Home > Where the Rainbow Ends (Summer Lake Silver #4)(3)

Where the Rainbow Ends (Summer Lake Silver #4)(3)
Author: S.J. McCoy

“You’re the wiser one, looking out for her?”

She nodded.

He raised one eyebrow, and his voice resonated through her, turning her on more than she would admit even to herself. “Wiser, because you do do this sort of thing?”

She held his gaze for a long moment.

“Would you want to do this sort of thing?” He let his gaze travel over her, and her body reacted as though it were his fingers touching her.

She sucked in a deep breath to steady herself and shook her head slowly.

His smile faded a little. “No?”

“I think our purpose tonight is to look out for our friends, don’t you?”

He nodded.

She’d only intended to buy herself a little time. If she told him that yes, she would love to do that sort of thing with him … she shuddered. He was the kind of guy she stayed clear of. Big, macho, full-on personality.

It seemed he’d taken her rejection as complete. He turned to watch Audrey and Ted talking to their children.

“That’s Ted’s son, talking with them.”

She nodded.

“Ah, of course, you knew this. He’s the drummer in the band.”

She swung her head to look at him, but he continued to watch Audrey and Ted. Had he heard what she’d said about Eddie earlier? She felt like he must have. He’d taken her hesitation toward his own advances to mean rejection and then immediately focused on Eddie—the guy she’d made no secret about finding attractive.

She almost wanted to rescue the moment. She felt drawn to Diego in a way that she hadn’t felt with a guy in years. He might be big and macho and over-the-top, but he was also sexy-as-sin; it’d be a shame to pass up on that. But no. She had a deal with herself these days. She only got involved—and involved was far too strong a term for the kind of liaisons she had—with younger guys these days. There were fewer chances of complications that way.

She looked at him again, but he was smiling as he watched Audrey and Ted. She turned to see why. Audrey’s ex, Richard, was shaking hands with Ted, and Izzy liked Ted that little bit more when she saw the look of distaste on his face. Diego claimed that he was a man of good character—she could see for herself that he was, at least, a good judge of character.

When they came and sat back down, Izzy grinned at Audrey. “I see you had the chance to talk with Richard?”

She nodded.

Diego grinned at Ted. “Judging by the way he was so eager to meet you, I’d guess that he knew who you are?”

Ted smiled back at him. “He did.”

Audrey turned to look at him. “It seems he’s more in the know than I am.”

“He’s probably heard mention of me in business circles.”

Diego chuckled. “My friend is too modest. I, on the other hand, am not. We’re bankers. Rawlins-Águila is a well-known and respected private bank.”

Izzy raised her eyebrows. “So, Ted Rawlins and Diego Águila?”

“That’s right.”

“And what about you, ladies?” asked Ted. “What do you do?”

“Advertising,” said Audrey.

“Do you work for anyone we might know?” asked Diego.

Izzy laughed. It was typical that he would assume they worked for someone else. “We both work for someone you know: Audrey.”

“You have your own agency?” asked Ted. “Where are you based?”

“The office is in Ventura. We’re just a small team.”

Izzy rolled her eyes and looked at Diego. “My friend is as bad as yours for being overly modest. She went out on her own after her divorce from him. You know what the name Richard usually gets shortened to, don’t you? Well, in his case, there couldn’t be a more appropriate nickname.”

“Izzy!” Audrey made a face at her.

Diego looked puzzled for a moment, then laughed when he figured out what Izzy meant. That surprised her. She’d have expected him to be quicker than that, but perhaps it was a language thing. His accent wasn’t too strong—in fact, it was perfectly sexy—but it was enough to say that English wasn’t his first language.

“Anyway,” she continued forcing herself to focus on the conversation instead of thinking about his deep sexy voice. “The two of them were in business together. Audrey did all the work. But the advertising world is still like an old boys’ club. So, when they separated, most of the business stayed with Richard. He’s pretty much run the agency into the ground now, from what I hear.”

“That’s not true,” said Audrey.

Izzy held up a hand. “Okay. Sorry. I’ll stop.” She smiled at Ted and Diego. “The short version of the story is that Audrey went out on her own after the divorce and now runs a digital advertising agency that has won numerous awards in the last couple of years.”

Ted caught Audrey’s eye. “What kind of clients do you work with?”

Diego chuckled. “I think he’s wondering whether you work with banks.”

Izzy glanced at him. It was a stupid thought, but she hoped that it might work out that way. If Audrey wanted to work with Ted, that would mean that she’d get to see Diego again. Though why she would want to …

Audrey smiled. “We work with anyone who’s looking to increase their reach online. But I’m here to take a break from work. So, if you don’t mind, can we move the conversation along?”

“Why don’t we move it onto the dance floor?” suggested Diego.

Izzy was on her feet in a moment. It was only because she wanted to get away from the conversation. Dancing would be a good distraction from sitting there staring across the table into Diego’s big gorgeous eyes!

The dance floor was crowded, but Diego took hold of her hand and went ahead of her, clearing a path for them. For a moment, she let herself relax and enjoy the feeling. He was a big guy, and there was something commanding about him, too. People gave way to him, and the thought crossed her mind of how it would feel if she gave way to him. Shivers chased each other down her spine as she looked at his broad back. But no.

When he stopped and turned to look at her, Izzy let go of his hand and elbowed a space for herself. She was perfectly capable of making her own way in the world—she didn’t need a man to do it for her.

She was relieved when Audrey and Ted made their way out onto the dance floor. She didn’t want to be left out here with just Diego. He was a great dancer, which didn’t surprise her. He was one of those guys who would be good at everything he did; she could just tell. Her concern was that if she wasn’t careful, he’d be doing her before the night was out.

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