The Day I Married My Stalker

He walked through the door like a rock-star, commanding all eyes, especially female, to turn to his long, lanky frame, broad shoulders, dark hair, and simmering eyes. It was a near impossibility for a girl to ignore Damien Delaney, especially with those lips that made your knees melt and the long, thick eyelashes that many would kill to get. He was like Dracula walking through a room of virgins; every other woman in the room practically oozed a come-get-me vibe.

I was thinking "Oh, crap."

Yeah, that's right. I wished to my dead grandmother that the melted-ice eyes were not pinned on me, and the dimple was not forming for my presence. That rakish grin was nothing but trouble. And even though my fingers itched to brush the wavy strand of dark hair out of his eyes, I tried to up and run for it.

You see, this tall, dark, devilishly handsome piece of heaven was my stalker.

And you, with the foreknowledge of Damien's charm and raw appeal, might be somewhat like my ex-best-friend, who grabbed my arm, hissed in my ear to stay put, and then proceeded to melt into a puddle at the feet of the one and only man who could simultaneously ruin my life and make me happy. Why, you might ask, would I even care that Damien was stalking me? Stay put, you say. He's more irresistible than a Lindor truffle, and he smells much, much better than chocolate. That's what my ex-best-friend had just reminded me.

Not that I needed her to jolt my memory. He was approaching my table.

So I, of course, ever the idiot, listened to my ex-best-friend. Whose name, by the way, is Lia. Lia Grace Abel. I kicked her under the table as she forgot how to breathe and sat like a fish, mouth hanging open, eyes bulging out, dazed with the sheer masculinity of the man who now stood before us at the table.

Why was he stalking me? Why would a good-looking, charming, successful man be stalking me when he could have any other woman?

Well, that's a long story. Suffice it to say there was a lot of tequila involved, as well as an unfortunate tattoo, a crazy grandmother who drank scotch… and a poodle. Despite that deep and interesting past, I was desperate to get away from this man yet again, and believe me, that was a very hard thing to do.

Yes, I know, I am crazy for continually trying to run away from every woman's definition of perfection in man. So sue me, I didn't trust beautiful eyes that make me forget my own name. It's a syndrome I have, running away from attractive men. I have meds for it, right there on the shelf next to my pills for nightmarish dreams about wearing a bikini and dancing on a sun-drenched beach wearing a coconut bra and grass for a skirt.

And no, I'm not serious. I do have those nightmares, but they said there's no pill for curing a nightmare about the perfect vacation going well. Sucks, with all the technology and medical advancement, you'd think they would have a pill for anything by now. Then again, they say I'm not exactly normal. Whatever.

Back to the grey-blue eyes that were now crinkled in a smile, the white teeth against darkly tanned skin, the day-old stubble that only made his rugged jaw more handsome… he was taking a seat at my table. The audacity of the man, sitting next to me in broad view of every jealous woman and every now-insecure man in the restaurant. I could no longer scream bloody murder and make off like he attacked me.

Not that that really works, anyway.

"You must be Damien!" Lia had already given him her signature bright smile. Oh, she was quick. And she was utterly transfixed as Damien took her hand, kissed it, and flashed the irresistible smile.

"A pleasure to meet you, Miss…?"

"Lia," she was eager to supply. "Lia Grace Abel."

"Lia Grace Abel. A name as beautiful as the woman." He winked, and Lia melted again. It was all I could do not to kick her for falling for his lines. I didn't quite blame her, though. Not that Lia is a hard woman to catch, but the man could charm snakes out of a basket without a flute.

When his eyes turned to me, I immediately tensed. "Hello, Macy." He had one dimple, and it was the perfect depth, complementing his little smirk.

"What do you want, Damien?" I snapped, unable to control the racing of my heart and quell the rising blush when he slowly perused my appearance.

"Just a chat. How have you been?"

"I was just fine, thank you." I scowled a little, unable to help but notice the way his dark blue shirt brought out the blue in his hazel eyes.

"We're headed to a movie." Lia popped back into the conversation, smile blinding. "Want to co- ouch!" she yelped when I pinched her arm beneath the table. "Macy!"

"We're not going to a movie." I glared at her.

She frowned at me slightly. "Yes we are, we're going to see Trans- would you quit?" She hit my hand away as I pinched her again.

I know, I know. My ex-best-friend is a total ditz. I used to love that about her. Until Damien came along, her complete blonde-ness was kind of amusing. But Lia doesn't get it sometimes. She knew Damien was my stalker, and every time we saw him, she made me wonder if she knew what the word "stalker" meant.

Damien ignored Lia completely. "You're looking well. But you're getting thin. Have you been eating?"

Oh, the voice of the devil dipped in honey and served with chocolate sauce. It killed me to not let my heart stain my sleeve with the mixed feelings. He touched my arm, and I nearly slapped that hand away. I was very irritated, but more at myself than at him. Yes, he had just ruined my afternoon… but I was the one having a hard time resisting him.

So I stood, pulling Lia with me. "No… yes. You know what? I was going to eat here, but I'll be leaving. And I hope to never see you again." It was really hard to drag Lia after me, seeing as she wanted nothing more than to betray me completely and be on Damien's side… or rather, in Damien's lap… and I was partially with her on that thought, but I managed.

I'm quite strong for being a petite 5"2' and barely a hundred and ten pounds.

"Lia Grace Abel! What the bloody heck are you doing?" I seethed at her, and mentally at myself. "How many times have I told you- that man is stalking me!"

My ex-best-friend pouted. She was a good pouter, blonde and blue eyed and generally innocent looking. If ever there was a contest for best pouting face, Lia would win it. She's a pro. It almost made me feel sorry for not letting her make a fool of herself over a man who had fixated on me. Almost. But after a few seconds of contemplating that, I realized it would be a good revenge.

"Any time you see Damien Delaney, you are not to talk to him, do you understand? You don't look at him, you don't smile at him, and you sure as bloody heck do not tell him where we're going."

Lia wrinkled her nose at my instructions. "But Macy… he's… I mean, why do you even care? He's a hunk, he's madly in love with you, and he's got an accent!"

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention… Damien is from Scotland, and he has an accent that could melt frozen butter. It's been softened by years in America, but the roll is still there, and if you've heard it you can't resist it.

"Correction, love, he's just mad. As in crazy. And accents are not high on my priority list, Lia. Not stalking me… is." I glanced behind to make sure my dreamy stalker was not following us. He wasn't. At least, not that I could see. He was good at staying out of sight until the perfect moment came, the moment where he could completely trap me with that wall of good-looking charm and the use of his muscled arms.

Oh, my heart is such a traitor.

Lia brought me back to the present with a whine. "It's not fair. He's so… gorgeous…"

I raised my eyebrow at her, incredulous but understanding. "Lia… he's a stalker. I know it's really hard to forget how tall, dark, dreamy, and delicious he is. And besides… there are things here you don't even know about."

Getting into the passenger side of my car, Lia raised her eyebrows. "Like what? What haven't you told me?"

I winced and started my car. I didn't usually keep secrets from my best friend. Correction- ex-best-friend. "Just… do yourself a favor and quit fawning over Damien."

She scowled at me. "What did you not tell me?"

I started to shake my head no, but she pulled a card I knew she would use. "You tell me now, or I will find Damien and give him your new phone number, your new P.O. box, and your new address."

Yes, Lia is a little manic about knowing things. I can't seem to avoid the crazy people. I must be cursed.

Letting out my breath, knowing I was about to get in major trouble, I pulled a ring from my pocket and held it out to her. The diamond setting was exquisite, the silver band simple enough to compliment the size of the very expensive rock it held. Lia's face was priceless.

She could barely speak for the fact that her jaw was now resting on the floor mat. "Oh my… are you… Macy Anne Gray! You're… to Damien?"

Yes. Did I mention… we were married?