Author: Kristel S. Villar
Fate's been playing tricks on Cara Nicolas lately. She agrees to go on a blind date with her best friend’s fiancé’s cousin, only to discover that the guy is her first love from high school, Lucas Lobregat. Now that would have been a charming story, except that the date turns out to be one of the worst ever. And they can’t even pretend it never happened, because they’re both suddenly part of the wedding preparations.
Just as she is starting to get to know more about the boy she used to love, Oliver Sta. Maria, an old flame who owes her some closure, surprisingly shows up. With two pasts resurfacing, which will Cara choose to rekindle? Or can she have the chance to choose at all?
I took up ballroom dancing so I was already familiar with the steps. I glanced at Ayen and Chad, who were laughing at how awful they were doing.
One, two, three, four. One, two three, four...
"You're good at this," Lucas said.
I was surprised that he's finally talking. I felt my cheeks getting hotter with embarrassment.
"I spent one semester in college doing this," I explained.
"Good for you. I spent three summers dancing like this when I was younger."
Stunned that he actually shared something about himself, I forced a smile as we glided on the dance floor, matching our steps gracefully. Lucas pulled me closer until I could feel his heart beating faster. Our eyes met as we got carried away by the rhythm. His eyes were so warm and just as captivating as the first time I saw them when we were teenagers. I instinctively gazed at his strawberry-red lips and I suddenly remembered how, back then, I wished he'd be my first kiss.
"I'm so sorry for how I had acted, Cara," he said. The way he said my name lingered in my mind for a bit.
"I didn't mean to hurt or disrespect you," he went on, guilt showing on his face. "I was arrogant, tactless and too angry with Chad for setting me up on a blind date at the last minute. I didn't consider your feelings."
"Ayen forced me to go on that date, too, but I tried to be nice," I said as Lucas guided me through a turn before I spun back in his arms.
"I realize what a jerk I was. It wasn't in my nature to act like that, to tell you honestly."
I didn't respond as I looked down on my toes while we repeated the steps.
"Will you forgive me?" he asked.
I glanced up at him and studied his face. How could I say no to those eyes?
"Now, here is your model couple!" the beaming instructor said. I quickly pulled away from Lucas, looked around and realized all the other couples had already stopped dancing. I saw Ayen smiling wickedly as she whispered to Chad, making me blush on the spot.
"I love the energy that both of you have," the instructor added as she wrapped her arms around me and Lucas. "You both are oozing with so much passion! You'll take the dance floor by storm on your wedding day."
Before I could protest, the instructor started clapping her hands and told us to practice for a few more minutes before she taught us a new sequence.
Lucas took my hand again. We didn't say a word for a moment, until I couldn't hold my laughter any longer.
"What's funny?" he asked, smiling.
"That was embarrassing," I said in between fits of laughter.
"I was busy apologizing."
"I got caught up in the moment."
His eyes sparkled with interest and asked, "Does that mean you've forgiven me?"
I just gave him a big smile.
"You're not so bad, after all," I said.
He chuckled with relief as he spun me around again and took me back in his arms. He stared at me for a minute, grinning.
"You're far from what I expected either."
Blast From Two Pasts is her first contemporary romance novella. She has also penned "The Rumor About Me", a short story for the young adult book anthology, Kids These Days: Stories From Luna East Arts Academy Vol. 1. Her second short story for Luna East Arts Academy, "One on One" is currently featured in Clara, a quarterly romance online journal (www.clararomance.com)