Broken Hart (The Hart Family) (4 page)

BOOK: Broken Hart (The Hart Family)
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We spend a few minutes talking about a local political issue we are both interested in and then he brings the conversation to our plans for tonight since we’re going to see Keith Urban.

 

We decide that we’ll leave work around five-thirty, go to our favorite burger joint for dinner and then head to the Staples Center for the concert.  It’s going to be a long day, but I’m excited about the show tonight, and so is he.

 

After we finish eating, we head off to the locker rooms and go our separate ways.  I shower and then get dressed for work in record time and I’m right behind Dante getting to the office.  We’re both at our desks by eight thirty.

 

The day passes in a blur and it feels like I just sat down when Dante calls out to me that it’s after five fifteen.  Grabbing my bag, I head in to the bathroom in his office to get changed, emerging a few minutes later in jean shorts, a tank top and a pair of sandals.  Styling my hair back in to a loose French braid finishes the look and I’m ready to go. 

 

Our office is empty, so I assume Dante went to change in Damien’s bathroom.  I settle in to the couch in the seating alcove of Dante’s office and drink in the amazing view of Los Angeles. 

 

This alcove and the view it provides is one of the star attractions when Dante has meetings with clients in his office.  It is beautifully done, giving you a feeling that you’re suspended high up over the city.  Many a deal has been closed after clients see the scope of what Hart International is able to build. 

 

I hear footsteps and I turn and watch Dante walk back in to the office.  He’s changed in to a pair of jeans that hit him in all the right spots and a t-shirt that is stretched across his gorgeous chest, sleeves wrapped around his muscular arms.

 

My stomach flutters and my heart skips a beat as I watch him come towards me. It’s sinful how hot he is.  Mentally shaking my head, I stand up and walk across the room to him. 

 

Taking in my outfit, he runs his hands through his hair and blows out breath.  “Shit Rina.  I’m going to have to keep a perimeter around you tonight.  Your legs look amazing in those shorts.”

 

I grin and shake my head at him.  He's such a charmer.  “You're a flatterer, but I think I’m safe Dante.  They’re just legs.”

 

Shaking his head, he gives a choked laugh. “Oh sure they’re
just
legs.  I don’t think you see yourself very well at all Sabrina.  You might want to look in to that.”

 

I shrug my shoulders and shake my head. I’m definitely not some leggy glamazon like the Dante bots, so I’m sure he’s just being nice.

 

Heading down to the parking garage we get in to his Range Rover and head off to our favorite burger place.  The dinner rush is starting, but we’re quickly seated because I made a reservation.  Without consulting with menus we both order deluxe cheeseburgers with extra pickles, French fries and onion rings, and a black and white milk shake for each of us. 

 

Settling in to wait for the food, we start talking.  I notice that Dante is fidgeting, which is unusual, but I don’t know if I should comment on it or not. He’s been acting weird since yesterday and I don’t want to ruin the mood.

 

I’m still thinking about how odd he’s acting when he blurts out, “So, who’s the guy you’re dancing with?”

 

Ah.  Now I get the fidgeting.  He’s in his detective/protector mode. I smile and answer his question.  “His name is Marcus.  His partner quit and my instructor asked me if I’d step in and help him, so I did.”

 

“What’s he like, this Marcus?  Young? Old? Handsome?  What does he do?  Do you see him outside of dancing?  Are you interested in him?  Does he like you?”

 

Wow.  That’s quite a barrage of questions.  I guess this is what he does when Dominique or Delilah date. 

 

“He’s a bit younger than I am, is a personal trainer and dances as a hobby.  We’ve gone out for dinner after dancing, but otherwise we haven’t gone out socially.  He’s very handsome, but no, I don’t think I am interested in him.”

 

Running his hands through his hair, he ponders my answers for a moment.  “So, you haven’t hung out… but you might?  And what do you mean you don’t think you’re interested in him?  That sounds like you’re on the fence.  Is this guy up for consideration?”

 

I chuckle at that last bit.  “Um, what does ‘up for consideration’ mean?”

 

Frowning at me he says, “It means, are you attracted enough to consider him as a potential man in your life?”

 

Shrugging my shoulders, I fiddle with my soda straw.  I’m embarrassed talking about it with Dante, so I avoid looking at him.  “I don’t know.  He’s attractive.  But I’m not attracted
to
him per say.  But it’s been over a year since I’ve even gone out on a date with anyone, and three years since I was in a relationship.  I’m thinking it’s time I broaden my horizons.  I’ve thought about accepting his date requests, I just don’t think I see it going anywhere.  But who knows?  Maybe he will surprise me.  Hell, maybe I’ll surprise me.  It’s time for me to try being attracted to someone I can have instead of being so infatuated with…”

 

I halt abruptly, mortified by what I just almost let slip out.  This is the downside to how close we are.  I share most everything with Dante, except the fact that I’m plagued by a serious case of lust for him.  I just almost let the cat out of the bag.

 

He doesn’t look at all happy when I glance back at him, and it takes him a few seconds to speak.

 

“So there
is
somebody you’re interested in.  Judging by what you just said, I’m guessing it’s someone you don’t feel you can have.  Please tell me you aren’t interested in someone who’s married.”

 

Fidgeting in my seat, I blow out a frustrated breath. “It is absolutely not a married man.  I’d never do that.  This is… well, it’s something I won’t discuss.  So please, can we just drop it?”

 

I’m saved by the arrival of our dinner.  Unfortunately this conversation has killed my appetite so I just pick at my burger.  Dante must not be hungry, because he eats very little of his food either. 

 

It’s a relief when our plates are taken away and we stand to leave.  Making our way back to the car, we head off to the Staples Center.  I put Keith Urban on his iPod and turn up the car stereo so that it’s too loud to talk, and the trip passes without further conversation.

 

The mood improves when we get to the Staples Center.  One of my favorite things about going to concerts with Dante is the fact that he always takes my hand once we’re about to step in to the crowd so that we don’t get separated. 

 

Right on cue, once we’re inside he grabs my hand and we make our way through the concourse and buy a beer to share, then head down on to the floor to our seats.  My hand tingles from his touch and I’ve got butterflies. 

 

It’s the first time either of us have seen Keith Urban in concert, and it’s awesome.  He’s quite the showman, and he plays all of my favorite songs.  We spend the next two and half hours dancing, smiling and singing along, thoroughly enjoying the show.

 

After the show he grabs my hand again and we make our way to the car.  We review the concert on the way back to the office garage, both agreeing that we will put him on our “must see” list for all future tours. 

 

We’re in the parking garage at work after midnight and after saying our goodbyes I climb in to my car and make my way home, still singing my favorite Keith song, “Long Hot Summer.”

 

I’m home a bit after one, and after scrubbing my face and changing in to pajamas, I climb in to bed.  As exhausted as I am, I spend the next hour tossing and turning, thinking about Dante and the conversation we had at dinner. 

 

I know I danced a little too close to the line this time.  I'd be mortified if he knew how I felt, because I just know he would feel uncomfortable, or worse, that he would feel sorry for me. I need to remember that it would probably ruin our friendship if he knew how I felt since my feelings for him are destined to be one sided and never reciprocated.

 

With that depressing thought, I fall asleep.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

 

The rest of the week passes without incident.  Dante is tenser than usual, but I chalk that up to the fact that it’s our busiest time of year at work.

 

I can’t make our morning workouts for the rest of the week due to the fact that I spend every night practicing with Marcus in preparation for the competition this weekend. At this point, I’m just looking forward to the competition being over.  I’m dancing myself to the point of dropping, and I’m ready to take a serious break.

 

Saturday dawns bright and beautiful, and I’m up at dawn to spend a few hours practicing with Marcus.  We’re at the studio together by seven thirty, dancing to the song we’re using for our interpretation of the tango, Justin Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body.”

 

It’s amazing how tight our dancing has been gone in these few weeks.  Although it’s been a crazy amount of work, I’m glad that I really put myself in to it for Marcus’ sake.  We are both happy with how the dance looks, and we end at ten so that we both can go get ready.

 

After getting ready at home, I’m at the Beverly Wilshire by one.  The staging area is packed with people like me who are applying their make-up and making sure their costume is perfect.  While I’ve not been super excited about the weight I lost, I am thrilled with how I look in this outfit.

 

The costume I’m wearing is white with black accents and crystals.  The fabric cuts out on the diagonal under my breasts and doesn’t pick up again until just under my belly button.  The dress is held together with fabric on my right side which leaves my stomach, my left side and most of my back exposed.  The skirt is stretchy and goes to my ankles, but has a slit up either side of my legs that is seriously sexy.

 

My body is so tight from all the dancing even I have to admit I look damn good. My hair is down and curled and my make-up is far sexier than what I normally would wear, but it looks right for this occasion.  I twist to and fro, looking at myself in the mirror.  I feel sexy and that makes me happy.

 

Marcus and I watch the other couples dancing on a monitor in the staging area.  Everyone looks so good.  When our number is called, I am surprisingly nerve free. 

 

We hit the floor and the dance passes in a flash of twists, turns, spins, elevations and dips.  Our final move is called the “open legs”, with my right leg wrapped over Marcus’ left as he dips me. I smile up at him in pure joy that we’ve made it through the dance with no missteps and I am totally caught off guard as he lowers his head and captures my mouth in a kiss before spinning me out so we can bow.

 

Yikes.  I did not see that coming, and I'm less than thrilled by his boldness.  I smile brightly at the judges, almost in a daze.   We finish our bow and hands still clasped go to exit the dance floor.

 

As Marcus and I reach the edge of the floor, a tingle goes up my spine and I know that Dante is nearby.  I can actually feel it. I look to my left and my eyes lock with his. Holy shit! His green eyes are stormy and the look he gives me is very, very dark. 

 

I’ve never seen this expression on his face before.  He looks almost incandescent with anger.  I come to a halt to ask him what's wrong, but Marcus pulls my hand and brings me backstage.

BOOK: Broken Hart (The Hart Family)
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