I waved my hand in greeting, but I was invisible.
“Hey, angel,” he replied. When he looked at her, you would have thought she’d just died and gone to heaven from the dreamy look on her face.
Just as quickly as she’d arrived, she left in the same fashion. Anton obviously rendered most girls speechless. Good things I wasn’t most girls.
“Angel?” I said, giving him an unimpressed look. “That’s the best you’ve got?”
He took a sip of his water, the amused expression of his settling on his face. “Are you questioning my game?” he said. “Because I’ve got more game than I know what to do with.”
“Says you and every other male in history,” I tossed back. “But for a man who claims to have mad game, that was weak. I think my sixth-grade boyfriend won me over with ‘Hey, angel.’”
“Well, Miss Know-it-all”—Anton leaned forward—“Angel happens to be her name.” An eyebrow peaked and he waited.
I had nothing. I didn’t know anything either. Obviously.
“So . . .” I said, taking a sip of water, “how ’bout this weather?”
Anton laughed, clearly more amused than insulted at my latest bout of know-it-all-itis.
“Why have you, India, and me not gotten together and verbally sparred the night away before?” he said. “We’ll have to remedy that.”
“It seems we already are,” I said, smiling my apology.
“Hey, Anton.” Same greeting and moon eyes, different waitress.
“Hi, honey,” he greeted, giving me a sideways glance. “As in your name, Honey. Would you mind taking our order?”
Honey didn’t go as stupefied as Angel had when Anton leveled her with those baby browns. “At your service,” she replied, biting her lip in a suggestive, anything-but-innocent way.
“Lucy”—Anton motioned at me—“you know what you want?”
“I’ll have the Caprese salad, please,” I said. Honey didn’t once look at me or from Anton as she scratched down my order. The restaurant staff had obviously been drinking the Anton water and was thirsty for more.
“Anton,” Honey said, her eyes lidding, “what would you like?”
I grabbed my glass and took another sip of water. This chick meant business. I doubt she would have objected if Anton told her to meet him in the men’s bathroom in five.
“What’s your soup of the day?” he asked, returning those flirty eyes.
I never knew bisque could sound so lewd.
“Ooh, I’ll have that,” he said. “I’m living on the edge today.”
“Wild man,” I said, handing Honey my menu. “Watch out.”
“So, Lucy,” he said, “since my sister never shuts up about you, I feel like I already know you.”
I could only imagine what India had told him. In fact, I didn’t want to imagine.
“Okay, I’m going to take off the ‘boss’ hat and put on the ‘friend’ hat and ask you about something I probably shouldn’t . . .” He cleared his throat and leaned forward. “Tell me about your boyfriend—”
“Fiancé,” I clarified. “And India’s told you everything about me and nothing about Jude?” The girl loved Jude. Well, all the girls loved Jude, but India loved him in a platonic sort of way, not the make-me-moan kind of way.
“Here’s what I know of Jude from India. And these are her words, not mine,” he said, shifting in his seat. “He’s fine, has a nice ass, and can make you blush after four years together.”
“India.” I sighed. “All of those things happen to be true, but there’s a lot more to Jude than that.”
Anton nodded. “I would hope so,” he said. “What made you fall in love with him?”
This was not the conversation I was expecting to have with my boss on my first day, but expectations, in my opinion, were a wasted effort. Disappointment was at the end of every expectation.
“It wasn’t so much what made me fall in love with him,” I began, staring out the window. “It was more that I couldn’t not fall in love with him.”
“That whole, ‘the stars aligned and fate predestined it’ kind of thing?” he guessed, his smile telling me he thought he’d gotten it right. But he was wrong.
“No. More like we made the stars realign and fate had nothing to do with it.”
Before he could respond, my phone rang.
“Sorry,” I said, about to hit ignore when Anton gave me a nod.
“Take it,” he said. “You’re off the clock, and I’ve still got my ‘friend’ hat on.”
“Okay,” I said. “I’ll be quick.”
Anton nodded and waved me on.
“Hello,” I answered, twisting in my seat. “Is this Mr. Amazing?”
Jude’s low chuckle came through the phone. “You better believe it, Luce,” he said. “How’s your first day?”
“It’s going about ten times better now, thanks to this guy who sent me about a million roses.”
“A million red roses,” he said.
“Thank you. You really are pretty amazing, both in and out of the”—I substituted a throat clearing for the word I was going for—“room.”
“I’m so damn proud of you, Luce,” he said, over some yelling and grunting in the background. He must be taking a phone break during practice. “That’s one badass job you got yourself.”