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She shook her head. “This is really nice. I wasn’t expecting anything this incredible. Sal is amazing.”

“He really is. There’s a better view in the daytime, but there’s something about the way the lights radiate off the water that really is spectacular.” He peered out the window and pointed. “You can even see the mountains in the distance.”

“I know this place,” she blurted. “We had our first date here, didn’t we?”

Liam nodded. “I can’t believe you remember.”

“It’s hard sometimes because I’m not always sure if I’m remembering or if it’s just a feeling. I do know this place, though. I remember eating pasta...lots and lots of pasta. And someone was teasing us about getting married one day. But that's all I remember.”

Liam groaned. “That was Sal. Not exactly what a girl wants to hear on a first date. But you let me take you out on a second one and then a third.”

“And we fell in love.” Her words were a statement rather than a question. Those tender moments still eluded her. More than anything, she wanted to know how they’d fallen for one another.

“When we fell in love, I was the skeptic. It comes from having two parents who couldn’t honor their commitment to one another. It made me very leery of relationships.” He laughed—a rich, deep laugh that seemed to rumble through his chest. “But you came crashing into my life with your open heart and optimism. Even though I half expected you to break my heart into a million little pieces, I couldn’t not be with you. I was a goner—right from the start.”

Hearing about their early beginnings made her feel emotional. “Thanks for sharing that with me, Liam. I wish I could remember that night in vivid detail.”

Liam locked eyes with her. “I have full confidence that one of these days you will.”

He believed in her, supported her attempts at recovering her memories. He was her husband and the father of her child. In another life she had loved this man. And at this very moment she felt a gigantic shift in her heart. It was opening up—to Dr. Liam Prescott and all the possibilities a life with him would mean for her.

If only she could be brave enough to reach out and grab it with both hands.

* * *

As Liam drove away from the waterfront after a spectacular dinner with Ruby, he found himself not wanting the evening to end. He hadn’t even admitted it to himself over the years, but he had missed female companionship. Not just any female. He’d missed Ruby. The love of his life. And despite the fact she wasn’t a carbon copy of the woman she had once been, there was still a huge part of her that had stayed the same. His heart recognized her.

And being afraid of being hurt by her seemed shallow in the scheme of things. God had brought Ruby back to them and she had fought her fears and doubts to journey to Love. Couldn’t he muster the courage to do the same?

She turned toward him as she sat in the passenger seat. “Thanks for showing me such a great time, Liam. It was a very special night.”

He glanced at her, overwhelmed by her beauty set against the soft interior glow of the truck.

“You’re very welcome,” he said, feeling relieved that Ruby had enjoyed the evening as much as he had. “It’s still pretty early. We could go to the Moose for a cappuccino. They’re extending their hours of operation for the holidays. I think Cameron has a band from Kodiak playing there tonight.”

“I’d love to. That sounds fun.”

Liam made a left onto Jarvis Street and found parking a few spots down from the café. He walked around to the passenger side and helped Ruby down from the truck. On impulse he reached for her hand. He walked slowly with her, pausing to point out Christmas displays in various windows. He showed her the red toboggan, and she agreed that Aidan would love it.

On impulse, he pulled her into the alcove of a storefront. She looked at him with questions brimming in her eyes.

“I know you don’t remember it, but we kissed on our first date.”

Ruby smiled at him. “I kissed you on our first date?”

“Yes, you did,”

Liam said, trying to keep his voice solemn. “I seem to remember you saying something about me being irresistible.”

“It would seem you have me at a distinct disadvantage, since I can’t remember our first kiss,” Ruby said in a light voice.

“I remember it vividly,” he said.

She shook her head and laughed, her long tresses swaying with the movement.

“So, Ruby Prescott, in the event that you’re really opposed to being kissed by me, I’m letting you know right here and now that I’m going to kiss you.” He reached out and traced the outline of her full, soft lips with his thumb. He didn’t think he could wait a second longer. It already felt like an eternity since their lips had met.

“Okay,” she whispered. Her brown eyes were looking up at him with such a wealth of emotion. One step and he would tumble right over the edge into their depths.

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