Something Wonderful Page 18

When his eyes met mine, I broke away, but that didn’t stop my heart from hammering in a delicious way. Jenna didn’t tell me Matthew was coming. But then again, she didn’t plan this dinner so I couldn’t really be mad at her. Besides, she didn’t even know how I felt about him, and neither did I.

“Hey,” Matthew greeted everyone with a nod. Placing his beer bottle on the table, he took off his suit jacket and draped it behind his chair. Either he had been at the bar waiting for us, or he went there first, before looking for us.

“Hi,” I said quickly and hid behind the menu so I couldn’t see him sitting in front of me. Boy, this was going to be awkward. I had to stop acting like a child, pretending I didn’t have this secret crush on him. After gathering myself, I placed the menu down. Thank goodness he had shifted his attention to Jenna.

“Did you tell Max that I was a great boss?” Matthew asked Jenna, grinning at her.

“Of course. Although we were so busy today, you didn’t really have a chance to boss me around,” Jenna teased. She looked so relaxed and happy. It was great to see her this way. Ironically, I was the nervous one.

“See, Becca? I actually do have a job and I actually do work,” Matthew murmured, placing his elbows on the table, leaning closer toward me. At the same time, he tapped his shoe against mine to get my attention. Before he could do it again, I moved my leg. “Did Becca tell you that I ran into her at the mall at Victoria’s Secret?”

I don’t know why, but glaring heat touched my cheeks, especially when I saw the look on Jenna’s face; the kind of look that was filled with questions and amusement.

“No.” Jenna whipped her head to me. She plastered a huge giddy smile on her face. “Why didn’t you tell me, Becca?”

Great…now she was calling me by that name, too. I arched my brow with a smirked expression, making her think a little, but think about what? Thank goodness for the waitress. After we’d ordered, Max held up his glass of wine, Jenna held her glass of water, and Matthew and I held up our beer bottles.

“To Jenna, and her new position. Hope it is all that you want it to be,” he said and winked at her.

After a “clink” from each glass, we each took a sip. During dinner, my heart managed to stay calm. Matthew was actually cordial and talkative. The four of us talked about our jobs, family, and Christmas plans. Jenna’s parents were coming in a couple of days. She was really excited about that. Her parents were staying for a week at a hotel nearby. Due to Jenna’s work schedule, they planned to leave right before New Year’s Eve.

Jenna told me last week that Max wanted to pay for her parents’ plane tickets, but she threatened she would never sleep at his place again if he did. I had a feeling he was going to pay for their hotel though. After all, he was the one to convince Jenna not to fly home. He was always concerned for her safety. It was something that I’d never experienced with the men that I had dated. It was great to see that happening for Jenna. Max was a truly swoon-worthy, real life “book boyfriend,” just like one would read about in a novel. God…I had to stop thinking about those damn novels with their book boyfriends.

Max convinced Jenna to spend the night at his place. He actually didn’t have to try hard, he just pouted and she gave in, but only after Matthew offered to take me home, making it a done deal. Though I was hesitant, I had to be an adult about it and stop acting like a schoolgirl who couldn’t even think around her crush.

After Max and Jenna departed, Matthew told me he would wait for me at the bar while I went to the restroom. Though the restaurant was packed, it wasn’t hard to spot him, especially when giggling females surrounded him. Boy…did he work fast. I don’t know why, but a part of me was jealous. I wanted to throw them off their barstools.

Instead of heading toward him, I sat on the opposite end of the bar. Not wanting to interrupt the barrage of females by his side by telling him I wanted to go home, I decided it was best to stay away for a bit. If he decided to ask one of them out, I didn’t want to be in his way. When he spotted me, his body stiffened; then it stiffened even more when a male leaned into me.

Knowing Matthew couldn’t hear our conversation, I gave him a taste of his own medicine and hugged Craig.

“Hey, Craig.” I gave him a warm hug. Craig was tall and lean, but not as tall as Matthew or built as well. He had short, blondish hair, his eyes were a pretty shade of blue, and he had the cutest dimples.

“Where’s Nicole?” I asked, slightly flirting with my body, twirling a strand of my hair around my finger. Craig was clueless as to what I was doing, but Matthew caught on. His eyes were deadpan as he stared at Craig and me. It made me feel good that he looked jealous. Wow! What was I doing? I had to stop this.

“Nicole went to the restroom. Are you here by yourself?”

“No. Actually, Jenna and Max were here, but they’ve already left. Max’s brother, Matthew is taking me home.” When I turned my head to the direction where Matthew was, he had already diverted his attention back to his companions. I don’t know why, but that panged my heart a little.

“Becky,” Nicole squealed, giving me a tight squeeze. She was in her work attire like Craig. With her hair curled, pencil skirt and a purple sweater, she looked stunning. “Are you here by yourself?”

After explaining again, she told me they had already finished with dinner. They had sat on the opposite side of the restaurant, which explained why we missed each other.

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