
Tears pricked at her eyes. She told him to get out. She called him so many names. Yes, she regretted it all moments after the fight was over, but it was too late. She destroyed the best thing in her life, and she didn’t deserve him back.
She burst into the blazing afternoon. A crowd flooded Main Street. Couldn’t these people pick somewhere else to walk? Tia rushed toward the castle. If she could get to one of the lands, she could get lost in the people and attractions.
Music blasted the air, and an energetic voice announced a dance party. People surged toward the castle, cheering.
Tia stopped. There was no way through.
Someone gripped her shoulder. “Tia, what’s wrong?” It was Jared.
She ripped free. “Why are you talking to me? You should hate me for what I said.”
“Tia.” Jared turned her head, forcing her to look at him. All around, people partied, but nothing came between them. “You weren’t the only one who said terrible things. We fought. It happens. I’ve spent three months trying to move on.” He clasped the couples bracelet around her wrist. He bought it? “But I can’t. I love you, Tia. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me, and I don’t want to lose you because of one fight.”
Tia’s tears fell. Those were the exact words she’d wanted him to say. The hole in her chest mended. If he could forgive her, she could forgive herself. “I love you, too. I’m so sorry.”
“Don’t apologize.” He cupped her cheek. “We’re together again, and that’s all that matters.” He bent toward her.
Tia’s heart matched the joyful beat of the music. This really was where dreams came true.
About the Author:
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M. T. DeSantis lives in a small city on the U.S. eastern seaboard. When not writing, she can be found practicing yoga, attempting to answer trivia questions in restaurants, or plotting her next adventure. Find her at http://ddgeekwriter.blogspot.com.