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About the author:
Currently living in Florida, Tabitha is a graduate from University of Central Florida with a Business degree. Today she spends her time reading, traveling the state with her husband and finds herself addicted to English Tea to help with the late night writing sessions.
Here is a short sample from the book:
“Shhh…my darling. It’s almost over. We’re basically there.” The small child continued to cry in agony as the turbulence and pressure tortured her ears. Wrapped in a powder pink soft blanket, one of her favorites, Kate continued to soothingly rock the baby to try to temper the cries. While her heart ached for the babies’ tears, she still loved these moments, where her baby was safe in her arms. The stewardess came on the intercom and announced it would be fifteen minutes before arrival. Exhausted, Kate closed her eyes only for a moment, still mindlessly rocking the child when the ding appeared.
Her arms were empty. It was the same dream as before. No matter how many times she had it before the result was still the same. She’d wake up full of guilt and anxious about a decision that she couldn’t change. If she had the power she would go back in time and make the right choice, but instead she would suffer every moment afterwards. This particular dream was woken by the annoying sound of a monotone pilot advising of their descent into JFK.
The flight landed at one o’clock in the afternoon.
As the 747 taxied down the runway, the palpable pressure increased, causing Kate’s stomach to float momentarily until it rumbled to a gradual stop. Anxiously, she fidgeted with a fistful of rattling keys in anticipation of getting off the plane. All she could think about was her “baby,” Moose Dog, an overweight, slobbery bullmastiff. Her soft short hair, shiny coat, and golden color made touching her fur almost irresistible. Most people were daunted by the idea of approaching her because of her size and breed, but she was the most loyal dog Kate had ever had—well, she was the only dog Kate had ever had. I have to call the kennel as soon as I’m out of the airport, she thought, her left leg twitching.
She gathered her belongings and waited her turn to shuffle into the line of passengers stacked up like a deck of cards waiting to deplane. Finally she reached the exit hatch and stepped down the stairs. A swift, damp breeze hit her face as she reached the bottom step, and a chill shot through her entire body. Sunny, slight breeze, and 65 degrees was heaven to a New Yorker, but to a Floridian it was winter weather! Quickly she scrambled to pull a light windbreaker out of her purse and continued to follow the herd of weary travelers toward the terminal doors. The warmth of the terminal greeted her as she headed toward the baggage claim, and the feeling started to return to her cheeks, but her heart wouldn’t stop racing. Searching the hordes of bustling people, Kate was anxious to find her childhood friend, Alexa.
From her peak view on the escalator going down to the baggage claim, Kate finally spotted Alexa all the way in the back, standing far away from the motley, chattering mob of people. Unable to contain her excitement, Kate started to yell at her friend, her voice echoing in the large hall. Immediately, both grinning, they began to zigzag carefully toward each other, deftly dodging people and their bulky luggage. Once they were in each other’s arms, Kate exhaled her anxiety away.
“Oh my God! You look amazing! New York has been good to you.” Kate admired Alexa’s retro look as she stepped back, holding Alexa at arm’s length, with her hands firmly on her shoulders.
Alexa was slim and pale as chalk, and her hair was bleached blonde with black undertones. A long, loose, navy vest was draped over her baggy cream T-shirt, which had the words “Enfant Terrible” emblazoned across it in red. She wore a dark, frayed denim skirt over black stockings printed with small white skulls. Suddenly Kate felt ordinary in her six- year-old, worn-out black converse tennis shoes; plain, dark-green T-shirt, with no logo, that had been picked fresh from the hamper; and long, messy brown hair pulled into a ponytail.
Envious of Kate’s effortless, perfect complexion, Alexa smiled. “I love your tan; as you can see, there’s not much sun up here.” Even though Alexa had grown up in Florida, she was always pale as a marshmallow. Whenever she went into the sun, she would burn red as a cooked lobster, and then peel back to alabaster. That was why she fit in so well in New York—that, and her outrageous sense of fashion.
“I’m so excited that you’re staying for two whole weeks—this is going to be so much fun!” Alexa grabbed Kate’s hand and led the way to the baggage carousel. Trivial chatter filled the forty-five minute wait for the flashing red light and the conveyor belt to finally start lurching into motion. Then the bags popped out of the mouth of the carousel: one, two, and three.
It was a short five minutes when Kate spotted her worn purple suitcase. After it was safely on the ground, two bags later Kate yelled to Alexa, “That one’s mine too.” Alexa’s eyes narrowed in confusion but followed instructions as she lifted the too-light suitcase off the carousel. “What is this for?”
“My mother is expecting several souvenirs.” Kate disgruntle mumbled.
Alexa gave Kate a meek smile, as she knew that at times Kate’s mother could be difficult to bear.
As they stepped outside the airport, Kate was taken aback by the turbulent mass of rushing people. Unexpectedly, someone bumped into her from behind, his face buried in his phone, fingers scrambling over the keys; a half-hearted apology mumbled as he peevishly stepped around her. Unfazed, Alexa assertively grabbed Kate by the arm and yanked her and the heavy suitcases along to an opening in the crowd that Kate’s untrained eyes had missed. Once Alexa reached the curb, she let out a loud whistle, and a taxicab stopped right in front of them. The whistling faded into an annoying ringing, which began to rattle Kate’s eardrum. In an attempt to get rid of it, she began to rub her ear furiously.
The cab driver, who looked like he was on his third straight shift, sluggishly got out of the driver’s seat to load the suitcases into the trunk. Once back in the car, he yelled towards the backseat, “Where to?”
Without missing a beat, Alexa rattled off, “Take I-678 to I-495W to Thirty-fourth and Madison, then left on East Eighty-fifth.”
“You got it, lady.” The tires squealed and the taxi sped off into traffic. The musky smell of the cab was bothersome to Kate’s sensitive nose. The old, cracked, gray vinyl siding had long ago been masked with duct tape. Kate couldn’t understand how Alexa was comfortable with placing her three-hundred-dollar purse on the germ-infested seat.
It wasn’t ten minutes before Alexa began to vomit at the mouth about the unnecessary details of her current love interest. One of many. Alexa had mastered the talent of love’em and leave them early, which was beneficial since they were all jerks.
After her rant was completed, she slumped her elbow on the broken armrest and mumbled, “I guess some things never change.”
Making light of the situation, Kate laughed. “Like me having to listen to you whine about boys for hours on end.”
Mischievous eyes glared over at Kate when Alexa replied, “I guess that’s why you always liked…”
Out of the blue, the cab driver suddenly slammed on the brakes. Kate nearly broke her nose on the driver’s side headrest; Alexa barely budged. Parking in front of Alexa’s building, the cab driver yelled from the front seat, “That will be forty-two seventy-seven!”
After Alexa handed him cash, the cabbie almost flung the suitcases onto the sidewalk, then scurried off to find his next customer. Today, especially today, Alexa prayed that the elevator was working. On Kate’s last trip they had to lug the suitcase up twenty-six flights of stairs, alternating between floors.
Sitting on her luggage Kate made a quick call to the kennel, checking on Moose Dog. Of course there were no issues, Moose Dog was beloved by all the techs. After the short call the girls then dragged Kate’s suitcases up seven brick stairs to the front of the apartment complex. Upon entering the building, Alexa saw the light at the end of the tunnel as the elevator light blinked, then dinged, and a fat, middle-aged Italian-looking man stepped out. Both girls smiled.
The apartment was small and overpriced, but that didn’t matter; all Alexa cared about was living in Manhattan. The building was old, with cracks in the walls and outdated appliances. No matter, since Alexa didn’t cook.
The few days that Alexa had to work, Kate ventured off into the big city sightseeing. On Fifth Avenue the large gold letter of FAO Schwarz made her stomach flip. She knew that she had to go in; she promised. The thought of being surrounded by all the children and their loving parents tore her heart to pieces. Then the sight of a disappointed niece appeared and Kate no longer had a choice.
Slowly walking on the outskirts, trying to stay away from the crowd Kate found a few items that would please Elizabeth; her three-year-old niece. The sound of a child giggling caught Kate’s attention. Unable to pry her plastered eyes from the scene before her, Kate’s heart shattered into a million pieces as she watched a loving mother and young daughter. Tears began to form and more than anything Kate wanted to reach out. She wanted that feeling; it should have been hers, and not this emptiness she was left with.
To avoid embarrassment Kate quickly turned down another aisle and surrounded by hundreds of teddy bears. The corner of her lips began to lift upwards as she nervously wiped away the tears. This was perfect, exactly what Elizabeth would want, a brand new life-sized teddy bear.
The lady behind the counter was an older woman who had silver hair, too much rouge, and wore a green smock with FAO Schwarz printed on it in white letters over her pale pink blouse and light-colored, pleated khakis. The lady’s hair was pulled back into a loose bun, and her glasses were too big for her face.
“Did you find everything you were looking for, dear?” the older woman asked, as she greeted Kate.
“I did—thank you. I just love this store!” Still amazed by the amount and variety of toys, Kate stared in wonder.
While the woman slowly began to push buttons on the register with her pointy index finger, she said, “There’s nothing better than working in a place that brings joy to children.”
Nodding politely, Kate asked, “Is there any way I can have this shipped?”
“Sure. I just need you to fill out this form.” The lady handed Kate a preprinted form with a pen attached to the clipboard. Kate quickly filled in the information and paid, as she felt a line of irritable parents waiting behind her.
Like so many before her, Alexa had come to New York to pursue her dreams of being a famous actress. Sadly, reality had reared its ugly head and, after rejection upon rejection, Alexa finally fell into something more traditional – advertising. It had taken her a few years, but through hard work and dedication, she’d made her way up from the bottom, and now she was one of the top junior executive account managers.
On the tenth day of Kate’s visit, Alexa came home from work to find her friend lying on the couch reading a book. Exhausted, Alexa stumbled through the door with wobbly legs after the walk up the flight of stairs—the elevator was temporarily out of order. Carelessly, she threw her over-commercialized Coach purse and keys onto the already cluttered counter, kicked off her nude, three-inch platform Jimmy Choo heels, and let out a gigantic sigh of relief, as she did every day when she came home from work.
Not five seconds after Alexa had made herself comfortable on the couch did she shoot up and squeal with excitement.
“So the greatest thing happened at work today! The Vice President of my company got tickets to this national children’s fund-raising charity event; however his daughter just came down with chicken pox. Ironic, isn’t it? Anyways, so he offered the tickets to my boss, but she had a prior engagement and gave them—to me!” Completely enthralled with her news, Alexa had all but jumped off the couch and into Kate’s lap. Not in the mood to be interrupted from her book, Kate barely glanced at Alexa.
Desperate, Alexa tried to get Kate’s attention. “It’s one of the biggest parties of the year, anyone who is anyone is going to be there.”
Still not impressed, Kate sighed. Her eyes didn’t move away from the small black printed words of Jane Eyre as she asked, “Where is it being held?” The idea of being dragged around a ballroom all night in an uncomfortable dress while people blabbered about themselves was not Kate’s idea of entertainment.
Luckily Alexa knew Kate’s weakness – historical buildings, and with a sly look Alexa exploited Kate, “The original City Hall.”
Before the words could get out, the beloved Jane Eyre was quickly tossed to the side, “I’ve always wanted to see it!” In a rampant burst of excitement Kate flung herself into Alexa’s arms, hugging so tight that Alexa’s pale cheeks began to turn bright red.
When her adrenaline began to slowly wind down, Alexa immediately focused her attention on the next issue—dresses. Not having expected to attend a formal event, Kate was not equipped with the proper attire for such an occasion, but luckily Alexa had dresses to spare.
The National Children’s fundraising event was one of the biggest events of the year, full of potential clients for Alexa. If able to land a large account, she would be guaranteed that promotion she’d been drooling over the past six months. On this extremely important night for her career, Alexa wore a dark purple gown with a focal point of an extravagant, eggshell-color flower trimmed in gold. For hours, she struggled to make every detail perfect. While waiting for Kate, Alexa practiced different industry phrases for potential clients.
The bathroom door slowly opened and a nervous Kate appeared. Alexa’s mouth dropped in awe. Despite her trembling fingers, Kate was flawlessly stunning in the black elegant floor-length empire waist dress. In all the years of their friendship Alexa could never picture Kate like this. Of course Kate was beautiful, but it had always been a natural look, now add in the make-up, heels and a dress and Alexa was standing in front of someone completely different.
“Whew. You’re going to get a lot of attention tonight.” Alexa glazed over the perfect combination of elegance and beauty that stood before her. The mere idea of being surrounded by gawking men sent Kate’s nerves into frenzy. She couldn’t do this. She wasn’t strong enough. Maybe I shouldn’t go. This was a bad idea. Immediately her trembling fingers reached to her collarbone and grasped the smooth sterling sliver rings that hung from a dull chain. In the past four years the only item that could provide Kate any comfort were her wedding rings.
Canceling at the last minute was not an option. In the past, especially recently Alexa had gone above and beyond the call of a best friend and Kate couldn’t let her down, especially tonight.
“Hopefully not too much attention.” Kate tried to sound hopeful.
The invitation, printed in gold script, dictated that the event would start promptly at 10 p.m.; in order to make it across downtown, they strolled downstairs into the fresh air at about 9 o’clock. On the edge of the sidewalk, Alexa tried to flag down a cab. Kate waited patiently, feeling the grit of the concrete beneath her shoes while her eyes wandered. At first, all she could see was how dirty everything was. Trash mixed in with wet leaves, mud in the curbs of the streets, not to mention the foul smell rising up from the underground sewer. Even though they were in one of the grandest cities, they stuck out like sore thumbs. Everyone who passed by was in everyday clothes; people returning home from work, people going to the grocery store, even joggers stared at them.
As the city started to wind down into a dim dusk, Kate could no longer see the imperfections that once irritated her senses. Trees on the corners were lit with strings of white lights; warm yellow glows emanated from townhouses like candles. The flashing red and white lights from angry drivers were like a visual symphony accompanying the sounds of the honking cars and screaming passengers. Kate could no longer smell the sewer below, as the cool, fresh night breeze whipped against her cheeks and sent tiny shivers down her back.
Finally, a cab pulled up, and Alexa pushed Kate into it and mumbled, “Let’s go.” Once again she rattled out a bunch of numbers that didn’t make any sense to Kate, and the cab driver immediately sped off and joined the traffic on the busy streets of New York.
When the rusty yellow cab pulled up in front of City Hall, both girls gazed through the fingerprint-smudged windows and stared in amazement. A nervous, deep breath exhaled from Alexa before she opened the cab door. As Kate came around to her side of the cab, she saw everyone dressed in what looked to be designer labels, and suddenly felt nauseous. The things I do for Alexa, Kate thought as she disapprovingly shook her head.
Nervously excited, Alexa extended her hand for Kate and asked, “Are you ready?” With a forced smile, Kate nodded, and Alexa led the way into the front entrance.
After making it through the check-in process and the dreadful woman who rolled her eyes at the guests Kate and Alexa entered the rotunda. Almost immediately Kate was awestruck by the soaring space accented by grand double stairways. Sadly, guests were not permitted access, a burgundy velvet rope at the base of the staircase held a sign: Employees Only. Before Kate could capture the room’s beauty Alexa pulled Kate into another room.
This room was long and narrow, with white marble borders that accented a hundred- year-old crystal chandelier. Frozen, Kate was not only mesmerized by the whitewashed, hand-carved ceiling, but couldn’t take her eyes off this captivating chandelier, whose sparkling reflections danced around the room. While most guests barely gave the chandelier a moment’s glance Kate became enthralled. “Hello, do you want a drink or not?” Alexa’s obtuse comment snapped Kate back into reality.
Hand-in-hand Alexa led Kate through the crowd towards the bar. Nervously Kate’s eyes scanned the room and every man she passed turned their heads in admiration. This made Kate uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable.
Shortly after the drinks were served Alexa and Kate were surrounded by a group of handsome businessmen. Shamelessly they flirted and Alexa ate up every bit of it. Bored, Kate left Alexa to attend to her admirers so she herself could enjoy the perks of admiring this eighteenth-century architectural masterpiece.
“Excuse me ma’am?” A gentle, deep voice whispered behind Kate. Slowly and mildly confused Kate turned and found herself greeted by a handsome man, six feet tall, who held a glass of champagne in one hand while the other was casually tucked into his black tux pocket.
The fact that his dark piercing eyes were focused solely on her confused Kate, “Excuse me?”
An intrigued smirk appeared while his limp hand smoothly broke from the tux pocket and gently, almost seductively landed on Kate’s bare shoulder. “Are you OK?”
Annoyed by his abruptness, Kate flung his unwanted hand and demanded, “What?”
“Did it hurt when you fell from heaven? Only an angel could be as beautiful as you.” Instead of reading the unimpressed look correctly, or blatantly ignoring it he took a confident step forward almost as if he expected Kate to blush. However, she quickly took a step away from him.
Insulted, Kate condescendingly questioned, “Do those cheesy pickup lines really work?” Before he could muster up an answer, Kate already walked away shaking her head
It only took Kate thirty minutes before she found herself passing through the elaborate French doors and alone on the veranda. The chilliness of the night breeze provided Kate with goose bumps on her bare shoulders. She didn’t mind the fresh air was refreshing compared to the stuffy vibe inside.
A bright full moon’s reflection in the still fountain’s water enticed Kate’s wondering eyes from the historically landscaped garden. It took only a matter of seconds for the pointless chatter from inside to fade into a barely muffled tune. This much unexpected, yet appreciated quietness allowed Kate to reminisce on a happier time in her life.
Kate’s eyes opened, after being instructed very suggestively to keep them close. When the whisper said “Now” Kate found a romantic beach picnic lit by the warm hue of the full moon. Kate’s heart fluttered and melted in happiness at the same time. She had never felt such love, not until now.
A roaring laugh from inside broke Kate’s concentration. She lifted the glass to her colored lips and found only that a small droplet of wine remained. Slightly disappointed that she would have to return to the arrogant crowd inside for a refill Kate huffed quietly to herself.
The room buzzed about gossip and greed. When the main topics of scandal dwindled to nothing, the conversation invariantly switched to money.
Politely Kate maneuvered through the crowded ballroom, smiling and nodding as she passed. Steps away from the bar surprisingly a woman introduces herself to Kate. The warmth of her smile appears to be genuine and Kate allows her ridged shoulders to relax.
“I’m sorry for the intrusion, but that dress is exquisite. The best I’ve seen all night.” Friendly the woman placed her well-pampered hands on Kate’s wrist. Blushing from the sincere attention Kate smiled back swooshing her dress like a little girl.
“Oh. Thank you. I borrowed it from my friend. It is pretty isn’t it?” For the moment Kate continued to smile relishing in the compliment that is until a few un-friendly heads turned towards her. While the curl on the woman’s smile remained in tact, the warmth instantly disappeared. Her posture became ridged and her tone more formal, “For a hand-me-down, it is lovely.” A smile did not follow. “Thank you for your kind words.” Kate turned away from the women who now snubbed her. From behind Kate heard the women cackle about her used dress. The under-staffed bar took forever to pour Kate’s glass of merlot, and while she waited a faint conversation caught her attention.
“John, I don’t care how much you like this girl, you know what it means when a girl is from Kansas—dirt poor. Cut your losses and move on. Hope you had fun slumming.”
“Dude, I know you’re right, but she was so hot.”
This was more than Kate could handle. Agitated by her surroundings, the looks, the insolent comments and the sloppy attempts of flirting Kate could feel her anxieties kicking in. I don’t belong amongst these types of people. They don’t want me here…and I don’t want to be here either! So tired of their holier-than-thou attitudes.
With each passing second the frustration grew while Kate remained waiting for her drink. After the bartender unhappily pour her drink, he wiggled his way back to the lonely drunk blonde who flashed her diamonds like candies.
A full glass of merlot above her shoulder Kate shuffled through the crowd trying to balance the glass in one hand and maneuvering people out of the way with the other. A clear spot ahead and Kate seeks her opportunity for a smidgen of personal space. However, very quickly it becomes clear to Kate why there is so much room. Right as Kate exhales the claustrophobic feeling away, four sets of extremely intrigued eyes zone in on every inch of her. The fifth set of eyes, a famous actor, was not so amused by her presence. Drunken, he commanded his friends to listen, “Look away, fellas. Anything that bleeds for five days straight without dying can’t be trusted.” The boys’ laughter roared echoing in Kate’s ears. Embarrassed Kate took two steps forward then stopped. Slowly and very meticulously Kate turned her head towards the group that still laughed. It didn’t take long, but the four that noticed her angry glare immediately stopped laughing, coughing under their breath. The actor, who had turned his back to Kate in a dismissal manner continued to laugh until he realized he was the only one laughing. When he turned infuriated eyes confronted him.
“We can’t be trusted?” Calmly Kate made sure she had their attention. “We can’t be trusted! Whose going to trust you’re tiny dick that’s only good for two pumps and a dump before you’re watching sports center.” Kate’s angry eyes flickered across their faces—speechless, not a peep from any one of them. Quickly, her daggered eyes returned to the flabbergasted actor and narrowed even further at him as she continued. “And we can’t be trusted. Pathetic!” Without another word she walked away and from behind she could hear the guys harassing the actor for being scolded by a woman.
Completely humiliated by what this woman said, the actor quickly called out and demanded of her, “Excuse me? Do you know who I am?”
Loudly Kate angrily yelled out, “Yea. You’re the little dick guy.” The guys in the actor’s group laughed again that this woman was strong and smart enough to put him in his place, not only once, but twice.
“I’m Chris Cody!” By Hollywood’s standards, Chris was nothing short of gorgeous. He had it all, the perfect, rock-hard body, charming smile, and the most captivating brown eyes. Girls everywhere gushed for him, so when he flashed his million dollar smile, he expected nothing less than for Kate to do the same.
Ready for the night to end Kate found a table to place her drink and began to search for Alexa. Almost disappearing into the crowd Chris felt compelled to chase after her. Chris’s intentions were only to gently brush her arm refocusing her attention, but when Chris approached reaching distance he accidently grabbed Kate’s thin arm harder than expected.
The grip around Kate’s fleshy skin shocked her. Wide with anger Kate glared at his fingers then slowly lifted her face and narrowed her facial expression, “Have you lost your mind?” Apologetically Chris quickly dropped his hand realizing that he’d stepped out of line.
Intrigued by her, Chris was also impressed with her bravery, since no one had ever stood up to him before. “Sassy, aren’t we?”
“Sassy? Are you a moron? I’m insulted, why would you treat people like that?”
Chris was completely stunned—it had been a decade and a half since the last time someone had spoken to him like that.
There was nothing Chris could say. For the first time in a long time someone had rendered him speechless. Disappointed by his lack of competence Kate huffed and yet again walked away. It wasn’t three steps before Chris yelled out, “Wait!”
Irritated, Kate slammed her heel into the floor and yelled, “What? What do you want?” The sound of her voice echoed in the hall, causing close-ranged bystanders to hush and scowl. Some glared nastily at Kate, while others were curious to hear Chris.
Nervously, Chris stuttered, “What’s your name?” In a room full of his peers, who idolized him, Chris knew that he must have looked ridiculous, desperately pleading for this unknown woman’s acknowledgment. Even with a reputation of being the most sought-after bachelor, Chris didn’t care how pathetic he looked as he tried to get Kate’s attention—there was something special about her, and Chris wouldn’t stop until he found out what it was.
“Why do you want to know?” Unable to lose Chris in the crowd, Kate appeased him for a moment while her eyes continuously flicked past him in search of Alexa.
Powerless to capture her full interest, Chris asked, “Are you always this difficult?” He hoped that Kate wasn’t in search of her boyfriend, since he’d just spent the last few minutes making a fool of himself.
Immediately her eyes snapped back from the faceless crowd to him, “Yes! Are you always so shallow and mindless?”
“I’m sorry if I offended you back there. I’m just playing the part. I didn’t really mean what I said.” Attempting to make light of the situation, Chris shrugged his broad shoulders and flashed Kate his million dollar smile.
With her arms folded and foot tapping rapidly against the wooden floor, she responded, “That was the crappiest apology I’ve ever heard.”
It was an extremely rare moment when Chris would have to apologize for something. Normally, even if he was wrong, somehow people ended up apologizing to him. Strange how that worked, but Chris just accepted that it was part of life.
“Typical actor, always in character. Do you even know the real you?” Finally Kate had spotted Alexa across the room being admired by a different group of men from earlier. Not allowing him the opportunity to answer, Kate walked away. Like a lost puppy dog, Chris quickly followed along beside her.
While Kate continued to walk, Chris dodged around people as if they were orange traffic cones and tried to answer her question. “Of course I know who I am! Geez can you slow down?”
Out of the corner of her eye, Alexa noticed that Kate was clearly upset, and politely excused herself.
“What’s going on?” While Alexa knew that Kate wasn’t going to have the greatest time, she also didn’t expect Kate to be so angry.
“I’m ready to leave.” With her pink cherry cheeks flushed, Kate continued to ignore Chris, who confidently stood his ground.
With a flirty smile, Alexa inquired, “Who is your friend?”
“NO ONE! He is not my friend. LET’S GO!”
“OK.” In agreement, Alexa nodded her head, put her arm around Kate, and led her towards the door.
“Wait, when can I see you again? I don’t even know your name!” Chris yelled, exasperated, which caused every head in the room to turn and stare. Kate stopped Alexa and turned to face Chris.
Quietly and calmly Kate said, “You’re the big shot, figure it out.” Silently both girls walked out of the ballroom leaving Chris alone with hundreds of gawking eyes.