He glanced down at me.
“I know. I know. The PI file, so yes, I know the players, but those files don’t share everything.”
“Thank fuck for that.”
The line was moving at a good pace, and we only had six more people in front of us.
“What do you want to know?”
“Are you close to your brother-in-law?”
A wry laugh came from him as he reached for his wallet. Four people to go.
“Define close?” Another laugh, but this one sounded more wry. “Actually, I didn’t like the kid when I first met him, but he tends to grow on you. He treats my sister well, so that’s really all that matters.”
I was reading between the lines, and it seemed he adored his brother-in-law. “You love him, huh?”
His eyes lifted, and I saw I was right.
“Wait till you meet him. He’s a lot. You watch soccer?”
I shook my head. “No. It was only dancing for me.”
“Is that normal?”
“No. Well, sometimes. It can be. I chose to really immerse myself. It’s competitive the higher you go, and you can’t lose the edge, ever. I know a lot of dancers who aren’t like that, though. They live normal lives with families.”
“I get it. I think. I was shipped off to a private boarding school for a bit, so I get that world.”
“You were shipped off?”
His eyes were lidded. “My parents didn’t approve of my friends’ influence on me.”
“Did they have a right to be worried?”
Two people to go.
He grunted. “Yes, but also no. It didn’t deter me from leaving as soon as I could and then still getting in trouble with those friends afterward.” His eyes grew distant.
It was our turn, and feeling his gaze weighing on me, I stepped to the counter, giving my order. Nate was next, and I didn’t fight him when he moved to pay. I’d been living with him long enough to know he was going to pay no matter what. He just did it.
After getting our drinks and food, we moved through a large crowd of people. He shifted again, stepping behind me. He had the majority of the food, but he still managed to clear a hand to rest on my back.
It was doing all sorts of things to me.
My stomach was flip flopping all over inside.
I was attracted to Nate. I’d always been attracted to him, but that attraction was almost out of control by now.
I needed to rein it in and deal with it.
Once we were through that group, there was a slight clearing of people. Nate moved back to my side. His eyes grew fierce. “Since we talked about my parents before, I need you to know that I will never be like that with Nova. I’ll never ship her away. I’ll never feel like she’s a mistake. I’ll always love her and put her first.”
Heat filtered through me because he wasn’t just letting me know he’d always be in Nova’s life. I was getting that. I got that message loud and clear the first moment I told him about her. He was telling me something else.
My mouth dried.
He was going to be a good father.
Correction, an amazing father.
My stomach shifted, and I felt an opening forming in the middle of my chest.
That made me even more attracted to him.
I whispered, “Just don’t be like my father.”
“Never,” he whispered right back.
We were in our own little world right then, our own moment.
The people ceased to be.
The stadium faded.
All the noises, the sounds, even the beverages and food we were holding, all of it was gone.
I’d moved beyond the attraction.
I was starting to fall for him.
I looked at the aisle and stood. “Dierek, you’re late. I’m surprised you still came to the game.”
Mason’s agent laughed, then groaned. “Traffic and a small crisis that got sorted out. Apologies, but I still wanted to show up.” He clasped me on both shoulders, looking me up and down. His empty chair was on the other side of Quincey. Before moving past, he said, “Congratulations on the news.”
Dierek was our age, a few years older, and he had no children. As far as I knew, he had no relationships either. He was married to his job, but he was one of the top agents in the world. I’d say it was working for him. He was also a good-looking bastard, and until that moment, I never thought about his looks.
I was thinking now because he shook Quincey’s hand and held it way longer than he needed to hold it.
“So sorry again for my lateness. You’re the beautiful Quincey Royas.”
“Hello. And thank you. It’s nice to meet you.”
He was still holding her hand.
That was unprofessional of him, like highly unprofessional. He wanted to represent her, not fuck her. There were lines. Roles.
I stomped down a growl, because what the fuck?
But he was moving past her, starting to let go of her hand.
It would be irrational of me to rip them apart.
I was asking myself if that was irrational. That was probably a sign.
Jesus. Logan would be laughing his ass off at me.
Why’d Mason refer him again? Right. Because he was the best agent in the business.
Everyone else was starting to sit. Someone just scored.
They were still shaking hands.
“Okay.” I pushed Dierek into his seat.
Both turned to me, shocked.
I ignored them, gesturing to the field. “It’s an important play.”
A gurgle left Quincey’s throat as she continued to stare at me.
I coughed, clearing my throat. “Since it’s the fourth quarter, I’m assuming you’ll want to have dinner with us afterward?”
I liked Dierek. Or I had, until today, until he held Quincey’s hand for an inappropriate length of time.
I told him, “Matteo will be joining us.”
“That’s good. I haven’t talked to Matteo in a while. It’ll be good to catch up.”
We were on our feet in the next second. The momentum of the pass interception by Matteo’s team led the charge through the rest of the fourth quarter. Dierek talked to Quincey a bit more, but everyone was cheering so loud that conversation was minimal between the two.