One Breathless Night(2)

By: Jo Leigh

Mindy made a face. “Probably tucked in a corner somewhere discussing the newest thrilling tax requirements.”

Zane, Mindy’s husband, had not only gone to BU two years ahead of Payton, but he was also an accountant at the same firm. Jenna liked the couple a lot but they really only saw each other at events like these. They lived in a different suburb, and both Mindy and Jenna worked full-time.

“Have you seen him?” Mindy nodded toward a tall, dark-haired man standing at the other end of the buffet.

“Who? Oh. I hadn’t, no. But I... He’s...good-looking.”

Mindy nabbed a chocolate-dipped strawberry, now that they’d moved the few steps over to the dessert section. “Good-looking? That’s like saying the Mona Lisa is a nice painting.”

“Okay, fine. He’s gorgeous,” Jenna said. “Honestly, I stopped listening to you the moment I saw him.”

“You’re forgiven. I mean, he actually looks like James Bond. Better than Daniel Craig, if you ask me.”

Jenna nodded, even though she knew Mindy wasn’t looking. “He must be a swimmer. Right? That’s a swimmer’s body.”

“I don’t know. I think runner. No. Martial arts,” she said, her voice lowering an octave.

“Hmm. Quite possibly,” Jenna said in a British accent.

Mindy laughed. “I’m sending him a telepathic message to take off his jacket.”

“While you’re at it, you might as well ask him to take everything else off, too.”

“That seems greedy.”

Jenna was giggling now. “Oh, damn, he’s with someone.”

“So are we.”

“Of course we are. I’m just window-shopping. Ah, his girlfriend’s beautiful.”

“I never did like blondes.” Mindy eyed Jenna for a second. “You’d look good with him,” she said. Then she started loading a plate with petits fours.

Jenna laughed. She scooped up a bite-size brownie, while scoping out the rest of the goodies, ignoring everything that wasn’t chocolate.

‘He looks...dangerous,” Mindy said. “If only he’d take off that damn jacket. Let us see what he’s got under the hood.”

Jenna looked up from the buffet table and stared at her friend, who was unashamedly checking out the guy.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he was hiding a Walther PPK.”

Almost choking on the brownie, Jenna cleared her throat and said, “I thought that sentence would end in a completely different way.”

Mindy’s eyes lit up as she turned to Jenna. “I take back the Victorian comment. And give you extra points for the classiest way of subverting the ‘is that a gun in your pocket’ joke I’ve ever heard.”

“That’s me. Classy as—oh, crap, he’s coming closer.”

Mindy bumped her shoulder. “Don’t look him straight in the eye.”

Jenna nodded absently at Mindy, more interested in the gorgeous dress the guy’s date was wearing than in him. A few seconds later, she realized what her friend had said. Her gaze flew back to Danger Bond. “Damn it, I just looked him in the eye. He caught me. Stop saying things.”

“Jenna?” Mindy poked her in the shoulder. “Jenna.”

“Yes, what? Hello?”

“Payton,” Mindy said, a little too brightly. “Zane. Thank goodness you guys are back. We were beginning to think you’d asked some Bond girls if you could do their taxes.”

“Ha,” Mindy’s husband said, without the least bit of humor. “I never get tired of accountant jokes.”

Mindy waved dismissively before she accepted her double Scotch from him. Jenna’s gaze caught on her wedding ring set. The rings were Vera Wang. Diamond and sapphires on white gold. God knew how expensive they’d been.

Then she looked down at her own engagement ring. She and Payton had picked it out together. The lovely three-quarter-carat princess cut on platinum had been a perfect choice. The money they’d saved by being careful was socked away in their new-house account. The wedding was set for the following June—if they didn’t postpone it yet again.

Regardless, by then she’d have paid off the balance of her student loans and they’d have a significant amount for a down payment in Easton, a very nice suburb equidistant to both their jobs. There was a reason they’d decided to have the wedding in his parents’ gorgeous backyard. It was very important to both of them to enter the next phase of their lives debt-free.

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