He swirled the Riesling on his tongue, savoring the cool tartness, trying to keep his voice calm in contrast to the turbulence in his mind. “So, DeeDee, why aren’t you seeing anybody?”
Her hesitation told him he’d caught her off guard, but she kept loading dishes.
“Who says I’m not?”
“You’ve been with me every night this week.”
At JR’s quiet, husky voice, DeeDee shot him a look that said, “Oh, please.” He had the good grace to smile.
“You haven’t made any calls, and the ones you’ve taken didn’t sound particularly romantic. Sounded like your mom or one of your kids.”
“Eavesdropping?” DeeDee asked, wiping the counter, looking over her shoulder with an amused accusation. JR put his hands up in defense.
“No, no. Just observing."
“I have been seeing a guy for a while,” DeeDee admitted, and JR’s eyes narrowed until he saw a frown flash across her brow.
Something about the guy bothers her. Good.
“He doesn’t love you,” he said.
He heard her breath hitch and appreciated how well she finessed it. She leaned back against the counter, arms and ankles crossed. Her response seemed as casual as her pose.“How do you figure that?”
“He can go a week without hearing your voice?” JR softened his tone, sending words swirling like leaves in a quiet breeze. “He can go a week without…touching you?”
DeeDee went back to wiping counters. “He knows I’m working
“Yeah, you’re working to all hours with a man he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t make sure you hear his voice? The guy doesn’t stop by, maybe bring dinner, to check me out and mark his territory? Nah, he doesn’t love you, and he’s trying to get fired."
DeeDee put the last of the dishes into the dishwasher, set a detergent ball in the slot, and turned on the machine.
“We’re mature adults. We don’t need to be in each other’s pockets.”
JR’s laugh rumbled.
“Oh, so you don’t love him either.”
When she raised her eyebrows, he shrugged.
“I can’t see you giving a guy that kinda space.”
“Oh? So, you think I’m high maintenance?”
“No doubt, and this guy should make it his business to maintain his woman…highly.”
As DeeDee reached into one of the top cabinets, JR moved with stealth, positioning himself behind her. He barely heard her quiet chuckle.
“I’m not his woman.”
She pulled out a box of cookies, turned, and smacked right into him. He smiled as her eyes widened, and she gave a little squeak.
Pulling her into his arms, he murmured, “No, you’re not.”