Speed Dating

Speed Dating by Nancy Warren Read Free Book Online

Book: Speed Dating by Nancy Warren Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nancy Warren
muscles relaxed and she realized he’d been as tense as she.
     
    A FTER THE WEDDING came a sit-down dinner reception. Usually, when Kendall went to a big do, she and Marvin were close to invisible. Conversation tended to stall when people found out they were both actuaries. But Dylan’s table felt like the table at the center of the universe.
    He was hailed, backslapped, joked with, teased and flirted with so often she wondered how he managed to get any food down. He bore it in good part, managing to charm the women, talk racing jargon with the men and still find time to fiddle with Kendall’s hair, place an arm around her shoulders, whisper supposed secrets in her ear.
    His behavior kept her on edge and fluttery, so it washard to eat anything. Since one of his whispered intimacies was to remind her that she was supposed to be crazy in love, too, she let herself do what she’d wanted to do all evening. She traced the shape of that scar with a fingertip. She felt the tiniest thread of scar tissue and a slight dent. His skin was warm and beneath the pads of her fingers she felt the slight scratch of stubble. When she would have removed her hand, he took her wrist and kissed it.
    Her pulse jumped as though it wanted to kiss him back.
    Down girl, she reminded herself. It’s pretend.
    As she made her way through the high-class version of banquet rubber chicken, she felt a stab of guilt. She should be at her own actuarial dinner eating the plebian version of rubber chicken. Marvin’s behavior didn’t abnegate her responsibility to her employer. If only her ex -fiancé had told her earlier, given her time to get used to heartbreak and humiliation, she might have handled this evening with her head instead of her damaged heart.
    Maybe her behavior wasn’t entirely appropriate, but so long as she got to the banquet before the speeches, she doubted she’d be missed.
    While the ritual wedding toasts were made, she kept an eye on her watch.
    The first dance between the bride and groom had Kendall blinking in surprise. Ashlee seemed to have forgotten all about Dylan and for this dance, anyway, she had eyes for no one but her latest husband. And Harrison looked as though he cradled the most precious being in the world. Why, that man was the one crazy in love, Kendall thought. She hoped he didn’t end up heartbroken.
    It wasn’t a great feeling.
    A glance at her watch told her it was nine. After the actuary dinner, which would be winding up about now, coffee would be poured and there would be the usual speech from the president of the association that had never been clocked in at shorter than sixty minutes.
    “I should really get back to the hotel. I need to get my acceptance speech from my room.”
    “Fine by me. Let’s get out of here.”
    Since they’d been snuggling all evening, she wasn’t at all surprised when he took her hand. A woman could get used to this guy, she thought. And this woman better not.
    They made their way unimpeded out the front door, which made her sigh with relief. Probably it was rude to leave without saying goodbye, but in Dylan’s case, goodbye undoubtedly took hours.
    “So, you’ll definitely come to my banquet with me?” she asked as they walked out into the still, warm air of a May evening.
    He glanced at her, and a tiny frown pulled his brows together. “What exactly is this award?”
    “Does it matter?” If she told him the truth about herself, she felt as though all the magic would drain out of the evening.
    Dylan glanced up at the night sky twinkling like a sea of glitter. “See, the thing is, I’m a broad-minded guy. But I’ve got sponsors. Fans.” He glanced at her and looked a little embarrassed. “I hate to be acting like a prude here, but if you’re adult movie actress of the year, or something—and believe me, when I say that I think it’s a great honor—then I’m going to have to pass.”
    “Adult movie…?” For a second she was stumped, then she sucked in a

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