Sunday, July 27, 2008
Romance with a little laughter
Table for Two (A Harris Grove Story)
by Meg Allison
Sandra Larsen and David Jenkins have nothing in common—except that their best friends just got married.
Despite their petty bickering and sarcastic barbs, David has fallen head-over-heels for the feisty restaurant critic. He has one week to convince her they should share a permanent table for two.
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“Strangers in the Night”
The punch tasted like carbonated syrup and the veggie trays had wilted. Other than that, Sandra supposed the wedding reception could be called a hit. Unless you counted the fact that she just lost her best friend.
She took a long sip of her drink and winced as the fizzy liquid made her teeth ache from sugar overload. Maybe she could get some water somewhere.
She glanced to her left over the rim of the clear plastic cup and tried not to grimace. David Jenkins had to be the most irritating man she’d ever met. Too bad she’d be seeing a lot of him now that their best friends had tied the knot.
“I said, nice party, don’t you agree?” He looked down at her from such height that she had to lift her chin to meet his gaze. At five eight, Sandra was in no way petite. The man should be on a basketball court.
“Yes, it is.” She looked away, hoping he’d get the hint and leave. Instead, she heard him chuckle.
“Man, you aren’t going to make this easy, are you, Ms. Larsen?”
That got her attention. “Make what easy, Mr. Jenkins?”
He waved a hand in the direction of the dance floor where the newlyweds, Jenny and Mark Thompson, danced to When I Fall in Love. “This being best-friends-in-law, stuff. We’re going to have to get along now, no matter what.”
She raised a brow. “And just what gives you that impression? Why do we have to get along? We’re not the ones that just got married.”
“No, but I have a feeling that if we want to be part of Mark and Jenny’s new lives in any way, we’re going to have to at least pretend to like each other. You know they won’t stand for us fighting.”
No, she and David weren’t exactly bosom buddies. They were as different as night and day, summer and winter…head lice and caviar. She smirked.
But why would anyone really care? So what if they’d squabbled over who should toast the future bride and groom at the engagement party last year? People disagree from time to time, and it all started with one of his inane clueless man comments. David made a lot of them.
The scene she made at the bachelor party last month couldn’t really matter now, could it? She had apologized. Sort of. Sandra had been told by a very reliable source – or so she thought – that David had hired a stripper for the party and she refused to let that little peccadillo go by without protest.
Then the whole incident at the rehearsal dinner…well, that was better left unmentioned for all concerned. Although, in her defense, Sandra couldn’t help it if the restaurant they held it at had received three health code violations in the past six months. If only Jenny had asked her beforehand, it would have been a moot point. Sandra certainly could not, in good conscience, have let David eat that shrimp and lobster platter knowing what she knew.
Yes, the restaurant owner hadn’t been pleased and maybe she could have been a bit more discreet, but really! In hind sight, she should let the big oaf take his chances with a little food poisoning.
She set her half-empty cup down on the buffet table and crossed her arms over her stomach. While she didn’t like David, she disliked the idea of missing out on Jenny’s new life even more.
“Well, maybe we can work on it,” she conceded. “What do you suggest?”
“First off, how about calling me Dave like everyone else?”
“I can handle that, but I’ll call you David.”
He smiled. Sandra moved away an inch. Sure he had a nice smile, but the man was hopeless otherwise.
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