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frightened prey through the thick, dark vegetation,
salivating at the mere thought of pouncing upon its
dinner and devouring it whole.
Keith leaned over the counter top and turned on
the charm. “Zack’s dumping an empty carton out
back. Is there anything I can do for such a fine-
looking lady on this fine Friday afternoon?”
Sharlene laughed at Keith’s playfulness. “You’re
certainly in a good mood. Things going well for the
little online enterprise you told me about the other
day?”
“Sh!” Keith hushed her with a slashing motion to
his throat. “Remember, the boss-man could be
listening. He don’t know about my latest attempt at
becoming the richest man in the world—”
“You attempting to swindle some fools out of their
hard earned cash again, Marshall?”
Zack bounded into the store proper, a winsome
grin on his full, soft lips. Dressed in tan cords and a
rumpled brown and yellow plaid shirt that brought
out the soft gold highlights in his hair, he couldn’t
have looked any more handsome than a movie star on
Oscar night, Sharlene thought.
“If the FBI ever comes knocking around here, you
better believe it’s your butt that’s going to fry and not
mine,” Zack joked. “Hmm, maybe your little friend
Roxie will be partnering with Fox Mulder by then and
get you out of jail.”
Sharlene smiled at their friendly game of one-
upmanship. “Roxie?” Her gaze focused on the
younger man’s reddening cheeks. “Why, you didn’t
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tell me about this FBI agent named Roxie the other
day, Keith. Is she someone special?”
“You could say that.” He quickly checked his
watch. “Five o’clock. Time for me to get ready for my
big night out. Feel free to call me ‘Foxy Mulder’ from
now on.”
“In your dreams,” Zack chuckled. “Be careful now,
remember?”
Keith spun around and headed for the back stairs.
“I will. Trust me. You taught me how to be a good
boy, remember?”
“Me, Mom, Dad and Sister Mary Agnes at least
tried,” Zack said under his breath.
“Good luck on the date,” Sharlene added.
He saluted them good-bye. “Thanks. Later.”
The jovial atmosphere abruptly dissipated as Keith
left
the
shop.
Sharlene
turned
to
find
Zack
straightening several of the counter displays with his
back to her as if he didn’t realize she was still in the
room.
“Zack?”
“Sorry. I’m bit preoccupied.” He stopped fidgeting
with the computer bug key chains next to the till as
she approached. “Is there something you needed?”
Needed? It was more like wanted. Sharlene gulped
hard and licked her suddenly dry lips. “Uh, yes. I was
wondering if you would like to have dinner with me
tonight.”
“Dinner? Tonight?” Zack looked as if the words
were stuck in his throat and choking him.
She rushed in to rescue him.“Strictly for medicinal
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purposes. Honest.”
His
expression
remained
an
utter
blank.
“Medicinal purposes?”
Sharlene bit a nail, then launched headlong into her
convoluted explanation. “Well, it’s like this. Liza, my
friend, you know her, right? She’s also my doctor and
she’s worried that I am putting on too much weight.
She wants me to slow down and eat less, but when
I’m alone I don’t slow down or eat less, and about the
only time I do slow down and eat less is when I’m
sharing my dinner with company—so I thought I’d
ask you.”
He acted a bit dazed by her breathless rationale.
“Ask me what?”
“Would you like to be my dinner companion
tonight?” she enunciated carefully. “For dinner. My
place. Seven o’clock?”
“I’d love to.” A definite smile was developing at
the corners of his mouth, his luscious, kissable mouth
Sharlene couldn’t help but notice.
“So what are we having?”
Having? What about me? She bit the inside of her lip.
“You mean to eat?”
“Yeah.”
Sharlene drew in a long breath and blew it out
slowly. She hadn’t gotten that far in her plans. It had
taken her an hour walking around and around the
park just to summon the courage to ask Zack to her
table. She’d forgotten to come up with a menu!
“How about lasagna and salad?” she suggested,
praying that she hadn’t eaten up all the mozzarella
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and lettuce in the refrigerator or else it was a quick
trip over to the overpriced eclectic grocery on the
corner.
He grinned. “My favorite.”
“Mine too.”
Mission accomplished! Sharlene gritted her teeth to
keep from yelling. The whole invitation thing had
been easier than she thought it would be. She started
toward the elevator. “I’ll see you at seven?” she
asked.
“Seven sounds great.” He nodded. “Dress is
casual?” [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]




 

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