He attempted to take it away from me, but I plucked it back. “I didn’t say I wouldn’t drink it.” I gave him my dazzling smile, and he pulled his hand back. I imagined him taking my hand in his, the warmth of his skin. Sometimes, I imagined more.
The green shirt brought out his blue eyes. I smoothed down my hair, the humidity causing my hair to fritz out. I wondered why he wasn’t in uniform, not that I was complaining.
“You aren’t working today?” Disappointment oozed out of my words.
“Not this week. Sam is on, he’s late. I’ve got an art show tomorrow.” I took another sip, listening to him, his deep tenor resonating in my chest. “I was dropping off the pieces, and there was a rumor you might be in town.”
He was excited about his show. He’d mentioned it a few months ago when I was here. There was a hint that I should attend, but I didn’t commit.
“Your case is getting a lot of press. I saw you on the news yesterday. They didn’t give the opinion on it today?” His brows furrowed, and he locked eyes with me. I froze in his gaze, not moving, not thinking. What was wrong with me?
“They’re behind schedule.” I scrunched my nose.
“It will be fine. I read the briefs. You and your team did great.” He leaned on the bar, elbows flat, hands splayed in front of me.
I raised my eyebrows. He read my brief? “You read it?”
“It’s an interesting case. I read it,” he said. Of course he’d be paying attention. The entire country was watching this case.
“You need a distraction. If I were you, I would go to my favorite restaurant. You should go with me.”
“Why?” I teased, falling into our normal flirting routine. He was easy to talk to.
“Some of my art is there. It just opened this week, and they bought my art to put on the walls. You helped inspire this work.”
“You didn’t put me up on the walls in there, did you?”
He smiled. “Not on those walls. I was doing my sketches the first night we spoke. Remember, you stole my sketchbook.”
“Possession is three-fourths of the law,” I said, matching his mocking tone.
“You said two-thirds of the law last time.”
“Well, it’s actually nine-tenths if we are going to be legal about it.” I grinned.
He lingered on my face. The flirting always happened, but we never did anything with it. It’s healthy to flirt, I told myself.
“Inflation. Possession law changed.” I teased staring into his eyes. The law had not changed.
He laughed. The sound vibrated with my body and a heat burned through me. That’s how it was with Jordan. He was like an old friend with no attachment. There was an ease between us. We let the months go and when we saw each other again, it was smooth. Going with him would rough it up, make it different. Possibly add more attachment. I didn’t have time for attachment.
“Go with me to the restaurant.” He gazed at me, formulating his argument. “You eat here every Friday. Go on an adventure with me? Just this once.”
I smiled at him. “Right now?”
“Do you have any other offers?”
“Yes, New York dinner with the bosses or karaoke on the other side of the mall.” I glanced at him and pointed to the phone.
“Ah, I see. Well, I am offering a night out without discussion of your case or any other cases. In fact, we won’t talk about any judicial subjects. Perhaps we can talk about art.”
“I don’t know Art. Who is he? Someone I should know?” I joked. His eyes flickered over my face, a small smile growing.
“Have I steered you wrong with food? If you don’t like it, I’ll bring you back here and it will be on the house. The only thing you have to lose is time.”
“Well, there is karaoke on the table. I mean, who says no to karaoke?” I said and winked. Oh my god, I winked at him. I was flirting hard. I don’t flirt. Maybe a little with Jordan.
“I’m guessing you would have already gone to New York by now. And karaoke?” He paused, tilting his head. “No self-respecting lawyer does karaoke anymore. You’ll be giving up on New York or karaoke to go out with an old friend. It’s a win-win.”