Welcome and thanks for stopping by. The story today is from my WIP, a snippet from The Dating List, third book in The List series, due out in October.
Colin placed their order while Leah looked around. There weren’t many people in the place and certainly no thirty-four-year-old women with twenty-nine-year-old men. She cast her gaze down as one interested man sitting by himself gave her a curious stare. Glancing up, she saw Colin’s cheerful face smiling at her. A mischievous gleam, youthful and full of fun lit up his eyes. She weakened. When was the last time I just had fun with a man?
“Penny for your thoughts,” he said as the waitress set down two mugs of steaming coffee.
“Thinking how ridiculous a woman my age looks sitting here, like on a date, with a man your age,” she blurted out, instantly regretting her honesty.
“Really? I think we look cute together. You’re so small, petite…who cares what other people think? A few years, what difference does that make?”
“You don’t care?”
“I’m sitting here with the most gorgeous, elegant, talented woman in the place…no…in all of New York City. I’m the luckiest guy alive.”
Leah felt the heat of pleasure at his compliment rise to her cheeks.
“You even blush beautifully. You’re stunning, Leah. What man of any age wouldn’t give a fortune to change places with me right now?”
She looked down at her hands, fiddling with her cloth napkin as his fingers crept over and folded over hers. Her eyes looked up into his, noticing dancing green flecks mixed with gold. Her resolve to treat Colin like a little brother melted along with the sugar she put in her coffee. The heat of his stare, his frank admiration broke through her first line of defense. He seems to be for real. When he raised her hand to his lips, she smiled.
The waitress carrying their ice cream sundae, piled high with a mountain of whipped cream arrived, breaking into their privacy. He scooped some onto the spoon and fed it to her. She did the same to him, giggling like a schoolgirl. Shut up conscience. I’m having fun. Go away.
“How long are you staying?” she asked.
“Just through New Year’s. But I plan to come back in February.”
“For Valentine’s Day?”
“Of course. Love that holiday.” His eyes glowed with mischief.
So did I when Hank was alive. Feeling a momentary tightening in her chest, Leah dropped her gaze to her spoon. Colin frowned.
“Did I say something?”
“No, no. It’s not you. Me…nothing to do with…do you come to New York often?”
Colin’s eyes searched hers but Leah had regained control, changing the subject, hiding a quick flash of pain behind a soft sigh.