Hot Coco: Excerpt from Devon's Choice





     Once they got to the park, Devon unhooked his leash.  The dog ran in the snow and stopping abruptly, he turned, tongue out and ears perked.  Brandon reached down and patted snow into a ball and threw it far beyond Bubby, who took off after it.  After a few more throws, they left the dog to himself and walked along the brick path to a bench.  Brandon brushed the snow off with his gloved hand and they sat down.  Bubby played some more, then lay with his head up and ears alert.
     “I’m curious,” Brandon said, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees.  “I may be out of line to ask you, but what kind of relationship do you have with this Michael guy?”  He looked sideways to see her worrying her bottom lip and hoped he was going to get a truthful statement.
     “It’s pretty shallow, really.  We’ve never discussed being an exclusive couple. He travels a lot with his company and I figure he probably goes out with other women, and not just for business if you know what I mean.  Once he practically admitted to it.”
     “What kind of job does he have?”    
     Devon, who’d been watching the dog, turned to look at him.  “He’s the Executive Vice President for Turner Construction.  His father owns the company.”    
     Brandon drew himself back.  “Turner Construction!  That’s the largest construction company in the Midwest.”    
     “So, you’ve heard of it?”    
     “Yes, my dad had some experience with them.”       
     “So was it a good experience?”    
     Brandon shrugged.  “I really couldn’t say.”  Then, hoping to refocus her attention, he asked,  “How’d you ever meet him anyway?” 
     “He hit my car in a parking lot.  Not very romantic.”
     Brandon looked over at her neutral expression.  Whatever kind of relationship she had with Michael Turner didn’t seem to be making her happy.  At that moment, all he wanted to do was to make her forget all about the jerk.

     As if sensing him watching her, Devon turned her head enough to make eye contact with him.  The faint, milky glow from the streetlight showed enough of her features for him to see a soft blush warm her cheeks.  Under her dark lashes, he watched her sea green eyes glint invitingly as her soft lips turned up at the corners.  In that moment, his resolve to keep the date on a friendly level came crashing down.


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