Born Under a Lucky Moon

Born Under a Lucky Moon by Dana Precious Read Free Book Online

Book: Born Under a Lucky Moon by Dana Precious Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dana Precious
was just wondering if not wearing nail polish was the “in” thing right now.
    I kissed her cheek and sat down. Charlotte was dressed in a taupe knit pantsuit that showed off, even at her age, a damn good body. I knew she did Pilates three times a week and had a personal trainer in another two days a week. While envying her dedication I soothed myself that if I didn’t have to work I’d go to the gym too. Maybe.
    I spotted Sam, Aidan’s stepfather, across the restaurant. Even though he was retired it was clear he was still working the room. He stopped by almost every table to say hello. Sam had been the chairman of a major film studio for decades. While I had heard the stories about how he had been both loathed and feared at the studio, I had never seen that side of him.
    Striding over he gave me the biggest hug he could while I was still half rising out of my chair. “There’s our girl!” He beamed. Straightening up, he grabbed at a waiter who was walking by carrying a full tray of food. “How ’bout a Bloody Mary, my good man?” The waiter recovered his balance, nodded his head, and moved on. Sam took his seat next to me.
    â€œSo?” He looked across the table at Aidan and winked. A silence followed.
    Then Aidan cleared his throat. “Yeah, so, Sam. What’s up in your world?” Sam sat back in his chair. Then he looked at me. The bottle of Dom Pérignon on the table took on a new meaning. They were expecting this to be a celebration of our engagement. Quiet fell over the table again and I took an overly long time getting my napkin arranged in my lap.
    â€œWell,” Charlotte said to break the awkwardness. But she couldn’t think of anything to say after that, and when no one jumped in to fill the void, she busied herself with the roll on her bread plate. I snuck a sideways glance at Aidan but he was pretending to study the menu. My napkin became fascinating to me again.
    Sam was the first to recover. But even with my eyes cast downward, I felt his long stare before he finally switched the subject. “So, Jeannie, the grapevine tells me that Katsu what’s-his-name got promoted to EVP.”
    My spine stiffened. Word sure had whipped through town. Any major move in a studio could cause a domino effect. One person’s promotion might very well mean another’s demise so gossip was usually gleeful and rampant.
    â€œHe’s coming on fast behind you. What do you suppose that means for you at Oxford?” Sam said as he tinkled his empty Bloody Mary glass at the waiter.
    â€œThere’s always plenty of films to work on,” I snapped. My voice sounded downright petulant even to my own ears.
    â€œWell, I’m sure the powers-that-be let you know all about it, to be sure you were on board.” Sam crunched the celery he had pulled out of his glass. Something told me that Sam damn well knew already that they hadn’t.
    Aidan squeezed my hand under the table. I hadn’t told him of this development yet but he understood the possible implications. He also knew that Sam reveled in industry chatter. Sam might be his stepfather but he could also be a blowhard jerk—especially if he thought I might have just wounded his stepson.
    Attempting to get off the subject of Oxford Pictures, I cast around for small talk. “You know, I think this is only the second time in my life I’ve had eggs Benedict.” I willed my voice to be pleasant.
    Charlotte sat back. “Really, Jeannie? I think Aidan was having this by the time he could talk.”
    â€œWow, you must be a really good cook,” I said, relieved we had moved the conversation to safe ground. I imagined a civilized table where people calmly sat while eating a decadent breakfast. My mom usually tried futilely to shove scrambled eggs at us as we were all trying to get out the door to school.
    â€œYep, Mom cooked it for me every morning.” Aidan smiled at

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