“You’re late,” Andi says as I approach the table, giving me a chastising look, but there’s a smile on her lips, so I know she’s not as mad as she might like to make out.
As I reach the table, I let my eyes flicker over to the yoga instructor.
Dark hair. Pretty face. Big tits.
“Sorry.” I lean down and kiss both of Andi’s cheeks. “You look lovely, as always.”
“Oi, dickface. Hands off my wife.”
“Good to see you, too, Ryan.” I smirk at him.
Grinning at me, he stands, and we do that handshake and half hug that us men like to do.
“Been a while. You doing okay?” he quietly asks me.
I meet his eyes, giving him a nod. “I’m doing good.”
“Leandro, this is Katrina,” Andi says.
Turning to Katrina, I smile at her, properly looking her over, as I move around the table where, of course, I’ve been strategically seated next to her.
She has a strappy red dress on, and her ample cleavage is spilling out of it.
I put my hand out to shake hers. “Nice to meet you, Katrina. I’m Leandro.”
She slips her hand into mine, and I kiss her cheeks, but I feel nothing. No spark or connection.
A strange sense of relief settles inside me.
I’m relieved that I don’t have a connection with the hot woman? What the hell is wrong with me?
India. That’s what’s wrong with me.
She’s the only person I feel that spark with, and she’s the only woman I can’t have.
Story of my fucking life at the moment.
Every time I touch India, I feel something that I haven’t ever felt with a woman, even before the accident. Sure, I’ve sparked and connected with women in the past, but what I feel every time I touch India is pure exhilaration. Like I’m about to start the greatest race of my life.
“I know who you are. And call me Kat.” She gives me a flirty smile, just like the maître d’ did moments before.
“What can I get you to drink?” a waitress asks, appearing at our table.
I glance at the table and see what everyone’s drinking. Carrick’s on the whiskey, like usual, Andi has a beer, and Katrina has a glass of red wine.
I want to keep my mind clear tonight, so I’m not going to drink. “I’ll just have a lemonade with a slice of lime.”
“Are you driving tonight?” Kat asks me.
“No.” I pretend not to see the smile on Andi’s face. I know she thinks I drink too much.
I did drink too much.
Kat turns in her seat to me, pressing her knee right up against my thigh. “So, why aren’t you drinking?” she asks, like it’s a given that I should be drinking. That’s probably because of what she’s read and heard about me recently.
Something uncomfortable moves in my chest.
“I just like to keep a clear mind when in the company of such beautiful women.” I turn my charm on to stop her from asking any more questions that I’m not in the mood to answer.
“What’s everyone having?” Andi says, opening her menu.
I flicker an appreciative look to her, to which she smiles.
I’m not an alcoholic because coming off the drink hasn’t been too hard. But I was using it as a crutch, and until I know I can drink for the enjoyment again, I’m staying off it. I just don’t want to have to explain myself to a complete stranger.
I open my menu, noting the fact that Kat hasn’t moved her leg from against mine. Then, I see her hand drop into her lap, and she starts to inch it toward my leg.
Okay. She moves fast.
Not that I have a problem with fast. I’m just not going to go there with her.
No chemistry, no fucking.
Her fingertips have just made it to my thigh when the waitress returns with my drink, so Kat retracts her hand, placing it on the table.
When I lift my eyes, I catch Carrick grinning at me.
I give him a fuck-off look, to which he chuckles.
“I’ve decided.” Carrick slaps his menu shut. “What are you having, babe?” he asks Andi.
“I can’t decide.”
“What about the veal?”
Smiling, she shakes her head, and he laughs, clearly sharing a private joke. Taking her hand in his, he kisses it.
I feel a small pang in my chest at the realization that I might never have that with someone.
“Hey, Carrick, look. Dr. Harris is here.”
Andi’s words have my eyes snapping up from the table.
Turning his head in the direction where Andi is looking, Carrick says, “Oh, yeah.”
My eyes search her out, but a pillar is blocking my view, and I can’t see her from where I’m seated.
“Who’s Dr. Harris?” Kat asks.
“She’s my therapist,” Andi answers with ease.
The Andi before India would have had a problem answering that question. She was secretive and kept things to herself—her words, not mine—but since India has being treating her, Andi is more open, less afraid to tell people things about herself.
“I’ve had—sometimes still have—worries over Carrick’s racing, and she’s helps me deal with it,” Andi explains to Kat.
I slide a glance at Carrick, and the fucker is grinning at me.
I know it’s not because he’ll say anything about me seeing India, and neither will Andi.
Then, about two seconds later, I see the reason for his grin when India comes into view, and so does the man she’s with.