James looked at her again, hoping to see just the flicker of recognition in her eyes. There was a whole room of people between them and it was at least a year since they had last spoken, but he could not help but hope that she would want to break that record. She made eye contact with him for just a moment and then turned away to talk to the older man standing next to her; a moment later she flashed James a look that said quite unequivocally “stay away from me”.

He still did not know what he had done, or more to the point he did not know why he was in the doghouse with her; all that he had done was be straight with her about his feelings. Sure there are those who might say that her attachment to his cousin made those feelings inappropriate, but he had thought she would be able to see that he knew that feeling a certain way for her did not mean that he expected anything of her. Clearly he was wrong; he had never seen her so angry as that night when he had told her.

Why was this his fate? To him it seemed cruel.

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