by Christina Meanea
“What do you mean you give up?” Sharon’s perplexed voice caused Brenna to raise her distracted gaze to her best friend and coworker.
For a moment Brenna was at a loss as to what she HAD meant when she’d moped into Sharon’s office and thrown herself into one of the chairs before Sharon’s desk.
“Oh,” Brenna cleared her throat. “I’m through with MEN! I don’t need them!”
“Gonna start batting for the other team?” Sharon laughed.
All Brenna was capable of for several seconds was a slow blink. “Umm… no,” she murmured. “I can appreciate a beautiful woman, but I love the way a man looks, how he moves, how he feels…” her eyes took on a faraway look and she sighed lustily. Sharon’s snicker brought Brenna back to herself with a start. Grinning she met the amused gaze of her friend.
“No, really… I’m done with men for awhile. I keep getting duds! Do I have some sort of sign tattooed on my forehead in creep ink that begs others to take advantage of me?”
Sharon choked on her sip of coffee as she snorted out a laugh. When she was finally able to wheeze in a breath she gasped out, “Creep ink?”
“Yeah, ink that is invisible to everyone else but creeps… Creep Ink!”
“Wow!” Sharon said, obviously astounded by her best friend. “Come here.” Sharon crooked her finger causing Brenna to lean forward. Sharon reached up and brushed Brenna’s wispy bangs from her forehead. “Nope,” Sharon said decisively, “no creep ink!”
Brenna slapped Sharon’s hand away and sat back in her chair with a laugh. “Yeah, but you’re not a creep!” she said with a sigh.
“Says you!” snorted her friend. “My ex-husband might disagree with you! Oooh, there’s an idea, why don’t we have him stop by and see if he can see the ink!”
Brenna couldn’t help it, she burst into laughter. Shaking her head she stood and giving a small wave, left Sharon’s office heading for her own. “I’m heading down to the deli,” she called back over her shoulder. An unintelligible grunt was her answer. Brenna guessed that Sharon didn’t want anything from the ground floor deli in their office building.
Stopping quickly at her own office to grab up her purse, Brenna set out for the bank of glass elevators in the middle of the building. Normally she took the stairs, a girl had to exercise where she could, but today she just didn’t have the energy or the motivation. She’d take the stairs all day… tomorrow.
As she stood at the bank of elevators waiting for one of the cars to arrive, her phone set up a jarring chorus. She knew that ringtone. It was Dave’s. His ringtone used to be one of her favorite songs, but she’d changed it when he’d become someone she wanted to avoid. Now it was the most annoying ringtone she could find. That way she never answered it on accident when he called. Ignoring the strident beep coming from her purse, Brenna stepped onto the elevator car once it arrived. Seeing that the lobby button was already lit she stepped to the side wall and turned, leaning back she crossed her arms over her chest and dropped her head back against the wall as her phone fell silent again.
When her phone started ringing again, she dug through her purse and vehemently jabbed the off button. “I don’t want to talk to you!” she muttered viciously. Tossing the phone back into her purse she was startled by the sound of a throat clearing. Slowly turning her head, Brenna came face to face with the most intense set of eyes she’d ever seen. A murky hazel that was more green than blue, what made them truly extraordinary were the starbursts of chocolate brown that radiated outward from the pupils. All thoughts fled Brenna’s brain like wisps of clouds on a windy day.
The man attached to those eyes wasn’t so bad either, she thought. With curly black hair, cut short to tame the curls she assumed, and a stocky, muscular build, he was quietly appealing. The humor in his gaze didn’t hurt any either. She loved it when a man could laugh with her, and make her laugh. Judging by the faint lines radiating from his eyes and the corners of his mouth, this man laughed a lot. Well, that and the distinct twinkle she could see in his eyes. He just screamed “mischief”. When he raised one black brow Brenna realized she was staring. Clearing her throat Brenna turned back to the front of the elevator, watching the lights change with each floor they passed.
Trying to appear casual, Brenna glanced back over her shoulder, only to lock gazes again with the man. She quickly turned back to the front again. Somehow, his face looked very familiar. Had they met in passing before?
She looked again, this time noting how he stood. Leaning against the back glass wall of the elevator, his legs were crossed at the ankle. He was so very relaxed, how was it that she felt as if she’d grabbed a live wire? He’d placed one hand in his pocket while the other casually grasped the railing that ran around the wall of the elevator. Again, that black brow rose in question. Again, Brenna quickly turned back to the front. Maybe she did know him.
Finally, Brenna gathered her nerve and turned fully to confront that laughing gaze.
“Don’t I know you?” she asked quickly. He blinked once, long and slow.
“Isn’t that supposed to be my line?” he asked with a truly appealing laugh.
Blushing, Brenna stuck her hand out, “Brenna Wilson,” she introduced herself. When his warm hand enveloped hers a jolt shot up her arm and into her chest.
“Kyle Banner,” he said with a smile.
Well, Brenna thought to herself, maybe not giving up after all.
About the Author: A wife and mother of four (five if you count the dog), Chris is a full-time Mom and part-time dance instructor. In her spare time she enjoys reading, writing and playing with her family. As a beneficiary of her own HEA, she loves writing about them. You can visit her on her blog at http://cmeanrun.blogspot.com/