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He watched as they coolly shook hands.
Then Eve winked at him. “High school friend?” She chuckled, then smiled at Sabrina. “We were going out back then: the quarterback and the cheerleader. I know it’s a total cliché, but we were an item, weren’t we Daniel?”
Daniel cringed. “Long time ago.” And to make it clear to Eve that he’d long since moved on, he added, “Sabrina just moved in with me.”
Eve’s eyebrows lifted. “Oh.”
“C’mon, keep the line moving. Next,” the ride operator hollered.
The four of them made their way through the gate. The operator lifted the bar to the gondola and helped Sabrina slide in. Daniel tried to step past the operator to take his seat next to her, when Eve suddenly grabbed his arm.
“Oops, I didn’t see that step,” she said apologetically, holding onto him for support as she slid her foot back into her sandal. Then she looked up to him. “Thanks. I could have broken an ankle here.”
As Daniel turned, he saw Paul squeeze past him, taking a seat next to Sabrina. The operator lowered the bar.
“Hold it!” Daniel called out, stepping onto the platform.
“Two to a gondola only,” the operator said and set the wheel in motion, advancing it and bringing another gondola to the ground level.
Daniel looked to Sabrina who stared at him in disbelief.
He cursed silently.
“We’ll take the next one,” Eve chirped cheerfully. “Gives us a chance to catch up on old times.” She said it loud enough so that Daniel was sure Sabrina could hear her.
He was fuming, but there was no escape from this situation now. He took a seat in the empty gondola next to Eve. The ride lurched and started to move.
Eve put her hand on his forearm and sighed. “Remember when we used to make out on this ride when we were in high school?”
“A lot of things have happened since.” Daniel shifted his arm, so her hand dropped away.
As their gondola rounded the top of the Ferris wheel, he looked down and saw Sabrina and Paul in the one in front of him. Sabrina was sitting all the way to one side, as if trying to get away from Paul, who was sitting closer than was necessary.
“I know. Have you ever wondered what would have happened if I hadn’t decided to move across the country for college?”
He shrugged. “We’ve all moved on. I’m sure you have, too.”
“Yes, of course. After all, you went to New York and became a big shot.”
“I love my job.”
“That’s great.” She glanced at the gondola ahead of them. “She’s pretty. You always liked pretty girls.”
Was Eve trying to imply with her comment that Sabrina was beautiful but had nothing in her head?
“Sabrina is a lawyer I met on a business trip to San Francisco.”
“Oh, she’s not from New York then.”
“No, but we live together now.”
“That’s nice of her to move all the way from the West Coast for you. How long have you been together?”
“A while.” There was no way he would tell her that he’d known Sabrina for less than a month.
The ride finally came to a stop and saved him from elaborating any further. He charged out of the gondola the second the operator lifted the bar and tossed a quick goodbye in Eve’s direction, then rushed to where he saw Sabrina standing with Paul.
“Hey, baby,” he said, pulling her to him. “Sorry about the mix-up back there.”
“Don’t worry, I kept your lady entertained,” Paul said, a wide grin on his face.
“Thanks, Paul, it was nice meeting you,” Sabrina said and smiled at Paul.
He’d show his old high school chum that his charm would never work on Sabrina and make it clear to him that she belonged to Daniel. And he knew exactly how to do that.
Daniel pulled Sabrina into his arms, slanted his mouth over hers and kissed her long and passionately in full view of Paul.
When he severed the kiss that was leaving them both breathless, he noticed Eve standing a few yards away from them, staring at them with her mouth gaping open.
Good, it appeared that she’d finally gotten the message, too.
Daniel lay stretched out on his bed, dressed only in his boxer briefs, his hands folded behind his head. He stared up at the ceiling, still fuming about the stunt Paul had pulled. He was sure Paul had done it intentionally, since he never missed an opportunity to get close to a beautiful woman—even if that woman was with somebody else. He and Paul had often been rivals for the affections of the most beautiful girls back in high school and then later in college. It appeared that Paul believed he could still play the same game.