Something a little new. Watch for the Sweet Snippets for short romances on the go!
He wasn’t hot. Or tall. He definitely could have used a wardrobe stylist. But it wasn’t any of those things that caught my attention.
It was that darn smile.
It took a minute – blame his height – but, when the group of guys who looked like they’d walked out of a J Crew magazine and were just standing around for the photo op parted, there he was.
It took them a good seven minutes to spot us from the other side of the bar. Not that I was timing them or anything. But when half the girls are models and the other half pass themselves off as models, you usually don’t have trouble getting a guy to cross the room.
When our groups collided, I had the strange urge to cry dibs. To put a little sticker on him that said, “Hi, my name is Taken” before one of the other girls snapped him up.
“So, do you ladies usually travel in such a gorgeous pack?”
I shifted around to find a guy who looked vaguely familiar smiling down at me. No dimples.
“So, do you usually compliment the girl’s friends instead of the girl?” I was hoping to move on fast. Dimples was talking to Cheri who was just back fromParisand rebounding off a twisted relationship with an obsessive compulsive photographer.
“Ouch. How about, how do the other girls handle being out done by you night after night?”
I’d give him points for the backpedaling, but still — not interested. And, way to burn your bridges with my girlfriends.
He flashed me a grin that could only be called cocky. “I figured you had to be tired of being told how gorgeous you are. So, what do you do?”
At least he wasn’t direct about it. Guys asked all the time and I usually couldn’t figure out if, “Are you a model?” was a come-on or I really did look familiar.
“You first.” Either way, I wasn’t interested. “What do you do?”
“I’m the local PR rep for several of the city’s finest athletes.”
That made sense. He had the smooth-edged look about him and would explain why he looked familiar. We’d probably passed each other at several parties just this season.
“Your friend?” I nodded toward Dimples.
“What’s his deal?”
“He’s my little brother.” Note the emphasis on the world little. “High school history teacher. He lives out in the suburbs. Spends all his time coaching little league.”
I could tell by the way he said it that he thought all that would add up to Not Interested. There’s no way the cocky PR guy could know how exotic that all sounded.
I gave him Smile Number Four: I’m-bored-but-humoring-you.
Luckily, he got the message.
“Dave!” PR guy waved his brother off, breaking the conversation off from Cheri.
Dave. Nice.Normal. Exotically normal.
He was taller than I thought. It was just having been surrounded by giants that made him look short. He might have scratched the bottom of six-feet.
At five-ten, I was considered short. He grinned. More dimples and I knew I’d be perfectly happy either investing in flats or pulling a Nicole Kidman.
“Dave this is…” PR glanced at me.
PR guy cocked an eyebrow, suddenly very sure he knew the answer to his earlier, What do you do? question. “Kennedy.”
I held my hand out, waiting for those dimples to make a showing.
“So, Kennedy, what do you do?” Next to him, PR guy snorted. Dave glanced at him, confused. “Did I say something funny?”
“Only if you’ve never seen a Victoria Secret’s catalog.”
“Why would I be getting Victoria Secret’s catalogs?” Dave glanced my way. “Do you work for them?”
Not, Are you a model or A girl as pretty as you… But, Do you work for them?
“Sometimes.” I mean, I did work for them sometimes. And sometimes I worked runways inParisand sometimes I did guest spots in romantic comedies.
“Like a consultant?”
“Are you kidding me?” Dave’s brother pushed his hand thru his hair and gave it a tug. “You’re not related to me. There’s no possible way we’re genetically related.”
With that, he shook his head and remerged with the J Crew crew.
When it was just the two of us, Dave smiled at me again. “I said something stupid again, didn’t I? They’ve been laughing at my lack of label knowledge all night. You’d think it was important for a teacher to know how to pick out a fifteen-thousand dollar watch.”
“I’m sure they find it comes in handy.”
“Yeah, or I could add it to my mortgage.”
He had a mortgage. That means he had a house, which means he had a home, which means he didn’t live out of hotels and eat off room service menus every night.
“I bet you have a grill.”
It was Dave’s turn to look at me funny. “Yup. On the back deck.”
“Small one. Just enough to have to mow every weekend.”
He mowed the yard. On the weekend. That was… amazing.
“What do you do for fun?”
“Not this.” Dave nodded his head toward the guys picking my friends up. “This is way above my pay grade. I typically hang out with my friends at home, work around the yard, maybe go to a game or get in a hike. Nothing very exciting.”
“I’ve never done any of that!” It sounded exciting to me. Also, hiking boots. I could buy hiking boots and they were definitely flats.
“Nope. I travel too much. Well, I did. I’m looking to take some time off. Maybe make a career change.”
“Yeah. I have a buddy who’s a consultant. He’s on the road all the time. Said if he sees the inside of a Days Inn again he might jump out the window…if they opened.”
A Days Inn. I’m not sure I’d ever been in a Days Inn.
“Maybe we could take a hike next weekend. I know a nice trail that’s great for beginners. Really pretty.”
Dimples just asked me out. He thought I was a soon-to-be unemployed consultant and he asked me out anyway.
And he liked to take care of his house and coach kids and teach classes and hike. I mean, could he get cuter?
“Do you like dogs? I have a lab. I could bring her along.”
Oh. My. God. A dog. He had a dog. He could get cuter. And sweet. There was just something kind about him. I didn’t see a lot of kindness floating around my world.
“I think I like dogs. I’ve never met one bigger than a cat, but they seem friendlier.”
“Daisy is definitely friendly. “
This guy was too good to be true.
“Kennedy, we need you to answer a question over here.” Margo was waving me over. The international sign for, Let me save you from that guy you’re not interested in.
I scooped out the others, all of them tall, gorgeous and probably absurdly rich. All of them the same circle I’d been running in since I was fourteen and my mother decided it was easier to hand me off to a modeling agent than a nanny when she was on whatever movie set owned her that month.
“I’m sure you’ll figure it out. We’re planning a hike.”
I’d said it just to get the reaction from all of them. I swear there were actual gasps. The guys were annoyed, the girls were appalled and Dave was oblivious to it all. Well, not oblivious, but a bit confused.
I turned my back, not caring.
“So, that hike…”
“Well, I have a game to coach that morning. I could meet you somewhere or pick you up after that.”
“Or, maybe I could come watch you coach.”
Dave blushed, actually blushed. “You could. Don’t expect my team to win if you show up. They’ll be too distracted.”
I sucked in a breath. He’d been playing me the whole time. Of course he’d known I spent a large amount of my time walking around in expensive underwear.
“We don’t have a lot of girls at our games. They’re thirteen, so they’d notice if one did show up. Or walk by. Or probably drove by. They’re easily distracted.”
“But, so am I.” He grinned again. “I noticed you as soon as I came in. Has anyone told you, you have the prettiest smile?”