Frayed Page 28

I lean forward on the table, bringing our bodies even closer together. ’’Are we role-playing?’’

She breathes a breathy sigh. ’’No, I\m serious.’’

Now I\m really curious. ’’I\d love to hear about it.’’

’’It\s no big deal. I designed an app for clients to download so they can create their dream event. I use it as a start for planning. Most of the time clients have no idea what they want, so the app helps me understand them a little better.’’

I ponder what she\s talking about for a moment. ’’So you know what your clients want before they do?’’

A huge smile crosses her lips. ’’Yeah, I guess I do.’’

’’That\s f**king brilliant.’’

She shrugs. ’’It was easy.’’

’’Maybe I should hire you, then?’’

’’I\m not interested in running a magazine.’’

I nearly spit a piece of lettuce out of my mouth. ’’I mean to help launch Plan B\s holdings into the social media arena.’’

’’Oh, I could show Aerie.’’

A devilish smile crosses my lips at the thought of the outburst that would come if I gave Aerie one more thing to be responsible for. Rattling her can be so much fun. ’’I think she has enough on her plate.’’

S\elle sets her fork down. ’’You get along with her?’’

I nod. ’’Yes, we work well together.’’

’’Have you met Jagger?’’

’’I actually met him when I lived in New York City. Small world that we\ e both here now.’’

’’He\s my cousin.’’

’’I know.’’ I smile.

’’You do?’’

’’Yeah, he told me. He stops by the office once in a while to have lunch with Aerie, so we\ve kind of reconnected.’’

’’How did you meet? In New York City, I mean.’’

At this point I\m not sure how much to tell her but decide to just tell the truth. ’’He was dating the sister of a girl I was somewhat seeing back then.’’

’’Oh.’’ Her face drops. Then her phone vibrates on the table and she glances at the screen. ’’Excuse me one minute. I really should take this.’’

I nod, thinking I\d love to know what that ass**le\s problem is.

She gets up and walks over toward the bar. I watch her body tense, but she quickly ends the call. When she comes back to the table, she doesn\ make mention of him but resumes eating her salad quietly and I do the same. She squeezes more lemon into her drink and then onto her lettuce. I\m so intrigued by her I can\ resist staring.

’’What?’’ she asks.

’’It\s nothing.’’

She sips the glass of sparkling water and her head tips back slightly to expose the seductive lines of her throat and chest. I think for a moment she\s moving that way on purpose maybe flirting with me.

I drag my mind off her body and bring my eyes back to hers. ’’So, you\ e pretty busy at work?’’

’’Busy isn\ even the right word. It\s crazy right now. So many weddings and Tate keeps pushing more onto me. Plus, I\m trying to get my own business off the ground.’’

’’Do you have a name for it?’’

She laughs. ’’Believe it or not, no. I\m not so sure it\s what I want to do. Giving it a name and then abandoning it somehow seems more like a failure. I have one more event planned for the rest of the year and it\s Ivy\s release party. And I got that job because she\s my brother\s girlfriend. I actually got the job with Tate because he knows my stepfather.’’

’’But you love it? Event planning?’’

’’It\s what my family thinks I\m good at.’’

’’What about you? What do you think?’’

She shrugs. ’’Some direction is better than none.’’

At that I want to take her into my arms, to reassure her that she should do what she wants. She\s strong, confident, and has what it takes to succeed in anything. But just as I reach across the table, two steaming plates of peppered beef skewers and island rice are placed in front of us. We both push our salads to the side.

’’Smells so good,’’ she says, and from the look in her eyes she\s hungry for more than food.

’’You just ate them a few days ago,’’ I point out. ’’I hope you aren\ going to be sick of them.’’

’’Oh, I never eat the food I cater in.’’

I nearly choke on a piece of pineapple in my rice. ’’Why is that? Because I have to say now I\m almost afraid to ask. And even more afraid to eat this.’’

She giggles. ’’It has nothing to do with the food. I just have to smell it all night, so by the time I get a chance to eat, the last thing I want is what\s been under my nose for hours.’’

’’I get it. I guess. So, who are the guys who carried the empty pans to your car?’’

’’Matt and Dino? They work for me when I need help.’’

’’The taller one, I think he has the hots for you,’’ I tease her.

Her eyes dart to mine. ’’We\ e just friends. He\s not interested in me.’’

I nod, thinking she must be blind if she doesn\ see it. ’’So you don\ have a boyfriend?’’

She bites her lip. ’’No. I wouldn\ have . . . well, you know . . . if I did.’’

’’I do know.’’ I give a low laugh, trying not to growl at the visions her words elicit.

She drops her gaze and her hair falls across her face. ’’Do you have any specific fantasy you\d like fulfilled?’’ she asks. ’’Working girl, se* slave, nurse?’’


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