This week I offer my first Sweet Saturday sample, from my new novel, After Ten. Here, Beth meets Aaron for the first time.
Beth studied the other man. He was tall, with a slender build, and had light brown hair that was cut short. His steel-grey eyes were framed by a pair of wire-framed glasses. When he extended his hand to greet her, Beth decided she liked his friendly smile. “It’s nice to meet you, Aaron.” She shook his hand. “So you work with Mark?” Duh. Hadn’t Jess just said that? This was already not off to a great start. He had probably already decided that she was an idiot.
“That’s right,” Aaron said. “It’s a real estate development firm. We’re just out of grad school and still learning the ropes. We’re basically peons, aren’t we Mark?” They both laughed.
That was certainly something Beth could relate too, being a mere peon in her office as well. But real estate? She hoped she wasn’t in for a terminally boring evening. After they ordered, Beth did her part to keep the conversation going. “Are you from Texas then?”
Aaron shook his head. “Connecticut, actually.”
“He went to Yale.” Beth noticed how quick Jess was to supply that information, and she had to admit she was impressed.
“I’ve never been to New England. I had a friend in law school from New Hampshire, though.”
“Where in New Hampshire?”
Good question. “Around Concord, I think.” Beth wasn’t even sure. So much for that close, inseparable friendship they all thought they’d share forever.
“Nice area. Good skiing. Climbing, too.”
Beth must have looked surprised, because Aaron grinned at her. “Don’t let the Ivy League education and the nerdy glasses scare you off. There’s more to me than that.”
“I’m sure there is.” As soon as it was out of her mouth, she realized that she was dangerously close to flirting. She also realized, with no small amount of surprise, that it felt good and natural.
“How about you? I’ve already heard that I’m dining with the future DA of Clayton County, but besides that, what else should I know?”
There was only person who could have volunteered that information. Beth turned to look at Jess, who just shrugged. “That didn’t scare you off, Aaron?”
He shook his head. “I don’t scare easily.”
She found herself smiling, enjoying his company and his easy sense of humor. “No talking about my job tonight. I work enough hours as it is, and you really don’t want to hear about the trials and tribulations of a young prosecutor.”
“You’re right, I probably don’t.” Aaron laughed and took a drink of water. “Okay, no shop talk. In that case, what do you do in your spare time? You do occasionally have fun don’t you?”
Beth wasn’t immediately sure when the last time was that she had done anything resembling fun, but she wasn’t about to admit that to a guy she had just met and found herself liking more and more. “Yes, occasionally.” She thought for a minute. How pathetic was it that she had a hard time identifying what she did for fun. “Let’s see. I’m a big sports fan, which probably comes from being raised with two brothers. I like to run, but I’m ridiculously out of shape. And I enjoy movies.”
“Great, we’ll have to go running sometime. I can help you get back into shape. Though from where I’m sitting, you look pretty fit to me,” Aaron quickly added as if to compensate in case he had offended her.
Beth had to laugh at that. “Nice recovery. Very smooth.”
He let out a sigh of relief. “Good. I don’t want to get on the bad side of a woman who puts people in jail for living. Besides, I was hoping you might be interested in joining me for a movie this weekend.”
A movie. Beth took a breath. If tonight wasn’t a date, blind or otherwise, going to a movie with him would definitely bump things into date territory. Unless, of course, he suggested they just meet at the theater. If he mentioned dinner, too, though, there was no going back. “That sounds nice. What movie were you thinking about?”
“The new pirate movie is opening this weekend, if that interests you at all?”
“I wouldn’t mind seeing it,” Beth admitted. “The preview looks good, and I like Johnny Depp.” Okay, that was that. Now it was just a question of whether he’d suggest dinner, too.
Aaron smiled. “Great. Maybe we can grab a bite to eat first.”
That made it official. “It’s a date.” It surprised Beth how much she was suddenly looking forward to it.
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