“Hot, built and sexy is here.” Grace chided as she popped a canapé in her mouth.
“I told you. He’s all yours.” Rose shrugged slightly, watching him laugh with his brother from her peripheral vision.
“Tempting, but I have a date.” Grace gestured to the snack table as said date tipped over a bowl of dipped chocolates onto the white linen tablecloth.
Rose noticed Andy and his date as they walked toward a table holding the shrimp and sushi samples.
Grace elbowed her playfully in the ribs. “It’s the knight. Don’t kick him in the face this time. He saved the cranes.”
“I didn’t … kick him the face.” She wasn’t sure what was more humiliating, striking out at him after she told the crowd not to touch anyone, or missing. “And if you call him that one more time, I’ll kick you in the face.”
Grace laughed and threw her head back along with the rest of her flute, then headed for her date.
Feeling petty, Rose made her way to Andy and rolled her eyes behind his back at the, of course, drop-dead gorgeous blonde that was with him. She put a hand on his shoulder to get his attention. Stupid move.
His face was tight as he turned to look at the hand on his jacket, then softened when he followed it up to lock eyes with her. They stood there for just a moment. But, it was enough. And it hurt. Damn it, Rose. Sheer determination had her primly lifting her chin before she spoke, “Hello, Duncan, Andy. I … suppose I owe you gratitude. And … an apology.”
One of the many waiters who carried flutes of champagne ventured close to them. She rarely drank but looked longingly at the sweet, calming bubbles. Andy took two and handed one to his date.
Tucking some loose strands of hair behind her ear, she played along. “For, you know. The other day, or week or whatever.”
“No. I don’t know.” He took the glass and lifted it to his lips, hiding a grin.
Taking the higher ground, she elaborated, “I apologize for misunderstanding your intentions in the purchase of the reserve land, and thank you for going out of your way to interfere, or intercede I should say.”
Andy held out his flute. She forced herself to look at him, then absently took the champagne from his hand and tilted back a long drink.
“Anything else?” he added.
She looked at his date. Her eyes were darting between them. Rose took another drink. “And for trying to kick you in the face.”
He placed his hand on her exposed shoulder and squeezed. “Try a new move next time.” And walked away.
She sighed and closed her eyes. When she opened them again, she looked down at the empty flute in her hand. “Son of a bitch.”