“Nick,” I echoed as the huddle shuffled forward, and Jesse handled the introductions:
“You met Pete yesterday. This is my stylist, Fern, and these are the guys who keep my shit together. That’s Seth, and that’s Eli, but everyone calls him Steve. Last but not least, this is Melody, my media manager and the best girlfriend a guy could ask for.”
I heard it—but I didn’t. The moment Seth stepped out of the way and my eyes locked on the man in front of me, nothing else registered. I don’t know how I stepped forward; I don’t know how I thought to hold out my hand for him to take. I think I said hi, but he didn’t speak.
Media manager and the best girlfriend a guy could ask for.
Jesus, I didn’t see this coming.
On my drive home that night, I wondered if it even mattered. Would anything have been different if I’d been prepared for those blue eyes under that curtain of straight black--black??--bangs? Would I have walked away from a project of this size just to avoid the toaster-in-the-bathtub jolt I got at her soft voice telling me, “Hi”?
Honestly, I’m not sure.
Addison took the chair opposite me, and the waitress sauntered over. “Whatchall drinkin?” she asked.
He waved for me to go first—such a gentleman tonight, it would seem. “Jameson. Also, can I get an IPA?” My favorite combination.
“Sounds good. I’ll have the same,” he said with a nod.
Neither of us spoke while we waited on the drinks, and the silence gave me time to collect myself. Still, shouldn’t we say something? Don’t normal people chat when they’re at a bar? I searched for a conversation starter, but nothing seemed right. What’s your real story?...I shouldn’t care. How long have you been in design?...Might sound like I’m fishing for info. Why did you care if I came out tonight? Are you currently sleeping with anybody?
“What is wrong with you?” I breathed.
“What was that?”
“What? Oh. Just, uh, just thinking.”
“Don’t. Here come our drinks.”
Skye McDonald is my pen name for the series of novels I’ve written. Each of the books features its own protagonists, and can be read as a standalone novel; however, this seven-book-and-growing series is the world of a group of friends and family, and you will meet your favorite characters again in supporting roles as you progress through the books.