Ribbon of Steele: A Romance of Suspense

Ribbon of Steele: A Romance of Suspense by Jq Allan Read Free Book Online

Book: Ribbon of Steele: A Romance of Suspense by Jq Allan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jq Allan
reminding herself that she was on a date at all.  This wasn't a typical first date at a slightly upscale restaurant and an awkward first kiss. She looked down at what the chef had prepared.
    "This looks amazing," Lizzie said with a smile as she took a small bite.
    Mackenzie grinned and sat back in his chair studying her. "So tell me about Lizzie, where did you grow up?"
    Lizzie looked back at his smiling face and took a deep breath. "In a small town," she answered softly. "I think there were only like three-thousand people. I'd probably still be there if it wasn't for Nicole dragging me here."
    Lizzie told him about growing up and going camping with her dad. He laughed when she told him that her town didn't even have a street light.
    "Why do you ask?"
    "I remember you telling me the city made you feel like you're in a maze," he replied. "Most city people don't say things like that," he continued with a grin.
    Lizzie was impressed that he had remembered. "You're probably right," she replied. "But in my field, there's not much going on outside the city."
    "Unless you build it yourself," he said winking at her.
    "Can I ask you something?", questioned Lizzie.
    "Sure, said Mackenzie leaning forward and taking a bite of his filet.
    "That's the second time you've said that, and the only work you've seen of mine are decorations for a small party," said Lizzie. She paused for a moment. "Its just weird. You seem so sure that I could make it on my own. That's like my biggest fear, Mackenzie. I think you are more sure than I am."
    She wondered if she had overstepped or let the fun escape from the conversation they had been having . Nice Lizzie, way to ruin the moment by calling the guy out on his compliment.
    Mackenzie paused for a long time before answering. He stared at her in a studying way that made her shift in her seat. After what seemed like an eternity, he spoke.
    "I remember working with my father on business deals," he started. "A big part of Steele and Wickes back then was financing small businesses. My father had an uncanny way of knowing if a business would succeed or fail," said Mackenzie, smiling as he reminisced. "I remember asking him one time how he did it. He told me that businesses who are hesitant to borrow money are thrifty, those who talk a big game will probably be out of the game, and those who hone their craft rather than a business plan usually come out on top. He always said that type of business was more willing and able to adapt and the best place to invest."
    He took a sip of wine, still studying her. "Lizzie, you are right that I haven't seen much of your work, but I want to. I bet it's amazing. I bet it's amazing because you want to make it better. You're nervous to start something yourself because you don't feel you're good enough, but that's actually the reason you should. You're actually more formidable than you realize."
    Lizzie felt her face flush red. Her throat became dry. She didn't know what to say. She was happy when Mackenzie continued.
    "Anyway, that's how I see things. I would bet on you to be successful. Although Steele and Wickes is being run a bit differently these days," he said with a forced smile.
    "Thank you," said Lizzie. It was all she could think to say. She took a forkful of mashed potatoes.
    "The other bit of advice my father gave me Lizzie...is that you can never trust a girl that only eats salad."
    She looked at her plate and her filet and mashed potatoes were gone. She hadn't touched her salad. She was embarrassed for a moment, and gave him a guilty smile. They both laughed out loud.
    "And if you will excuse me, I am going to select a dessert wine. I will be right back."
    As Mackenzie left, Lizzie walked around the room to view the artwork. She stopped in front of the fire to look at the intricate carvings on the marble mantle. After dinner together, he knew things about her that she hadn't even

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