Martin kissed Loretta and went down on one knee in front of the whole crowd. “I love you more than words, Loretta. Marry me.”
Her heart skipped with joy and she couldn’t hold back a smile. Her dream had finally come true. “Yes.”
“And then they lived happily ever after.” Noni shut the book with a sigh and glanced at the clock. Two a.m. Where was her happy ever after? When would her dream come true?
She rolled back onto the pillow and closed her eyes. Morning would come way too soon, and she’d look like hell for her presentation during the nine o’clock meeting. But only a fire could have made her put the book down before she finished. It was a disease. Like alcoholism without the hangover.
One glance in the mirror at six a.m. the next day had her revising that notion. With the pounding headache and red eyes she sported, she might as well have been sloshed the night before.
Careful use of makeup and well-chosen outfit colors helped disguise the lack of sleep, but couldn’t give her the energy she needed. The gray walls of her cubicle threatened to lull her back to sleep.
“Caffeine?” Brett approached her desk with two paper cups, and handed her one. “Black, right?”
“Thanks.” When had Hugh Jackman’s twin become so observant?
He leaned against the doorway, his broad shoulders filling the tiny space. “Late night?”
Great. So much for her attempt at camouflage. “That obvious, huh?”
“Not really. You’re just unusually subdued.” He studied his coffee cup, digging his thumbnail into the rim. “Hot date?”
“Yeah, right. With a book.” She waited while her computer went through the log-in process. “I know better, but I started it anyway.”
“What do you mean ‘yeah right’?”
So much for observant. “Do you see men lined up to ask me out?” She double-clicked the PowerPoint icon and waited again. Damn slow computers.
Brett set down his coffee and folded his impressive arms over his chest. “I’m in line.”
The coffee cup slipped through her fingers and thunked onto the desk, hot liquid sloshing through the hole in the lid. “What?” He had to be toying with her.
“Do you have plans on Friday night?”
Her belly did a slow flip. “You’re serious.”
Brett laughed. “Yeah. I know you’re a big Manet fan. You talked about the exhibit in Philadelphia after your trip last year. I thought we could get some dinner and catch the evening showing at the museum.”
She was a big Manet fan. The richness of the people in his paintings had captivated her. And Brett remembered that? Her heart skipped with joy and she couldn’t hold back a smile. Her dream had finally come true.
“I’d love to.”
By the way, I reached the end of my manuscript Blind Fury today. I didn’t quite hit 80K, but close enough for the first draft. What a great feeling!