"What happens when this place bores you, after you’ve invested so much time and money into it?”
“I could think of plenty of ways this place wouldn’t bore me.” A smile that could only be termed as mischievous crept slowly across his mouth. His lips were incredible.
Shaking off a primal instinct to strut or attempt to mating call. Carolyn tried to remain professional. Both these guys tweaked a nerve, but George had the sensitivity to back it up. Why was he so damn enticing? “I’m not all starry eyed by the rich guy.”
“My interest in Heart Nectar is completely legit, as is my interest in getting to know you better.”
Oh, dear God, he’s actually coming on to me. What do you say to that? “Look George, you're pleasant enough and attractive. I just don’t see how few minutes we’ve spent here during a meeting makes you interested in me.” Suddenly it made sense. The rivalry between those twin brothers was so intense it merged both business and pleasure. Acquiring the target was a game. “Although the business might be up for a backer, its owners aren’t.”
This reminded Carolyn of freshman year in high school, when Joey Donahue rocked her world. Carolyn’s beauty had been a work in progress. Surviving buck teeth and a bad haircut in junior high, she’d never gotten the interest of any boys. While many friends around her passed love notes back and forth, she concentrated on things she could control, like schoolwork and gardening. Gardening is where her interest in grapes first began. Making something desirable from something plain became her dream. Maybe it mirrored the way she felt about herself, some sort of getting better with age or other immature thought process. The summer before high school began, however, became the turning point in her femininity. Her face grew into her teeth, which in turn straightened on their own, settling into her mouth perfectly. Her hair grew long and silky, and her breasts filled out. She was like the new girl in town although she’d been there all her life.
Joey flashed her a smile in the hallway during a passing period. She instinctively looked over her shoulder for the intended recipient. With no one there, she quickly turned back around to find him standing directly in front of her, still flashing that smile. "Hey, how was your summer?"
“Um… um… it was good. Was, what about you?” Why the hell did she sound so lame? She known this guy for years. But this line of questioning was something intensely new.
“It was great. Yours was better than good, it was great too. I mean look at how beautiful you are.”
Oh Lord, she’d never been called beautiful by anyone other than family. Why was her breath stuck in her throat? She’d even seen him eat dirt once, a long time ago. It was one of those double dog dare situations that drew a crowd. So why was she so tongue-tied in front of them, the dirt eater? “Thanks.” The short answer that thankfully she managed out.
“I got to get to practice, but let’s talk again later, K?”
He walked away before she answered him. Of course the now hunky, good-looking football player had all the confidence of someone who’d never actually eat dirt. The arrogance was strangely appealing. By the time several weeks had went by he’d smooth talk her all the way to second base. Those new breasts got her more attention than she was ready for. Turns out he was only interested in her new territory for status among the guys. She was the target between two guys she’d known for years.
She questioned everyone’s motives after that. One demeaning experience triggered a doubt she’d never shake.
“I’m an honorable man. You’ll see that in time.” The way he stared into her eyes could be quite convincing, if she weren't so shrewd.
“I’ll say put all your intentions in writing. We'll have the structure of a contract to keep your intentions in line.”
“We're back to business again.”
“Absolutely we're back to business again I’d never put a personal relationship into a contract. Are you crazy?” Mail order brides and other arrangements might require signatures, but she wasn’t interested in that.
“I’d like to see the vineyard before I have my attorney prepare the paperwork. Are you good with that?”
It made sense he'd want to see the vineyard. I mean he didn’t want to invest in a bunch of scraggly plants hoping to become lush vines. “Of course, you make perfect sense.” A glance out the window showed Carolyn a trip then wouldn’t be worth much. Dusk was quickly becoming full on nightfall. Did this mean she’d have to see him again that quickly? “It’s really too dark right now to see much.”
“Dark or not, I’m seeing quite a bit. And I really like what I see.”
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