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An Informal Date, Click to Buy
“I didn’t mean to upset you yesterday.”
Her lips dipped down in a frown.
“About the pew.”
They dipped lower.
“It might have sounded like I was judging you.”
“I wasn’t, though. Sometimes I state facts and other people hear judgment.” He swallowed. “I’m sorry if that happened.”
Kimi nodded, and a tentative smile replaced the frown. “In that case, apology accepted.”
“Will you go out with me?”
Her eyes widened.
Owen sighed. “That came out wrong.”
“So you don’t want to take me out?” There she went with that whole rising-an-octave thing again.
He shook his head. “I do, but...” Owen set his coffee down. Thank goodness, no one else was thirsty this morning. “I’m required to attend this reception. I’m supposed to make small talk with the people from the FDA so they’ll approve the drug Makayla’s getting. I was told to get a tuxedo and a date.”
“What happens if you don’t?”
No way would Owen answer that question. Even the most socially inept person didn’t admit his boss had threatened to hire him an escort if he couldn’t score a date for himself.
He did what every educated American does. He sidestepped the question. “It’s this coming Thursday evening. Are you available?”
Her eyes filled with laughter, but somehow it didn’t feel like she was laughing at him. “I have study group that night, but I might be able to miss it this week.”
“What are you studying for?”
“I’m working on an art therapy degree. I’m in the home stretch. Thesis, internship, and all that.”
Owen’s head tilted to the side of its own volition. “You don’t need a study group for a thesis.”
“No, but you do need one if you want help preparing for your boards, which I’ll be taking as soon as I jump through all the right hoops and officially graduate.”
“When will that be?”
She frowned. “I hoped December, but I’m having a hard time getting in enough intern hours, so it’ll most likely be next May instead. We’ll see.”
He’d always suspected there was more to Kimi than a warm smile and hot coffee, but he hadn’t known how to ask without sounding like an inept stalker. So he’d stayed quiet. The questions bubbled up inside of him, though. Where was she interning? What was her thesis about? Did she expect her boards to be difficult?
Someone stepped into line behind him, and Owen forced his curiosity into submission in favor of the more immediate need. “Will you think about Thursday?”
She grabbed a napkin from the nearby holder. Pulling the pen from behind her ear, she jotted down a phone number and pushed it across the counter to him. “Call me sometime tomorrow and I’ll have an answer for you.”
He nodded and turned on his heel. She hadn’t said no, and even though he again stumbled over the cable protector, he didn’t spill any coffee on his lab coat. The day was getting off to a first-rate start.
Owen arrived back in his office before realizing why his coffee hadn’t spilled when he’d tripped. He’d left his cup sitting on the little counter at Kimi’s kiosk.
She was definitely going to turn him down. She’d be a fool not to.