Jill waited until they were in full view of that side of the room, then gave him a soft, lingering kiss.
Pulling back, she whispered, “So she knows what she’s missing.”
Jacob blinked, his eyebrows moving as if he was trying to work it out, then he laughed.
“What would it take for you to kiss me again?”
“You mean kiss you for real?” Jill’s voice held her surprise. “You don’t even know me.”
“Actually,” Jacob said, “you wait tables at Pete’s. I play midnight hockey and our team goes to Pete’s after the games. I’ve been there every Sunday morning … gosh, for years.”
Jill wasn’t sure how to respond. She had no memory of this man. Sunday mornings were always crazy. The bars d at two and Pete’s Kitchen filled to the brim with drunken, happy people. She slung coffee, pancakes, and eggs until four in the morning every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. She made great money, and right now money took precedence over everything, especially handsome men.
Looking over his shoulder, she saw Trevor’s dark eyes, so like Katy’s, follow them on the floor. As she watched, the tiny, blonde rich girl, dressed in another ivory silk gown, took his elbow and guided him toward a group of elderly couples.
“I work in an office during the week. Secretary. But Pete’s is an oasis for me,” she said finally. “I’ve worked there as long as I’ve worked. I’ve got friends there. That probably doesn’t mean much to you since they’re low-class friends.”
“Friends in low places?” Jacob asked.
“What does that mean?”
“It’s a country song.”
“I don’t listen to country,” she replied.
As they twirled around the room, Jill watched the people. That woman’s shoes cost more than a month of Katy’s day care. Jill nodded slightly. Trevor was right to choose this life over scraping by every month.
“May I cut in?” Trevor said to Jacob. Jill bristled at the sound of his voice.
“It’s up to the lady.” Jacob pulled back from Jill. His eyes searched Jill’s terrified face. “Yeah, I don’t think so.”
Jacob took Jill’s hand and walked her off the dance floor. Picking up two glasses of champagne from a passing server, he led her to an empty table. He helped her into her seat and then sat down beside her. She took a sip of champagne.
“Will you kiss me again?” Jacob asked.
“I thought you’d be so overwhelmed with gratitude that you couldn’t help but kiss me again,” he laughed, and took a sip from his glass.
“Why are you uncomfortable around women?” Jill asked.
“I’m not around them much,” Jacob said. “My sister lives in California and our mother died when I was in high school. I work in construction, so I’m around men all day long.”
“You mean you own a construction company?”
“I’m a carpenter by trade, like my father was,” Jacob said. “But yes, I help my father manage his construction company.”
“What about these sisters?” Jill gestured to the group of beautiful girls sitting with the rich girl’s mother.
Jacob shrugged. “A couple of them were a package deal with my father’s new wife. The others are barely out of diapers. We’re not close. I assume that’s your brother.” He nodded toward the security guard making his way toward the table.
“Steve,” Jill said.
“How would you like to get out of here?” Jacob asked. “I don’t mean to be forward, but you seem uncomfortable, and I am uncomfortable. I’d like to get to know you better.”
“You have something planned?” Jacob asked.
“I don’t want to miss that.”
The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1 continues tomorrow…
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