Moonstone

Moonstone by Jaime Clevenger Read Free Book Online

Book: Moonstone by Jaime Clevenger Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jaime Clevenger
soon, we can set something up later in the month. I don’t want to be the pushy sales rep.”
    Joy shook her head. “It’s only lunch, right? So long as you don’t expect me to sign anything yet, I think we’ll be fine.”
    “But I’m hoping you can convince her,” Denise said.
    Denise’s conspiratorial tone was annoying, but Joy looked straight at Kelsey. “As fair warning, I can be a tough sell.”
    “I like a challenge,” Kelsey returned.
    The slight upturn of Kelsey’s lips made Joy wonder how many sales she got with a coy smile alone. But it was going to take more than a smile this time. Joy had plenty of experience with women trying to win her over. Sales reps were easy to blow off. She glanced at her watch.
    “You’re probably running late for your next appointment,” Denise said. “Go on ahead and I’ll talk to Helen about scheduling the lunch.”
    “Thank you.” Joy turned to Kelsey and added, “And I guess we’ll catch up next week.”
     
    When she’d finished with her last morning appointment, Joy headed to the lounge to drop off a file for Denise. She passed by the doughnut box and paused.
    Denise walked over to where Joy stood and picked up the business card that had been left behind. “I promised Kelsey that I’d make sure you got this.”
    “Business card in exchange for doughnuts?”
    Denise nodded. “I think she’s worried that you are going to cancel on lunch. At least if you have her card…”
    “I don’t back out of things I agree to.”
    “But I didn’t get the impression that you were looking forward to it either.”
    “We both know there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Or free doughnuts.”
    Denise bit her lip and Joy wondered what she wasn’t saying. How much had Kelsey told Denise? Joy doubted that Kelsey would have mentioned any details about their past—there wasn’t much to say anyway—but Denise clearly had something on her mind. It was possible she sensed Joy’s awkwardness around Kelsey. She didn’t want to explain why seeing Kelsey West set her back eighteen years.
    “Free or not, I’d say it was worth it. I really needed the coffee. I’ll suffer through a sales meeting if that’s the price.” She tucked the card in the pocket of her slacks and took another bite of her doughnut.
    * * *
    “She’s pretty,” her mom said. Her gaze was on Kelsey’s back as she hopped out of the pool.
    “Yeah, so?” Joy returned, not daring another look at Kelsey.
    “So. That’s all.” Mom sniffed. “I’m just saying I agree with you. She’s pretty.”
    “I never said anything about her.”
    “You didn’t have to,” her mom countered. “Your eyes said it.”
    “My eyes didn’t say anything at all.” Joy swallowed. “She’s the best swimmer on our team. I like watching her race. That’s all.” Fortunately no one was close enough to hear her mom’s comment. They were on the far side of the bleachers, sitting on the grass. Her teammates were grouped on the other side of the pool and the few clumps of people nearby were no one she recognized. “She hasn’t lost a race this season.”
    “You don’t watch anyone else race. And when she’s not swimming… You don’t look at anyone else that way.” Her mom adjusted her sunhat and leaned back on the grass. “I can tell. It’s okay to be attracted to someone beautiful. In fact, it’s perfectly natural.”
    “It’s perfectly natural that I’m watching the best swimmer on our team,” Joy argued. “Why are you making a big deal out of this?”
    “I’m not trying to. It’s just that I noticed that you like her. I thought maybe you’d want to talk about it.”
    “Well, you’re wrong. I don’t want to talk about it. In fact, can we please drop this?”
    Her mom shrugged.
    “Like forever?” Joy added.
    “Fine. But I know how you feel. First time I saw your dad I could hardly speak. Fortunately Sam could talk to a doorknob.” She laughed. “But even after we started dating, I didn’t

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