Blushing Pink

Blushing Pink by Jill Winters Read Free Book Online

Book: Blushing Pink by Jill Winters Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jill Winters
the only real enjoyment he had anymore was his daily lunches at Roland & Fisk, a bookstore a few blocks from his office. For one hour each day, he could sit and clear his head. He always had the beef mushroom soup and a double espresso while he read the newspaper. It was so peaceful there. Not to mention inexpensive—he didn't even have to buy the paper!
    Jesus, when had his existence become so pathetic?
    He should probably consider it a good thing, then, that his ex-fiancé, Veronica, wanted to reconcile. It would be so easy to slip back into their relationship. So easy not to be alone anymore. It should make him happy, but instead it mostly just confused him.
    Now he got up and walked to the foot of his bed, where he always kept his briefcase. He should really look over some of the latest development sketches before work tomorrow.
    But as soon as he picked the briefcase up, he knew he couldn't face it.
    Maybe in a few minutes.
    Lying back on the bed, he shut his eyes. An image of Reese Brock suddenly popped into his mind. He held on to it, smiling to himself when he remembered the place mat sticking to her belt loop, and how flustered she'd become. Had it really been two years since he'd seen her? He'd forgotten how incredibly cute she was. Definitely, very, very cute...
    Brian had meant only to rest his eyes for a moment but, still in his shirt and shoes, he fell into an exhausted sleep.
    * * *
    Reese was finishing up breakfast, while her mother was sitting across the table staring at her. "Can I help you?" she said finally.
    Joanna shrugged haplessly. "No, no... I'm just worried about you, sweetheart. You don't seem like yourself."
    "I don't?"
    "Did something happen with Kenneth?"
    "No, nothing happened." In more ways than one—ever.
    "Well, you haven't mentioned him, and every time I do, you seem to avoid the subject." Take the hint. "Have you made plans to see him over break yet? Why don't you invite him here for dinner soon? I'll fix something special, and you two can work on your dissertations together. What's he doing for Christmas?"
    "Actually," Reese said, quickly rising from her chair, "I'm running late. I gotta go."
    "Okay, but what about Christmas? You know you can invite Kenneth here."
    "I know. You've only told me fifty times." She set her plate in the dishwasher, and prepared to bolt. "I'm sorry, Mom, I've really gotta go," she said, hurrying out of the kitchen.
    "All right, but remember what I said!"
    "Uh-huh," Reese called over her shoulder, snatching her jacket from the hall closet. She jetted through the door. Just as soon as she'd closed it, she heard it swing back open.
    "Bye-bye!" Joanna called. "And remember, Moms know best—have a great day!"
    * * *
    Reese pulled into the underground parking garage of Roland & Fisk, which had ten whole spots reserved for employees. It was first come, first served, unless you were a manager, in which case you got a wide outlined space, right by the elevator.
    Figuring she had no prayer of getting a space, Reese was absolutely elated when she saw a car pulling out of one. She glanced at the clock below the dashboard: 11:52 a.m. It had to be someone cutting out on the morning shift. Perfect, she could park and still have time to steal the last few sips of her coffee.
    Coffee was a particularly guilty pleasure at the moment because it was strictly prohibited at work. This was somewhat ironic considering that the cafe inside the store was a caffeine addict's wet bar, and an ode to every conceivable souped-up milk-and-coffee concoction that included an excuse for whipped cream. In truth, all refreshments were frowned upon, but since coffee was the one that people needed most to function, the store manager was especially strict about it. It clearly gave her a sick thrill. But then, with that god-awful personality, probably nothing and no one else would.
    Reese reached for her cup and took a long sip. Setting it back in the drink holder, she hopped out of her rosy little

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