Broken Hart (The Hart Family) (3 page)

BOOK: Broken Hart (The Hart Family)
6.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


I’m completely puzzled by how he is acting. I wonder what I can say to defuse the tension when his green eyes open and lock on to mine.  He breathes deeply in and out, and I assume that he’s calmed himself down.  I smile at him, but that quickly turns to a frown when he glares at me.


“Sabrina, what the hell is going on with you? You’re
late. In fact, you’re normally twenty minutes early.  This is twice you’ve been late in a month!  And Jesus! Running out of gas on the freeway? You could have been killed!”  He stops his tirade and returns to glaring at me, which tells me I better say something, but I’m completely thrown off by his anger. 


“Dante... I… I’m fine.  I’m sorry that I was late twice.  I was flustered this morning because I was running late and I left the house without my purse.  I’m sorry I inconvenienced you, but…”


Dante’s balls his fist and slams it on to the dashboard.  I jump in my seat. “Inconvenience? You're never a fucking inconvenience. Don’t be an idiot!”


I gape at him, shocked by the outburst, but I stay silent, waiting for him to finish. 


“I want to know what the hell is going on with you.  Something is different. Why have you been late?  Why are you losing so much weight?  Why have you been cutting down on our morning runs at the gym? And… your hairs down.  Your hair is never down at work.  Something is definitely weird!”


I sputter, about to start answering his questions when he holds his hand up to silence me.


“Most importantly… Where in the hell were you last night?  Brooke came to dinner without you and said she didn’t know where you were, just that you’ve been spending time with some mystery man.  She seemed worried.  What the hell is going on?”  


I take that last bit in with a confused frown.  I’m almost positive Brooke knew exactly where I was.  She’s met Marcus, and I had sent her an email Sunday afternoon telling her that I couldn’t go to Dante’s on Sunday for dinner since Marcus and I would be practicing.  Maybe she didn’t get it.  But certainly there was no way she would ever be worried about Marcus.  She’s met him, and he isn’t some mystery man to her. Dante
crazy over protective, so he probably just misunderstood what she said.


I reach my hand out and lay it on Dante’s arm in a calming way as I say, “Goodness Dante!  I’m fine.  I’m sorry that you were worried.”  A look at his face shows that he is still in intense mode, with his jaw clenched.


I snatch my hand back and pull a Dante, running it through my hair.  I know this means I’ve completely messed up my straight hairstyle, but I’m reacting to his frustration.  My stomach feels like I’m in the biggest loop on a roller coaster. 


“Look Dante.  I apologize for not making it to dinner.  I did email Brooke and tell her where I would be, but clearly she didn’t check her mail.  There was no reason for anyone to be worried.  And I told you late last week that I didn’t know if I could make it to dinner on Sunday.  Don’t you remember that?”


I implore him with my eyes to calm down.  He leans his head back on the headrest and lets out a harsh breath.  “Yes Rina, I remember you mentioning that you
didn’t know
if you could
make it.  But you never said definitively that you couldn’t be there.  And when you never said no, I expected you to be there.  We all did.”


When he turns and looks me in the eye again, I am surprised to see what looks and awful lot like hurt… or even fear in his eyes.  But then it’s gone and he just looks pissed.  


“Dante, I’m sorry. I never meant to be impolite.  I really thought you assumed I wasn’t going to make it.  You know I’d never intentionally bail out on my friends.”


Dante is focusing on me in the strangest way as I speak.  I know this look.  It’s the one he gets when he’s trying to figure something complicated out.  Why is he looking at me like this?


“Friends… right.  Ok.  I guess that explains dinner,” he says, “but can you tell me what the hell is going on with the weight loss and the lateness?  You aren’t working out with me, but you’re wasting away.  Should I be worried?”


I shake my head.  What does he think I’m doing? “No! Remember I told you I was taking dance classes?  I’ve been practicing as much as possible these last three weeks for a competition with a dance partner. That’s the man Brooke is talking about.  We practiced for six hours yesterday, until after eleven o’clock.  I woke up late because I’m exhausted from dancing.  Same applies to when I was late a few weeks ago.” 


I smile at him before continuing.  “That’s also the explanation for the weight loss.  When you dance for hours and hours each week, you’re bound to lose weight! As for my hair, in all the chaos this morning I dropped my hair pins in to the toilet.  So, mysteries solved! No need to worry.”


I’m confident this will have calmed him down, but if anything, he looks more upset.   Before he can say anything else, a car pulls up behind us with Damien at the wheel and Spencer in the passenger seat.  As usual, frick and frack have come to the rescue. Dante holds his hand out to me, and I hand over Brooke’s car key. 


Dante hops out to talk to Damien and Spencer, gives them the key to Brooke's car and then climbs back in to the driver's seat. "Damien and Spence will take care of everything.  The Mercedes will be in the parking garage for you with a full tank in no time."


I let out a sigh of relief as he pulls back in to traffic and we head off to work. This morning has been a wreck and I need everything to calm down.  Normally it would be nice to spend a few minutes in the car in silence listening to music with Dante, but the tension is too thick for that. 


I’m relieved when we pull in to the parking garage at Hart International.  Hopefully now the day can reset to normal.  Dante is out of the car in a flash, slamming the door so hard, the car shakes. 


Of course! I get it now.  He’s having a shitty day too.


I open my door and pop out of the car, gasping as I walk headlong in to Dante’s chest. “Jesus Dante! You scared the shit out of me!” 


I laugh breathlessly and move to walk around him, but he puts a hand up to stop me, angling me so that my back is up against the car with his arms on either side of my head, giving me no easy exit. 


this close
to me and I feel the charge like I’m hooked up to a generator.   I take a breath in hoping to steady myself, but that’s not a great move because I am now breathing in the delicious and powerful scent that is Dante.  It’s a mix of body wash, cologne and his natural scent, and it addles my brain.


“Rina…  Why didn’t I know that you were dancing with some man? I feel like you don’t talk to me anymore.  Is something going on?”


Now he’s annoying me.  “Dante, I don’t have to tell you everything I do.  I’m an adult, and you aren’t my keeper.  You’re completely over reacting.  Nothing is going on.  I’m living my life.  I’m having fun.  It’s not like I was purposely not telling you.  It just never came up.  You certainly don’t tell me everything YOU do.” 


His mouth opens and closes several times, as though he is searching for words.  This is a first, as I’ve never seen Dante speechless. He takes a step back and shakes his head.


“Sabrina, I actually
tell you almost everything I do.  Besides Damien, you know me better than anyone.  You’re my best friend. I guess I thought you shared your stuff too.  I’m sorry you feel like I’m intruding.”


Glaring at him I snap, “Oh for goodness sake Dante!  Knock it off.  I don’t think you’re intruding.  Honestly, it isn’t as though I was trying to hide anything.  It just never occurred to me that the fact I’ve got a dance partner is something you would be even remotely interested in.”


“Well.  I guess if that’s what you thought” he says as he shakes his head.  “Sorry.”


“It’s all good,” I say.  “In fact, the competition I’ve been practicing for is this Saturday afternoon.  You, Damien and the girls are invited… if you think you could sit through watching something like that.”


I’m making a token gesture, really.  I know he won’t come.  The idea of Dante sitting and watching ballroom dance is preposterous.  I smirk at him as I wait for him to make an excuse and am completely caught off guard when he nods and says, “Okay. What time and where? I’ll email the others and see if they are free to come with me.  Is Brooke going?”


Talk about an unexpected development.  I so did not anticipate him saying he would come, but I’ve made the offer and now I need to follow through.  “It’s at the ballroom in at the Beverly Wilshire on Saturday at three and yes, Brooke is coming."


“I’ll be there.”  He gives me his thousand watt smile and the tension eases.  He takes my arm and we start to walk toward to bank of elevators.  The day finally stops throwing surprises at me, and I am relieved to move on from such an insane morning.





I dragged myself out of bed early this morning to go to the gym with Dante, even though my muscles are still on fire from another dance practice last night. 


Dante still seemed unsettled after yesterday morning.  Nothing specific that I could point to, but he seemed… off.  I found him staring at me at least a dozen times, totally lost in thought. I’m not sure what that’s all about, but hopefully he will stop worrying when I show up at the gym this morning.


Throwing on a tank top, running shorts and sneakers, I grab the garment bag I loaded up last night with my work clothes for today, the bag I packed with clothes for tonight, and then I hit the road.


I’m at the health club by six thirty, and I don’t see Dante, so I check in and take my clothes to the locker room, spending a few minutes organizing my locker so that I'm good to go when I get back from my workout.


Coming out of the locker room, I find Dante standing outside in the hall waiting by the doors.  Smiling, I make my way over to him.  He actually looks relieved to see me, which is odd.


Walking toward him I smile and ask if he's ready to run.  He nods in the affirmative and we take the stairs up to the third floor and then find spots on treadmills that are side by side.  Setting our speeds to warm up, we both start walking.  


Over the next ten minutes, we work our way up to jogging and then we both set our speeds higher and start running.  My mind clears when I run, which is why I enjoy it. It’s also a guilty pleasure to watch Dante’s body in motion.  He’s insanely hot to begin with, but when he’s sweating and his muscles are moving… oh wow.  Its sex appeal in its most potent form and it gets me every time.


After forty-five minutes, we are both finished.  Making our way out of the cardio area, we walk down to the second floor and then head in to the café.  Dante orders us the usual- hot coffee with a bacon, egg and cheese bagel for him, and orange juice with an egg and cheese bagel for me.


I grab us a table and then sit and wait for him to bring the food over.  The service here is fast, and he’s back in a few minutes with our order. Taking his seat he distributes the food, and then we each dig in.

BOOK: Broken Hart (The Hart Family)
6.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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