Donavon set his iPhone on the bar.
What kind of a loser—
Damn it, damn bartender walked by again without looking over. What was that, the third time? Because bartenders in airport bars don’t make eye contact. Of course they don’t. They don’t believe they’ll ever see you again. For them it’s just a shift, just get through the shift, they’ll never see anyone in here again, if they get good tips they get good tips, if they don’t, so what? It’s a job, hourly, benefits. It’s not about relationships, like in a real bar ...
Donavon waited, watching, for the guy to come back over to his end of the bar. Good, he’d turned, he was heading this way ...
What kind of a loser does it take to—
“Another Sam Adams, when you get a minute.”
The bartender nodded at Donavon, but without smiling. It was a “yeah, I heard you” nod.
Donavon checked his phone again.
“Is this seat taken?”
“No.” Donavon smiled at the woman who had spoken to him, sizing her up. Shoulder-length hair, no discernable gray, but a little crinkling around her eyes as she smiled back at him. Forties, he’d say. Mid-forties.
The bartender returned with his beer. “Menu?” he said into the air between them, and the woman said yes and asked him what sort of white wine he had, and ordered a Pinot Grigio.
“Lucky you got him,” said Donavon. “He’s a busy guy.”
“Eh, he can take all the time he likes—my flight’s been delayed until at least 7:30, apparently.”
“Yeah? Where you headed?”
“Rochester, New York. You?”
Of course. They were in Concourse G, the spot where the little planes land and take off, the planes headed to the little airports.
Too bad she wasn’t flying to Syracuse. He could use a distraction ...
The woman was checking her phone now, sending a text message, but then when she got her wine she put her phone away and turned slightly toward him. Good—she was a friendly one. “Syracuse, eh?” she said. “So what do you do?”
“Oh yeah? What company?” Smiling at him.
“RMB.” He felt himself relax as he spoke. “We’re a small chemical manufacturing plant nobody’s ever heard of, that makes stuff that other companies—companies you have heard of—put into their products.”
“What kind of products?”
“Cosmetics mostly—shampoo, lip balm, that sort of thing.”
“So is RMB based here in Chicago?” She sipped her wine, and he noticed her left hand.
No wedding ring.
Maybe he should date someone older. Maybe an older woman would be easier, less drama ...
“Nope,” he said. “It’s south of Syracuse. But as you know, if you fly to Rochester a lot, there aren’t any direct flights. I spend half my life in O’Hare. Is Rochester home for you?”
“Yes. So where are you coming from, this trip?”
“Vegas,” he said without thinking, and then wished he’d lied.
“That’s a fun town. So did you win, or lose?”
“Broke even, more or less,” he said. “Or anyway,” he struck a jovial note, “that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.”
She smiled again, then flagged the bartender and ordered a chopped salad with chicken, and Donavon asked for his check, then watched out of the corner of his eye as the woman fumbled through her purse, took out a little bottle of Purell, opened it, and rubbed it into her hands.
“How about you?” Donavon asked as she recapped the bottle and dropped it back into her purse. “What do you do?”
“I’m a writer.”
“No kidding. That’s interesting. What do you write? Books? Or ...”
“A little bit of everything. Stories, novels. But I pay the bills with corporate contract work. Marketing brochures, that kind of thing.”
A man’s voice came on over the terminal intercom and the woman paused, listening.
“Syracuse,” she said. “Is that you?”
Donavon nodded and pushed his stool back. “Yeah.”
“Well, have a nice flight.”
“I’m Don, by the way,” he said and held out his hand.
“Christine,” she said.
Her hand felt small and clean from the Purell.
He slung his duffel bag strap over his shoulder. “Good luck on your flight.”
Old enough to be his mother, almost. But maybe that’s what he needed—someone older, someone who had dealt with all her baggage, who would be grateful for the attentions of a young stud. And she was well-preserved. Trim, probably worked out. Pilates, probably, or spinning ...
So that’s it, Donnyboy?
That’s how you’re going to cope? By hitting on anything that moves?
He shook his head, trying to shake off the thought.
You get dumped, so you hate yourself, and then you cope by becoming a person you’ll hate even more?
He reached his gate and stepped into the plume of people waiting to board.
He pulled his boarding pass out of his back pocket.
There was a blond just off to the side, a little ahead of him. Her back to him. She was wearing those tight blue jean jeggings that show off every curve, black leather boots up over her calves—he let his eyes move up and down, lingering.
Yeah, now that—that was a morsel. Had to be at least an 8 or 9 ...
He shifted forward to get a glimpse of her face, her profile. Fine, like a porcelain doll. Easily a 9. Stupid, no doubt, but that was all the better. Yeah, this was exactly what the doctor had ordered. He should move in, now ... it would be easy. Let her know he had a job, strike the right balance between suave and aloof, flirtatious and superior ...
An older couple stepped in front of him, blocking his view of the blond, interrupting his thoughts, and his mind flashed back again to Vegas.
How many times had he made that trip?
What kind of a loser does it take to keep flying back out there? You know you’re not going to just run into her. And even if you did—then what? It’s done. She chose.
They’re probably fucking married by now.
What kind of loser does it take to keep chasing after a woman who is long fucking gone?
Donavon handed his boarding pass to the agent and waited as he scanned it. No beep. The agent scanned it again, and again, and finally the scanner beeped and Donavon took the ticket back and started up the jetway.
Goddamn it, they’d better have beverage service on this flight.
A woman's worst nightmare
Drugged by something...that makes her think she's fallen in love.All Haley Dubose has ever known is beaches and malls, clubs and cocktail dresses.
But now her father is dead.
And if she wants to inherit her father's fortune, she has to leave sunny Southern California
for a backwater little town near Syracuse, New York. She has to run RMB, the multimillion dollar
chemical company her father founded. And she has to run it well.
Keep RMB on track, and she'll be rich. Grow it, and she'll be even richer. But mess it up, and her inheritance will shrink away before she gets a chance to spend a dime.
Donavon Todde is her true love. But is it too late?He's RMB's head of sales – and the more Donavon sees of Haley, the more he's smitten.
Sure, she comes across at first as naïve and superficial. But Donavon knew Haley's father. He can see the man's better qualities stirring to life in her eyes. And Donavon senses something else: Haley's father left her a legacy more important than money. He left her the chance to discover her true self.
Donavon has demons of his own.
He's reeling from a heartbreak that's taking far too long to heal. But he's captivated by this blond Californian, and not only because of her beauty. It's chemistry. They're right for each other. But has Donavon waited too long to woo this woman of his dreams? Because to his horror, his beautiful Haley falls under another spell. Gerad's spell.
A web of evil.Gerad Picket was second-in-command at RMB when Haley's father was alive. And with Haley on the scene, he's in charge of her training. But there are things about RMB that Gerad doesn't want Haley to know.
And he must control her. Any way he can.
Romantic suspense for your KindleWill Haley realize that her feelings are not her TRUE feelings?
Does Donavon have the strength left to fight for the woman he loves?
Will the two of them uncover Gerad's plot to use RMB pheromones to enslave the world?
And even if they do – can they stop it?
Genre – Romantic suspense
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author